L. P. Grimes. Many of the best homes in Champaign County have been won as a result of long and toilsome process, involving the clearing of the land, the draining of the swamps, the construction of ditches and fences, and every improvement has meant an expenditure of labor and care that only the very successful or those who have been through the experience can appreciate.
Among the men who have had that experience and have witnessed the evolution of Champaign County during the last forty years is Mr. L. P. Grimes of St. Joseph Township. Mr. Grimes was born in Vermilion County, Illinois, August 12, 1852, a son of John and Hannah (Snyder) Grimes. His parents were also natives of Illinois. Grandfather Grimes came from Ohio and in the early days settled four miles north of Danville, when Danville was only a trading post. For a number of years there were hardly any families in that neighborhood except the Grimeses and their relatives. It is said that for two miles in every direction nearly every house contained a Grime. John and Hannah Grimes had nine children, four sons and five daughters. These children were all educated in the district schools. In 1865 John Grimes took his family to Kansas and spent the rest of his days there.
In 1875, at the age of twenty-three, L. P. Grimes returned from Kansas to Illinois, for the purpose of visiting, and he found so many interests to claim his time and attention that the visit has been continued indefinitely to the present time. At the age of twenty-nine he married Miss Annie E. Ridinger. She was born in St. Joseph Township, daughter of Milburn and Margaret (Moore) Ridinger. The Ridinger family also came from Ohio, and Mrs. Grimes was third in a family of ten children. She was well educated in the local district school.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Grimes rented twenty-nine acres adjoining the Ridinger homestead. The outlook was not very encouraging. They had a small house, a log barn and a few rods of rail fence. In front of the house and shutting off the view of the road were trees and brush, while about the farm were sloughs in which the water was so deep in places that it came up to a horse’s side. In spite of this fact the young people possessed the energy and determination to make their work count, and at the end of two years they had saved enough to make the first payment upon their land. It was a happy day in their lives when they secured a deed to this small tract, but their industry did not stop there and they have gone ahead with their work and improvements until they now have eighty acres of good farm land, well drained and cultivated, improved with fruit and shade trees, a commodious house, barns, and altogether constituting one of the valuable farms of Champaign County.
Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Grimes, one of whom died in infancy. The other is A. M. Grimes, who was educated in the local district school and finished in the St. Joseph High School, and he is now a careful and successful farmer on a place just across the road from his father’s farm. A. M. Grimes married Cora Parks, and they have a bright young son, Claude L., who was born January 5, 1894. This boy has proved his ability in different ways, is an expert in handling a horse and has qualified as a chauffeur, being able to handle an automobile with skill and the expertness of a veteran.
Mr. L. P. Grimes has made his success as a grain and stock farmer. He now raises chiefly the Red Duroc hogs and has about seventy-five full blood animals, besides Jersey cows. He separates the cream on his farm and ships it to market.
Mr. and Mrs. Grimes are active members of the Christian Church at St. Joseph and worship in the beautiful brown stone and brick edifice that is one of the most attractive religious centers of the county. In politics Mr. Grimes is first, last and always a Republican, and fraternally is affiliated with the Royal Americans. His fellow citizens have shown their confidence in his ability and public spirit and have elected him to the office of road commissioner. Thus Mr. and Mrs. Grimes have attained the fullness of success out of their humble early efforts, and the credit for what they have accomplished and the influences that have emanated from their characters are due to them equally, since Mrs. Grimes has been a factor in the making of the home and has always stood beside her husband in counsel and advice.