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Benton County, Iowa ~ Biography and Family Information


Source:  The Biographical Record of Knox County, Ohio
  Lewis Publishing Company, 1902.
Pages 146-147
A valuable farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Pike township is the property of Benjamin L. Griffith, one of the worthy citizens that Pennsylvania has furnished to the Buckeye state. He was born in Chester county, October 19, 1839, and is of Welch lineage. His parental grandfather was Abel Griffith and the father of our subject was Morris Griffith, the latter also a native of Chester county, Pennsylvania, and by occupation a carpenter. In 1855 he came with his family to Ohio, locating in Wayne county, but after a year's residence removed to Pike township, Knox county, settling upon the farm which is now the home of our subject and which he made his place of residence until his death. He had passed the seventy-eighth milestone on life's journey when called to his final rest. In politics he was a stanch Republican, and his religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Cumberland Presbyterian church. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Sparr, was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, and there remained until with her husband she came to Ohio, where she died in her eighty-seventh year. She was a daughter of Frederick Sparr, who was of German lineage. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Griffith were born three sons, of whom our subject is the eldest, the second, Nathan, is now deceased, while William M. resides four miles south of Mansfield, Ohio.

Benjamin L. Griffith is now the only living representative of the family in Knox county. He was about sixteen years of age when his parents came to this locality. He had previously attended school in Pennsylvania and in Wayne county, Ohio, and here he continued his education in the schools of Pike township. Upon the home farm he became familiar with all the work of an agriculturist and remained with his parents until twenty-two years of age, but in the fall of 1864 he left home, going to Whiteside county, Illinois, where he remained from the 1st of September of that year until September, 1865. Through the eleven succeeding years he resided in Knox county, and in 1866 again went to the Prairie state, where he worked at the carpenter's trade; later he removed to Iowa, spending about three years in Tama and Benton counties, where he followed farming and threshing, and was also identified with the building interests of those localities. On the expiration of that period he returned to Ohio and located on the farm where he now lives, but his residence here has not been continuous, for once more he returned to Whiteside county, Illinois, where he spent five years. Since 1875, however, he has devoted his time and energies to the improvement of the old farm homestead and now has a valuable tract of land comprising a quarter section. He follows general farming and stock raising and his place is an indication that his efforts are meeting with prosperity.

On the 7th of February, 1867, Mr. Griffith wedded Rachel Hiner, who was born in Ashland county, Ohio, February 17, 1844, and is a daughter of Leonard and Mary (Spahr) Hiner, who were natives of Pennsylvania, the former born in Lancaster county and the latter in Chester county. They were married in the Keystone state, and afterward removed to Wayne county, Ohio, subsequently to Ashland county. In their family were five daughters and two sons, Mrs. Griffith being the fifth child and the fourth daughter. She was reared in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, until four years of age, after which she spent seven years in Whiteside county, Illinois, and then went to Benton county, Iowa, where she gave her hand in marriage to our subject. They have two sons, William M., who wedded Grace Banks, by whom he has a daughter, Annie I., and Calvin Jay who married Villa O'Brien. They also have a daughter, Florence L.

On questions of national importance Mr. Griffith is a stalwart Republican, but at local elections he considers only the capability of the candidate and feels himself not bound by party ties. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he is serving as class-leader. He takes an active part and contributes liberally to its support and does all in his power for the promotion of the cause. There is much in his career that is commendable, including loyalty in citienship, truthworthiness in business and honor in all the relations of private life.

Transcriber's Note: B. L. Griffith and Rachel J.Hiner were married in Benton County, Iowa on February 7th, 1867.

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