Biography - JESSE S. GRIFFIN

No history of Nokomis would be complete without mention of Jesse S. Griffin, who is one of its leading merchants. In his business career he has always displayed qualities which ever command respect and secure patronage. He was born March 6, 1865, in Morgan county, Illinois, a son of E. and Sarah Griffin, both of whom were natives of England, the father's birth occurring in Devonshire in 1828, while the mother was born in Huntingdonshire. They came to America in 1850 and finally settled in Illinois, the father being a merchant of Morgan county for many years. He passed away in 1878 and his widow now resides with our subject in Nokomis, occupying a beautiful home in the western part of the town. In the family were ten children, of whom five are still living, Jesse S. and Alf being residents of Montgomery county.

Jesse S. Griffin, however, spent his boyhood days in Morgan county, assisting his father in business. In the summer of 1879 he came to Nokomis and found employment with J. W. Russell. Later he accepted a position in the dry goods store of A. F. Weaver, with whom he remained until 1885, when the firm of Griffin Brothers was organized, succeeding to the ownership of the store formerly the property of the firm of Bliss & Griffin. The new firm consisted of Alf and Jesse S. Griffin, who carried on the business together until 1898, when the latter purchased his brother's interest and his since continued alone in trade. He is now sole proprietor of one of the largest and most elaborate modern mercantile establishments in southern Illinois, carrying an extensive line of hardware, queensware, guns, furniture, buggies, etc. The building occupied by him is built of brick, is two stories in height and fifty by one hundred feet in dimensions. Besides this there is a warehouse two stories in height and twenty by seventy feet, so that the entire establishment covers a total of twelve thousand square feet. Every foot of space is occupied and the store is specially arranged with reference to the convenient handling of a large and complete stock. Mr. Griffin has been at his present location for nineteen years and his name is inseparably connected with the business interests of Nokomis, for he has contributed in a large measure to the commercial prosperity and development of the town.

Politically Mr. Griffin is a Democrat and is the Montgomery county member of the Democratic congressional committee of the twenty-first district of Illinois, of which committee he is now serving as secretary. He is also a member of the county central committee, of which he has been secretary and treasurer and is now serving for the second term as its chairman.

Extracted 11 Apr 2020 by Norma Hass from 1904 Past and Present of Montgomery County, Illinois, by Jacob L. Traylor, pages 35-36.

Templates in Time