Biography of William Henry Griffin

Few man in the Dominion of Canada have been longer in the public service than the present Deputy Postmaster-General. He commenced in the office of the Deputy Postmaster-General of Canada before he was nineteen years old, and has held some official position connected with the postal department or civil service, for forty-nine years. He is still vigorous and active, and evidently does not regard labor as a very serious curse. He seems to derive solid comfort from the faithful discharge of his duties, and if a cheerful heart promotes longevity and we believe it does Mr. Griffin ought to be at the bell ropes when this century is knelled to the grave.

Mr. Griffin is a son of George Griffin, many years a surgeon in the British army, and was born in the City of London, August 7, 1812. He followed his father as he marched from place to place, while in the service, grazing in such literary pastures as were most accessible though not always the best and obtaining a fair business education.
In 1830, Mr. Griffin crossed the ocean to seek his fortune in the New World, settling at Quebec, where, on the 21st of April, 1831, he entered the Imperial service, by becoming a clerk in the office of the Deputy Postmaster-General. Four years later (May 1, 1835), he was promoted to be Surveyor of Post Offices, east of Kingston, and in 1851, was appointed Secretary of the Post Office Department, on its transfer to Provincial control.

Mr. Griffin was appointed Deputy Postmaster-General of Canada, June 12, 1857, and Deputy Postmaster-General of the Dominion, May 30, 1868, and in the same year, a Commissioner for the reorganizing of the Civil Service. He was also on the Board of Civil Service Commissioners in 1862. It was Mr. Griffin who negotiated the Postal Convention with the United States in 1875. He is President of the Civil Service Building and Savings Society, and Chairman of the Civil Service Board.

He is a member of the Church of England, and, so far as we can ascertain, has lived a very consistent Christian life. He is a man of great buoyancy of spirits, and genuine cordiality of nature, and affords his share of sunshine in this “dark world” dark to those who make it so.

MLA Source Citation:

The Canadian Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self Made Men, Ontario, Volume 1. Toronto: Toronto American Biographical Pub. Co. 1880. Web. 17 January 2015. - Last updated on Aug 8th, 2012


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