Biography of Burrell W. Griffin

BURRELL W. GRIFFIN. – Mr. Griffin, who has been long and favorably known throughout the Inland Empire, was born in Missouri in 1840, and since his arrival in Oregon in 1848 has seen as much of our Northwestern life in Indian wars, in the mines, and in our distinctive old-time traveling system by stage, as any one of us. His first residence was in the “Forks” of the Santiam with his father, B.B. Griffin, who moved to the Rogue river valley in 1852, and was a farmer and fancier of horses; who in 1852 was with Captain John F. Miller in the difficulty with Chief Sam, in Southern Oregon; who again in 1853 was one of the most active in suppressing the disorders of Old John, being one of the scouting party which inadvertently ran upon the Indian band on Williams creek, and who in the sharp skirmish received a severe wound; who still again in the larger and more bloody wars of 1855-56 took a large share in the comic, often tragic, and inevitably fatiguing campaigns on the Rogue river.

Young Burrell W. was in the meantime growing into a stout lad, and was receiving his education under the tuition of Honorable Orange Jacobs. At the age of twenty-two he was ready to pack his blankets and seek his fortune. He went to the mines of Eastern Oregon, and was one of the party who discovered the Granite creek mines on the John Day river. After two summers he arrived at Silver City, Idaho territory, and was initiated in stage driving on the Umatilla and Placerville route for Ish & Hailey. For the greater part of the time until 1870, he satisfactorily occupied the position of division agent for this company.

Having been married in 1869 to Miss Abbie Parish of Port Townsend, the year following he engaged in farming and stock-raising on a large scale. His election as sheriff of Walla Walla county two years later forced him to quit this occupation. Upon the expiration of his term, he engaged unsuccessfully for three years in mining on Gallice creek, Josephine county, Oregon. Returning to his old business of staging, he took charge of the Mammoth line from Boise to Winnemucca, and a year later was agent for the Utah, Idaho & Oregon Stage Company throughout the Inland Empire.

Securing a section and a half of land near Blalock he erected a hotel and conducted it in connection with the business of office agent for the stage company, and for Wells, Fargo & Co. Several years there, however, prepared him for a removal to Wallowa Bridge, Oregon, where he is at present presiding, and is owner and manager of the La Grande and Wallowa stage line.

Mr. Griffin lost by death his first wife in 1875. Some years later he married Miss Margaret Courtnay, of Umatilla county. They have five children.



History of the Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington. 2 v. Portland, Oregon: North Pacific History Company. 1889.

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