Biography - Dr August Groman

August Groman, M. D.

(Source: “As Time Goes By”, Odebolt, Iowa 1877-1977, 
printed by The Odebolt Chronicle May, 1977, p.38)

Dr. August Groman was born November 9, 1856 in Lake County, Indiana, son of Charles and Caroline (Kluckhohn) Groman, both natives of Germany and who came to this country early in the history of Indiana.

Dr. Groman was educated in the district schools of Lake County, Indiana and finished his common school education in Knight's private school at Crown point, Indiana. Early in life, he decided to enter the medical profession and with this end in view he matriculated in the Chicago Homeopathic Medical College in 1875. Immediately upon his graduation in 1878 he came to Odebolt, Sac County, Iowa and practiced continuously in this community the remainder of his life. He lived to see this county grow from a straggling frontier settlement to a prosperous condition and had a large share in the material life of the community itself. During his long practice in Odebolt, Dr. Groman officiated at the birth of about thirteen hundred babies, approximately equal to the whole population of the town. Hundreds of the citizens of this county have Dr. Groman to bless for their very existence and the good he accomplished in his many years of service cannot be calculated by mere words.

Dr. Groman was married in 1881 to Gesine E. Beckman. They were parents of Lucille; Helen; Dr. Herman C.; Alice (Mrs. Admiral); Dorothy (Mrs. Luther Ellis); and Eleanor (Mrs. Joseph Day).

The early photo of Dr. Groman was taken a short time before he came to Odebolt in 1878.  He practiced his profession from 1878 until his retirement in about 1935.  The photo at right shows Dr. Groman at about 82 years. 

Dr. and Mrs. Groman moved into the house above at the corner of 3rd and Maple shortly after their marriage in June, 1881.  They bought the house from J.M. Boles,an early blacksmith in Odebolt.  It was one of Odebolt's earliest homes.


To Honor Odebolt Doctor Tonight

The Odebolt Chronicle, November 7, 1946 (clipping)

One of Odebolt's first settlers, and a doctor closely associated with Odebolt's history will be honored tonight when members of the Sac County Medical Society hold a dinner in his honor at the Burke Hotel.

Dr. August Groman will be honored at the dinner tonight in celebration of his 90th birthday anniversary.

The old time resident came to Odebolt on May 25, 1878 and established his practice of medicine, following his graduation from Chicago Homeopathic Medical College that same year. He had previously studied medicine under his father.

He opened his office in the George Buehler residence, present site of the Burke Hotel. In 1881 he moved to the then new Wright building where he shared the office with Dr. W. N. Oursler, the town's dentist.

Sometime later, Dr. Groman built an office on the southwest corner of Maple and Third streets which he occupied until he built another office on Second Street adjacent to the Town Hall, now occupied by Dr. James McAllister.

During his years as physician and surgeon in this community he officiated at 1,300 births. Many of these babies are now grandfathers and grandmothers.

A few years ago, Dr. Groman spoke at a Rotary club meeting on the 65th anniversary of his arrival in Odebolt. At that time, he told the group of the number of young men in business here when he arrived, and although disappointed in the community at that time, he said, "I decided if they could make a living here, I could also make one .. and I needed it."

August Groman was born November 9, 1856 at Brunswick, Lake county, Ind., and came to Odebolt on May 25, 1878. He has lived in town all his life, except the time he spent working on the farm during the summer months from the age of 12 to 17 years, inclusive.

He was married to Gesina M. Beckman at Brunswick, Ind., June 4, 1881. Six children were born to the couple, three of whom are still living. They are: Dr. Herman Groman of Hammond, Ind., the third generation of MD's in the family, Mrs. Luther E. Ellis, of Washington, D.C., and Mrs. Alice Admiral of Indiana.

Dr. Herman Groman is expected to be in Odebolt for the dinner this evening in honor of his father.

Principal speaker at the dinner will be Dr. J. H. Stalford of Sac City.

Dr. Groman retired in 1832 at the age of 76 and has made his home here since.


The following biography on Dr. August Groman's son was submitted by Lora Radiches on a Rootsweb Message Board in November, 2002.   It was taken from an Indiana history book in her possession, which had no cover, author or publisher.

HERMAN C. GROMAN, M. D. Groman is a pioneer name in Lake County, and its most familiar associations are with the profession of medicine. Dr. Herman C. Groman has achieved high rank as a physician and surgeon at Hammond. He represents the third consecutive generation of physicians.

While his father was born in Lake County, this section of Northern Indiana has not known him professionally, the scene of all his professional career having been in Iowa. The first Doctor Groman in Lake County was Dr. Charles Groman, grandfather of Doctor Herman. Charles Groman was born and reared and educated in Germany and came to America in the early '50s. He established his home in Lake County, Indiana, and did the work of a well-trained doctor, practicing over a large country community. He and his wife are buried in the Cedar Lake Cemetery.

Dr. Herman C. Groman was born at Odebolt, Iowa, August 18, 1882, son of Dr. August and Sena (Beckman) Groman.

Dr. August Groman was born and reared in Hanover Township, Lake County, Indiana, attended public schools there and a private school at Crown Point, and in 1879 was graduated from the Chicago Medical College. Soon after completing his medical preparation he moved to Iowa and for over half a century was in active practice and is living retired at Odebolt.  Dr. August Groman has long been interested in Masonic work. He was on the draft board at Odebolt during the World war.

groman_article1.jpg (85547 bytes) He was a participant in one of the great marine disasters of recent years, the wreck of the steam-ship Vestris off Cape May, Virginia. He was one of the few passengers rescued, after having spent twenty hours in an open boat. He was the oldest survivor of the disaster.

(Photo) Dr. August Groman of Odebolt has abandoned his fishing trip in South American waters since his rescue in the Vestris disaster. His children greeted him in Chicago on his return.  Photos shows Dr. Groman (center) with his son and daughter, Mrs. Luther Ellis of Chicago and Dr. August Groman, Jr., (should be Herman Groman) of Hammond, Ind. (Click photo to enlarge.)

His wife, Sena Beckman, was born and reared in Lake County, attended school there and taught for a time before her marriage. She is an active member of the Presbyterian Church. Her father, H. C. Beckman, was a prominent pioneer of Lake County. Her brother, John M. Beckman, former state representative, is a well-known retired Hammond banker and real estate operator.

Dr. August Groman and wife had six children: Herman C.; Mrs. Alice Admiral, of Hammond; Dorothy, wife of Capt. Luther Ellis; and Eleanor, Mrs. Joseph Day, of Chicago. There were two children who are deceased. Capt. Luther Ellis is a veteran of the World war and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. He is now in charge of the State of Michigan U. S. Veterans Bureau. Captain Ellis is a native of Indiana, where in his collegiate days at Wabash College he was prominent in athletics as holder of the state high jump.

Herman C. Groman attended public schools in Iowa and had the benefit of a very thorough and systematic preparation for his profession. In 1904 he was graduated from Yale University, took a diploma at the University of Chicago in 1905, and in 1907 was graduated M. D. from Rush Medical College of Chicago. After an internship in Chicago he moved to Hammond and has been continuously engaged in professional work there for almost a quarter of a century. His offices are at 137 Rimbach Street.

Doctor [Herman C.] Groman during 1924 was abroad engaged in graduate work at the University of Vienna, and is a member of a medical association of Vienna. He also belongs to the Lake County, Indiana State and American Medical Associations. He served as secretary of the Lake County Association. During the World war he was assigned semi-official professional work in connection with munition plants and war industries. Doctor Groman is affiliated with Garfield Lodge, A. F. and A. M., the B. P. 0. Elks, the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Chamber of Commerce, Woodmar Country Club, Theta fraternity Club, and belongs to the Chicago Athletic Club. While attending college and university he was prominent in athletics and in 1904 was a member of the American Olympic track team.

For a busy professional man he still has a remarkably up-to-date current knowledge of athletics and sports. Golf and travel are now his main recreations. For the past four years he has been president of the Hammond Plan Commission and is one of the representative citizens who work through the Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis Club. He is a Republican and a member of the Presbyterian Church.

Doctor Groman married at Chicago, June 24, 1908, Miss Eunice Costello, who was educated in public schools in Chicago and is a graduate of Lewis Institute of that city. She is a member of the Hammond Woman's Club. Doctor and Mrs. Groman had four children, one of whom died in infancy. The others are Katherine K., Dorothy H. and Ruth. Katherine graduated from the Hammond High School in 1925 and from the University of Chicago with the class of 1931. Dorothy graduated from high school in 1929, standing among the highest in her class, and is now attending the University of Southern California at Los Angeles. Ruth is still in public school at Hammond.

See excerpts from My Family in Iowa, 1878-1949,
a book by Dr. Groman's daughter, Dorothy Groman Ellis, 
about growing up in Odebolt


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