|Birth: ||Nov. 9, 1900|
|Death: ||Feb. 12, 1980|
Biography of Griffith J Davis
Griffith J Davis was born November 9th, 1900, to Joseph R Davis and Ann Elouiza Jones in Malad, Idaho. It was at this time that Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States. Blue eyed Griffith always went by Griff. This boy with dark-brown hair grew up in Malad, with his siblings and surrounded by cousins.
Times were scary as the world watched what was going on in the Great War in Europe. In 1917, after the bombing of 7 United States merchant ships, the United States declared war on Germany, thus entering into what was becoming the first World War. A draft was put in order, but it was a lottery for men 21 to 31. The 17 year old Griff was not drafted, though one of his older brothers were (he was excused on account of a wife and child) and another enlisted.
Two years after the end of World War I, the very quiet and shy Griff married Vernal Mae Caldwell in Malad, on Saturday, August 21, 1920; the same year that Babe Ruth was traded to the Yankees and the NFL was founded. The Jazz age had begun, and with it a new kind of dancing known as "swing".
Griff worked as a brick-layer for several years and even built Vernal a home where some of the children were born. Hard times were about to strike though, as in 1929 the "Great Depression" hit and hit hard. During those hard times, Griff lost his job and he, Vernal, and the children had to move. One of his children believes that's when the drinking began, as it's real hard for a man to know that he can't support his family. Though Griff was a hard worker, his drinking was a sad chapter in all of his children's lives.
Griff was able to get on with the Malad Lumber and Hardware store and worked as a truck driver, and the family moved to a white-painted house. The family moved again, this time to a two bedroom log home.
In the late 1930's America started pulling out of the "Great Depression". Seabiscuit beat War Admiral in a much anticipated, radio broadcasted, horse race which many took as a sign of hope. Things were starting to look up and Griff and Vernal's two oldest children got married in April and July of 1941. Then it happened; the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. America entered into World War II. Griff and Vernal's oldest son, J, was in the war. All of Griff and Vernal's sons were at one point or another, in the service.
Griff started working at the Union Pacific Railroad. Griff didn't have a car for quite some time, and so his boss would come and pick him up every morning, and drop him off every night. Jo Ann remembers hurrying home from school to get the fire in the living room going, cause he would be coming home from work and would be really cold. So when he would come in, he would go over to the living room stove and warm his hands.
When times got better, Griff was able to use his position in Union Pacific Railroad to take his wife and children to California to see one of their daughters, Erma, and her husband, Odell. They would have a wonderful time! One particular trip they even went to see a live band on the beach where there was dancing!
In 1945 World War II ended. Thankfully, Griff and Vernal did not lose any children.
It was a long time before Griff and Vernal were able to purchase their first car, which was white. They were much older in their years and Vernal didn't want the kids driving it since it had taken them so long to get it. Griff felt differently. Griff did teach the children, still living at home, how to drive but he had to be a little sneaky about doing it so he wouldn't get in trouble with Vernal! He would drop the younger children off at a corner, so they wouldn't tell on him, and then once out of sight of these little ones then it was drivers education time!
After getting their first TV, one of their favorite shows became the Lawrence Welk Show, which they enjoyed every Saturday night from the mid 50's up until their deaths.
On Feb 4th, 1961, the sixty year old Griff Davis was baptized as a member of the LDS Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints).
In 1963 Griff retired from the Union Pacific Railroad, and the next year he and his wife, Vernal, went to the Logan temple to be sealed for eternity.
Griff and Vernal celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary (1970) together at the Malad Eagles Home, where they had an open house with family and friends. Griff's wife passed away the following year on November 18th, 1971. Different children offered up their homes to Griff, and he lived with a few of them, before he insisted on going to the Oneida Nursing Home. He didn't like his children having to care for him. Griff passed from this life nine years after Vernal, on Tuesday, Feb 12, 1980 in the Oneida Nursing Home. He suffered from macular degeneration (slow losing of eye sight) among other illnesses. His funeral was Feb 15, and he is buried in the Malad City Cemetery.
This biography was written by Meliah, a great-great granddaughter. Sources include his children; Jack, Jo Ann, Marlene and Pearl. Other sources included census records, marriage records, death records, newspaper clippings from the Malad Enterprise, and his sister in-law Fae Caldwell.
Joseph Richard Davis (1864 - 1948)
Anna Louise Jones Davis (1863 - 1943)
Vernal Mae Caldwell Davis (1901 - 1971)*
Arthur Joseph Davis (1896 - 1985)*
Griff J Davis (1900 - 1980)
Malad City Cemetery
Created by: alwaysmeliah
Record added: Jan 16, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 64257413