Source:Obituary of Grandison Franklin German
Among the pine clad hills of North Carolina in Chatham County, the subject of this sketch first saw the light of day nearly 84 years ago, born there March 20, 1819. At the tender age of six his parents moved to east Tennessee, locating near Knoxville. Here the first years of his life were spent. At an early age evincing a strong inclination toward the study of medical science, in which he soon attained to great proficiency and became a successful physician. When the Seminoles, under the leadership of the famous Osceola decided to go on the warpath, the young doctor gave up his practice and volunteered his service as a soldier under the command of Col. Thomas S. Jessup, who joining forces with General Winfield Scott, participated in the dangers and hardships of the Florida campaign, proving himself to be an honorable and courageous soldier.
Being of an adventurous disposition, he in 1846 moved to Mercer County, Missouri, then a newly settled county where he engaged in various enterprises besides practicing his profession. When President Polk called for volunteers at the outbreak of the Mexican War, the doctor always ready to respond to his country's call, was one of the first to enlist and was assigned to duty as assistant surgeon. He was at the surrender of Vera Cruz and San Juan DeUlloa, serving until the end of the war. He was mustered out receiving an honorable discharge as evidence of his patriotism. Notwithstanding all this, he never made application to the government for a pension.
At the close of the Mexican War, he returned home with the intention of resuming his practice of medicine, which avocation he was successfully following until 1849 when the news was wafted across the continent that gold had been discovered in California, setting the whole country ablaze with excitement, the doctor caught the fever and prompted by his adventurous nature, abandoned business, house and friends and joined the great multitude who risked their lives in the then long and dangerous journey across the plains and mountains that intervened between the starting point and the then El Dorado of the Pacific Coast and after many thrilling adventures and hair-breadth escapes, reached the land where California's brooks wash down rich sand of gold. He remained on the Pacific Coast about four years with virgin fortunes, returned by the way of the Isthmus of Panama to this old home in Missouri, but the appetite not yet satisfied for adventure. He then moved to Texas, the land of prairies and birds, locating in Wise County, then on the extreme frontier, and many were his thrilling adventures with the Ishmaelites of the plains, the blood-thirsty Comanches. His best energies were devoted toward subduing the wilderness and carving out a home for himself and family.
Thus, it will be seen that the doctor has always kept himself in the vanguard, among those hardy pioneers who have made the settlement and civilization of this continent possible, a type of mankind which the world will never see again, but with all the vicissitudes of this wild and adventurous life, the doctor always maintained his character as an honorable man and a gentleman.
The writer of this, who has been intimately acquainted with Dr. German for a great many yeas, can truthfully say that he was the noblest work of God, an honest man. His married life was a long and happy one, lasting more than sixty years. His faithful wife survives him, is only a few years younger than he was. They reared a large family, consisting of two sons and nine daughters, all of whom are living except three daughters, seventy-three grandchildren and about fifty great grandchildren, besides quite a number of great great grandchildren a record in this way, seldom surpassed.
During the great portion of his life he, while never really a skeptic in religious matters, seemed to be simply indifferent, till about five years since he became convinced of the truth and reality of Christianity and joined the Baptist Church, since which, although his feeble health prevented his attendance at church, he has been a devoted and earnest Christian, regretting that he had not given all his long life to the service of God.
Dr. German, while always a thrifty business man, was too generous in his nature to accumulate a large fortune, giving freely where there was a case of distress. He was at all times a friend in need, public spirited, and while he could not be called an active politician, he took a deep interest in whatever he considered to be for the best interest of his country. So to sum it all up we can say that Dr. German was a good citizen, an honest man, a steadfast friend, a kind and affectionate husband and father a generous neighbor and in his latter years a warm and earnest follower of the meek and lowly Savior.
Dr. German died Friday, May 23, 1902.