Biography of Earl R. Gibben
North Central Ohio Biographies

Earl R. Gribben, of Polk, is numbered among the enterprising and progressive young business men of Ashland County, and is a veteran of the World War. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 14, 1894, the son of John Curtis and Catherine (Kauffman) Gribben.

John Curtis Gribben, a native of Ashland County, now lives retired at Polk. He was reared and educated at Rowsburg and Polk, and in early life went to Cleveland, where he spent 30 years in the employ of the Forest City Steel & Iron Works. He resigned in 1914 as superintendent of erection, and the following year returned to Polk, where he purchased the general mercantile establishment of Jim Hess. Mr. Gribben retired from business in 1928 and disposed of his business interests to his son, Earl R. Gribben. He is a Republican, a member of the Lakewood Methodist Episcopal Church, and belongs to the Masonic Lodge. He served as a member of the Ohio National Guard and held the commission of first lieutenant. Mr. and Mrs. Gribben are the parents of three children: Mae, married Edward Colpert, lives at Lakewood; Cleo, married H. J. Wiltrout, lives at Polk; and Earl R., the subject of this sketch.

Earl R. Gribben received his education in the public schools of Cleveland and Lakewood, and attended Lakewood High School and Dyke's Business College. He was associated with his father's business at Polk until his enlistment for service in the World War, Aug. 31, 1917. He was stationed at Camp Jackson, Jacksonville, Fla., until May 25, 1918, and then was transferred to Camp Stewart, Newport News, Va. He sailed for overseas duty in June, 1918, and was attached to the 312th Supply Train and later was unattached to become a sergeant. At the close of the war he returned to the United States and was discharged at Camp Sherman, Ohio, July 15, 1919. He then resumed his business connections at Polk, and on Jan. 1, 1928, purchased the store from his father. It is a general store of the latest type, and Mr. Griggen carries a high grade line of merchandise. He also handles groceries and meats, and has an extensive trade.

In November, 1927, Mr. Gribben was united in marriage with Miss Helen Opal Pence, of Sullivan, Ohio, the daughter of Clyde V. and Anna (Smith) Pence. Mr. Pence was born at Nankin and his wife was born at Sullivan, Ohio. Mr. Pence now resides in Sullivan. His wife died in 1926 and is buried in the Sullivan Cemetery at Sullivan. They were the parents of two children: Mrs. Gribben and Harry V. Pence of Cleveland. Mr. Leatherberry, the great-great-grandfather of Mrs. Gribben, came to this country from England, and served throughout the Revolutionary War. Mrs. Gribben is a graduate of Sullivan High School and Ashland College, and before her marriage was a teacher in the schools of Sullivan. Mr. and Mrs. Gribben have had two children: John Clyde, born Sept. 23, 1928, died Sept. 7, 1929; and Joan Doris, born May 21, 1930, died in infancy. The children are buried in the Sullivan Cemetery.

Politically, Mr. Gribben is a Republican, and he has served as village clerk and committeeman of the Polk district. He holds membership in the Lakewood Methodist Episcopal Church, and belongs to West Salem Lodge, F. & A. M.; Oriental Chapter, No. 128; Ashland Council, No. 128; and the Mansfield Commandery; and is a life member of Al Koran Shrine. Mr. Gribben and his wife are members of the Eastern Star. He is a member of the American Legion, Lucas-Vaughn Post No. 219, of Polk, of which he is one of the organizers and served as commander and adjutant. He is now service officer of the Post. In 1930 he received from the American Legion a recognition card of loyal and efficient service, surpassing the average of the last four years. He is a member of the Ashland County Automobile Club.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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