Biography of Chauncey N. Griffin
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

CHAUNCEY N. GRIFFIN. In one of the larger cities of the country, where every business and profession has its devotees numbered by the hundreds, the late Chauncey N. Griffin by sheer force of merit and enterprise rose to conspicuous position in the contracting and building circles. His work and his character made him an impressive figure. He was physically large, of fine address, genial manners and had a host of friends to mourn his untimely taking off.

He was born May 29, 1866 at Mankato, Minn., son of John and Maxilla (Mansfield) Griffin. When he was seven years of age. he was sent to Cleveland and thereafter was reared in the home of his uncle, Chauncey Griffin, who lived on a farm in Cuyahoga County, the old place being on what is now Dennison Avenue. As a boy he attended the village school at Rockwell. His uncle was poor and necessity forced him early into self supporting work. He learned the stone mason's trade, and that was in a measure the foundation of his business career.

He continued working at the trade until he was about twenty seven and then took up stone mason contracting. He started in a small way and expanded his business on the merits of his performance, rather than through influence. He soon became a brick as well as a stone building contractor, and from that got into general contracting. At first he was alone, then organized the C. N. Griffin & Company, later the Concrete Steel Construction Company and finally returned to the original title of C. N. Griffin & Company. His first building contract of more than ordinary importance, was the erection of the building for the Historical Society on Euclid and 107th Street. After that his firm erected a great many of the fine public and private structures of the city, including such schoolhouses as the West Technical, the Addison, at East 79th and Hough; the Columbia, Elmira and Chambers schools. He built the New Amsterdam Apartment Hotel, the second structure of this kind in the city, was contractor for the Annisfield Building on East Ninth Street; the Hadam Building on Euclid at 105th Street; the Baltimore & Ohio Railway Passenger Station; the Pennsylvania Railway Station, the Cadillac Building; the Physics Building on the campus of the Western Reserve University; the Alta House for J. D. Rockefeller after his daughter Alta.

On August 12, 1923, Mr. Griffin was hit by an automobile, both legs being broken, and as a result blood poison set in. He died three weeks later, September 1, 1923. His first wife was Sarah Luckrau, the three children of that marriage, all in Cleveland, being Elbert N., Chauncey N. and Elsie C. On December 15, 1900, Mr. Griffin married Charlotte E. Sherer, of Dayton Ohio, and Mrs. Griffin survives him and for the last three years of his life had taken an active part in the management of his business.

The late Mr. Griffin was affiliated with the Lake Erie Consistory of the Scottish Rite Masons, the Grotto and the Mystic Shrine, was a republican and at one time quite active and influential in politics; was a former president of the Builders Exchange, and a member of the Western Reserve Club, the Tippecanoe Club and the Windermere Methodist Church.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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