Jesse Root Grant

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Jesse Root Grant

Birthplace: Greensburg, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: June 29, 1873 (79)
Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. Noah Grant, III and Rachel Grant
Husband of Hannah Grant; Hannah and Hannah Grant
Father of Samuel Simpson Grant; Ullysses Simpson Grant; Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States; Samuel Simpson Grant; Clara Rachel Grant and 5 others
Brother of Susan A. Grimes (Grant); Margaret Moody Givens (Grant); Noah Bean Grant; John Kelly Grant Sr.; Roswell Miller Grant and 2 others
Half brother of Elizabeth A. Grant; Solomon Grant; Peter Grant; Solomon Grant and Peter Grant

Occupation: Wealthy Tanner, Tanner - His leather shop, "Grant & Perkins", sold harnesses, saddles, and other leather goods and purchased hides from farmers in the prosperous Galena area., leather and hardware dealer, tanner
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Jesse Root Grant

Jesse Root Grant

  • Birth: Jan 23 1794 - Greensburg, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Death: June 29 1873 - Covington, Kenton, Kentucky, United States
  • Parents: Captain Noah Grant, III, Rachel Miller Kelly
  • Wife: Hannah Simpson

  1. 794 January 23, Jesse Grant born near Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Living in the family were two siblings: a 15-year old half-brother, Peter [see Peter Grant biography, below] and a 2-year old sister, Susan. The next year sister Margaret was born, and two years hence, a brother Noah was born there.† Jesse Grant parents were originally following western expansion along the Connecticut Western Reserve.
  2. 1799 family moved to East Liverpool via Mononagahela and Ohio Rivers.**
  3. 1799 brother John born
  4. 1802-1804 lived in Youngstown, Ohio. A brother, Roswell, and sister, Rachel, were born there.†
  5. 1804 family moved to Deerfield, Hamilton County, Ohio.
  6. 1805 April 10 Jesse’s mother died.
  7. 1805-1808 working in Ohio at undesignated places.
  8. 1808-1810 Jesse lived in Youngstown, Ohio, with family of Judge George Tod Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. Tod’s then 4-6-year-old son, David Tod, in 1862 became 25th Governor of Ohio.
  9. 1810-1812 lived in Deerfield, Ohio in the house of Owen Brown while working at Brown’s tannery. Also in the house was Owen Brown’s son, John Brown, later anti-slavery martyr of Kansas and Harper’s Ferry. Jesse maintained the highest regard for John Brown in later years, during Brown’s fight against slavery.
  10. 1811 father Noah Grant, bringing the 2 youngest children, moves to Peter Grant’s house in Maysville, Kentucky
  11. 1812- apprentice at half-brother Peter Grant’s tannery in Maysville, Kentucky
  12. 1815 tannery owner in Deerfield, Ohio.
  13. c. 1816-1819 tannery co-owner in Ravenna, Portage County, Ohio [Owen Brown was also there]
  14. 1819 began courting Prudence Hall of Ravenna
  15. 1819 Jesse ill with ague
  16. 1819 Jesse’s father Noah Grant dies in Maysville, Kentucky
  17. 1820 travels to Maysville, Kentucky
  18. 1820 recovers from illness; moved to Point Pleasant, Ohio; tannery foreman
  19. 1821 brother Noah died
  20. 1821 June 24 marries Hannah Simpson
  21. c. 1821 General Lytle offered Jesse a tannery in Cincinnati, but Jesse preferred “a sure thing” and refused the responsibility
  22. 1822 son, Hiram Ulysses Grant is born
  23. 1823 moved to Georgetown, Ohio; tannery owner
  24. 1823 Autumn: built a modest 2-story brick house
  25. 1824 voted Andrew Jackson for President
  26. 1825 son Samuel Simpson born
  27. 1825 added kitchen behind house
  28. 1828 daughter Clara Rachel born
  29. 1828 house addition
  30. 1828 voted Andrew Jackson for President
  31. 1829 half-brother Peter Grant died
  32. 1831 unsuccessfully ran for representative of Brown county against James Pilson
  33. 1832 daughter Virginia Paine born
  34. 1832 wrote a caustic letter to the Castigator newspaper which severed his friendship with Thomas Hamer
  35. 1832 voted Andrew Jackson for President
  36. 1832 brother, John died in Texas. Jesse may have traveled to Texas soon after, as he published a long account of his trip when Ulysses was a youth.☼
  37. c. 1832 Jesse, with 10-year-old son Ulysses Grant, helps his sister Margaret (1795-1873) Ulysses’s aunt, auction property in Deerfield, Ohio, and move to Georgetown after her husband John G. Marshall died. Her children were William S., 14, [b. 1818], Lucretia, 13 [b. 1819], James H., [b. 1820], John, [b. 1823], and Lucy, 4 . [b. 1828], William was the only child to stay in Deerfield with a friend of the family.
  38. c. 1832-1837 Jesse’s nephew recently of Deerfield, Ohio, John Marshall, works at Jesse’s tannery from the age of 9 to 14 years old. [Afterwards John Marshall worked as a printer, and then studied law.]☼☼
  39. 1832 Jesse, Thomas Hamer and Daniel Barney were appointed a committee to prepare an address to rally Democratic voters of Brown county.
  40. c. 1833 Jesse built the brick 2-story front addition to the Georgetown house.
  41. 1833 travels to Coventry, Connecticut to conduct businees concerning 200 acre inheritance for Peter Grant’s heirs.
  42. 1834 Jesse built Georgetown jail.
  43. 1834 Jesse engaged in a lawsuit; needed deposition from Louisville.
  44. 1835 son Orvil Lynch born
  45. 1835 Jesse hires a tannery journeyman who steals Jesse’s leather and tries to sell it to a shoemaker, who turns him in. Jesse orders the journeyman-thief to leave town, but he refuses, and draws a knife. Jesse disarms him, sends Ulysses for his cowhide, and whips the journeyman a dozen times with all his might. The journeyman still refuses to leave until some village tuffs march him out of town.
  46. 1836 Jesse didn’t vote for President, lacking faith in Van Buren.
  47. 1837 served as the Whig mayor of Georgetown, Ohio.
  48. 1838 Jesse enrolled his son Ulysses in anti-slavery leader John Rankin’s academy for the winter.
  49. 1839 Jesse writes a letter to Senator Thomas Morris, inquiring about appointments to West Point Military Academy for Ulysses, and is referred to Thomas Hamer. On February 19th Jesse writes a request to Hamer, his enemy since 1832. Hamer generously gives Ulysses the appointment.
  50. 1839 West Point accepts his son Ulysses, and Ulysses leaves home on May 15th.
  51. 1839 daughter Mary Frances born
  52. 1839 last year of Jesse’s mayorship
  53. 1840 voted Harrison for President.
  54. 1841 moved to Bethel, Ohio.
  55. 1841 Summer Ulysses visits on furlough from West Point
  56. 1851 Jesse became first mayor of Bethel.
  57. 1854 moved to Covington, KY.
  58. 1854 opens leather store on Madison Ave., Covington.
  59. 1855 campaigned for Salmon P. Chase for Governor of Ohio.

Ulysses Grant’s father

Jesse Grant (1794-1873) was born near Greensbury, Pennsylvania on the Monongahela River. He was named after Jesse Root (1736-1822) Chief Justice of the Superior Court in Connecticut, who was from Coventry, Connecticut, as was his father, Noah. After Jesse’s mother Rachel (Miller) Grant died in 1805, Jesse lived with the family of Judge George Tod. Judge Tod was Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court between 1806 and 1809.

Noah Grant (1748-1819) Jesse Grant’s father, started in the leather trade, and Jesse continued by apprenticing at a tannery owned by his paternal half-brother Peter Grant in Maysville, Kentucky.

Jesse also worked for future-abolitionist John Brown’s father, Owen Brown, in Jesse’s hometown of Deerfield, Ohio. Harold I. Gullan, in his book, Faith of Our Mothers, mentioned that Jesse Grant moved to Ravenna, Ohio “because he hated slavery” [in Kentucky]. At the same time, Owen Brown was also seen in Ravenna, Ohio. Following is a reminiscence written in Ravenna, Ohio, circa 1816.

   “[South of Main Street, Ravenna, Ohio] you will see two men lifting something from a rude wagon. One of the men is a farmer and he has just sold a couple of ox hides to the other. The buyer is a sturdy looking young man of about twenty-three years; whose sleeves are rolled up, and who has on a leather apron, for he is a tanner. He will have a son after a while, however, who will carry his name ringing down the ages, for it is Jesse R. Grant, who had just gone into business with John F. Wells, on the now Gretzinger lots…. Jared Mason, who came from Beaver County, Penn., in 1810 started this tannery and did a lucrative business for three years, dying in 1813. In 1815 John F. Wells married the widow, and thus came into possession of the tannery.”
   “…there comes Owen Brown the father of John Brown, of Harper’s Ferry renown. Owen Brown is, also, one of the County Commissioners, and there is going to be a meeting here to-day. Here he comes on his old bay horse along the road from Franklin…”
   – History of Portage County, Ohio, 1885.

Jesse Grant, 23, co-owned a tannery in Ravenna and shipped the leather to what would become his future home at Point Pleasant, Ohio.*

In 1820 Jesse moved to Point Pleasant and set up the same business at a tannery, next to his cabin. The above picture of the Point Pleasant tannery was taken years about 70 years after Grant family left Point Pleasant. Since then, the stone foundation became a foundation for the Point Pleasant church.

In 1821 Jesse married Hannah Simpson, and in 1822, their first child, Ulysses was born.

Their cabin was near the banks of the Ohio River and the mouth of Big Indian Creek.

By October 1823 Jesse had saved $1100.00 to start his own tannery, and the Grant family moved to Georgetown, Ohio for that purpose. Georgetown, about 22 miles east from Point Pleasant, was 8 miles from the Ohio river, near White Oak Creek.

In Georgetown Jesse’s industry, wealth and family increased. He worked as a tanner, butcher, hauler, builder (he built the town jail), and he owned a carriage-service and two small farms.

    • The Ancestry of General Grant and their Contemporaries, by Edward C. Marshall. New York, Sheldon & co., 1869.


††Grant, By William S. McFeely, 2002

☼ Richardson, Albert G. Personal History of U. S. Grant American Publishing Co. 1868, pg.69

☼☼ The Biographical Encyclopedia of Ohio of the Nineteenth-Century Cincinnati: Galaxy Publishing Co., 1876.


Peter Grant of Maysville, Kentucky

Jesses Grant’s half-brother, Ulysses Grant’s uncle

Peter Grant (1781-1829) and his older brother, Solomon (c. 1779-1798+) were born to Noah and Anna (Buell) Grant in Coventry, Connecticut. Noah fought in the Revolutionary War, and returned to find that his wife died c. 1787-1789. Solomon remained in Coventry with his grandfather Buell. Solomon was well-educated there, and at 20 year of age went to the island of Demerara as overseer on a sugar plantation. Solomon wasn’t heard from again, and presumed to have died by 1798.

Peter traveled with his father, Noah, to Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and his father remarried there in 1792. There were four more children added to the family, including Jesse Grant (Ulysses’s father) in 1794. After nine years near Greensburg, the family moved West via the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers to towns in Ohio (see Google map).

In 1806, after his step-mother Rachel (Kelly) Grant died, the family dispersed, and Peter Grant settled in Maysville, Kentucky, marrying Permelia Bane in 1807. Peter was industrious, owning Armstrong, Grant & Co. salt manufacturer, a tannery, and a mine. Peter and Permelia had nine or ten children. The first child was born in 1808 and the last in 1829, the year of Peter Grant’s drowning.

Peter’s father, Noah Grant, and the two youngest children lived with Peter in Maysville from 1811 to his death in 1819. His half-brother, Jesse Grant (Ulysses’s father) apprenticed in Peter’s tannery from 1812 to circa 1814.

Peter was good friends with antislavery leader, John Rankin, as described by Rankin’s son: ” [John Rankin] had…several warm antislavery friends in Maysville, among them were…Mr. Grant, an uncle of Gen. U. S. Grant.” †

Peter died on 10 Jan (1825?) 1829 by drowning where the Ohio River meets its tributary, the Kanawha River at Point Pleasant, West Virginia. He may have been visiting his sister Rachel, who married William Tompkins, and lived in Charleston, West Virginia on the Kanawha River. Ulysses was only seven when his uncle Peter Grant died.

Ulysses’s cousins later favored the Confederates, and lost much of their property in the Civil War.

   Peter Grant went early to Maysville, Kentucky, where he was very prosperous, married, had a family of nine children, and was drowned at the mouth of the Kanawha River, Virginia, in 1825, being at the time one of the wealthy men of the West.
   –Memoirs, by Ulysses S. Grant, 1885
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Jesse Root Grant's Timeline

January 23, 1794
Greensburg, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, United States
April 27, 1822
Point Pleasant, Clermont, Ohio, United States
September 23, 1825
Georgetown, Brown, Ohio, United States
December 11, 1828
Georgetown, Brown, Ohio, United States
February 20, 1832
Georgetown, Brown, Ohio, United States
May 15, 1835
Georgetown, Brown, Ohio, United States
July 29, 1839
Either in Georgetown, Brown Co., OH, or Bethel, Clermont Co., OH
June 29, 1873
Age 79
Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky, United States