A CAREER OF USEFULNESS.
For Sixty-Five Years Mr. Julius C. Griffith Has Resided in and Near Danby Borough, Serving “Uncle Sam” in Both Peace and War, and His Fellow Townsmen as Well.
It gives the editor of the MIRROR pleasure to this week print upon our first page an excellent portrait of one of Danby’s long-time residents—Mr. Julius C. Griffith—and on this page a brief sketch of his career. Mr. Griffith is perhaps as well known generally as any of our older residents, and is particularly well informed upon the history of the town for the past half century or more, which is due largely to a keen observation of passing events and incidents and a particularly retentive memory. He has also been a great reader and keeps well posted on general affairs.
Mr. Julius C. Griffith was born in the adjoining town of Mount Tabor, September 15, 1838, and is the youngest son of Hiram and Betsey (Jacobs) Griffith. He has five brothers now living and three sisters who have entered the higher life. Mr. Griffith was employed at various occupations up to the fall of 1862, when he enlisted in the military service of his country as a member of Company B, Fourteenth Vermont Regiment, Infantry, to aid in suppressing the rebellion of the southern states and the preservation of the Union.
During Mr. Griffith’s service in the army he was detailed as trainmaster for the regiment and express agent for the Second Vermont Brigade. He was mustered out of the service in August, 1863, and but a few days remained of his period of enlistment when the memorable battle of Gettysburg took place, and in which his regiment participated. Three Danby men lost their lives in this battle—George S. Baker, Henry H. Vaughn and Elisha F. Swett—who were members of Mr. Griffith’s company.
About a year—or October 27, 1864, to be exact—after his return from the war, Mr. Griffith was united in marriage to Miss Cleopatra H. Wilbur, daughter of Henry and Cynthia (White) Wilbur. One son has been born to them—Wilbur H., who now holds the responsible position as chief financial man in the immense lumber and mercantile business of Mr. S. L. Griffith, and is looked upon as one of the most competent of our younger business men.
In the fall of 1867, the subject of this sketch entered the the employ of Mr. S. L. Griffith as foreman in his growing lumber works, and continued in that capacity for two years, or till the fall of 1869, when in company with his brother, Peleg, leased the C. M. Bruce store, now owned and occupied by Mr. W. H. Snead, and opened there a stock of general merchandise, continuing in trade for three years.
In the fall of 1873 he was appointed postmaster to fill the unexpired term of and vacancy caused by the death of the late James Fish. He was subsequently reappointed and held that position successively for twelve years, and was succeeded by Mr. 0. A. Adams soon after the incoming of the first Cleveland administration. In 1892 Mr. Griffith was appointed local agent for the Vermont Mutual Fire Insurance Co., which position he still holds, and today pretty nearly all the fire insurance policies in force on property in this town were written by his company. Of late years Mr. Griffith has been engaged in little other business except insurance and in looking after his property and money investments.
Mr. Griffith was appointed an enumerator for the towns of Danby and Mount Tabor in the compilation of the United States census of 1890, and in 1900 he again served in a like capacity for the town of Danby. While he has always made Danby his home, Mr. Griffith says he has traveled through more than thirty states and territories of the Union, but has failed to find a place so pleasant to him as this same Vermont town, where the people are blessed with such pure water and abundance of delicious fruit, and he enjoys much happiness in living among so many people whom he feels free to call his friends.
Both Mr. Griffith and his estimable wife are of a social nature, and take much delight in entertaining their friends at their pleasantly situated and comfortable home in this village, as well as participating in many of the social functions that take place from time to time at the homes of their friends in this village and vicinity. Mr. Griffith is also a liberal supporter of public enterprises, and takes great interest in anything that tends to, benefit the community in which he lives.