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Griffith, David Golden 1845 - 1910


Posted By: Reid R. Johnson (email)
Date: 4/2/2020 at 13:50:33

Elkader Register & Argus, Thur., 01 Sept. 1910.

D.G. Griffith, the senior editor of this paper, died at 1:30 Saturday morning August 27th. He had been in poor health for several months, but the final summons came suddenly and unexpectedly.

David Golden Griffith was born October 17th, 1845, at Mohawk, Herkimer County, New York, his father, Ira Griffith, and his mother, Nancy Golden Griffith, being natives of that state. On both sides his ancestors were closely connected with the early history of our country. His Great-Great-Grandfather, Capt. Wm. Griffith,, and his Great-Grandfather, Wm. Griffith, Jr., both served in the Revolutionary Army, while another Great-Grandfather, James Eaton and family, were among the few survivors of the great indian massacre of Wyoming, Pa.

Mr. Griffith's mother died in 1853, and from then until 1861 he lived most of the time with relatives in and near Utica, N.Y., attending school at that place and beginning to learn the printer's trade. His father died in 1859.

The stirring times of 1861 fired his blood with patriotic ardor and on October 25th of that year, then barely sixteen years of age, he enlisted in Co. M., Second New York Heavy Artillery, for "three years or during the war." He served out this enlistment and in November, 1864, re-enlisted as a veteran volunteer, serving continuously until October 15th, 1865.

His regiment saw severe service in the Army of the Potomac, ranking eighth as to the number of its losses during the war. It was attached to the First Brigade of the First Division, Second Corps, (Gen. Hancock's), the famous Irish Brigade forming a portion of this corps. General Miles commanded the division.

Of the original members of the Company M. who went out with the regiment, but five served to the close of the war, Mr. Griffith being one of the five. Enlisting as a private he won successive promotions until he returned with a commission as a Second Lieutenant. He was taken prisoner near Manassas Junction at the time of its capture by Gen. Stonewall Jackson, and, with other enlisted men, was paroled on the second Bull Run battlefield, but after three months at the parole camp at Annapolis, Md., he was exchanged and returned to his regiment.

He served in the battles from Spottsylvania to Petersburg, where on the night of June 16th, 1864, he was wounded and sent north for care and treatment. In November of that year he again returned to his regiment and served through the last campaigns against Gen. Lee's army. At Burksville Junction, after Lee's surrender, he commanded the guard having in charge the Confederate artillery, which had been surrendered.

On being mustered out, October 15th, 1865, Lieutenant Griffith lacked two days of being twenty years old. Returning to Utica, N.Y., he entered the office of the Utica Morning Herald to complete his trade as a printer. He worked on the Herald and the Observer until April, 1870, when he came to Buchanan county, Iowa. Here at what was then called Buffalo Grove, near the present town of Aurora, on December 14th, 1870, he was united in marriage with Mary A, Carpenter, a native of Trenton Falls, N.Y., and a sister of a former comrade and tent mate, who had given his life for his country.

Mr. Griffith worked at his trade in Dubuque for a time and then went to Chicago in 1872, but before the end of that year he returned to Dubuque, where he worked on the Daily Herald until August 1st, 1880, when, having purchased an interest in The Elkader Register, he came to Elkader and in company with G. A. Fairfield, assumed its management. January 1st, 1893, Mr. Fairfield retired and his interest in the business was taken by Harry L. Griffith, Mr. and Mrs. Griffith's only child, under the firm name of D. G. Griffith & Son. In September, 1907, they purchased The Elkader Argus, and consolidated the two papers under the name The Register And Argus.

Since coming to Elkader Mr. Griffith has, at all times, been actively interested in the political and social affairs of the town and county. He was Postmaster for four years under Cleveland's first first administration, and served as Mayor for three terms. He was a member of E. Boardman Post No. 184 G.A.R.; De Molay Consistory; Scottish Rite Masons, of Clinton; Harmony Chapter No. 41, R.A.M., Elkader Lodge No. 72, A.F. & A.M.; Charity Chapter N. 152, O.E.S.; Mystic Camp No. 139, M.W.A.; Protection Lodge No. 165, M.B.A., and Elkader Homestead No. 269, B.A.Y.

In early manhood he united with the Baptist church in Utica, N.Y., and later transferred his membership to Dubuque. After coming to Elkader he united with the Methodist church and for years was active in support of that church and the Union Sunday School. Believing firmly in the teachings of Christ and in the mercy and love of an All-Wise Providence, he lived his life in hope of receiving the commendation: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

What higher tribute can be paid him than that "He loved his fellow men." His life was one of unselfish service to his country, his community, his family, his comrades, his friends; even the needy stranger did not ask in vain. Young in heart in spite of the advancing years, he shared the joys and sympathized with the sorrows of the young. Through the years of boyhood, young manhood and finally business association, he has continually been, not only the father to the writer of this sketch, but the patient guide, the companion and friend, sharing alike his joys and sorrows, encouraging his efforts and forgiving his short-comings.

In addition to his immediate family living in Elkader, Mr. Griffith's step-mother, Mrs. James Cannon, and step-sister, Mrs. R. D. Hubbard, are living in Mankato, Minn., also a number of cousins in and near Ottawa, Ill.

The funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon, Rev. Luther Stimson officiating. The Masons, comrades of the G.A.R., the Woodmen, members of the M.B.A. and Yeoman, together with many friends and neighbors, escorted the casket to the Congregational church and from there to the East Side cemetery, where the usual Masonic services were conducted.

Numerous beautiful floral offerings attested the sympathy and regard of friends and brethren of the various lodges, besides symbolizing our hope of the Resurrection, the blossoming of the soul in the light and love of "Our Father Who Art In Heaven."


Clayton Obituaries maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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