One House’s Story: The Gribble Family

Feature image of the Gribble House, 2023.

The stretch of North Broadway that spans from Ray Avenue to Tuscora Park is dotted with many fine homes. Among them is a home built by a man who was a Civil War veteran, a longtime public servant, a well-respected member of the New Philadelphia community, and son of one of Tuscarawas County’s early pioneers.

A note about addresses: House numbers and street names often change over time.

English immigrant James Gribble (1810-1860) arrived in Tuscarawas County as a young man around 1830 and it is likely that he arrived with considerable financial resources already in hand. James married Ohio native Catherine Barr (1819-1885) in 1833 and the successful farmer and his wife started their family. Catherine gave birth to eleven children between 1834 and 1855 and eventually required the building of a large home. The couple chose to build their house on the northeast corner of the intersection of North Broadway and Fair Street in New Philadelphia.

The house that James Gribble built for his growing family, including his eldest surviving son Andrew G. Gribble (1841-1919), was so large and fine that it was referred to at times as the Gribble Mansion. (The image of the home that appears below is courtesy of the Tuscarawas County Historical Society) Unfortunately for James, who died in 1860, he did not live very long to enjoy the fine home. James Gribble’s estate inventory recorded the kind of furniture and personal belongings in the home, painting a vivid picture of what life in the home must have been like. At the time of his father’s death in 1860, Andrew Gribble was studying medicine while attending Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

  • Marriage record of James Gribble and Catherine Barr, May 1833. (Source:
  • James Gribble and family recorded on the 1840 Census for Tuscarawas County, Ohio. (Source:
  • An excerpt from the inventory of the James Gribble estate showing some of the furnishings, etc., 1860. (Source:
  • The James and Catherine Gribble home on the corner of North Broadway and Fair Avenue, early 1900s. (Courtesy of the Tuscarawas County Historical Society)

Andrew D. Gribble graduated from Jefferson College in June 1863 and, shortly after, enlisted in the 129th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment for six months. Given his education, he was attached to his unit’s medical department during the regiment’s operations in Kentucky and Tennessee in 1863-1864. After the completion of his six months of service, Andrew returned to the Gribble home in New Philadelphia and continued to study medicine. Interestingly, there is no evidence that Andrew worked as a doctor despite the fact that his friends gave him the nickname “Doc” and “Dockey.”

Andrew married Elizabeth Moore (1844-1920), a graduate of Steubenville High School and Granville Episcopal Seminary, in the summer of 1874 and the couple resided at the Gribble Mansion with Catherine and Andrew’s siblings. The couple then moved for a brief time into a home on North Third Street (modern 2nd Street NE) in the 1880s. Andrew’s actual life-long career was as a clerk in the County Courthouse where he began working around 1872. While he ran for County Clerk at times, Andrew served as the Deputy Clerk for most of his life. After the death of his mother in 1885, and the sale of the Gribble Mansion for $5,500 in 1886, Andrew acquired land one block north. The land was where an old tannery had been and Andrew broke ground on a new home there in 1890.

The house that Andrew and Elizabeth built was constructed in the very popular and decorative Queen Anne style of architecture. The features of the wood frame home include asymmetrical façades, steeply pitched rooflines, multiple crossed roof gables, projecting windows, a partial-width porch, large fireplace and chimney stack, and very unique roof ridge tiles. When the house was built, it was the only home on the northern half of that block of North Broadway. It was in this house that Andrew and Elizabeth raised their two children, a son and a daughter.

  • Image of Andrew D. Gribble (L) and his daughter, c. 1885. (Source:
  • The location of the 1890 Gribble House on North Broadway noted on the 1875 map of New Philadelphia. (Source:
  • Newspaper article reporting the beginning of the construction of the Gribble House on North Broadway, May 1890. (Source:
  • The Gribble House depicted on the 1892 Sanborne Fire Insurance Map for New Philadelphia. (Source:

Andrew briefly tried his hand at a new career at the end of the 1890s but within a couple of years he was back at the Courthouse working as the clerk of the Probate Court. When he was hired for that position in 1903, the newspaper reported that he “has few if any peers in the county when it comes to working with official records.” Elizabeth Gribble used her educational background and interest in public service by working for several years as the principal of the New Philadelphia High School.

Both of the Gribble’s children were out of the home by the spring of 1919 when Andrew Gribble became ill at the beginning of March. Two days later he died in his sleep from heart failure. The local newspaper ran a story of his death on the front page, writing about his birth as the son of one of the County’s pioneers and his years of service to Tuscarawas County. Elizabeth lived about a year-and-a-half longer, dying in November 1920 from a stroke. Her death also warranted front page news. Andrew and Elizabeth Gribble are buried in Fair Street Cemetery and the house they built stands today.

  • Andrew D. Gribble's death reported in the New Philadelphia newspaper, March 1919. (Source:
  • Andrew D. Gribble's death reported in the New Philadelphia newspaper, March 1919. (Source:
  • Andrew and Elizabeth Moore Gribble's headstones at Fair Street Cemetery, 2007. (Source:
  • The Gribble House on North Broadway, New Philadelphia, 2023
  • The Gribble House on North Broadway, New Philadelphia, 2023

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© Noel B. Poirier, 2023.


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