Griffith Family History

The text that follows was kindly provided by Kim Beauchamp.

Source: Morgan Milton Lewis & Mrs. Jessie Gray Emmons, Genealogical & Biographical Record of Lewis
& Grisell Families 1751-1763 to 1903
, Cooperville, MI: DeVos Printer, 1903. (FHL Film #1320690)

[p. 332]
"Mr. and Mrs. [Lukens] Griffith lived in and near Pennville until his death, Mr. Griffith having been engaged in farming to some extent, but most of the time in the mill and tannery. The latter he owned and operated several years. In the year of 1850 he and his father-in-law, Samuel Grisell, built a steam saw mill and the same year built the steam grist mill, spoken of in the family history of Samuel Grisell. Mr. Griffith was an active and energetic business man and is spoken of as "very honest and upright in his dealings. He was well read and quite literary, having composed poetry and prose to some extent." He was a Republican and was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Griffith was of Scotch and Welsh and Mrs. Griffith of English and Welsh descent. They had both been member of the Friends' Society but were turned out for marrying outside of Friends' Meeting.

Jennie Griffith married Joseph Stapleton whose present address is Assumption, Illinois.

Isaac Griffith, son of Lukens and Sarah (Grisell) Griffith, was born November 9, 1845, near Waynesville, Warren County, Ohio, and died January 6, 1886, near Colby, Thomas County, Kansas. His remains were interred in the cemetery near Colby.

Loura Apaline Taylor, daughter of James and Elizabeth (Letley) Taylor, was born May 24, 1845, in Columbiana County, Ohio, and died December 3, 1882, near Mound City, Linn County, Kansas. Interment near that place.

Isaac Griffith and Loura A. Taylor were united in marriage September 12, 1867, in Pennville, Jay County, Indiana.

Charles William Griffith February 15, 1871
Loura Amber Griffith November 3, 1874
Eva Pearl Griffith February 1, 1877
Earl Garfield Griffith April 5, 1881

Charles W. and Eva P. were born near Pennville, Jay County, Indiana; Loura A. in Assumption, Illinois, and Earl G. near Mound City, Linn County, Kansas.

Eva P. is a graduate of the Pennville high school, having finished the course in the spring of 1897. Subsequently she has been engaged in a dressmaking and millinery establishment in Pennville.

Earl G. was a soldier in the Spanish-American war. A sketch of his travels and war record is given on page 411.

[p. 410]
"Isaac Griffith enlisted in Company E, Seveth Indiana Cavalry, at Portland, Jay County, Indiana, under Captain David T. Skinner, of Jay County. . ."

Mr. and Mrs. Griffith lived near Pennville for some time after their marriage, then removed to Assumption, Illinois. About 1876 they returned to Pennville and a few days later removed to Thomas County, Kansas, locating near Colby. Mr. Griffith was engaged in farming most of this time. Mrs. Griffith was of German descent.

After Mrs. Griffith's death Mr. Griffith was again married.


Anna S. Griffith, daughter of William H. and Susan (Rose) Griffith, was born July 31, 1866, in Ashton, Lee County, Illinois. Isaac Griffith and Anna S. Griffith were united in marriage March 17, 1884, in Hastings, Nebraska.

Frank Lukens Griffith November 11, 1885
He was born near Colby, Thomas County, Kansas.

Mrs. Griffith was of Irish descent.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Griffith and family lived in Hastings, Nebraska, for a short time, when they removed to a farm near Colby, Thomas County, Kansas. They were living there at the time of his death, which was particularly sad.

He had gone to town a few miles distant, and while there a blizzard arose. In spite of demonstrations against his starting home in such a storm Mr. Griffith's anxiety for his family prompted him to make the attempt, and in company with a friend who lived near him started through the blinding snow and cutting winds to their home. They progressed as well as could be expected until they reached the friend's house, when Mr. Griffith proceeded on his journey alone.

Those at home waited for him until their anxiety became unbearable, and with the aid of neighbors they started to search for him. He and the team were found buried in the snow and frozen to death. Every thing within human power was done to recall his life, but all efforts were in vain.

Isaac Griffith enlisted in Company E, Seveth Indiana Cavalry, at Portland, Jay County, Indiana, under Captain David T. Skinner, of Jay County, Indiana. The Company was ordered to Indianapolis, Indiana, where they were formed into the One Hundred and Nineteenth Regiment under Col. J. P. C. Shanks (also of Jay County), September 3, 1863.

They were all through the South with Gen. Custer, having done duty in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana and Texas. The regiment was mustered out of service on the 18th of February, 1866, at Camp "Seider's Springs," near Austin, Texas. They then proceeded to Indianapolis, Indiana, where they received their final discharge.

A story is told of Isaac Griffith's "going to war," which we will repeat here:--
He was quite young when the war broke out, but had an irresistible desire to join the army. He was never able to get the consent of his parents on account of his age, so when the Seventh Indiana Cavalry was being organized, he, as usual, went for the cows one evening, but did not return until the war was over. Incidentally he came home just at dusk and seeing the cows in the field he drove them home. How long he had been "getting the cows" perhaps no one but his father and mother realized. Charles W. Griffith is married and lives in Illinois. Further information could not be obtained.

[p. 411]

Earl G. Griffith enlisted in Co. L., Thirty-first U. S. V. Infantry, under Col. James S. Pettit, at Muncie, Indiana, July 27, 1899. He was sent to Ft. Thomas, Kentucky, where the regiment was recruited. He was transferred to the Regimental Band the following day and served with the same during his entire enlistment of two years.

After about six weeks' service at Ft. Thomas the regiment was ordered to San Francisco, California. They were in camp at the "Presidio," San Francisco, three weeks when they were quarantined on Angel Island on account of smallpox. They remained in quarantine six weeks.

The regiment sailed for the Philippine Islands on the transport "City of Pekin" October 28, 1899, and reached Honolulu, after seven days' sail, arriving in Manila, P. I., November 28, 1899, and were ordered to Zamboanga Island of Mindanao, to which place they proceeded after a five days stop at Manila, arriving at their destination December 9, 1899.

Mr. Griffith described their location and some of the customs of the natives of the Philippine Islands, in a letter to the editor of the home paper, from which we take a few extracts:--

"The Island of Mindanao is the second in size of the group. It is about seven hundred miles south of Manila and about half that distance from the equator, so you can imagine how warm the weather is at present; yet we will have warmer weather in June and July.
"We have a good situation on the Basilan Straits. This was one day a very pretty town, but a greater part of it was destroyed by the Spaniards when they left. The Filipinos must have made things pretty warm for the Dons, for from all appearances they left in a hurry.
"Four miles to the rear of the town are some of the prettiest mountains I ever saw. I have never ascended them but have been within a half mile of them. There looks to be a very dense growth of timber. Several parties of our boys have been up the mountains camping and they say they had to cut their was through the underbrush as they went. I intend going up in a few days.


"One battalion of our regiment and headquarters are stationed here. The rest of the regiment is scattered along the coast at different points. We have never had any trouble with the people and expect none.
"We are very comfortably quartered in what was formerly a Spanish brigade hospital. The band occupies the part that once belonged to the Spanish officers. The barracks are enclosed by a fence twelve feet high, which rests on a brick foundation, and the pickets in it are of an inferior grade of mahogany. Inside the enclosure are all kinds of tropical plants and flowers. Two large cocoanut trees stand directly in front of our window and occasionally we get a couple of native boys to go up and throw down the cocoanuts. The water from the cocoanut is fine. The natives drink the water when the cocoanut is green and won't tough it after it ripens. We have followed their example and find the water to be a very fine drink.
"Ma. Gen. McArthur and staff were here yesterday on an inspection tour. He is going around to all of the posts in the southern islands. I did not see him but suppose I will have another opportunity before we leave.
"Gen. Lawton's death was quite a surprise to us, as well as sad news. I don't believe there was a soldier in the islands but what mourned his death. Every one here realized that in the death of Lawton the United States loses one of its best generals, if not the best.
"One thing that has interested me greatly is a native funeral. The body is put in a very plain casket and carried on the shoulders of four natives. The procession is generally headed by a native band. The rear is brought up by the relatives and friends and last of all come two or three natives with pick and shovel. The band plays quickstep music all the time and keeps step to the music about like a herd of sheep. Probably one fellow will be playing with one hand and carrying an umbrella in the other. When the procession reaches the cemetery the casket is taken to a small room in the rear of the cemetery and placed upon a table. They then go though some ceremony before depositing the body. They certainly believe in economy for they always use the same casket. The body is taken out of the casket and buried that way. Then the casket is taken back and saved for the next one. A certain amount of rent is required from the person who buries a friend or relative there, and if at a certain time he has not paid his rent the body is taken up and thrown on the bone pile.
"From all reports that we hear there is very little fighting on Luzon now. We don't get very accurate reports of what happens at Manila and vicinity. The people in the States often get the report of an engagement two weeks before we do, and get lots of news that we know nothing of."

After serving eighteen months in the Philippine Islands they were ordered home, and sailed by the way of Manila and Nagasaki, Japan, May 14, 1901, arriving in San Francisco on the evening of June 10, 1901. They were mustered out of service June 18, 1901.

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This file was last updated on 11/8/2011.

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