Back in 2014, I wrote a blog about Grass Dale, the mansion centerpiece of what was once the Groseclose plantation in Kingsport. Several people posted comments and expressed interest in the home that they frequently drove past.
In 1856, Joseph Groseclose (1816-1890) of Virginia bought a large portion of the Pendleton Land Grant from Joseph Everett, which included a c.1800 log cabin built by David Ross. Joseph and his wife Susan Cassel and their two children, Josiah and Catherine, lived on the Sullivan County plantation where Groseclose cultivated grains, cane, tobacco, and fruit orchards and raised cattle.
Joseph willed the home and land to his son Josiah Wythe Groseclose (1852-1920) with the proviso that his mother be allowed to live and be cared for in the family home until her death.
Josiah married his second wife Elizabeth Aldridge (1864-1935) in Texas and did some moving back and forth, leasing out the farm after his mother’s death, at times, when his family needed to be closer to Elizabeth’s family in Collin County, TX. Together, the couple had five children: Joseph Aldridge, Mabel Maria, Murry Clyde, Alice Rita, and James Wythe, who died in infancy from pneumonia.
Josiah left the farm to his son Murry Clyde (1894-1975), who married Gladys Roller in 1918. Brothers Clyde and Joseph Groseclose farmed just over 100 acres of the original property and operated a creamery that supplied milk to Kingsport. Clyde and Gladys lived in Grass Dale with their four children: Ruth (1919-2012), Rita (1921-2010), Mary Sue (1925-1950), and Murry Clyde.
Rita lived in the home her whole life. It was Ruth’s granddaughter that offered to share a few memories and pictures of the interior of the home.
It has been an honor to research a family whose lives and work have been so integral to the history and development of Kingsport and whose home is a focal point of the city’s landscape.
Credits and thanks go to:
Maria White, descendant
Sarah Land White Bagby, Ancestry user
FGreenbaum, FindAGrave contributor
CDeaderick, FindAGrave contributor
Feature image: Groseclose Cemetery