Grinstead, James A.

1809 - 1886

Turfman and Banker.

James A. Grinstead was born around 1809.  He served as a clerk of the old Bank of the United States Branch at Lexington and as the United States Pension Agent for Kentucky during the early 1830s.  When the Northern Bank of Kentucky succeeded the Bank of the United States at Lexington, Mr. Grinstead continued as the Cashier of the new institution.  During the late 1840s, he became the Cashier of the Agricultural Deposit Bank of Lexington, and while in that position, he accepted the thoroughbred mare Picayune in payment of debt.

Picayune was the foundation of his thoroughbred farm, Walnut Hill Stud, located four miles out on the Richmond Road.  Her offspring included some of the most noted racers of the period and for the next quarter of a century, Mr. Grinstead hung an oil painting of Picayune in his banking offices.  He was a director of the Kentucky Association and a Steward of the Saratoga Association, Saratoga, New York.

Mr. Grinstead served as the Fayette County Clerk during the late 1840s, and during 1852, he accompanied the body of Henry Clay home from Washington.  In 1863, Mr. Grinstead entered partnership with Thomas Bradley to operate a private bank.  During 1883, his firm of Grinstead & Bradley was nationalized as the Third National Bank.

Early the next year he was forced to assign over his assets for the benefit of his creditors, having suffered financial problems for several years.  He died during October 1886.