A HERMIT FORTY-NINE YEARS.
Grinter Dies in White Church Cabin;
Mourned for Wife.
Ambrose B. Grinter, known in Wyandotte county as the "Hermit of White Church," died yesterday morning in the little old frame house he built for his bride in 1859. Had he lived until February 23 he would have been 92 years old. He left no near relatives.
He arrived in White Church in 1859 in a wagon, bringing with him a young wife. They built a little cabin of rough logs. Two years later his wife died. Since that time he had lived a life of seclusion, rarely visiting even the village store and shunning society. The little children of the village used to be afraid of the odd old man and at sundown the hermit could be heard calling his chickens. "Come along, little ones; come in, Wyandottes."
The little children's fears were groundless, though for a year or more before his death he at times chatted with the school children as they passed his door.
Early this winter he sat by a cheerful wood fire in his house and told a story of his life to a friend.
"I was born in Logan county, Ky., February 23, 1818," he said. "My daddy was a farmer and a hunter and he early learned me to use a rifle. When I was a lad of 14 he bound me out to a cabinet maker, William McMullen, who was afterward my 'daddy-in-law," and I learned his trade. I married his daughter, Mary Elizabeth, when I was 22. We lived in Kentucky till 1858, when we started out for Kansas in an old linch-pin wagon, which my 'daddy-in-law' had made for us. We drove two sleek oxen. When we reached Wyandotte county I bought fifty-four acres from the government. We built a little cabin and were very happy until Mary died and since then somehow or another, I don't care for the society of others. I spent my time in the woods with my dog and gun until I became too feeble to get about and now I must sit by the fire and smoke and dream."
Mr. Grinter had suffered with a cancer on his face for many years. About two years ago he went to Bethany hospital for treatment, where he remained for more than a year. While he was gone his neighbors cleaned up the house, which no woman's hand had touched since Mrs. Grinter died. One of these rooms was filled almost entirely with copies of old newspapers, neatly folded. Among these were copies of the Kansas City Journal and the Wyandotte Herald of the '50's. Mr. Grinter has been a reader of both papers for many years.
Another room, apparently that of his wife, was found in the condition it was left many years ago. An old sunbonnet hung on the post of the old-fashioned cord bedstead, the covers of the bed were rumpled and a woman's dress hung over the footboard. Mothers in the little village have long told stories to their little ones of how old Mr. Grinter, with a tender remembrance, had never touched the room since her death and never allowed strangers to look into it.
Funeral services ill be conducted by the Rev. J. W. Payne this afternoon at 3 o'clock at the old Grinter chapel. Burial will be in the chapel grounds.