Jesse Ransom Grinstead

Is your surname Grinstead?

Research the Grinstead family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Jesse Ransom Grinstead

Also Known As: "J.R.", "Judge"
Birthplace: Post Oak, Johnson County, Missouri, United States
Death: January 16, 1956 (93)
Warrensburg hospital, Warrensburg, Johnson, Missouri, United States (heart trouble)
Place of Burial: Warrensburg, Johnson, MO, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Abner Grinstead and Charity Ann (Wells) Grinstead
Husband of Laura Josephine Grinstead
Father of Lawrence Hall Grinstead; Roland Wells Grinstead and Noel Bryan Grinstead (1896-1976)
Brother of Mary Alice Henshaw and Abner Rector Grinstead

Occupation: county judge, farmer, banker
Managed by: William Martin Schneider
Last Updated:

About Jesse Ransom Grinstead

Jesse Ransom remembered his dad, Abner, coming home from the Civil War, even though he was very young. JR and his dad ran in the Cherokee Strip and his father and mother homesteaded in Oklahoma. At the opening of the Cherokee Strip, September 16, 1893, he made the race on horseback, starting at Hunnewell, Kansas, running 22 miles in 81 minutes and securing a claim about 2 miles northwest of the town of Tonkawa, Oklahoma. His mother and father were in Nardin, OK in 1901. His father moved to live with his daughter in Vernon County, MO, when his wife died.

Jesse Ransom and his brother dealt in black walnut and cherry lumber (an ink blotter remains as a reminder of the business. J.R. was a long-time Johnson County MO County Judge. He was a founder of the town of Leeton and the Bank of Leeton.

Judge Grinstead supervised 2,000 acres in Johnson County, MO, and had land interests in other states.

In 1881 he earned a diploma from what is now Central Mo University (Warrensburg State Normal School) and taught country school for a time.

J.R. (Judge) remained active until months before his death in at 93. He drove a Model A Ford from his substantial home in Warrensburg (410 South Holden) to Leeton nearly every day.

In 1923 a St. Louis newspaper ran a story saying that Ransom Grinstead presiding judge of the County Court of Johnson County, received an anonymous letter signed Ku Klux Klan attacking him for his opposition to proposed bonds to erect a $200,000 high school. In part the letter said, "Three hundred citizens are watching you. It is time you get right." The newspaper goes on to say that it is rumored that a large klan exists in Warrensburg.

The January 17, 1956 Kansas City Star ran a lengthy obituary for Judge Grinstead. In March 1953 the Cold Springs Masonic Lodge presented him with a 68 year pin, replaced two years later with a 70-year pin.

The Daily Star Journal ran an editorial after his death saying, "he possessed a drive and courage that kept him active physically and mentally. His somewhat conservative views, while perhaps at times brought criticism, carried him and his business connections through good and bad times." "Frequently, though in his 90's, he visited Leeton and his farm holdings, and he was a familiar figure driving alone in his Model A. He enjoyed farming tremendously."

J.R. and partner, J.R. Greer, sold their big Hamilton and Haskill Counties, KS, ranch for a big farm, the Shockey farm, In Johnson County, MO. The deal was given at $39,380.00. The Shockey farm consists of 605 acres 14 miles southeast of Warrensburg. Judge Grinstead planned to move to the Kansas ranch but ill health prevented the move.

J.R. graduated from the Warrensburg Normal School in 1881 and taught in four country schools in addition to farming and stock raising. In 1895 with John J. Lee and Henry E. Fewel purchased the town site, consisting of 140 acres and platted the original town of Leeton. He was engaged in real estate and insurance until he was elected as county clerk (1906, 1910) and later presiding judge of the county court. in 1922. As county clerk, he planned for grading and maintaining 300 miles of county roads with plans for concrete culverts.

view all

Jesse Ransom Grinstead's Timeline

April 9, 1862
Post Oak, Johnson County, Missouri, United States
May 12, 1892
Age 30
Leeton, MO, United States
March 16, 1895
Age 32
Leeton, MO, United States
May 7, 1896
Age 34
Leeton, MO, United States
January 16, 1956
Age 93
Warrensburg, Johnson, Missouri, United States
Warrensburg, Johnson, MO, United States