Robert Lewis Griffin

Male, #11550, (27 Sep 1872 - 9 Mar 1945)
Father*William Henry Griffin (20 Oct 1847 - 21 Feb 1924)
Mother*Clarissa Eugenia Culpepper (13 Apr 1848 - 29 Nov 1947)
Birth*27 Sep 1872 Robert was born at Good Hope (near Lineville), Clay Co., Alabama, on 27 Sep 1872. 
Employment* Robert's occupation: Scott-Foresman. 
Census*1880 He was in the in 1880 census at Lineville, Clay Co., Alabama
Photographed*say 1890 He was photographed say 1890 at Lineville, Clay Co., Alabama.1
Robert Lewis Griffin
Census1900 He was listed as a resident in the census report at Clay Co., Alabama, in 1900. 
Marriage*22 Dec 1904 He married Mayona Willingham on 22 Dec 1904 at age 32. 
Birth of Son28 Jul 1909 His son Robert Lewis Griffin Jr. was born on 28 Jul 1909 at Goodwater, Coosa Co., Alabama
Census1910 He was listed as a resident in the census report at Goodwater, Coosa Co., Alabama, in 1910. 
Birth of Son5 Jun 1920 His son Henry Clay Griffin was born on 5 Jun 1920 at Eclectic, Elmore Co., Alabama
Death of Father21 Feb 1924 His father William Henry Griffin died on 21 Feb 1924 at Olive Branch, Clay Co., Alabama
Death of Spouse15 Oct 1931 His wife Mayona Willingham died on 15 Oct 1931 at Montevallo, Shelby Co., Alabama
Photographedcirca 1938 He appeared as a son in a family photograph circa 1938 at Lineville, Clay Co., Alabama,
Left to right: Robert Lewis Griffin, Clarissa Culpepper Griffin, Mary Claire Griffin Jelin with son Griffin Zola Jelin.2
Robert Lewis Griffin with mother, daughter, and grandson
Death*9 Mar 1945 He died at Glendale, Los Angeles Co., California, on 9 Mar 1945 at age 72. 
Burial* His body was interred at Montevallo, Shelby Co., Alabama
Biography* Robert was named after his grandfathers, Robert Griffin and Lewis Peek Culpepper. Although he started out as a farmer, an entry for his brother, James O. Griffin, on p. 253 of Vol. 2 of the 1927 edition of the History of Alabama and Her People published by the American Historical Society, Inc. listed him as a "commercial traveler, with home at Montevallo [Shelby Co., AL]." Henry Clay Griffin wrote the following in a 25 Jul 1994 letter: My father, Robert Lewis Griffin, I believe went to Lineville College, but he finished at Howard College (now Samford). Before moving to Montevallo in 1921, my family lived in various Alabama towns including Goodwater, Rockford, Ft. Deposit, maybe Pine Hill, and Eclectic. My father was a pharmacist in Goodwater, and he served as a high school principal in a number of places. In 1920 and maybe a little before, he was a representative for the State of Alabama for Scott-Foresman & Co. (educational book publishers), until his death.
      The following is from an unknown source: The Late Mr. And Mrs. Robert L. Griffin On Sunday, February 10th. at the Montevallo Baptist Church, Montevallo, Ala., the choir window of the Church was dedicated to the late Robert Lewis Griffin and Mayona Willingham Griffin, former members of that Church. The children of the deceased gave the window to the Church in memory of their parents. The children present for the service were Robert Griffin, Los Angeles, Calif; Clay Griffin, Atlanta, Ga; Mrs. Horace Hunt, Birmingham; and Miss Melba Griffin, Brainard, Minn. Mrs. Leo Jellin [Jelin], Los Angeles, Calif., the only other child, was unable to attend. The Chairman of the Board of Deacons spoke briefly of the devotion and faithfulness of the late Mr. and Mrs. Griffin to their church and to the Lord's work. The pastor, Rev. Edward W. Glover, led the congregation in the dedication of the window to the memory of these two Christians whose lives had been consecrated in rendering service to the Church and community. Following the dedication service the pastor brought a message on "God's Glory in Temples." At the conclusion of the church services over forty relatives of the Griffin and Willingham families and a few friends were served dinner at Reynolds Hall on the Alabama College Campus. The late Mr. Griffin was born in Clay County and lived here until early manhood. He is a brother of G. W. Griffin, Mrs. Robert Whatley and Mrs. Ike Reeves of Lineville; Miss Maude Griffin and Mrs. W. T. Dean of Ashland; J. A. Griffin, Sylacauga and Dr. J. O. Griffin, Memphis, Tenn. The late Mrs. Griffin, nee Mayona Willingham, formerly from Lineville, is a sister of Fred Willingham, Birmingham, Mrs. Zela Willingham Bowen, Atlanta, Ga., and Mrs. Pearl Willingham Howell, Eclectic, Ala. Those attending the service from Lineville were: Mrs. and Mrs. G. W. Griffin, Mrs. J. T. Griffin, and Mr. and Mrs. Emyl Griffin.

From Mary Ruth Lewis:

Sent: Friday, January 02, 2009 8:05 AM

My Mother, Mary Erom Griffin, lived in this house with her Uncle Robert's family for a year so that she could attend a better high school in Montevallo than the one in Hackneyville where she lived with her own family. I wonder who now owns the house. My Mother loved her Uncle Robert. He sometimes came to visit her when we lived in Marion, AL when he was there in his capacity as a book salesman. At that time he was selling books for a company that produced school textbooks. According to Mother, he was a very loving man. When Jim Griffin, my first cousin, came to visit Mother in the Brooks County Hospital, and brought roses, she told me later that he looked just like her Uncle Robert.

From: Eloise (DeVaughn) Samuels
Sent: Friday, January 02, 2009 12:04 PM

...I remember visiting there (Robert L. Griffin Sr.) once with Mother,Daddy and Elaine. She and I both attended Montevallo College, which used to be a girls' school only. After the War was over, boys were allowed to attend. I remember the house well as it is not too far from the campus, if I remember correctly. The house is still beautifully structured. I hope the buyer will restore it and keep its unique design.


From Eloise (DeVaughn) Samuels:

Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 7:40 AM
By the way, my sister Elaine told me just last Sunday that when she went to college at Montevallo, the Robert Griffins invited her to their house for Thanksgiving dinner. She remembers that it was a lovelyoccasion and it helped her through some lonely hours. I regret that Elaine's health and memory are so bad; however, she remembers that particular Thanksgiving with excitement in her voice as she told the story. 
Research note*Dec 2008 From Robert Lewis Griffin IV:

Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 3:35 PM

Hi Lew--
I'll tell you an interesting story. Phebe is seriously considering The University of Montevallo, and we went there for a college preview day in November. She'll be entering college the fall of '09. She had told me about an old house in Montevallo that she found for sale thru the internet and I had dismissed it as needing too much in renovations, just reading the info in the ad. While we were riding around the town I decided to look for my father's (Henry Clay Griffin) old house that he had pointed out to me as a child when we visited my maternalgrandmother, Phebe Clark Gibson Wills, every Mother's Day. Isearched the areaabout where I thought it was, and sawthere wasa for"sale sign" onwhat I thought was his house, but wasn't sure. We got out and looked around, and the house seemed to have been vacant for years and years, and it was really in awful shape.I saw a concrete pillar that looked like where a fence had ended and got to looking at it. On thetop was my father's initials and theyear 1932, when he would have been 12 and the country was in the throes ofthe greatdepression. It looked like there wasanother set of initials or signature beginning with the letter F, which was undoubtedly my aunt Floyce.In its day it was a grand house, but yearsof neglect had taken their toll. I doubt you could even restore it. What a shame.


Mayona Willingham (19 May 1877 - 15 Oct 1931)
Marriage*22 Dec 1904 He married Mayona Willingham on 22 Dec 1904 at age 32. 
ChartsBenjamin (son of Joseph) Culpepper of Edgecombe Co., NC: Descendant Chart
John Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited28 Apr 2017


  1. Joe Inzer Griffin, Irondale, AL.
  2., Public Member Trees.
  3. E-mail written Dec 2008 to Lew Griffin from Robert Lewis Griffin IV, e-mail address.