Ohio Biographies

Edwin S. Griffiths

At the age of fourteen, soon after coming to America, Edwin S. Griffiths was in charge of an air compressing engine at the coal mines near Scranton, Pennsylvania. Among the successful leaders in Cleveland industries today it is doubtful if any began live with more restricted opportunities and had a humbler position than this. Mr. Griffiths spent his years before coming to America in South Wales, where he was born August 26, 1872, a son of William and Rachel Griffiths, and where he had received the advantages of the local schools.

While he was driving the air compressor at the Scranton coal mine he was putting in many a diligent hour in study at Woods College. He attended school at night or in day, according to the shift on which he worked. At sixteen and a half he graduated, then resigned his position, worked three months as stenographer with Judge H. M. Edwards and for tow years was county court reporter.

With this amplitude of experience Mr. Griffiths arrived in Cleveland and for four years was bookkeeper for the Ohio Adamant Company, manufacturers of gypsum. The company then sent him on the road as traveling representative, and he sold that product until 1900.

Mr. Griffiths has been an increasingly conspicuous figure in Cleveland industry for the past seventeen years. In 1900 he organized The Cleveland Machine and Manufacturing Company, which upon incorporation had the following officers: R. C. Moody, president; E. I. Leighton, vice president; Mr. Griffiths, secretary and treasurer. That plant was ready for operation in 1901 and from handling machinery as jobbers they developed into the manufacture of rolling mill machinery. Their force of ten men with which they began business in 1901 has increased until today they have 200 men on the payroll. The first year's output was $25,000 and a conservative estimate of the business for 1917 is $750,000. The present officers are: Edwin S. Griffiths, president; John Jaster, vice president and treasurer; E. A. Kohler, secretary; and K. F. Dailey, manager.

Even after reaching the dignity of an independent business man Mr. Griffiths kept up a rigorous course of self-improvement. From 1901 to 1906 he took private lessons in mathematics under Professor Houghton and also pursued a special course in engineering under J. P. Mills, a graduate of the Case School of Applied Science and at that time special instructor at the Young Men's Christian Association.

In 1915 Mr. Griffiths was elected president of The Bishop-Babcock-Becker Company. This firm has one of the large industries of the Cleveland manufacturing district and makes soda fountains, pumps of all kinds, vacuum and air lines system of heating, bottling machinery, welding machinery, chemicals, beer pumps, coolers and various lines of brewing machinery. The business is one that employs 6,000 people.

Mr. Griffiths is president of The Buckeye Engine Company at Salem, Ohio, manufacturers of Steam and gas engines, and this industry has 750 people on the payroll. The is vice president of The Cromwell Steel Company of Lorain County. The plant of this company is now in course of construction and operations will start September 1, 1917. The company will manufacture open hearth steel and the plans are to start the business with 1,000 workmen. Mr. Griffiths is also a director in the National City Bank. He is a York and Scottish Rite Mason, and one of the leading members of that order in Ohio, having attained the thirty-third supreme degree of the Scottish Rite in the Northern Masonic jurisdiction in 1911. He served as grand master of the Ohio Grand Lodge in 1912-13. He is a member of the Union Club, the Willowick Country Club, the Roadside Country Club, Cleveland Engineering Society and the Engineers Club of New York City. He is a republican and a member of the Baptist Church. At Cleveland December 31, 1903, Mr. Griffiths married Miss Margaret N. Rusk.


From Cleveland - Special Limited Edition, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago & New York, 1918 v.1