Joseph R. Grundy, U.S. Senator

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Joseph Ridgway Grundy

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of William Hulme Grundy and Mary Lamb Ridgway Lamb Grundy
Husband of <private> Grundy
Father of Swea Thorson Renning Brennan
Brother of Margaret Grundy

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Joseph R. Grundy, U.S. Senator

Joseph Ridgway Grundy (January 13, 1863 – March 3, 1961) was an American textile manufacturer and Republican Party politician from Bristol, Pennsylvania. He represented Pennsylvania in the United States Senate.

He was educated at Swarthmore College. Grundy had a summer home on the Neshaminy Creek called Walnut Grove and one in the city of Bristol.

He was appointed on December 11, 1929, by Governor John Stuchell Fisher to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the refusal of the Senate to seat William S. Vare. He served from December 11, 1929, to December 1, 1930, when a duly elected successor, James J. Davis, qualified. On March 1, 1958, he became the oldest living former senator; he was the last living senator who was alive during the Civil War.

When he died in the Bahamas, he left no heirs. The Bristol home of Senator Grundy, as stated in his will, was left to be preserved as a museum and memorial library named after his only sister, Margaret Ridgway Grundy, in her and their family's honor and is open to the public for touring free of charge. The Victorian home includes a complete collection of the Grundy family's original possessions from both their Walnut Grove home and Bristol home as well as exquisite wood detailing throughout.


JOSEPH RIDGWAY GRUNDY, proprietor of the Bristol Worsted Mills and one of the most prominent manufacturers and business men of Bucks county, was born in Camden, New jersey, January 13, 1863, and is a son of the late William Hulme and Mary (Ridgway) Grundy, and a grandson of Edmund and Rebecca (Hulme) Grundy, and is a descendant on the maternal side from the earliest English settlers on the Delaware.

Edmund Grundy, grandfather of Joseph R. was a native of England, came to this country when a young man and located in Philadelphia, where he became a prominent merchant. He retired from business in 1856, at same time moving to Walnut Grove Farm, Bristol township, where he resided until his death in 1878. He married Rebecca Hulme, daughter of William and Rachel (Knight) Hulme, of Hulmeville, Bucks county, and they were the parents of five children.

William Hulme Grundy, the father of the subject of this sketch, was the second child of Edmund and Rebecca (Hulme) Grundy, and was born in Philadelphia, in December, 1836. He was educated at a select school in that city and at an early age became a clerk in a mercantile establishment. Later he entered into the mercantile trade for himself in the city. In 1870 he began the manufacturer of worsted yarns, moving his plant to Bristol, Bucks county, in 1876, establishing the Bristol Worsted Mills, so long and successfully conducted by the firm of William H. Grundy & Co., of which firm he was the senior member. It proved to be one of the important industries of the county and gave employment to several hundred hands. William H. Grundy was a public-spirited and broad minded business man and did much to advance the interests of his town. He was president of the Bristol Improvement Company, and filled the office of chief burgess of the town for two terms. He was always active in all that pertained to the best interests of the town and won and held the respect and esteem of all with whom he came in contact. He was one of the first members of the Union League in Philadelphia, and a prominent member of the Manufacturers Club of that city. He was also a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity. His career of extraordinary business activity and usefulness was terminated by his sudden death on October 26, 1893, of heart disease. Mr. Grundy married, in 1861, Mary Ridgway, of New Jersey, a lineal descendant of Richard Ridgway, of Welford, county of bucks, England, who arrived in the River Delaware, in the ship, "Jacob and Mary," of London, in September, 1679, and settled near the Falls of the Delaware in what is now Falls township, Bucks county, where he was a considerable landholder. The first court house of bucks county was erected on land belonging to Richard Ridgway. Mr. Ridgway was accompanied to America by his wife Elizabeth and son Thomas, and another son Richard was born a few months after their arrival. His wife died in Bucks county, and in 1699 he married Abigail Stockton, of New Jersey, and thereafter made his resident in Burlington county, New Jersey, where he became a very prominent man, and has left numerous descendants.

The maternal ancestors of William Hulme Grundy, were also among the earliest English settlers in bucks county. George Hulme and his son George Hulme, Jr. came from England prior to 1700 and settled in Middletown township. George, Jr. married, in 1708, Naomi Palmer, daughter of John and Christain Palmer, who came to Bucks county from Cleveland, Yorkshire, arriving in the Delaware, 9 mo. 10, 1683. Naomi only survived her marriage a short time. George Jr., married (second) her sister, Ruth Palmer, contrary to the rules of Middletown, Friends’ Meeting, which forbid marriage with a deceased wife’s sister, and he was disowned by the Meeting. John Hulme, son of George and Ruth, married Mary Pearson, daughter of Enoch and Margaret (Smith) Pearson, of Buckingham, and their son, John, was the founder of Hulmeville, which still bears his name. He married Rebecca Milnor, daughter of William Milnor, of Penn’s Manor, and lived for a number of years in the Manor. In 1796 he exchanged his Manor farm with Joshua Woolston for the "Milford Mills," as Hulmville was at that time known, and subsequently purchased several hundred acres of land adjoining, and with his sons: Willliam, John, Joseph, George, and Samuel established several new industries there and laid out and developed the town. The family were the originators of the Farmers Bank of Bucks county, now located at Bristol, which had its inception at Hulmeville. John Hulme was one of the most prominent business men of Bucks county and a pioneer in the rapid development that began in the first quarter of a century after the Revolution. His eldest son William was a carpenter and cabinet maker and was associated with his father in the varied industries of the town and assisted materially in its development. He married, 4 mo. 17, 1794, Rachel Knight, and died in 1809, leaving one son Joseph K., and two daughters, Susanna, and Rebecca. The later was born in 1803, and became the wife of Edmund Grundy. She outlived all of her generation, dying at her country residence in Bristol township, October 26, 1895, at the advanced age of 92 years. Of her five children only one survived her, Mrs. Susan G. Harrison. William Hulme and Mary (Ridgway) Grundy were the parents of two children, Joseph R., and Margaret R. Mrs. Grundy is still living in Bristol, though much of her time is spent in traveling in Europe and elsewhere.

Text taken from page 365

Davis, William W. H., A. M. History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III

Transcribed June 2002 as part of the Bucks Co., Pa., Early Family Project,

Published July 2002 on the Bucks County, Pa., USGenWeb pages at

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