Biography of James W. Griffin
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JAMES W. GRIFFIN. An able representative of the business interests of Elwood, James W. Griffin is widely known in insurance circles of the Hoosier State as the assistant superintendent of the Prudential Life Insurance Company, Mr. Griffin was born March 6, 1868, at Pittsboro, North Carolina, and is a son of James D. and Sarah A. (Harman) Griffin.
John Griffin, the paternal great-grandfather of Mr. Griffin, was a native of Ireland, whence he came directly to the United States and settled in Ohio, There also settled Henry Harman, the maternal great- grandfather of Mr. Griffin, who had been born in the Fatherland, Wesley Griffin, the grandfather of James W. Griffin, was born in Virginia (now West Virginia), was a farmer, and became an early settler of Chatham County, North Carolina, near Pittsboro, where he spent the remainder of his life, He reached advanced years, as did also his wife, Malsey (Bland) Griffin, a native of North Carolina, and they became the parents of a large family of children, among whom were: Sidney, James D., Joseph T., John Wesley, Julia A. and Betty, twins; and Elijah. James Henry Harman, the maternal grandfather of James W. Griffin, was born in North Carolina, and there married Rebecca Chadwick, He was a wagon maker, and also engaged in general repair work, and at one time enlisted for service in the War of 1812-14, but saw no active fighting, He died on the old home place at Pittsboro, North Carolina, when eighty-nine years of age, while his wife was seventy-eight years old at the time of her demise. They had the following children Joseph, Elizabeth, Sarah A. and Mary, twins, and John Thomas.
James D. Griffin was reared on his father’s farm in North Carolina, and was engaged in agricultural pursuits at the time of the outbreak of the struggle between the North and the South, Enlisting in the Confederate army, for four years he fought valiantly for the cause he believed just, and when the war was closed he had a record as a brave and faithful soldier. On his return to the pursuits of peace, he resumed his agricultural operations, and was so engaged until his retirement, some ten years ago, At this time he is acting in the capacity of doorkeeper of the North Carolina Legislature, His wife died February 3, 1883, at the age of forty-four years, She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, while he is connected with the Christian Church, They were the parents of nine children, as follows: James W., residing at Elwood; Isaac N., of Raleigh, North Carolina; Mary J., deceased, who was the wife of Isaac Clark; Ida L., the wife of Robert A. Glenn, of Pittsboro, North Carolina; Emily, single, and a resident of Southern Pines, North Carolina; John T., of Pittsboro; Robert L., residing at Durham, North Carolina; and William T. and Walker, of Pittsboro, North Carolina.
James W. Griffin received his education in the district schools of his native locality, and continued to reside under the parental roof until attaining his majority, in the meantime being thoroughly trained in agricultural work, Following this he rented a farm near the homestead for four years, but eventually decided that farming was not his forte, and on April 14, 1893, came to Elwood and secured employment in the plate glass works, A short time thereafter, he went t0 work for the tin plate works, where he continued for thirteen years, During this time, Mr. Griffin had been soliciting life insurance as a side line, and by 1908 his business had grown to such an extent that he decided to give his whole attention to this work, and accordingly identified himself with the Prudential Life Insurance Company of America, He is now assistant superintendent at Elwood, and maintains offices in the Hene Block, The peculiar talents necessary to the successful soliciting of life insurance are possessed in a remarkable degree by Mr. Griffin, and he is known as one of his company’s most valuable men. He has made numerous friends both in and outside of business circles, and a pleasing, genial personality has had much to do with the building up of a substantial business.
On November 25, 1897, Mr. Griffin was married to Miss Stella A. Luse, daughter of William H. and Lucinda (Beeler) Luse, and to this union there have been born five children: William J.; Robert Paul, who died in infancy; Velma L.; Emereth E.; and Helen Lucille, Mr. and Mrs. Griffin are members of the Christian Church, and Mr. Griffin is one of the elders of the Elwood congregation, He belongs to Quincy Lodge No, 200, I. O. O. F., and to the Encampment of that 0rder, He was reared a Democrat, but has strong Prohibition tendencies, While he has not sought public office, he has shown an interest in matters which have affected his community, and his support has been given to progressive and beneficial movements at all times, His comfortable modern residence is located at No, 312 South Twenty-first street.
Mrs. Griffin was born in Madison County, Indiana, near Elwood, while her father was a native of Preble County, Ohio, and her mother of Indiana, They still reside on the old home place near Elwood, and are farming people, They have four children: Emereth E., Stella A., Charles and Cassius C. Mr. Luse was a soldier during the Civil war, The paternal grandparents of Mrs. Griffin were Robert and Abigail (Wheldon) Luse, natives of Ohio, while her maternal grandparents were James and Carolina (Jackson) Beeler, who came from the Old Dominion State.