Although he has passed the eighty-first milestone on life's journey, John Griffin continues to be quite actively engaged in general farming and stock-raising on his excellent farm in Washington township.
He was born in Ireland in March, 1829, being the eldest child of Thomas and Anne (Lillis) Griffin. The parents, who were also natives of the Emerald isle, spent their entire lives in the land of their birth, where the father engaged in fanning. Five children were born to them, the other four being as follows: Margaret, the wife of John MeDonald, living in. the state of New York; Bridget, who married John Eustis, residing at Pond Beach, New York; Kate, deceased; and Thomas, whose whereabouts are unknown.
John Griffin obtained his education in Ireland, remaining a subject of the British crown until he had passed his twenty-second year, at which time he resolved to become an American citizen. Upon his arrival in the United States he first located in Louisiana, where he remained for one year, and then spent one summer in St. Louis, Missouri, after which he went to Davenport, where he lived for a year, and then returned to Louisiana, spending the winter there. In the spring he went to Memphis, Tennessee, where he remained until the close of the Civil war, when he came to Iowa, first locating in Clinton county and later removing to Crawford county and settling in Denison township, where he farmed as a renter for about twelve years. He then bought the farm in Washington township, where he now resides. Mr. Griffin has always been an energetic and enterprising man and has met with more than moderate success in his agricultural pursuits, being regarded as one of the substantial fanners in his community.
Mr. Griffin was united in marriage in 1862 at Memphis, Tennessee, to Miss Mary Carey, a native of County Clare, Ireland. Nine children were born of this union as follows: Thomas, who is living in Nebraska; Anne, residing in Council Bluffs; Mollie and Patrick, who are at home; John, a resident of Omaha, Nebraska; James, living in the same place; Margaret, the wife of Jesse Bennett; Katie, the wife of Willis Wiggins, of Dow City ; and Mitchell, deceased. Mr. Griffin also reared three children belonging to his son Thomas: John, Grace and Gertrude.
The family are communicants of the Roman Catholic church. Mr. Griffin has always been independent in his political views, giving his support to such men and measures as he felt were adapted to promote the best interests of the people. He has not been an aspirant for public office but is at present serving as a school director. During the long period of his residence in Crawford county he has shown himself to be a man well worthy of the esteem which is accorded him.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.