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Jay County Indiana Biographies

HON. Emerson E. McGRIFF, judge of the Jay Circuit Court and for nearly thirty-five years a member of the bar of that court, is a native of the old Buckeye state, but has been a resident of Indiana since he was two or three years of age and thus feels himself as much a Hoosier as though ,native and to the manner born. Judge McGRIFF was born in Darke county. Ohio, September 13, 1857, a son of Richard and Mary A. (SINCLAIR) McGRIFF, the latter of whom was born in Pennsylvania, but had been a resident of Ohio since the days of her childhood when her parents moved Into the latter state. Richard McGRIFF was born in Preble county, Ohio, and grew up to be a farmer, a vocation he followed all his life. After his marriage lie established his home in Darke county and there remained until 1860, when he came with his family over into Indiana and located in Jay county. Two years later he moved down into Randolph county, where he established his home on a farm in the Deerfield neighborhood. His wife died in 1862 and he survived her for many years. They were the parents of eight children, of whom six are still living. Of these, Judge McGRIFF is the only one residing in this county, the others being John McGRIFF a veteran of the Civil war: Mrs. Theresa SIPE, Laurence, Mrs. Abigail MOCK and Sherman. As will be noted by a comparison of dates above, Emerson E. McGRIFF was but about five years of age when his mother died, which was about the time the family moved from this county down into the Deerfield neighborhood in Randolph county. On the home farm in this latter community he was reared, receiving his elementary schooling in the local schools. He early became qualified as a school teacher and was for seven years engaged in teaching school in his home county, meanwhile pursuing his studies by attendance for three terms at Ridgeville College and for a term at Valparaiso University, giving his particular attention to the study of law during vacations under the preceptorship of Col. M. B. Miller and John E. Neff, later secretary of state of the state of Indiana, at Winchester, and in 1884 was admitted to the bar of the Randolph Circuit Court. Upon his admission to the bar, Judge McGRIFF opened an office for the practice of his profession at Winchester and there remained thus engaged for three years, at the end of which time, in 1887, he moved to Portland and opened an office in the latter city, which ever since has been his home. The Judge is a Democrat and has long- been recognized as among the leaders of that party in eastern Indiana. During the time of his practice at Winchester he was appointed by Governor Gray to be prosecuting attorney for Randolph county, and for twenty-one months served in that capacity. In 1916 he was nominated by the Democrats of lay county for circuit judge and was elected judge of the Jay Circuit Court and is still serving in that judicial capacity, one of the best known members of the judiciary in the Eighth congressional district. In 1892 Judge McGRIFF was a delegate from this district to the Democratic national convention which gave Grover Cleveland his third nomination for President. The judge is a 32 degree Mason, an Odd Fellow and an Elk, and he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church, he being a member of the session, an elder, of the church. On December 14, 1886, Judge McGRIFF was united in marriage to Grace CARVER, of Winchester, daughter of Dr. J. M. and Amanda (HUMPHREY) CARVER, and to this union one child was born, a son, Everett C. McGRIFF, who married Grace GRAY and is now living at Indianapolis.. In May, 1917, closely following this country's declaration of war against Germany, Everett C. McGRIFF enlisted for service in the first officers training camp at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, and in due time received a commission as a captain and was presently sent overseas, where he remained for twelve months. Captain McGRIFF had excellent preliminary military training, having been a student for one year at Culver Military Academy and later at Morgan Park Military Academy, from which latter institution he was graduated

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