Herman Sylvester Griswold
Below is a closeup of the picture from Herman S. Griswold's obit from the Fredonia (NY) Censor, 12/12/1957. This is the only picture I have so far of him or his family. He looks so much like my grandfather (his nephew) L. D. Griswold it's hard to even believe. If I had no idea who he was, I could easily have picked him out of a crowd as being related to my grandfather.
The article next to it, from the Fredonia Censor, Thursday, July 30, 1953, was kindly provided by Joy Harper and Doug Shepeard of the Darwin R. Barker Museum in Fredonia.
Oldest Resident of Fredonia at 91,
Ramrod straight, steady afoot
and clear-eyed, the man made his
way quickly to his vegetable garden. Pointing out its crops, he
turned to a visitor to say, "Next
year, I'm going to plant more
H. S. Griswold Celebrates Birthday
"Next year" the man will be 92
years old. He is Herman S. Griswold
of 104 East Main Street, who
turned 91 on Tuesday, perhaps
Fredonia's oldest citizen in years
but certainly one of its youngest
in spirit. He still lives for the
Mr. Griswold retired from business a generation ago, after more than half a century first as partner
and later as sole owner of a well
known retail shoe sales concern.
But retirement to him has been
just another form of activity as the
passed, and even at his advanced age today
he is his own
housekeeper and cook, mows
his own lawn, drives his automobile and, of
course, plants and cultivates his
Keeps Up with the News
His sight is not as keen as it
used to be, Mr. Griswold confesses,
although he is able to enjoy the
television, but his hearing is good
and he delights in the radio. "I
keep abreast of the news, anyway,"
he says, "and I get a kick out of
hearing the ball games. Baseball, I
mean. I don't understand football,
Mr. Griswold, a modest as well
as a venerable man, not only offers no formula to improve the
world but disclaims even the right
to give advice on longevity. "I
can't tell you why I'm still here,"
he says. "The only reason I might
think of is that I did some hunting
and fishing when I was younger -
got out of doors - but I don't really
believe that's had much to do with
Whatever the reason, Mr. Griswold enjoys remarkable
health. He is as slim and trim as one of Mel
Allen's panatelas though he eats anything he chooses and as much
as he wants, without ill effect. He
does much of his own cooking, and
keeps his own apartment in the
house where he has lived for 65 years.
Came here at 20
Mr. Griswold was born in Beaver
City, Pa., July 28, 1862, a year after Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural. "I don't know where
Beaver City is," Mr, Griswold says.
"because I left there as an infant
and never went back." The family
moved to Conneaut, 0., where he
remained until he was 20. Then he
came to Fredonia.
He took a job here with J. Henry
Clark, who had a dry goods store
on the present site of the Park
Diner. Within two years, Mr. Clark sold out the business and Mr. Griswold caught on with H. P. Perrin
in his shoe store, which was located
where the Endicott Johnson shoe
store now is. This was Mr. Griswold's niche. He Joined Mr. Perrin
in partnership two years later, then bought him out. He ran the business successfully in locations now
occupied by the Savon Shop and
the Fredonia Electric Company until
he retired in 1935.
Has Two Sons
A year after his retirement, Mr.
Griswold's wife, the former Miss
Margaret Hall, died. They were
the parents of two sons, Marion. S.,
who is a factory representative of the
Willys-Overland Company at
Silver Creek, and Howard S. Griswold of Fredonia, who perfected a foot
medication which has been
enthusiastically received by a large
A lifelong Democrat, Mr. Griswold cast his first vote for Grover
Cleveland, and not long afterward
was himself elected to office here.
He served five years as Pomfret
town clerk, and takes pride in the
fact that he was endorsed by the
Republicans his final term.
A quiet gathering with his son,
Howard, marked Mr. Griswold's
birthday anniversary Tuesday. Last
Sunday, however, both sons and
their wives and other relatives gathered
at Marion's house in Silver Creek for a family celebration,
complete with cake. Mr. Griswold
liked it fine, had two pieces of cake,
and is looking forward to another such get-together - next year.
The unidentified picture below was found in with some pix of L. D. Griswold. It says 1903 on the back. Could it be Uncle Herman's shoestore in Fredonia? The one at 7 E. Main St? At that address now is the Danza! Performing Arts Academy. I asked Krista Taylor, Artistic Director there if she'd be kind enough to take a look for me and here's what she said: "I did take a look, unfortunately it has changed significantly over the years so it is difficult to identify. The lighting fixtures look similar to the original on the third floor where we are located."