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Elias J. Griffis

"History of Shelby County, Ohio"
by A.B.C. Hitchcock; Sidney, Ohio; 1913
Richmond-Arnold Pub. Co.; Chicago, IL.
Page 664

ELIAS J. GRIFFIS
     a lifelong resident of Shelby county, O. and a very prominent business man of Sidney, interested in many of the important enterprises of this section, was born in Cynthian township, Shelby county, March 8, 1862, and is a son of J. S. and Mary (Babylon) Grims.
     J. S. Griffis was born in Butler county, O., a son of Jacob and Rachel Griffis, who came to Shelby county when their son, J. S., was a boy and settled on the present site of the Loramie reservoir. J. S. Griffis engaged in the grain business at Dawson, O., in 1880, and was a well known business man. He was the first postmaster at that place. He died in 1964 at the age of seventy-two years. He married Mary Babylon, who was reared in Miami county, O., and died in 1905 at the age of sixty-eight years. Her parents were Daniel and Eliza Babylon, old residents of Miami county. To J. S. Griffis and wife four children were born: Warren A., who died of typhoid fever, in 1895, survived by a widow and one daughter, was in partnership with his brother, Elias J., in the grain business from 1887 until the time of death; Jennie E., who is the wife of E. T. Custolenborder, of Sidney; Wilson, who died in infancy; and Elias J.
     Elias J. Griffis was educated in the local schools and at Ada Normal and from 1880 to 1885 alternated teaching with school attendance and afterward was interested in the grain business at Dawson for several years. In 1887, in partnership with his older brother, Warren A., he purchased the grain business of Nutt Bros., operating an elevator known as the Old Stone Bridge Elevator. The Griffis brothers did an immense business both in coal and grain. In 1895 the old building was replaced by the present one, the new elevator being the best in this part of the state. The business was continued after the death of Warren A. Grims, the firm name being E. J. Griffis & Co. In 1898 a flour mill was erected with a capacity of ninety barrels, and Mr. Griffis continued to devote his time to this enterprise until 1904, when he sold out to E. E. Nutt.
     A large number of the successful business enterprises of Sidney have had the fostering care of Mr. Griffis and his interest in many of these continues. He was one of the promoters and one of the first officers of the Commercial Club, serving as its second president; is a stockholder and director in the Sidney Tool Company; a stockholder and director of the Monarch Company; a stockholder in the Sidney Manufacturing Company, and, in association with W. E. Wenger, owns the Standard Clutch Company, of Sidney. In 1895 he entered the newspaper field, purchasing the old Sidney Journal, which was founded in 1832, and consolidated it with the Sidney Gazette, then owned by Mr. Williams, the new paper being issued as the Sidney Journal-Gazette, and during the four years that he remained connected with it, the policy of the paper was progressive and tended to assist in furthering the interests of this section. Mr. Griffis is first vice president of the Shelby County Building & Loan Association, and he also owns two fine farms in his native county.
     In 1888, Mr. Griffis was married to Miss Rhoda V. Boyle, a daughter of S. H. and Elizabeth Boyle, old residents of Cynthian township, and they have one son, Forest H. The latter was educated at Sidney and is shipping clerk for the Sidney Tool Company. He married Miss Mabel Struble and they have a handsome residence at No. 119 Walnut street, Sidney.
     In his political affiliation Mr. Griffis has been an active republican but has never sought political honors, accepting only membership on the board of health, in which office he has served with efficiency for the past twelve years. Both he and wife are members of the Presbyterian church. The only fraternal organization with which he has ever identified himself is the Improved Order of Red Men. Mr. Griffis is largely a self-made man, his success having been mainly the result of his own unaided efforts.

Owner/SourceSubmitted by: Diana (Souders) Smith
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