PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM, 1884
GRATIOT COUNTY, MICHIGAN
James Griffith, farmer, section 5, Emerson township, was born in Chemung County, New York, December 3, 1837, and is the son of Lewis and Hannah (Boyer) Griffith, natives of New York State. The father is now a resident of Lenawee County, Michigan, and the mother died in New York State in 1839, when James was only two years old. Two years after that event he came with his father to Michigan and settled in Lenawee County. Being among the early settlers of that part of the State, they had to perform the toilsome work of clearing and improving a new farm, and James passed many more days at work than at school. At 19 years of age, obtaining his father's permission to look out for himself, he commenced as a common laborer. In 1860 he came to Gratiot County and located 120 acres of wild land on section 5, Emerson Township.
August 17, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Co. G, 5th Michigan Vol. Cav. And went to the Army of the Potomac where he served under Gen. Phil. Sheridan. He was an eyewitness of the famous ride to Winchester by that commander. He fought at cold Harbor, Winchester, Cedar Creek, and numerous lesser engagements. He was honorably discharged in June 1865, having served in the field nearly three years. Returning home to his farm he kept bachelor's hall for seven and a half years. March 6, 1873, he formed a life partnership with Emeline Decker, born in Ontario County, New York, May 16, 1844. This union has been blessed with four children, Sarah P., Lewis, Maud and James K. Mr. Griffith has improved 70 acres of his farm, and has a fine dwelling and barn. He is considered a skillful farmer, and as a citizen is very popular. He has been assessor for 12 years, and has also been Overseer of Highways. Politically he is a Republican.