Ezra Grim was born January 5, 1874 about 2 miles west of Kirksville, MO.
He received his education in the Kirksville schools after his parents, George W
& Anna (Weaver) Grim, moved into town in 1882. After graduating from Kirksville
High School he entered the First District Normal School (now Truman State
University) where he earned a Bachelor of Scientific Didactics as Valedictorian
of the Class of 1895.
For the next two years, Ezra was Principal
of the grade school in Brookfield, MO then left teaching to enter the Washington
University School of Medicine in St Louis. After earning his MD in 1901,
he interned at St Louis City Hospital, followed with a year as assistant surgeon
at St John’s Hospital and for United Railways. He returned home to
Kirksville in 1903 to go into medical & surgical practice with his brother
In 1905, the brothers built their own office
building, The Grim Building, just a block off the main square. They
founded the Grim Brothers Hospital a few blocks away in 1909 and a year later,
1910, moved into a new building at Patterson & Franklin, just south of the
The partnership dissolved and the hospital
was temporarily closed when Ezra joined US Army during World War I. He was
a Captain in the Army Medical Corps, American Expeditionary Forces, from
December 1917 till June 1919, serving in France a good portion of that time.
He returned home after discharge to reopen his practice and hospital. When Dr ES
Smith of Macon joined the practice in 1924, the hospital was renamed Grim-Smith.
In 1923, Dr Grim teamed with Northeast
Missouri State Teachers College (formerly the Normal) and Barnes Hospital in St
Louis to establish a nurse’s training program at the College. He joined
the faculty as Administrator and directed the program until he suffered a stroke
in 1931 and had to cut back on work. He was able to continue as Chief Surgeon
at the hospital until 1940 when his health finally forced him to retire. He died three
years later, on May 26, 1943, and was buried at Highland Park Cemetery.
Dr Grim was a member of the American Medical
Association and served on the Normal School’s Board of Regents 1909-15. He
was a founding member of the Kirksville Kiwanis Club, the Kirksville Chamber of
Commerce and the MacDougall-Lowell Post of the American Legion, of which he was
first Commander. He was also very active in various Masonic organizations.
Dorothea Caroline Foncannon married December 29, 1903 and were the parents of
five children: George Edward; Sarah, who was campus nurse & head of the Teachers
College Nursing Program in the 1950-60s; Dorothea; Clarence; & John Henry, who
died in his teens.