Carroll County Biographies

Ezra S. Griswold
York Township

The farming interests of Carroll County acknowledge a most worthy representative in the subject of this notice. From a modest beginning in life he has arisen to a good position, socially and financially, has accumulated a competence, and if he were so disposed, might retire from active labor and spend his remaining years in ease and quiet. His homestead lies on section 34, in York Township, and comprises 440 acres of thoroughly cultivated land, which, with its buildings and appurtenances forms one of the most desirable estates in the southwestern part of the county. The grandfather of Ezra Griswold, on the paternal side, emigrated from England a short time prior to the Revolutionary War, and during a portion of that struggle he went with the army in the capacity of sutler. After the close of the war he settled in the then wilderness of Vermont. Two of his brothers came with him to America, and during the war became separated, and never after heard of each other. There are many other griswolds in the State, who may be relatives of our subject.

Our subject is the scion of a good family, being the son of Benjamin and Martha (Austin) Griswold, who were natives of Vermont, and married in Cambridge, that State. The maternal grandfather was John Austin, who is supposed to have been a native of Vermont, and of English ancestry. Of the twelve children born to the parents of our subject but four survive; Ezra, our subject, the third, was born Feb. 29, 1828 in Lamoille County VT., and was reared on the farm of his parents, where they spent their last days; Benjamin Griswold was born in 1792 and departed this life Sept. 14, 1873. His wife, Martha was born in 1804 and died in June 1869.

Ezra S. Griswold left his native State on the 8th of May 1854, for M innesota. He made the trip by stage to St. Albans, thence by rail to Ogdensburg, NY from there by boat to Monroe NY, thence by state to Niagara Falls, by boat to Detroit MI and by ril, via Chicago to Warren IL. He next proceeded by stage to Galena IL, from there by boat up the Mississippi to McGregor Island, and from that point by team to Chatfield MN, where he took up a claim about the 1st of June. The land did not come into market as soon as was anticipated, and he returned to Northern IA, where he worked at farming until November then came to this county. Here he was employed ona farm in York Twp. by the month, probably two years. In the meantime he purchased 160 acre sof land, now included in his present homestead. It was wild and uncultivated, and without improvements. He erected a stable for the stock, and boarded with a neighbor until his marriage.

The above interesting event occurred March 1, 1860 with Miss Mary A. daughter of Augustus and Louisa (Stone) Peterson. They became the parents of four children; the eldest ELmer A., born Feb. 23, 1862; Harry L., May 11, 1864; Mira D., July 2, 1866, the latter married Hiram Boyts and lives in York Twp.; Laura M. was born Aug. 10, 1868. Mrs. Mary A. Griswold died at the homestead in York Twp. Dec. 7, 1868. She was a member of the Baptist Church.

The subject of this sketch was married the second time Feb. 2, 1871 in this township, to Miss Adelaide Peterson, the sister of his first wife. This union resulted in the birth of three children, George A., Sept. 4, 1874; Amy L., July 26, 1876 and Ernest C., Sept. 16, 1886. The father of Mrs. Griswold was born in the state of NewHampshire and came to the West in the early part of 1858, landing in this county on the 23rd of May, with his two daughters. The mother died in Essex County NY Jan. 28, 1851. The father took up land in York Twp. upon which he lived and labored until his decease whick occurred in Jan. 1885, when he was 79 years old.

Mr. and Mrs. Griswold and three of the children are members of the Baptist Church, attending services at the Dunshee Church. Mr. Griswold owns 440 acres of land, which he purchased when coming here, 160 for $4 per acre and the balance subsequently, and which he has brought to a good state of cultivation. Considerable fo this is pasture and with the exception of 20 acres, all is under good cultivation. He has three tenement houses and three barns, besides all the other necessary out houses, including sheds and corncribs fully adapted to the shelter of stock and the storage of grain. His farming operaitons are carried on in the methodical and systematic manner of the successful modern agriculturist and aided by the latest improved machinery. Mr. Griswold has very little time to devote to political affairs, but he keeps himself posted in regard to events of general interest, and votes the Republican ticket.

Portraits & Biographical Carroll Co. 1889 Page 883

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