Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
MATTHEW D. GRIFFIN, who resides
three miles south of Tonasket, on the Okanogan river, is one of the heavy
property owners and large stock men of the county. He is a man of knowledge
and good executive ability, as will be noticed by the following:
Matthew D. Griffin was born in Athens county,
Ohio, on March 21, 1851, the son of Daniel and Rhoda (Fleak) Griffin, both
natives of Ohio. The father's father fought in the war of 1812. The parents
are now both deceased. The mother passed away in 1902, aged eighty-seven.
Our subject was favored with a good common-school and academic education,
completing the same in Tupper Plains Academy in Meigs county, Ohio. Following
this he taught school in West Virginia for two terms, then studied medicine
for two years but never practiced. Returning to Ohio, he was married in
1874, in Athens county, Miss Mary J., daughter of Joshua and Louisa (Hannis)
Burdette, becoming the bride at that time.
She was a native of Belmont county as were also her parents. Her father
died in 1901, aged ninety-eight and her mother in the spring of 1903.
During the centennial year Mr. Griffin went to West Virginia and in 1883,
came west on the Canadian Pacific railroad in the Northwest Territory,
where he did construction work. He also had large contracts later, on the
Northwestern and Milwaukee & St. Paul roads. In addition, he was a
railroad contractor on different lines through Nebraska, Texas, Kansas
and so forth, also on the Bear river canal in Utah and the New York canal
at Boise, Idaho. It was largely an irrigation enterprise. During the construction
of the Great Northern, he did the construction for the shops at Hillyard
and other heavy work along the line.
The fall of 1892, Mr. Griffin settled on the
homestead ten miles below Oroville, where he immediately went into general
farming and stock raising. In 1896 he was elected county commissioner on
the Democratic ticket and gave good service for two years. He sold the
ranch, then bought his present place, which is an estate of three hundred
and twenty acres, valuable for general farming and hay raising. He has
a fine eleven-room residence, large barn and other buildings, with plenty
of water to irrigate the entire estate. His stock consists of cattle and
horses, mostly, although he raises some hogs. To Mr. and Mrs. Griffin,
have been born the following children: Frank, married to Maude Dougherty,
now living at Pentickton, British Columbia; Nerea B., deceased; Edward
R., married to Deborah Symons, who is now residing with our subject, her
husband having died; Arthur J., at home, and Roscoe C., at home.
Mr. Griffin is a man who deserves and receives
the respect and esteem of all who know him, being a man of good principles
and public spirit.