Biography of George F. Griffin
Mercer County, Ohio Biographies

GEORGE F. GRIFFIN, a representative citizen and leading farmer of Union township, resides on his finely improved farm of 240 acres, which is situated in section I. Mr. Griffin was born on the old Griffin homestead in Union township, Mercer County, Ohio, March 2, 1851, and is a son of Claudius and Elizabeth (Arnold) Griffin.

Claudius Griffin, father of our subject, was born November 28, 1813, in a little log cabin, on the banks of the Ohio River, in Clermont County, Ohio. He still survives, a remarkable example of the effects of a life of industry, sobriety and of kindly interest in the welfare of those with whom he has come into contact, during almost a century of existence. His parents were Benjamin and Experience (Mitchell) Griffin, who were pioneers first in Clermont and later in Champaign County. In 1832 the grandfather of our subject sold his farm in Champaign County and removed to Van Wert County, settling on a wild tract of land which later was developed into a good farm. Benjamin Griffin died in 186o, aged 76 years. His widow survived him seven yearns. They had 10 children, Claudius, the father of our subject, being the eighth in order of birth.

In 1839 Claudius Griffin was married to Elizabeth Arnold, a daughter of John and Rachel Arnold, natives of Kentucky, who were then residing at Venedocia, Van Wert County, Ohio. To Claudius Griffin and wife were born 13 children, as follows: Eunice, deceased, who was the wife of Caleb Kelley; Mrs. Hannah Fryer, a resident of Union township; Lucinda, deceased, who was the wife of William Lemunyon; John, a soldier in the Civil War, who died in the service; Benjamin, who died young; Nathaniel, who married Ann Dobson, and resides at Celina; George F:, the subject of this sketch; Martha Jane, who is the wife of Joseph G. Severns, of Union township; Rachel, deceased, who was the wife of William Partner; William, who died young; Priscilla, who is the wife of Calvin Krugh, of Union township; Isabelle, who is the wife of Elroy Hussey, a prominent merchant and also postmaster at Mendon; and Ida, who is the wife of Clement Vallandigham Hood, of Union township.

In the year of his marriage, Claudius Griffin settled as a pioneer in Union township, Mercer County, establishing the home which still remains in the family. 'Both he and his estimable wife endured many hardships which their isolated condition brought about, but they survived them all and lived to tell their great grandchildren of the days when all this beautiful, fertile, well cultivated land was covered with a forest in which wild animals still lived and where many Indians yet made their home, Mrs. Griffin died July 26, 1906, aged 85 years, 6 months and 4 days.

George F. Griffin was educated in the school in the neighborhood of his 'home, which had been built through the personal efforts of his father. He:grew up a practical farmer, he and his brother Nathaniel being the father's main helpers after the death of the older brother, John, in the service of his country. After his marriage, our subject settled on a farm located about three fourths of a mile from where he now lives, but later removed to the old homestead farm. In 1897 he moved to his present farm. For a number of years he resided in the old log house which had sheltered the family for so long a time, but in October, 1901, he began the erection of the house which the family has occupied since 1902. This a commodious, comfortable residence, finished in modern style and presents a most attractive appearance, all the surroundings indicating thrift and good taste. In reasonable proximity stands the splendid new barn, one which, for size, convenience and substantial qualities, has scarcely an equal in Mercer County. It is 100 feet long and 46 feet wide and cost over $3,000. Mr. Griffin did considerable work in its constriation, himself; otherwise its actual cost would probably have reached $4,000. A structure of this kind was almost a necessity to Mr. Griffin on account of the large agricultural operations he carries on. In addition to en gaging in general farming, he raises large numbers of cattle, swine, sheep and horses, devoting particular attention to swine and horses. He feeds 200 head of the former a year and usually feeds all his corn, on but two occasions having any for sale. He works along modern lines in his agricultural operations and his success has made him to be considered one of the best farmers of Union township.

On April 12, 1877, Mr. Griffin was married to Mary Orlida Partner, a daughter of Alexander and Martha Jane (Fryer) Partner. The paternal grandfather of Mrs. Griffin, John Partner, was born in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, and died in Ohio, at the home of his son Alexander, in 1875, aged 80 years. His widow died a few years later, aged 82 years. One of their children still survives, Mrs. Sarah Hance, of Spencerville, Ohio. The maternal grandparents were John and Jestinah (Raudabaugh) Fryer, the latter of whom still survives, at the age of 90 years, and resides with her daughter, Mrs. Martha Jane Partner, in a pleasant home at Mendon.

Alexander Partner, father of Mrs. Griffin, was born in Juniata County, Pennsylvania, February 21, 1832. He was seven years old when his parents moved to Trumbull County, Ohio, and in 1840 he came to Mercer County, settling on a farm of 120 acres, east of Mendon. He continued to reside there until 1890, when he moved to Mendon, where he died January 21, 1904, aged 71 years and 11 months. Mrs. Partner has passed her 71st birthday. Their three children still survive, namely: Mary Orlida, wife of Mr. Griffin; William, who lives at Spencerville, Ohio; and Orpha. The last named is the wife of S. H. Strite; they reside at Berkeley, California. William Partner was married (first) to Rachel Griffin, a sister of our subject. His second marriage was to Jennie Lochard, of Middlepoint, Ohio.

The children born to our subject and wife are six in number, as follows: Ona May, who married W. E. Bowland, a worker in the Indiana oil fields, and has two children, Walter and Jestinah; Ray G., a worker in the oil fields; Floyd B., who assists his father on the farm; John A., who also assists on the home farm; Charles J., who is a bright student of 17 years, now in the Mendon High School; and Velma Ruth, who is also attending school.

In political affiliation, Mr. Griffin is a Republican, but only an active one so far as casting his vote is concerned. Both he and his wife are members of the Church of God. Mr. Griffin was reared in this religious. body. The home of his parents was always the home of the preachers as far back as he can remember, and it was through the efforts of his father that the first house of worship was built in this locality. Mrs. Griffin's father was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Her mother is a member of the Baptist Church at Hendon. She has two brothers, John and Lewis Fryer, and two sisters, Mrs. Barbara Cooper, of Union township, and Mary, wife of Isaac Slentz, who resides in the northeast corner of Mercer County.

Accompanying this sketch are shown views of Mr. Griffin's residence and barn, the old Griffin home and a family group showing five generations; the names and ages of the members of this group are as follows: Mrs. Jestinah (Raudabaugh) Fryer, 60; Mrs. Martha (Fryer) Partner, 71; Mrs. Orlida (Partner) Griffin, 51; Mrs. Ona (Griffin) Bowland, 28; and Jestinah Bowland, 2.

History of Mercer County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
Edited & Compiled by: Hon. S. S. Scranton
Published by: Biographical Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois

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