Funeral of S. L. Griffith

Burlington Daily Free Press
A Large Gathering of Vermonters, Townsmen and Business Associates to Pay Last Honors.
(special to The Free Press.)

Danby, Aug. 4.—The last honors were paid S. L. Griffith today when a large number of friends, employees and relatives gathered for the funeral services and burial. The little church opposite Mr. Griffith’s late residence was filled with people from nearly all sections of the town and State and a large number stood outside in a driving rain during the entire service in their desire to honor their former employer and friend. During the morning the body was borne to the church and lay in state until the hour for service. Several hundred people passed by and took a last view of the dead. Although death occurred two weeks ago the face looked perfectly natural and one could easily have imagined the form reposing in peaceful sleep.

On and about the casket was an elegant display of flowers composed largely of roses, lilies and carnations. Two set pieces were sent by the employees, one representing Gates Ajar and the other Faith, Hope and Charity; a large wreath from the directors of the Baxter National bank of Rutland, of which Mr. Griffith was a director; a crown and cross by Eugene McIntyre of Danby, a business partner with Mr. Griffith; a harp by the employees of the six stores Operated by Mr. Griffith; lilies from E. E. Darling & Co. of Troy, N. Y., wholesale grocers; bride’s and American beauty roses from Dr. and Mrs. C. S. Caverly of Rutland; bride’s roses and carnations from W. H. Riddle and wife; white roses from Mary, Charles H. and William B. Griffith, sister and brothers of the deceased; pink and white carnations from Mrs. and Miss Tiel of Philadelphia, mother and sister of Mrs. Griffith; and immortelles and asparagus from W. H. Griffith of Danby.

The service opened in the church at two o’clock in the afternoon but before that hour every available seat had been filled. Occupying seats of honor in the right of the church was about a dozen aged gentlemen familiarly called by Mr. Griffith “the boys,” who acted as honorary bearers. With them were also seated Samuel Mason, James Porter, James Fulham, Edwin L. Staples, Harry Ralph, E. Mercure, Sr., William Winship and Barney Decker, who served as active bearers.

The officiating clergymen were the Rev. S. N. Jackson of Burlington, his son, the Rev. W. P. Jackson of East Dummerston and the Rev. H. Clay Searles of Danby. In a short address the Rev. S. N. Jackson pronounced a simple but very fitting eulogy of the dead. He referred especially to the love and loyalty Mr. Griffith had always felt for his native town, of his broad public spirit, his recognition of the brotherhood of man in the relation between him as employer and his employees, his catholicity as evinced by the annual entertainments he furnished the children of Danby without regard to creed, his interest and geniality as a companion and the practical christianity of the man illustrated in the many deeds of kindness performed by him. Mr. Jackson also read a letter from Mr. Griffith’s pastor in San Diego, California, telling of Mr. Griffith’s resignation to the will of God in approaching his death. He also said that it had been the personal request of Mr. Griffith to him that in speaking at the funeral nothing should be said that should cause a tear.

Miss. M. E. Bushee, for a long time stenographer in Mr. Griffith’s office opened the musical programme by a very skillful and touching rendition of “The Holy City,” a favorite song of the deceased. A quartette composed of Miss Bushee, Mrs. D. A. Cocklin, Edward C. Page and Harry Engles of Rutland sang one selection and the services were closed with a baritone solo “Fear Not,” by E. H. Miller of Dummerston, a singer whose vocal accomplishments has won for him a State recognition. J. Harry Engles of Rutland presided at the organ.

A long procession of teams followed the body to the cemetery, where burial was made in the family lot.

Among the large number of people from out of town present at the services were: Gov. J. G. McCullough and Gen. E. L. Bates, secretary of civil and military affairs of Bennington; ex-Senators T. B. Hall of Groton and R. I. Batchelder of Peru, associates of Mr. Griffith in the Senate of 1898; President John A. Mead and directors of the Baxter National bank of Rutland; Miller G. Scouton of Whatcom, Wash., a business associate of Mr. Griffith’s; William Bull, wife and mother of Bennington, J. K. Batchelder and wife of Arlington; William C. Tillinghast, president of the J. M. Warren Co. of Troy, N. Y.; Charles S. Sowle of Groton, a business partner of Mr. Griffith’s; W. J. Bigelow of Burlington and many others from towns in the county.

In addition to the other donations to the town of Danby mentioned in previous issues it was learned today that a contract had been made by Mr. Griffith for a receiving vault to be constructed in the cemetery for the free use of the town. Work will be begun on it within a few weeks.

The work of constructing a public library for Danby, plans for which have already been drawn, may be temporarily delayed by the death of Mr. Griffith, but the delay will be only temporary as provision has been made in his will for its construction and endowment.

Mr. Tiel, Mrs. Tiel and Miss Tiel of Philadelphia, are stopping for a time with Mrs. Griffith.