When Grover Cleveland Ream was born on September 16, 1885, in Miami County, Indiana, his father, Benjamin Ream, was 31 and his mother, Harriet Fike, was 21.
Grover went by the name “Clevie” which was an abbreviation of his middle name. He was one of 9 children. In the 1900 census, his father Benjamin is listed as head of household and states that his occupation is a carpenter. This would also become Grover’s occupation. His mother, Harriet, listed her occupation as “laundry business.” In the 1900 census, Grover was 14 years old and was in school. By that time, the family lived in Ann Arbor, MI. on Wells Street.
The link below takes you to a catalog of Ann Arbor High School for the academic year of 1900-1901 and shows that Grover attended classes there.
Grover’s siblings were Winfield Emery Ream (1883-1940), Lucy Katherine Ream (1887-1976), John B. Ream (1891-1967), Harriet Isobel Ream (1894-1969), William B. Ream (1897-1982), Josephine Marie Ream (1901-1957), and baby Ream (1903-1903).
Grover married Amelia Grayer on September 26, 1912, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He died on March 26, 1931, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the age of 45, and was buried there. Sadly, my mother was only 5 years old at the time her father Grover died and my Uncle Bob was only 13 years old. My mother had very few memories of her father but continued to express her love for him during her entire life. My grandmother, Amelia, would remain a widow for the next 34 years until her death in 1965. In the context of history, Grover’s death had happened during the time of the Great Depression. My grandmother’s income would be made by running a boarding house on North Main Street. My Uncle Bob, was a young teen when his father died, and he assumed an adult role, of helping to care for his mother, his grandmother who lived with them, and his younger sister (my mother.)
Both Grover and Amelia were 27 at the time they were married. Amelia’s family home had been on North Ashley Street, in Ann Arbor, MI. In the records of their marriage, Grover lists his employment as a carpenter. The best man was John Ream and the maid of honor was Julia Reichenecker ( a life-long friend of my grandmother).
Grover and Amelia were 32 years old when they had my Uncle, Robert Emerson Ream. They were 40 years old, when they had my mother, Gretchen Lois Ream. I was also told that they had twin boys who both perished as infants. I believe the twins may have been born and buried in California and would have been the oldest children. I believe that the twins were named Richard and Robert. There was another son, named Richard Philip who was born on January 18, 1918 and died two days later on January 20, 1918.
In Grover’s WWI draft registration, he states that he is tall and slender with blue eyes and brown hair.
Grover was in the Carpenter’s Union #512 and served as their treasurer and seems to have been greatly involved with the social life of his union friends. I have included a link to an interesting article about Carpenters during this time of history in Ann Arbor.
It was only recently, that I began to understand that my Grandfather may have know that he had a serious health issue. He had made such an effort to make a smaller home at 520 N. Main Street into a large house with 3 stories that served my Grandmother well as a source of income while she used it for a boarding house with “rooms for rent.” This all happened fairly close to the time of his decease. My mother was proud of the work her father had done as a carpenter and would often point out buildings on the U of M campus in Ann Arbor that her father had helped to complete. It appears that Grover died of cancer. At the time of his death, this diagnosis was not generally discussed and so I do not have full details. My grandmother, Amelia, became very unstable for a period of time shortly after his death. It was ALWAYS my understanding that the whole family continued to miss his presence for all of their lives.