Sunday, May 28, 2017

Hamblett Clark Grigg (1872-1964)

Portrait from the Official Manual of the State of Missouri, 1911-12.

  I can always count on the Missouri state legislature to field a strange new name discovery, and after a lapse of several months, we return to the Show Me State to highlight the life of one term state representative Hamblett Clark "Ham" Grigg. Aside from his interesting name, Grigg's life outside of the legislature is worth noting, as he was the younger brother of Charles Leiper Grigg (1860-1940), the creator of the famed 7 Up soda, amongst other soft drinks.
  Hamblett Clark Grigg was born in Price's Branch, Missouri on February 9, 1872, being the son of Charles and Mary Elizabeth Leiper Grigg. He attended public schools as well as the Mexico High School in Mexico, Missouri. Sources also note that Grigg was employed as a clerk in a general store during his youth. Ham Grigg married in Price's Branch in June 1898 to Maude Mason (1876-1962), to whom he was wed for over sixty years. The couple would remain childless and later resided in Bellflower, Missouri. Grigg engaged in mercantile pursuits following his marriage, being the business manager of the Grigg Mercantile Co. in Bellflower.
   In 1910 Ham Grigg became the Democratic nominee for the Missouri State House of Representatives from Montgomery County. On election day he defeated Republican candidate W.C. Goshorn by only 45 votes, and during the 1911-12 session sat on the committees on Accounts, Banks and Banking, Municipal Corporations and Roads and Highways.
   Following his term in the state house Ham Grigg saw his elder brother Charles gain prominence in the St. Louis business community, being a salesman for an advertising company in that city. During this time Charles Grigg created and marketed his first carbonated beverage, "Whistle", and after moving on to another advertising company, developed a orange flavored soft drink called "Howdy". Grigg would subsequently found the Howdy Co. with a partner, and in the succeeding years the company grew to such an extent bottling sites were added to the business. Little information could be found as to Ham Grigg's connection to his brother's business, excepting mention of his being a partner in the Howdy Company in 1921, and a 1930 census mention of his status as an office clerk in a soda water manufacturing concern. In 1929 Charles Grigg would invent 7 Up, and following his death in 1940 the stewardship of his company passed to Hamblett Charles Grigg (1905-1977), the nephew of our subject and the son of Charles Leiper.
   Despite living to the age of 91, little else could be found on the life of Hamblett Clark Grigg. Widowed in 1962 after sixty-four years of marriage, Grigg survived his wife Maude by over a year, dying on February 9, 1964, a month short of his 92nd birthday. Both he and his wife were interred at the New Providence Methodist Church Cemetery in Bellflower, Missouri.

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