Daniel Mosely Griffith

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Daniel Mosely Griffith (father of Joshua Todd Griffith) was the eldest son of William Griffith. He received a collegiate education at Centre College and at old Transylvania, graduating from the latter in the class of 1847. He studied law and was duly admitted to the bar, but abandoned the active practice of his profession in order to attend to the large landed estate of his father; and became quite as extensively interested in real estate as his father had been. His legal training served him well in this business, as he was especially well versed in the intricate laws relative to titles and conveyances. His personal knowledge of almost every acre of land in the county, together with an unerring judgment as to its value, gave him great advantage in the purchase and sale of property, and he was the owner of or the agent for thousands of acres of land in Daviess and adjacent counties. Business reverses, such as are liable to all men of large enterprises, came to Mr. Griffith and he virtually had to begin at the bottom again and rebuild his fortune; and, by patient perseverance, business tact and large experience, he fully recovered his losses and owned a larger estate at the time of his death than he had ever owned before. Like his father and his grandfather, he was in his day the most widely known and popular citizen in the county. He was a man of unimpeachable character; few men could have been concerned in as many real estate transactions, large and small, without incurring the displeasure of some of the parties to such transactions. His honesty and integrity were never questioned. He never deceived anyone to gain a personal advantage. Only those who knew him personally and intimately could appreciate the true nobility of his character, his kindness and gentleness toward all, his generosity and liberality to those who needed assistance, his fidelity to his friends, and above all, his sacred devotion to his family. Always calm and self-possessed, he never deviated from the courtesy which he held was due to every man, whether prince or pauper. There was no harshness in his nature and the humblest menial could approach him with the assurance that he would be kindly received. By his uprightness and straightforwardness he won friends from among all classes. He left the impress of his strong personality upon the community in which he was a prominent figure, and his death was looked upon as a public calamity. Popular as he was and qualified as few men are for public service, he never aspired to office and only once, in 1847, did he yield to the solicitation of friends, who elected him to the legislature. Some few years before his death, which occurred November 3, 1893, he adopted the faith of the Catholic religion, having contemplated that step for many years.

Daniel M. Griffith was married in October, 1857, to Virginia Shelby Todd, daughter of Charles S. Todd and granddaughter of Governor Isaac Shelby. Her father was minister plenipotentiary to Russia under President Harrison’s administration. The maternal ancestry of Joshua T. Griffith were prominent in the early history of the state and nation, and their lives and deeds having become a matter of history a repetition is uncalled for in this volume. The names of the children of Daniel M. and Virginia Shelby Todd Griffith were as follows: Letitia, born in 1858, married H. C. Watkins in 1880, and died in 1894, leaving two children—Virginia, born in 1883, and Shelton, born in 1888; Virginia, born in 1859, died in 1877; Joshua T., born April 1, 1861, married June II, 1891, to Jettie Rothchild, has one child, Virginia, born January 29, 1895; Florence, born 1863, married H. A. Miller, now living in Asheville, North Carolina, her children are Amelia, born in 1886; Virginia, born in 1888; Griffith, born in 1889, died 1890; Daniel M., born September 19, 1867, married Susan M. Herr, November 7, 189s; Rose, born 1865, married Dr. E. S. Watkins in 1887 and had three children: Sue R. and Rose Yandell (twins), born in 1888, Rose Yandell died 1884; Ruth, born 1870, died 1884; Todd, born 1871, died 1880; Clinton, born 1873; Mary Ridgeley, born 1876.

Source: Biographical Cyclopedia of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. John M. Gresham Company, Chicago, Philadelphia, 1896.