PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM, 1884
GRATIOT COUNTY, MICHIGAN
Photo: Daniel Griffeth
Daniel Griffeth, farmer on section 8, Emerson township, was born in Montgomery, New York, Jan 9, 1820, and is a son of Daniel and Lois (McNeal) Griffeth, natives of Wales and Scotland, respectively. They were married in Canada, and he became a hatter by trade. In 1814 they removed to the State of New York, where the mother died in 1835. The father afterwards came to this State, and he died in Manchester, Washtenaw County, in 1847, 63 years old.
The subject of this sketch attended school and worked on a farm until 20 years old, when he set out alone for Michigan, and located in Marshall. He afterwards returned to New York for one year. In May 1846, on the breaking out of the Mexican war, he enlisted as a private in Co. F, 8th New York Inf., under Gen. Worth. He participated in three actions: Cherubusco, August 19, 1847; Molino del Rey, September 8, 1847, and the storming and capture of Mexico, September 12, 13 and 14, 1847. He escaped unhurt in all these engagements and was honorably discharged with the rank of Orderly Sergeant, in August 1848 at Jefferson Barracks. Returning to Michigan he engaged in farming in Oakland County.
December 19, 1849 he was united in marriage, in Independence, that county, to Nancy M., daughter of Hiram and Betsy (Placeway) Burgess, natives of New York and Vermont. They came to Oakland County, Michigan in 1837 and later to this county, where the father died, April 9, 1879 at the age of 77, near St. Louis. Mrs Burgess still lives, enjoying a ripe old age of 77, and is active and intelligent. Nancy M., was born in Allegany County, New York November 4, 1830 and came with her parents to this State seven years later. She was educated in Oakland and Livingston Counties.
Two years after marriage Mr. and Mrs Griffeth removed to Wayne County, and December 18, 1856, the came to this county and entered 80 acres in Pine river Township. Five years later, most of which time they lived in the town of St. Louis, they removed to Emerson Township and settled on 120 acres of heavily timbered land. Surrounded by miles of unbroken forest, they encountered many hardships before they finally succeeded in making for themselves a comfortable home. He has added 40 acres to his farm, and of his 160, 100 acres are now admirably improved and cultivated. Mr. Griffeth is an intelligent farmer, and with his kindhearted wife deserves this happy home. They have had a large family, and of their 12 children nine are living. Their names and the dates of their birth are as follows: Mary J., October 8, 1852; James A., January 3, 1854; Emery L., December 28, 1855; Ann Maria, May 26, 1858; Isadore L., January 22, 1861; Hattie A., March 24, 1863; Hiram A., September 26, 1865; Nancy M., October 9, 1867; Florence A., June 2, 1870. These three are sleeping their last sleep: Hiram Andrew, born December 2, 1850 and died March 4, 1852; Daniel A., born June 25, 1873, and died July 3, 1879; and a baby, which died in infancy.
Mr. and Mrs Griffeth are active members of the Baptist Church, she being the first person baptized in Pine River. He is one of the old pioneers who have helped to make Gratiot what it is, and deserves to be remembered by posterity. He built the first frame house north of Pine River, and drove the first team from St. Louis to Midland. In politics he is one of the most active supporters of the National Greenback party.
Mr. Griffeth's portrait is given on the opposite page.