Portrait from the Twentieth Century History of Findlay and Hancock County, 1910.
A six-term Mayor of Findlay, Ohio, Esba Lincoln Groves was a lifelong native of the Buckeye State, being born in Blanchard township on February 6, 1861. The only child of Savadra and Lucinda Fisher Groves, E. Lincoln Groves (as most sources list him) engaged in farm work as a child and received his education in the "country schools" of Hancock County.
Following his removal to Macomb, Ohio in the 1880s Groves ran a butchery for a short period and in December 1885 married to Mary Alice McKinnis (1864-1937), to whom he was wed for fifty-one years. The couple would have a total of five children: Florence Fern (1886-1970), Carl LeRoy (1888-1980), Ruth (born ca. 1890), Albert Dean (1897-1968) and Leland Stanford (1899-1986). After his marriage Groves returned to farming and is recorded by the 1886 History of Hancock County as being the owner of "100 acres of land."
After many years of farming in the Macomb area, E. Lincoln Groves made his first move into the political life of Hancock County in 1904 when he was elected as County Sheriff. He entered into that office in January 1905 and a short while later relocated permanently to Findlay, Ohio (the Hancock County seat.) He would serve two terms as sheriff and had previously held several local political offices, including the presidency of the Blanchard town school board.
In 1909 E. Lincoln Groves received the Republican nomination for Mayor of Findlay. He would win the election in the fall of that year and took office in January 1910. Groves won reelection in 1911 and following another two-year term (1912-14) was affiliated with the Bryant Basket Factory, which he had purchased in 1914. Groves would subsequently add improved machinery to the factory and increased its personnel to 25 workers.
After several years away from city politics, E. Lincoln Groves was returned to the office of Mayor in November 1923. His third term commenced in January of the new year and he would serve a further three terms, the last of which concluded in 1932. During the latter period of his mayoralty, he dedicated the newly constructed city waterworks, which had been completed in 1930. Groves was defeated for reelection in the fall of 1931 by Democratic candidate Homer O. Dorsey, who would go on to serve four terms as Findlay's Mayor.
Widowed in 1937, Esba Lincoln Groves died in Findlay on September 26, 1939 at age 78. Both he and his wife were interred at the Maple Grove Cemetery in that city following their deaths.