by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
601 Main Street (photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society)
Today it is called the Community Garden, but do you remember the once stately two-story home that occupied the front of the lot facing Main Street? Actually the 1920 U. S. Census called it Broadway and the occupants of the home were Benjamin Ervin Herrington, his wife Bess, and their older daughter, Mayzelle. Their daughter Cecyle Frances was born in 1922.
Ervin and Bess came to Grain Valley from Simpson County Kentucky, where all of the Herrington’s and their descendants got their start. They were married in Tennessee in 1902. Ervin (1880-1959) came here to be near his Uncle Merrick. (Merrick was my great-great Grandfather and he had been living in the area since 1854.)
When they first came to Jackson County the Herrington’ home was in the country. Later, Ervin (1880-1959) and Besse (1882-1975) moved to their big old house “in town” but he continued to farm land north of Grain Valley on Seymore Road. Later, he was employed at a stock farm. In the 1920s and 30s they rented their second story rooms to Homer & Nellie Fay Clements and Miss Lela Guthrey, the superintendent (Homer) and two of the teachers at the high school.
Besse & Ervin in the front yard
1950s photo of Mayor Herrington, City of Grain Valley