by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Benjamin (1803-1888) and Lucinda (1807-1877) Warren came from Tennessee to Missouri in 1848. In 1852, they purchased land and settled at Tarsney in Van Buren Township, just south of Grain Valley. Their ninth of eleven children, Nancy was the first to be born here.
Their second child, Zachariah was born on March 2, 1829, in Robertson County Tennessee and came with the family to Missouri. On April 24, 1850 he married Nancy Terrance Doty and they also had eleven children, 7 sons and 4 daughters. The fifth child, born May 20, 1856 was William Andrew Warren.
It was William Andrew and his wife, Mary Susan Lynch (1851-1950) who became prominent citizens Grain Valley. About 1900, he partnered with Thomas Webb to establish Warren Webb Hardware. The Warrens had three children, William Durwood Warren (1880-1962), Hartley Ellsworth Warren (1883-1943) and Creola Warren O’Connell (1885-1981).
William Durward, known to folks In Grain Valley as “WD” Warren, was born near Tarsney, graduated from Oak Grove High School (Grain Valley had no high school at that time) and Normal No. 2, or Warrensburg Teachers College (until 1919 when it became Central Missouri State and later UCM). Mr. Warren taught school in Blue Springs before becoming a cashier at the Citizen’s Bank in Blue Springs from 1905 until 1918.
That year he returned to Grain Valley where he was made bank cashier of the Bank of Grain Valley. He held this position until 1933 when he became bank president and chairman of the board. He retired in 1960 due to illness.
He and his wife Madge (Neer) Warren lived in the house at 602 Walnut Street. They had one child, Deloris (1907-1972) who married Howard Mollenkamp. The Mollenkamps and their two daughters, Mary and Linda lived across Charlotte Street at 514 Walnut Street.
Ellsworth Warren was a cashier at the Bank of Grain Valley from 1905 to 1918. He married Charlotte Owsley and they had two daughters, Mary and Erma. Charlotte Street in Grain Valley was named for his wife. The older daughter was in bad health and her doctors recommended the family move to Colorado.
Ellsworth’s career continued in banking in Alamosa, Colorado. The family then moved to Denver where he became manager of the Regional Agricultural Credit Corporation. Their final move was to Wichita, Kansas, where Ellsworth was manager of the Federal Crop administration. He died in 1943.
Creola married Mr. John T. O’Connell. In recent months, I have written about his tonsorial on Main Street and the O’Connell Service Station and Cafe on U. S. 40 Highway (Eagle’s Parkway).
I do not know when the Warren House on Walnut Street was built. I do not know if it was built by the Warrens or if someone else lived there first, perhaps Ellsworth and his family. In 2001 several GVHS art students made charcoal drawings of some of the homes, churches and business establishments in Grain Valley. The Warren House is among those drawing displayed at the Historical Society.
Drop by the Museum any Wednesday between 10:00am and 3:00pm to see the drawings. We also have a very thick notebook on the Warren Family, which was compiled by Patricia Davis Parr, great-granddaughter of William and Susan Warren.