Evan Griffith

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EVAN GRIFFITH (deceased) was for forth-six years prominently identified with the development of oil interests in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, at Marietta. He was born at Wayland, Ohio, Jan. 18, 1845, son of Evan and Elizabeth (Lewis) Griffith. The parents were natives of Wales and were among the pioneers in Portage county, Ohio. The father was a stonemason by trade, and he assisted in the building of the locks on the Pennsylvania and Ohio canals, and later purchased a tract of land near Wayland, Ohio. That land he cleared and improved and it was his place of residence until his death. His children were: John E., Evan, David E., Thomas E. and Luis E., the two first named being deceased.

Evan Griffith grew up on the homestead and assisted his father there and in boyhood attended the district schools as opportunity was afforded. In 1865 he came to Pennsylvania and secured work in Venango county with an oil company at Two Mile Run, cutting cord wood and rig timbers. In the following year he was given work at drilling, and in 1867 he engaged in business for himself as a contractor drilling wells. He followed that business until 1871 and also, from 1869 until 1871, was superintendent of the oil properties of C. D. Angell, at Scrub Grass, Pa. In 1871 he settled at Parker's Landing, where he became associated with W. H. H. Piper, James E. Brown, B. B. Campbell and others in the oil business. Mr. Griffith had charge of the field interests of the Bear Creek Refining Company and was chosen treasurer and superintendent of the Bear Creek Oil Company, holding the latter positions up to the time of his death, covering a period of over thirty-five years. During this time he had charge of and drilled all the wells between Parker and Chicora for Piper, Campbell and the Crawfords, who were the leaders in the development of the Pennsylvania oil fields at that time, and was also active in the development of oil fields in Ohio and West Virginia.

Mr. Griffith was active and useful in other matters. When the First National Bank of Parker was organized, in 1901, he was elected president of that institution, and held the office until his death. It was mainly through his careful guidance and judicious management that the bank had reached the prosperous condition in which he left it at death. For nine years he was a member of the school board, and during the early life of the city served as a member of the council, and his practical advice was of value in the promotion of all its early affairs. No one commanded a higher degree of respect than did Evan Griffith. He was known to be scrupulously honest, careful and methodical in all his business transactions, and he practiced the Golden Rule in his everyday life. Mr. Griffith avoided all speculation, and with the greatest fidelity guarded the interests of others intrusted to him. His charities were generous and timely, and his public spirit was never regulated by any desire for private gain. While he left a comfortable fortune to his family, every dollar of it had been secured through honest methods. His death occurred Oct. 13, 1911. The passing of such a man, one of real worth, is a matter of great loss to any community. His remains rest in the Hawley cemetery, near his old home at Wayland, Ohio. For many years he had been an active and open-handed member of the Presbyterian Church.

Evan Griffith was married Sept. 14, 1875, to Mary Amelia Cannon, daughter of John A. and Mary Jane (McCarn) Cannon, of Parker's Landing, and one son was born to them, Evan C. He was educated in the common and high schools of Parker and at the Pennsylvania State College, and is now assistant cashier of the First National Bank at Parker City.

Source: Pages 590-591, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed January 1999 by Connie Mateer for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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