Joseph Albertus Griffin

Male, #11558, (20 Jul 1880 - 22 May 1979)
Father*William Henry Griffin (20 Oct 1847 - 21 Feb 1924)
Mother*Clarissa Eugenia Culpepper (13 Apr 1848 - 29 Nov 1947)
Birth*20 Jul 1880 Joseph was born at Good Hope (near Lineville), Clay Co., Alabama, on 20 Jul 1880. 
Census*1900 He was in the in 1900 census at Clay Co., Alabama
Marriage*30 Dec 1914 He married Flora Inzer on 30 Dec 1914 at age 34. 
Birth of Son19 Nov 1915 His son Joe Inzer Griffin was born on 19 Nov 1915 at Hackneyville, Tallapoosa 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 Mother29 Nov 1947 His mother Clarissa Eugenia Culpepper died on 29 Nov 1947 at Ashland, Clay Co., Alabama
Death of Spouse11 Mar 1976 His wife Flora Inzer died on 11 Mar 1976 at Sylacauga, Talladega Co., Alabama
Death*22 May 1979 He died at Sylacauga, Talladega Co., Alabama, on 22 May 1979 at age 98. 
Burial*24 May 1979 His body was interred on 24 May 1979 at Evergreen Cemetery, Sylacauga, Talladega Co., Alabama
Biography* Joseph A. Griffin was named for his uncle, Joseph Culpepper. Mrs. E. A. (Ellaree Dean) Speer wrote in a 10 Jan 1992 letter: Uncle [James] Olin [Griffin] had a good practice in Hackneyville & also telephone business.... Uncle Bert kept books on Uncle Olin's practice too - he was busy answering calls, those were horse & buggy days.... Uncle Bert married while there.... Left there, went to B'ham & worked for Haverty Furniture....
      In 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., Joseph Albertus Griffin was listed as a "credit man for the Haverty Furniture Company at Birmingham...." 27 Jul 1967, J. A. Griffin and his wife made the front page of The Sylacauga Advance: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. GRIFFIN Today is a big day for Mr. J. A. Griffin! For the company he has been with for some 33 years will close its doors early so that all his associates can attend a party for him at Willow Point Country Club. The occasion is in celebration of Mr. Griffin's 87th birthday and his associates will watch him blow candles and will sing "Happy Birthday" to a "grand guy". Born in [Good Hope near] Lineville, Mr. Griffin attended schools there and then graduated from Massey Business College in Birmingham. He married lovely Flora Inzer of Eden and in December 1967, they will celebrate their 53rd wedding anniversary. Mr. Griffin joined Sokol's in 1934 and he came to Sylacauga as store manager in 1938. He has been active in many phases of civic and church life as well as carrying much weight in business circles. He is an active member of the Sylacauga Exchange Club and the First Baptist Church. The Griffins have a new home on the Old Rockford Road, after having operated Oak Lawn Inn for many years. They have three children, Mrs. Claude Newman, Sylacauga; Mrs. Edward Marston, Manchester, N.H; Joe Griffin, Birmingham; and seven grandchildren. All Sylacauga joins with his Sokol's friends in saying "Happy Birthday, Mr. Griffin."
      Mrs. Charles (Margaret Whatley) Lee wrote 23 Feb 1980: Uncle Bert's home was such a beautiful and convenient home. Uncle Bert had that house built when he was in his 80's I suppose. He and Aunt Flora enjoyed it a few years....
      The following is from an unknown source, probably The Sylacauga Advance: J. A. Griffin Gives Drew Court Library Air Conditioner The Drew Court Library patrons can now use their facility in cool comfort thanks to Mr. J. A. Griffin of Sokol's who has given an air conditioner for the room. Presentation was made at last Thursday's meeting of the Exchange Club following a talk by Miss Dorothy Lee, librarian B. B. Comer Memorial Library. Miss Lee, program speaker for the day, told the "Library Story". After Mr. Griffin gave the air conditioner for Sokol's, the Exchange Club presented a check to help defray installation costs. Miss Lee reported that she had also received a check from Jack Nealeans.
      The following is from The Birmingham News for Wednesday, 29 Jul 1970: Alabama Amblings Retire at 89? Why should one? BY LEONARD STERN, News staff writer SYLACAUGA At the age of 89, Joseph Albertus Griffin decided that he had enough of his three month retirement from the furniture business and started back to work. Daddy Joe, as his great-grandchildren called him, began managing a furniture store in Sylacauga when he was 60. Although the retirement age is 65, Bert kept putting it off every five years on up to the age of 89 when the store finally changed ownership. Three months later, he accepted a position at another furniture store, working three days a week. Bert was never the kind to lie around, his wife says. He keeps up the lawns in front of their two houses in Sylacauga and is an avid rose gardener. He's never been to a hospital in his life, has no bad habits, an amazing eyesight and doesn't like to be called an "old man," she says. Griffin reads several current event publications and keeps up with the latest styles in men's wear. Besides his work and gardening, Griffin belongs to the Exchange Club, and has supposedly never missed a meeting. He is a handshaker every Sunday at the First Baptist Church and on its Board of Trustees. Griffin is the type of man who has never complained, which may have been the answer to his long and active life. After 56 years of marriage, Mrs. Griffin says that she has never seen him worry and that he managed to keep busy all of the time. This week, the Griffins were honored at a luncheon by their son Joe Griffin of Birmingham, and their two daughters, Mrs. Sala [Sara] Marston of Manchester, N.H., and Mrs. Ann Newman of Sylacauga. Relatives from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and Virginia were among the 80 persons in to celebrate Daddy Joe's 90th birthday.
      In a 3 May 1977 letter, Mrs. E. A. (Ellaree Dean) Speer wrote that "Uncle Bert" was "in intensive care now - blood clot on lung.... Think this is 4 weeks he is in hospital."
      16 Jul 1978 was declared "J. A. Griffin Day" by the First Baptist Church of Sylacauga and a special service was held at 10:55 a.m. The following is from the church Bulletin: It was with esteem and respect that our church voted last month to name today J. A. Griffin Day. On this Thursday, July 20, Mr. Griffin will celebrate his 98th birthday. Mr. Griffin is an honored member of our church, having served as deacon, trustee, church greeter and a faithful attender for many years. It is a pleasure to welcome the approximately 20 members of Mr. Griffin's family who are present with us today in the reserved section of our church. _____ The Sylacauga News noted that: The celebration, set aside at the recommendation of the deacons and a vote of the church, will not only show the admiration of his fellow church members but the dual purpose of celebrating his 98th birthday, Thursday, July 20. Griffin moved to Sylacauga in 1941 with his wife and three children, Joe, Ann, and Sara. He served as manager of Sokol's Furniture Company for thirty years and has also operated Oaklawn Inn for many years. He has served as deacon, trustee and church greeter over the years.
      In an 18 Jul 1978 letter, Mrs. E. A. (Ellaree Dean) Speer, who attended the special church service for Bert, wrote: Went to Sylacauga Sunday & so glad I was able to go - very nice sweet impressive service - a portion of right front pews reserved for family & they pinned a corsage on each one as we entered - (red carnations, baby breath on a fern frond) Presented Uncle Bert with an engraved plaque from the church. Had family to stand up front after service for the "well wishers" to greet. Went to Uncle Bert's house after service for lunch Joe & Polly had prepared.... There were two papers (Sylacauga News Thurs 13th) that carried Uncle Bert's picture & write up....
      Ellaree attached a list of people who attended the special service: Uncle [Joseph Al]Bert[us Griffin] Joe [Inzer Griffin] & Polly [Paulina] Ann Karen [Yost Heimel]-George [Heimel]-3 children Uncle [George] Will[iam Griffin] Emyl [Griffin] [Mrs. E. A.(] Ellaree [Dean) Speer] Ewart Dean Eloise & George Mendenhall (from Jacksonville, Ala) Ilene Fareby (Aunt Flo's sisters from B'ham) Mary Sorrell (_"___________"______"____"___) Betty Noe (Aunt Flo's niece) Mrs. Bradley (new housekeeper for Uncle Bert) Lee Ola (former cook for Aunt Flo & now cooks for Anne)
      In an 8 Feb 1979 letter, Mrs. G. W. (Elaine DeVaughn) Mendenhall wrote that "Uncle Bert is also in the hospital in Sylacauga with kidney infection." The following obituary is from p. 1 of The Sylacauga News for Thursday, 24 May 1979: Prominent Sylacaugan dies Tuesday J. A. Griffin, one of Sylacauga's oldest and most prominent citizens, died Tuesday afternoon at his residence on old Rockford Road. Griffin came to Sylacauga in 1941 as Manager of Sokol's. He worked in that position until the original store closed its doors forty years later. At that time Griffin was 89 years old. Not believing in retirement he went to Jefferson Furniture Company where he continued full time employment until the age of 92. A native of Clay County, Griffin was married to the former Flora Inzer in 1916. They celebrated their sixty-first wedding anniversary shortly before her death in 1976. The Griffin family purchased the Oaklawn Inn in the early forties, and it has belonged to the family since. Griffin's daughter, Anne Newman, still operates the inn. "People who stayed there years and years ago would come back through Sylacauga and stop to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Griffin," daughter-in-law, Mrs. Joe Griffin said.
An active member of the Sylacauga Exchange Club, Griffin was awarded the Avondale Sun's Award for faithfulness, along with T. W. (Red) Bozeman and Joe McDonald. A cutline under the 1963 news article called the trio "The 3 Musketeers of the Exchange Club." Griffin was an active member of the Sylacauga Chamber of Commerce, and served as a director, and later as an honorary director of Peoples Bank and Trust Company. He was made an honorary mayor of Sylacauga on his 95th birthday by then Mayor Curtis Liles. Last year, the members of Sylacauga's First Baptist Church set aside Sunday, July 16th as J. A. Griffin Day. An active member of the church since 1941, he had served on the Board of Trustees, was a lifetime deacon and a member of the Men's Bible Class. Born July 20, 1880, Griffin was approaching his 99th birthday. He is survived by three children, a son, Joe Griffin of Birmingham; daughter, Sara Marston of Manchester, New Hampshire; and daughter, Anne Newman of Sylacauga; one brother, Will Griffin of Lineville who is 97; seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held today (Thursday) at 3:00 p.m. at Carr Funeral Home Chapel, with interment in Evergreen Cemetery. 


Flora Inzer (18 Aug 1891 - 11 Mar 1976)
Marriage*30 Dec 1914 He married Flora Inzer on 30 Dec 1914 at age 34. 
ChartsBenjamin (son of Joseph) Culpepper of Edgecombe Co., NC: Descendant Chart
John Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited13 Dec 2002