Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Glessie Clay Grove Part Two

Into this life a little rain must fall. 
Sometimes it pours.                                        Glessie Clay Grove   Continued

Corp. Glessie Grove returned to the hospital at Des Moines, hoping to be fitted with an artificial arm, and was eventually released April 11, 1919, after serving two years, 7 months and 14 days.  His marriage, however, was another casualty of the war, and shortly thereafter he and Lora divorced.  

On September 19, 1920, Glessie, then 28, married Lela Atkins, age 23, of Christy Township, who taught in the County’s schools.  They lived south of Sumner. A few nights after their marriage, forty of their friends, gathered at the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Atkins and gave them a beautiful wedding shower and old-fashioned charivari.  The bride and groom hid in the cellar for a while but the crowd led by Leslie Grove, the brother of the groom, finally found them.  A jolly time was had by all; firing of guns, ringing of bells and pounding of old tin pans as well as the newly-weds being forced to ride a mule, added to the merriment. The couple treated the crowd to cigars, candy and chewing gum.


February 7, 1921, Glessie’s little brother, Raymond, 9, was killed instantly in the explosion at Cross Roads school and his brother, Lester, seriously injured. The family as well as the entire community was devastated. Seven boys as well as their teacher were killed when a nitroglycerine can, used for shooting oil wells, exploded.  


A little over a year later, March 19, 1922, John Thomas, Glessie's six- month old son  died Sunday morning of pneumonia.  The child was buried in the White House cemetery with his father standing sadly by the little grave.


On October 28, 1925, Glessie, along with Jim Tern, Tom Grove, Wilbert Grove, Wm Dyer, Harley Bennett, and Henry Weston, entered a plea of not guilty in a case brought against them by the Game and Fish warden alleging that they had violated the law against seining for bass.  The defendants swore they caught only one bass, a four pounder, and it was returned to the water without injury.   

 Despite the testimony of four or five witnesses who testified that they saw several bass and a number of crappie lying on the ground at the Kinder gravel pit north of Lawrenceville,  and that the defendants were dragging a seine through the pit,  the jury evidently believed the defendants as a verdict of not guilty was returned by the jury, composed of B. Calvert, A. M. Newell, Walter McBride, W. T. Neal, Clark Catt, and Alva Pickett.


In 1931, Glessie suffered painful acid burns in a minor accident at the Indian Refining Company while dismantling a dead acid line. A flange was opened to disconnect the line which contained a small quantity of sulfuric acid. He was bending over the line and the acid inflicted painful burns on his face including directly in his right eye. It was thought that the sight would be permanently impaired but thankfully, this didn’t happen.   

Once again, Glessie appeared in court, when Lela Grove divorced him in November 16, 1939. 


In May of 1940, distracted by long months of suffering from liver disease that failed to respond to the treatment of physicians, Thomas J. Grove, 83, fired a 22- caliber rifle bullet into his forehead, ending his life. Found by his family shortly after, the death was one more to endure for Glessie. 

His younger brother, Sgt Lester Grove, who had survived the Cross Roads School explosion, fought in WWII. He did survive, but every day of the war must have been a worry and a concern for his older brother, Glessie. 


However, Glessie was forced to stand by the grave of yet another brother, Wilbur, who was killed May 24, 1943, by four drunken youths as he was walking along Old State road west of Lawrenceville. The boys left the scene after hitting him and dragging his body for several feet, telling the sheriff the next day, that they thought they had hit a horse.


Still, Glessie and Nora Olive Brian, his third wife, were frequently mentioned in the social news of the county. They operated a pony farm; they vacationed in Florida and California.  In 1943, they left for the Jasper County Fair where they showed a large variety of chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits. They stayed on the road with their camping trailer for the next several weeks until the county fairs in southern Illinois were over. 

However, by 1969, Glessie’s health began to fail and he became a patient in the Veterans Hospital in Marion, Illinois. On June 24, 1971, Glessie Clay Grove died at the Jefferson Barrack VA Hospital in St. Louis.  His wife and daughter survived him as did his two brothers, Leslie and Lester. Burial was in the White House cemetery.