Monday, December 14, 2015

Grosvenor Austin Curtice (1842-1907), Grosvenor Downes McCubrey (1858-1950)

Grosvenor Curtice, from the Granite State Monthly, Volume 47.

    A member of both houses of the New Hampshire state legislature, lifelong Granite State native Grosvenor Austin Curtice was a well-known resident of Merrimack County, being a merchant and farmer in that area for many years. Born in the village of Lempster on March 31, 1842, Grosvenor A. Curtice was the son of Samuel and Leonora Sweatt Curtice. The Curtice family removed from Lempster to Windsor, New Hampshire when Grosvenor was three, and he continued to reside there until relocating to the Merrimack County town of Contoocook in 1861. 
   In the year after his resettlement Curtice enlisted for service in Co. D, Seventh New Hampshire Volunteers, and would serve with that regiment until war's conclusion, having attained the rank of captain. He is also recorded as having "captured a rebel captain and several of his men" at Fort Fisher in North Carolina. 
   Following his return to Contoocook Curtice married in 1866 to Sara Augusta Johnson, who died three years following their marriage. He would marry his second wife Augusta Wilson (1849-1909) in 1876, their union lasting until Curtice's death in 1907. 
   In the years following his first marriage Grosvenor Curtce established a reputation as one of Contoocook's prominent merchants. A member of general merchandise firm of Curtice, Rand and Co., Curtice also held several political offices in his adopted hometown. From 1867-68 he served as town clerk and from 1869-1871 served as town treasurer, later being returned to the latter office from 1874-1878. Curtice would also serve Contoocook as its postmaster, and in 1875 was elected to his first term in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
  In 1877 Curtice won a second term in the state house and three years later began a two year term in the state senate, defeating Democratic candidate Charles Amsden by a vote of 1,981 to 1,823. Taking his seat at the start of the 1881-83 term, Curtice held seats on the committees on Engrossed Bills, the Judiciary and Military Affairs. At the conclusion of his senate service Curtice  was selected to serve as a member of the Executive Council, being on the staff of then Governor Samuel Whitney Hale.
  An active Mason and member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, Grosvenor Curtice returned to public life in 1906 when President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him as U.S. Pension Agent for the District of New Hampshire and Vermont. Curtice would hold that post until his death in Contoocook on September 29, 1907 at age 65.  His wife Augusta survived him by two years, dying on August 28, 1909. Both were interred at the Contoocook Village Cemetery.

A death notice for Curtice from the Los Angeles Herald, October 7, 1907.

Portrait from the Minnesota Legislative Manual, 1929-30.

    Another "Grosvenor" that made his name known in politics was two term Minnesota state senator Grosvenor Downes McCubrey. A native of Maine, McCubrey was born near the town of Calais on May 4, 1858. He attended school in the state of his birth and in 1882 relocated to Minnesota. Three years following his resettlement McCubrey relocated to Barnesville in Clay County, where he would reside for nearly twenty years.
  For many years following his removal to Barnesville McCubrey engaged in the insurance business and also operated a mercantile store. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries he served in a number of local political offices. From 1889-1897 he was served as U.S. Postmaster at Barnesville and following his relocation to Moorhead, Minnesota in 1901 served that city as its treasurer and justice of the peace. In 1901 he was elected as clerk of the district court at Moorhead and served twenty-four years in that office. 
   In November 1926 McCubrey was elected to represent Minnesota's 49th district in the state senate and during his first term (1927-31) served on the following committees: Civil Administration, Crime and Crime Prevention, Municipal Affairs, Public Institutions and Buildings, the Soldiers Home, Temperance and Towns and Counties. Reelected to the senate in 1930, McCubrey served another four year term and held seats on three new senate committees, those being Civil Administration, Finance and Reapportionment. He would also chair the committee on State and County Fairs.
   Little is known of McCubrey's life following his leaving the senate in the 1935. Beginning in 1940 he took office as Moorhead city justice and was still the incumbent in that office at the time of his death at age 92 on December 24, 1950.  He was later buried at the Barnesville City Cemetery in Barnesville, Minnesota. One should also note that McCubrey's first name is spelled either "Grosvenor" or "Grovenor", the former being listed in his obituary and the latter being engraved on his headstone.

McCubrey's obituary from 1950.

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