Sons of Union Veterans
of the Civil War
Robert E. Grim
Commander-in-Chief
2002-2003


At the 121st National Encampment in Springfield, Illinois on August 10, 2002, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War elected Robert E. Grim of Sabina, Ohio as their 116th Commander-in-Chief. He is the thirteenth Commander-in-Chief from the Department of Ohio.

Robert Elroy Grim was born at his parents' home in Madison Mills ( Fayette County) Ohio. He is the fifth of ten sons born to Raymond Morgan Grim, Sr. and Nellie Irene Schomburg. The family moved to nearby Bloomingburg when he was two years old. He entered the first grade at Bloomingburg High School and twelve years later graduated from that school.

Following high school he served a four-year enlistment in the United States Air Force. He was assigned to the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and served during the beginning of the Vietnam War. He served a two-year tour of duty in Morocco, North Africa. He's a member of the Paul H. Hughey Post No. 25 American Legion. On November 2, 2006 he was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame by Ohio Governor Bob Taft.

He completed three years of college work while serving in the U.S. Air Force and finished the work for his Bachelor of Arts Degree on the University of Maryland campus at College Park, Maryland. He worked as an insurance adjuster for a brief period before taking a job as a teacher at Miami Trace High School near Washington Court House, Ohio in 1967. He earned a Master of Education Degree from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio in 1969. He retired in 2001 from Miami Trace High School after 34 years as an educator. At the time of his retirement he was serving as President of the Miami Trace Education Association and had been Chairman of the Social Studies Department for ten years.

In 1974 he was honored by the Washington Court House Jaycees. They named him the Fayette County Outstanding Young Educator of the Year. During the 1974-75 school year he was named a Jennings Scholar, by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation. In 1995, he was named American history teacher of the year, by the Washington Court House Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. That same year, he was given the Golden Apple Achiever Award by Ashland Oil Inc. He was nominated in 1996 and again in 2000 to Who's Who Among America's Teachers. Nominations are made by students, who select the single teacher in their lives who influenced them the most. He's a Life Member of the Ohio Retired Teachers Association and an active member of the Fayette County Retired Teachers Association.

He owned and operated an independent insurance agency in Bloomingburg, Ohio from 1967 to 1976. He was licensed to sell all lines of insurance: life, health & accident, and fire and casualty. He served on the Fayette County Junior Achievement Board of Directors from 1975 - 1987, and served as Center Manager of the Washington Court House JA program from 1975 - 1983.

He served as President of the Bloomingburg Board of Trustees of Public Affairs from 1968-1970. That is the publicly elected body that manages the village utilities. He was elected to the Bloomingburg Village Council in 1970 but resigned his seat to fill an unexpired term as Village Clerk-Treasurer (Chief financial officer of the village) from 1970 -1972. He was elected and served as Village Clerk-Treasurer from 1972 -1976. He also served as Chairman of the Bloomingburg Bicentennial Commission from 1974-1976. He served 20 years (1990 to 2010) as a member of the United States Selective Service Ohio Board No. 15 (Covers Clinton and Warren Counties). He was appointed to that board by President George H. W. Bush.  He also served as  a volunteer deputy voter registrar from 1991-2001.

He married Charlotte Ann Morris on July 31, 1976. They have lived on a farm outside Sabina, Ohio since that time. They have one son Irven Robert who is married to Carolin J. Gruber. They have three grandsons: Jason Robert born April 7, 2000 and Michael Irven David born Feb. 18, 2002 and Joshua Jo born July 9, 2007.

Commander-in-Chief Grim has been active in a variety of civic and fraternal organizations. He is a member of New Holland Lodge No. 392 Free and Accepted Masons. He was elected Worshipful Master in 1983 and again in 1984. He received the Lodge's Distinguished Service Award in 1985 and the Lodge's Service to Community Award in 1991. He served as Deputy Grand Master of the 8th Ohio Masonic District (Clinton, Fayette, Greene and Pickaway Counties) from 1986 - 1989. He served as Representative from the Grand Lodge of Ohio to the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands from 1986 - 1987.

He has been a member of the Columbus Valley of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite since 1979. He plays a Civil War soldier in the 26th degree.

He is also active in the Masonic York Rite. He served as Excellent High Priest of Fayette Chapter No. 103 Royal Arch Masons in 1989 and as Illustrious Master of Fayette Council No. 100 Royal and Select Masons in 1988. He received the Council's Distinguished Service Award in 1997. In 1990 he served as Commander of Garfield Commandery No. 28 Knights Templar. He received their Meritorious Service Award in 1992.

He was Knighted in Ohio Priory No. 18 Knights of the York Cross of Honour in 1991. He was elected Secretary - Treasurer of the Clinton County Knights of the York Cross of Honour (KYCH) Club in 1996; and served as vice president 1997-98 and President 1998-2000.

He served as High Priest of Tabernacle No. 2 Apollo Dramatic Chapter of Ohio in 1994 and 1995. He served as Sovereign Master of Harry E. Stark Council No. 186 Allied Masonic Degrees. 2002 -2003. He was elected to the Red Branch of Eri in 2000.

He's a Knight of the Royal Order of Scotland; received the Silver Trowel in the Council of Anointed Kings and is a member of the Holy Order of the High Priesthood. He's a member of Shannon Council No. 28 Knight Masons of Ireland and Iowa Research Lodge No. 2. He's also a member of the Civil War Lodge of Research No.1865 in Virginia.

He served from 2005 to 2007 as Governor General of the National Society Sons of Colonial New England and was elected Honorary Governor General in 2007.   He served as Registrar General of the General Society of the War of 1812 from 2002 to 2008 and was elected Registrar General Emeritus by the General Society of the War of 1812 in 2008. From 1988 to 1993 he served the General Society of the War of 1812 as Vice President General for the State of Ohio. He is a Past President of the Ohio Society of the War of 1812 (1993 to 1996) and has been the Ohio Society Graves Registration Officer since 1996. He is also a member of the Maryland Society of the War of 1812. He served as President of the Arthur St. Clair Chapter of the Ohio Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) from 2003 to 2005. He received the SAR Silver Good Citizenship Medal in 2004 and the chapter awarded him the SAR Meritorious Service Medal in 2007. In 2010 he was elected Genealogist of the Ohio Society SAR and awarded the SAR Meritorious Service Medal by the Ohio Society.  He is also a member of the Ohio Society SAR Color Guard.

In 1986 Commander-in-Chief Grim took an interest in genealogy. His mother and his oldest brother (Raymond M. Grim, Jr.) were involved in genealogy and he became hooked. He became active in a number of genealogical societies and has done extensive research on his family. He served as treasurer of the Fayette County Genealogical Society 1988-1990. He's a member of the Ohio Genealogical Society and qualifies as a member of the First Families of Ohio based on fourteen ancestors who were in Ohio before 1820. His earliest ancestor to arrive in Ohio was in 1798. He is also a member of the Society of Civil War Families of Ohio and the Settlers and Builders of Ohio.

Commander-in-Chief Grim joined the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in 1988 as a member-at-large in the Ohio Department. His mother, Irene Grim Looker, was active in the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic (Served as National President 1995-96) and asked him to chauffeur her and a couple of other ladies to the Ohio Department encampment in 1990. There he met David R. Medert (Commander-in-Chief 1995-96) and decided to transfer his membership to Gov. William Dennison Camp No. 125. Medert has been his mentor ever since. In 1992 he recruited 26 new members and organized Henry Casey Camp No. 92. He was elected Commander and held that post until 1995. He was elected treasurer of the camp in 1996; a position he still holds.

His membership in the SUVCW is based on the military service of his Great Grandfather Private William F. Grim, who served in Company K, 8th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, from 29 Feb. 1864 to 30 July 1865, and was a member of the Marian Judy Post of the Grand Army of the Republic at Bloomingburg, Ohio. Grim has proven eleven other ancestors who served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

At the Department level Brother Grim served as Guard (1990-91); Guide (1991-92); Patriotic Instructor (1992-93); Junior Vice Commander (1993-94) and was elected Commander of the Ohio Department in June 1994 and served until June 1995. He served as a member of the Ohio Department Council of Administration from 1995 -2000.

At the National level Brother Grim served as National Guide (1993-94); National Color Bearer (1995-96); Acting Chaplain (1995) and was elected to the National Council of Administration (1994 -97). He was National Patriotic Instructor (1998-99); Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief (2000-01) and Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief (2001-2002). He served as Chairman of the Scholarship Committee (1995-2000); Chairman of the Resolutions Committee (1996, 1999, 2000 and 2001); Member of the Program and Policy Committee (1992 -2000) and chairman of that committee (2001-2002); Member of the Budget and Finance Committee (1997) and was the Master of Ceremonies for the Allied Orders Banquet in 1996 and 1997. He attended his first SUVCW National Encampment in 1993 at Portland, Maine and has not missed an encampment since.

Commander-in-Chief Grim received the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Meritorious Service Award with Gold Star in 2006 at the National Encampment held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Brother Grim was Commander of the Central Region Association (1997-98) and was Senior Vice Commander (1996-97); Junior Vice Commander (1995-96); Patriotic Instructor (1994-95) and was the CRA Guide (1993-94).

Commander-in- Chief Grim started his SVR career by enlisting as a private in Battery I, 1st Ohio Light Artillery on May 12, 1992. He is still a member of this unit. He qualified as an Artillerist having completed the National Civil War Artillery Training School courses at Old Fort Niagara, New York on May 23, 1993. He also completed the National Civil War Artillery Association School of the Piece sponsored by the First Ohio Light Artillery Battery I held in Chillicothe, Ohio.

He organized Company C, 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in 1993 and was elected its commander and commissioned a Second Lieutenant on March 12, 1993. On December 4, 1993, he was commissioned a First Lieutenant. On October 29, 1996, he was commissioned a Captain. He gave up command of Company C, 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on September 1, 1997 when he was commissioned a Major and appointed Commander of the 3rd Military District. He remains a member of Company C, 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

On October 30, 1998, he was commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel and appointed Adjutant General of the SVR. On August 19, 2000, he was commissioned Colonel in the SVR. On November 17, 2001 he was awarded the SVR Distinguished Service Medal and appointed Deputy Commander of the SVR, a position he held until he was commissioned Brigadier General and appointed Commander of the SVR on November 17, 2007. He is the 6 th SUVCW member to hold the rank of Brigadier General in the SVR. On November 20, 2010 he became the first person to hold the rank of Major General in the Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR).

Commander-in-Chief Grim also belongs to the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States; the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, and the Lt. Jonathan Bressler Camp No. 1536 Sons of Confederate Veterans.

In his free time, Commander-in-Chief Grim and his wife Charlotte enjoy Western Square Dancing. They are members of the Clinton County Country Squares and served the club as Co-Secretary in 1993. They were elected to that position again in 2006 and have been serving in that post since that time. They dance at least once a week and have missed only three national square dance conventions since 1993.

Civil War Ancestors of Robert E. Grim

Pvt. William F. Grim, Co. K, 8th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, 29 February 1864 - 30 July 1865, Great Grandfather
Pvt. Henry Ernest Schomburg, Co, I, 140th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 2 May 1864 - 3 September 1864, Great Grandfather
Pvt. Henry Ernest Schomburg, Co. D, 5th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, 7 May 1865-30 October 1865, Great Grandfather
Pvt. John W. Rodgers, Co. G, 113th Ohio Vol. Infantry, 13 August 1862 -5 December 1862 (died), Great Great Grandfather
Sgt. John C. Grim, Co. D, 22nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 28 April 1861 - 25 August 1861, Great Grand Uncle
Sgt. John C. Grim, Co, K, 90th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 23 July 1862 - 25 May 1865, Great Grand Uncle
Sgt. James P. Wait, Co. I, 18th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, 6 August 1862 - 24 May 1865, Great Grand Uncle
Pvt. Crosby Messer, Co. C, 40th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, 29 July 1863 - 30 December 1864, Great Grand Uncle
Pvt. James F. Morgan, Co. K, 90th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 22 July 1862 - 23 April 1863 (Disability), Great Grand Uncle
Pvt. William Grim, Co. K, 90th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 25 July 1862 - 13 June 1865, 1st Cousin Three Times Removed
Pvt. Allison Grim, Co. K, 8th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, 27 February 1864 - 30 July 1865, 1st Cousin Three Times Removed
Pvt. George Grim, Co. D, 114th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 21 August 1862 - 30 July 1863, 1st Cousin Three Times Removed
Pvt. Albert Grim, Co. C, 60th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 11 December 1861 - 14 November 1862, 1st Cousin Three Times Removed
Pvt. Albert Grim, Co. K, 90th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 27 October 1863 - 13 June 1865, 1st Cousin Three Times Removed
2nd Lt. James C. Foster, Co. I, 53rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 17 October 1861 - 11 August 1865, 1st Cousin Three Times Removed
Pvt. John Robert Presley, Co. H, 25th North Carolina Troops, 15 July 1861 - 16 July 1862, Great Great Grandfather

October 2008


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