Financial History Issue 121 (Spring 2017) | Page 11

EDUCATORS’ PERSPECTIVE E.H. Grinder Ranch on the Shoshone Reservoir site, Wyoming, December 14, 1908. go to college. He chose to attend Black Hills Teachers College in Spearfish, South Dakota to study business. The upcoming deer season prompted Edwin and fellow students Jim Parke and Billy Hilton to jump into Jim’s 1948 Oldsmobile 88 and head up Spearfish Canyon to scout out good hunting areas. On the way back, Jim took a curve too fast and lost control of the car. The Olds left the road and crashed over a 20-foot embank- ment. Both Jim and Edwin suffered criti- cal back injuries and spent several weeks in the local hospital recovering. The hos- pital bills could have easily ruined Bill and Anna’s finances. Fortunately, Jim’s father had a good auto insurance policy that covered all their son’s medical expenses. The accident, however, put a damper on Edwin’s college career, and while he did return to college after recovery, he never completed his business degree. As he grew older, Bill’s health prob- lems increased. He suffered from stomach cancer and endured two surgeries to deal with the malady. He was also a heavy smoker, which contributed to his decline. On the night of February 5, 1960, after a hard day’s work on the Quarter Circle 5 Ranch, Bill’s weary heart finally gave out. He was 58. There was no life insurance to pro- vide for Anna and her teenage daughter Glenna. Social Security benefits yielded $150 to pay for funeral expenses, and a contribution from the Schwabachers helped pay for additional funeral costs. Anna and her daughter moved to Pine- dale, where Anna found work at a local business while Glenna babysat to contrib- ute towards the family finances. Bill Grinder was my grandfather. I was only five months old when he died, so I never knew him. Despite the financial hardships he suffered, he loved life on the ranch, and he loved to ride horses. According to his daughter Glenna, “He just fit in the saddle” and “was at ease in there, like a rocking chair.” Money didn’t mean much to him. He was happy as long as he was outdoors riding fences or tend- ing livestock. He found joy in Wyoming ranch life. » continued on page 38  |  Spring 2017  |  FINANCIAL HISTORY  9