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Thomas Griffis
Birth: Nov. 13, 1806
Ross County
Ohio, USA
Death: Nov. 30, 1888
Kosciusko County
Indiana, USA


Title: Obituary-The Mentone Gazette- January 3, 1889.
Author: Rev. Lewis Reeves
Publication: The Mentone Gazette

The Funeral of Grandpa Griffis Wednesday was very largely attended by relatives and friends from far and near.


THOMAS GRIFFIS was born in Ross County, Ohio, Nov. 13, 1806 and died in Mentone, Ind., Dec 30, 1888; aged 82 years, 1 month and 17days.
In Mar., 1830, he came to Indiana living in Fort Wayne until 1846. In Dec. 1836 he was joined in marriage to Mary A. Ditto, his new bereaved companion. In the year 1846 they came to Kosciusko County, Ind. where their home has been ever since. For 37 years they lived on the farm cleared by them, Mentone. For the past five years their has been in Mentone. In the year 1842 Bro. Griffis joined the M.E. church and within the church of his early choice he has had a home for forty-six years. His last illness was protracted and painful, but he bore it all with Christian Fortitude and patience, often giving expressions to words of trust and resignation to the will of God. He was a good man and died trusting in Christ as his Savior. 
Funeral services was held at the M.E. church Jan. 2nd conducted by Rev. Lewis Reeves assisted by Rev. Thomas Wiley. L.R


"Another Klinger, John, [early settler] came late in 1829, purchased land on the DeRome reservation [at present-day Fort Wayne, Ind.] and set about clearing and improving it. THOMAS GRIFFIS, arriving about the same time, did likewise, starting a small tannery on his tract. Both these men knew that the lot of the pioneer is hard toil, and they spared it not, sweetened as it was with the hope of future compensation. Wives shared their toil. Mrs. [Arillia] Griffis became an early prey to the hardships of the settlers' life, and her husband, after having spent his toil upon the DeRome land, was forced to relinquish it without compensation, because the President refused to sanction the sale of any of the DeRome land, since it had been conveyed to the minor children. John Klinger received the same treatment. Both money and labor was lost. Thomas Griffis, ruined and broken in heart, left the township for Kosciusko County, and was lost sight of. Mr. Klinger finally took up and improved a farm on the west side of the river. These experiences were so notorious that they effectually prevented any further recurrences of the DeRome 'graft.'"

-from "The Pictorial History of Fort Wayne" by B.J. Griswold, 1917, under the chapter, "St. Joseph Township," p. 612.


The following excerpt was taken from a letter written by Thomas Griffis to Robert Jackson Belt who in turn passed the information to his brother, Albert G. Belt. Thomas Griffis, their Grandfather. Celia Griffis Belt was their Mother. When 3 years old his Mother died and he was bound out until he was sixteen years of age. He the entered the tanner's business and remained on until he was twenty one. There were no railroads so he contracted to drive hogs to Baltimore for $7.00 per month. In the Spring of 1828 he was married and in about two weeks he went to New Orleans. When he got back, he worked in the tannery for about one year after which he and his brother, William went to Michigan and selected a piece of land and built a house and then went back to Ohio for their families. In March 1829 they secured four yoke of oxen and a big wagon and loaded their plunder, wives and children in. After traveling one (?) day they came to Sidney, Shelby CO., Ohio at which point they left part of their goods. When they got to Whish ire on the St. Mary's they cut logs and made a raft on which they placed the wagon box and in it, the bedding, their goods, women and children and floated down to Fort Wayne. Leaving them there they returned and drove their oxen overland but had to swim all the streams. He then concluded not to go to Michigan but settled about 12 miles west of Fort Wayne where he lived for 33 years or up until the time he wrote this letter in 1878. In 1829 corn was $1.25 per bushel, white flour $412.00 per barrel, salt &9.00 per BBL., calico 37 1/2 cents per yard. One half bushel of corn took one day to grind on little burrs the size of a half bu(?). The meal made two dodgers for two days. Deer and wild turkey were plentiful. Always had dried venison in the house. Could get turkeys at all times of the year by going into the woods and shooting them. He helped build the first boat that ran into Fort Wayne in 1833. His Father died in 1835 (this is wrong) his child in the spring of 1836 and his wife in the fall of 1836. He married again. He had four children with his first wife and fifteen with his second or nineteen in all. His first wife was Aurilla Stratton (Mother's Mother.) His second was Mary Ann Ditto.

Children with Aurilla Stratton:
Cynthia Jane Griffis 1828
Zachariah Griffis 1832 1918
Ely Griffis 1834 1836

Children with Mary Ann Ditto:
William H Griffis 1838 1917
Sarah E Griffis 1841
Elizabeth Jane Griffis 1841 1907
Julia A Griffis 1843 1845
James Albert Griffis 1845 1925
Mary Arilla Griffis 1847 1882
John Allen Griffis 1849
Wilson C Griffis 1850 1865
Nancy M Griffis 1852 1875
Thomas Daniel Griffis 1855 1946
Joseph Oscar Griffis 1857 1941
Ida Ann Griffis 1859 1943
Henry Harrison Harry Griffis 1860 1948
Charles Elmer Griffis 1863 1865
Adolph Griffis 1865 - 1958
Family links: 
  Zachariah P Griffis (1750 - 1832)
  Aurilla Stratton Griffis (1808 - 1836)*
  Mary Ann Ditto Griffis (1821 - 1894)*
  Cynthia Jane Griffis Tinkham (1828 - 1870)*
  Secellia Griffis Belt (1830 - 1911)*
  Zachariah Griffis (1832 - 1918)*
  James A Griffis (1845 - 1925)*
  Thomas Daniel Griffis (1855 - 1946)*
  Joseph Oscar Griffis (1857 - 1941)*
  Henry Harrison Griffis (1860 - 1948)*
  Charles Elmer Griffis (1864 - 1865)*
  Adolphus Elmer Griffis (1865 - 1958)*
  Wilson C. Griffis (1865 - 1867)*
  John Griffis (1799 - 1878)*
  William Griffis (1804 - 1883)*
  Thomas Griffis (1806 - 1888)
*Calculated relationship
Wooden Cemetery
Etna Green
Kosciusko County
Indiana, USA
Maintained by: Martha Malinowski
Originally Created by: Eric Lowman
Record added: May 27, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37598062
Thomas Griffis
Added by: Martha Malinowski
Thomas Griffis
Added by: Martha Malinowski
Thomas Griffis
Added by: Martha Malinowski
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