Founder of the City of Griffin
General Lewis Lawrence Griffin

 

 

Lewis Lawrence Griffin was a very poor native Georgian who became president of the Monroe Railroad and founder of the City of Griffin. Griffin settled in Twiggs County around 1810 as a young man. Griffin became a General in the Georgia Militia after fighting in the Indian War and other wars against the Creeks. He served in the Legislature in 1829 and 1830. He lived in Monroe County and Macon, all the while amassing a large fortune. General Griffin purchased 800 acres of land and planned a city at the crossing of his Monroe Railroad and another line. But not long after June 8, 1840, when the cityís first lots were sold a depression hit the nation and the Monroe Railroad and Banking Company collapsed. General Griffin lost most of his fortune and moved to Aberdeen, Mississippi. There, he remarried, raised a family, and acquired another fortune. He died in Aberdeen in July of 1867, survived by his wife and two children. General Griffinís ante-bellum home still stands across the street from Aberdeenís city hall and is owned and occupied by his grandchildren.

 

 

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Griffin During the Civil War

Griffin was not the site of any Civil War battles, but nonetheless it was a vital location during the war. Camp Stephens, located two miles north of McIntosh Road, was a mobilization point for infantry. Cavalry were mobilized at Camp Milner, which is now the grounds of the city park. Two military companies from Griffin and seven from Spalding County were organized to fight. Not only was Griffin the first stop for troops and the home of many soldiers, it was also a hospital town and a printing center. Trainloads of sick and wounded poured into hospitals, public buildings, the courthouse, stores, colleges and even private homes. Much Confederate money was printed in Griffin as well as most of the Confederate governmentís stamps. At one point, Spalding County even printed its own currency. Although not destroyed physically by Union soldiers (only one warehouse was burned), Griffin was devastated financially. Three hundred miles of railroad, the cityís lifeline, had been demolished. Yet once again, as it did after the depression, the town recovered. A new development in Griffin helped it to survive Reconstruction and the postwar era. The 1880ís saw the birth of textile manufacturing in Griffin. In 1888, the Kincaid Manufacturing Company opened. It continued to expand by buying other mills in the area. Today, the company is known as Dundee Mills/Springs Industries and is one of Griffinís largest employers.