About John J. Grumbles
GRUMBLES, JOHN J. (?-1858). John J. Grumbles, Texas Ranger, immigrated from Tennessee to the Republic of Texas in 1837 and settled at Fort Wilbarger, on the north bank of the Colorado River some ten miles above Bastrop, Texas. He moved to the Travis County community of Webber's Prairie in 1840 and lived there until 1845, when he bought the old home and mill of William Barton and moved to Barton Springs, near Austin. During the Mexican War Grumbles from June 2 through September 22, 1846, served as a private in Capt. Samuel Highsmith's Company K of Col. William C. Young's Third Regiment, Texas Mounted Volunteers. Two days after mustering out of federal service he raised and was elected captain of a company of rangers attached to Maj. Thomas J. Smith's battalion. This company saw service on the western frontier and in northern Mexico until September 23, 1847. In 1849 Grumbles commanded a company of rangers stationed on the Nueces River seventy-five miles above Corpus Christi. He died at San Saba on February 20, 1858.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Frank Brown, Annals of Travis County and the City of Austin (MS, Frank Brown Papers, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin). John S. Ford, Rip Ford's Texas, ed. Stephen B. Oates (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963). Louis Wiltz Kemp Papers, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin. Charles D. Spurlin, comp., Texas Veterans in the Mexican War: Muster Rolls of Texas Military Units (Victoria, Texas, 1984). Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813-1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938-43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).
A Captain of the legendary Texas Rangers in their days of glory. By what we see, he must have been arrogant, romantic, visionary, heroic and flawed. Gunned down in what may or may not have been a fair contest on the dusty streets of a frontier village, he lived a classic life and died a classic death in the Republic and State of Texas in the turbulent days before the Civil War. He was a close business colleague of A.J. (Jack) and Morgan Hamilton, and evidently well-acquainted with Sam Houston, P.H. Bell and Elisha Marshall Pease. Four of these men were Governors of Texas. He was a prominent citizen of early Austin.
Oldest son of Benjamin and Keziah (Pierce) Grumbles, John J. was the first of the line to migrate to Texas. He moved from Dallas County, Alabama in 1838, settling for a few years at Wilbarger's settlement near present-day Utley in Bastrop County, but had relocated by 1842 to nearby Austin.
His father Benjamin and younger brother William M. joined him in Austin in January, 1846. Both John J. and William sired large families, whose descendants are the most numerous and widespread of the Grumbles in many Texas counties. John J.'s son Sam Houston continued to move west until he reached the Pacific.