Charles H. Griffith


Charles H. Griffith


The Career of Mr. Charles H. Griffith, a Modest One, Fraught With Industrious and Honest Toil, but Rewarded by a Competency of Worldly Goods and the Respect of His Townsmen.

The first page of the MIRROR this week reflects the features of a highly respected life-long resident of Danby —Mr. Charles H. Griffith—whose face and figure have become almost as familiar to the residents of this village as the mountains and hills which have for ages been conspicuous objects of the vision.

Mr. Griffith is the son of David and Sophia Griffith, and was born, July 28, 1834, on the farm now occupied by Mr. L. H. Cook, and previously by the late Willard Baker. He is the eldest of four children, the others being Silas L., William B. and Mary—all still living in this village. Upon the death of his grandfather, Mr. Griffith’s father removed to the homestead, which has later been known as the Nathan Baker farm. A few years afterwards, however, Mr. Griffith’s father removed to this village, purchasing of Messers. Aaron Vail and Jessie Laphan the house in which he now resides with his brother, William B., and sister, Mary.

Some time previous to coming to this village to live, Mr. Griffith’s father had acquired considerable land around the village and had tilled it in connection with the farms where he had previously lived. Upon disposing of the homestead farm he retained this property in the valley, so there was always plenty of farming to keep Charles out of mischief, and to the care and cultivation which he applied himself with the utmost diligence. After his father’s death, which occurred in 1867, Mr. Griffith purchased the farming and timber land belonging to the estate, which we have before mentioned, and continued to cultivate and care for it, until about five years ago, when he sold it all to his brother Silas, and is now enjoying well-deserved rest from business cares.

Mr. Griffith also purchased a goodly part of the land owned by the late Prince Hill, so that for many years he owned about 250 acres of land in the towns of Danby and Mount Tabor. At one time he kept quite a number of cows and carried on farming in all the different phases, even to the making of maple sugar, at one time operating two sugar orchards, each having an independent sap-boiling plant.

Very soon after the close of the civil war, Mr. Griffith and brother, William B. purchased the mercantile business off their brother, Silas L., who found his increasing lumber business requiring his undivided attention. They continued this business under the firm name of C. H. & W. B. Griffith up to some half a dozen years ago, when Silas repurchased it. While Charles assisted in the store whenever opportunity permitted, his time was largely taken up with his farming interests, and he never found in-door occupation congenial to his tastes.

Mr. Griffith received his education in the public schools of the village with the exception of one term of ten weeks which he passed at the seminary in Manchester. He has always been a great reader, and is counted as one of the best-informed men upon general subjects we have in our midst. He is possessed of a particularly retentive memory and can vividly recount the principal incidents and happenings of local and national import that have occurred during the past half century and more. He is of a social disposition and has a very large circle of friends in the community where he has spent the whole of his lifetime.

With the exception of a somewhat troublesome muscular rheumatic affliction, which has been very severe at times of late years, Mr. Griffith is in excellent health, and he tells us he has, as a whole, enjoyed exceptionally good health during his entire life. His periods of sickness have been few, but they have been severe. For instance, when about six years of age he contracted scarlet fever and canker-rash, and before he recovered his toe and finger nails dropped from the flesh and much of the skin peeled from his limbs and body. His next severe illness occurred in 1856, when he experienced a five-weeks run of typhoid fever, and was very near to death’s door much of the time.

Mr. Griffith never married, but always made it his home with his parents during their lifetime, and still resides at the old home, as we have before mentioned. The picture of him which we present to our readers shows a lack of hair on the top of his head that many of his friends who are used to seeing him with his hat on are perhaps not aware of, but they all know there is nothing else the matter with that head—and may be pretty sure that the hair did not come out “by handfuls,” as is sometimes said to have been the case with married men with a scarcity of hair and a wife with an abundance of temper.

While Mr. Griffith has performed no wonderful business feats, he has gone the even tenor of his way, dealing fairly with his fellow man and unflinchingly performing his duty as he saw it, receiving therefore the respect of all, if not their plaudits. As we said of Mr. Read last week, Mr. Griffith is counted as another of our substantial and honored citizens.