Obituary Details

Nellie Griffith

(11/07/1888 - 05/02/1955)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 05/05/1955

Nellie Griffith, Lusk Herald Co-publisher, Dies Monday

Mrs. James B. Griffith, 66, co-publisher with her husband of The Lusk Herald, died quietly Monday morning about 9:00 o'clock at the Spencer Hospital of a heart condition from which she had grown increasingly ill for the past year.

Funeral services will be held from the Congregational Church this Thursday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock with the Rev. Jacob Nein, pastor, officiating. Interment will be made in the Lusk Cemetery.

Nellie Snyder Griffith is a native of Niobrara County, born November 7, 1888 on the old LZ Ranch about 15 miles east of Lusk. She was the eldest daughter of Mary Vincent and Harry Chase Snyder. Her parents were among the pioneer settlers of Wyoming. Her mother came to the Territory in 1884, and was one of the first school teachers in eastern Wyoming. Her father came to the state about 1882 from Texas with a trail herd. At the time of Mrs. Griffith's birth he was manager of the LZ ranch. A few years later he moved his family to Lusk where the children could have the advantages of school.

Mrs. Griffith received the public school education in Lusk and attended the University of Wyoming several terms. She was president of Alpha Omega sorority which was later affiliated with the Pi Beta Phi Sorority.

On August 28, 1910 she was married to Martin Codding Agnew of Lusk, and to them were born two daughters, "Polly" who now is Mrs. Lyle M. Tysor of Cheyenne, and Mary Lou, now Mrs. Robert F. Canady of Washington, D. C.

Begins Newspaper Work

In 1919 at the beginning of the oil boom Mr. Agnew and his brother-in-law, Ralph Olinger, purchased the Lusk Herald from Mr. and Mrs. G. C. Forsythe. The following year, July 27, 1920, Mr. Agnew died. Soon afterward his wife took editorial and management responsibilities of the newspaper and has retained an active interest since. In fact until less than a year ago she was actively writing for the paper.

On April 4, 1926 she was married to James B. Griffith of Casper and moved to Laredo, Tex. Where her husband was engaged in establishing a new daily newspaper, and where their son James B. Griffith, Jr. was born.

In February, 1927, the Griffith family returned to Lusk which has since been their home to this time. They lived in Cheyenne from 1938 to 1942 during the period of Mr. Griffith's term of Wyoming State Land Commissioner.

During a life time, the greater part of which was played in Lusk, she was foremost in many of the activities for the betterment of the community.

She was a charter member of Luke Vorhees Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and when the land for the present George Washington Park was acquired by that society, she donated one of the town lots which is part of the site.

She was a charter member of Chapter 1. P.E.O. Sisterhood, organized in 1920, and one of the first to be a member of the new Niobrara Chapter No. 26, Order of Eastern Star, organized in 1911.

Following closely in a mother's footsteps, the same words can well be repeated that were written in the history of Mary V. Snyder: "It was especially appropriate that she should find her last resting place amid the surroundings which had been home to her for so many years and near the scene where she had spent such a happy, busy, and useful life-in the Territory that she had seen come into the full flower of statehood and develop so amazingly during the span of years she had lived within it's boundaries."

In fact Nellie Griffith was one of the beautifiers of the Lusk Cemetery in which she is to be laid to rest. She with Mrs. Violet Joss were appointed to this task and she watched it grow from a piece of barren prairie to a place of beauty. Many of the trees which are now beginning to leaf out were originally transplanted from the yard of her home.

Mrs. Griffith is survived by her husband, James B. Griffith, Sr.; two sisters, Mrs. R. I. Olinger of Lusk, and Mrs. Veda Stratton, Elko, Nev.; three children, Mrs. "Polly" Tysor, Cheyenne, Mrs. Mary Lucille Canady, Washington D.C., and James Griffith Jr., Lusk; two step-daughters Mrs. Dorothy Vaughan, Bowling Green, Ohio, and Mrs. Mary G. Bruner, Washington, D.C.; eleven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

The Lusk Herald
May 12, 1955
Funeral Services For Mrs. Griffith Held Here May 5

First Congregational Church was crowded to capacity Thursday afternoon as people from this community and away sought to pay final tribute to Mrs. James B. Griffith, Sr. who had died May 2.

The front of the church was blanketed in a floral display that many declared the most beautiful they had ever seen. The brief rites were conducted by the Rev. Jacob Nein, pastor. Music was provided by the Church choir under the direction of Mrs. Dale M. Bardo, and by Mrs. Gerald Bardo, organist. The choir sang, "God Shall Wipe Away All Tears", by Romo and the hymn, "O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go." Because several male members of the choir could not be present, it was assisted by Howard DeCastro and Denis Culver.

Active pallbearers were George Gibson, C. E. Marvin, Walter Fernau, Arthur Dalgarno, Max Bird, and Roy Chamberlain. Honorary pallbearers were Thomas O. Miller, E. M. Criss, Carl Spacht, Hans Gautschi, P. P. Brown, Harold Gautschi, Arthur Rugg, Lafe Culver, Roscoe Kilmer, S. W. Boyd, John Agnew, former Governor Nels Smith, and Secretary of State Everette T. Copenhaver.

The body was laid to rest in the Lusk Cemetery which Mrs. Griffith had helped so much to beautify from bare prairie. In the beautifully warm day only the song of bird broke the quietness during the last prayers.

All of the immediate family were present. From away were: Mrs. Ray Vaughan of Bowling Green, Ohio; Mrs. Mary Brunner, Washington, D. C.; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Canaday and children, Washington, D. C.; Mr. and Mrs. Lyle M. Tysor, Cheyenne; Mr. and Mrs. Otto Stratton, Elko, Nev.; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas McCue, Cheyenne.

Among the out-of-town friends and relatives not already mentioned were: Mrs. Victor Donahue, Douglas; Vincent Carter, Casper; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Wolfe and Elizabeth Mayes, Jay Em; Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Foreman, Laramie; Miss Helen Dae LeBar, Douglas; Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Berry, Newcastle; and Mrs. and Mrs. Earl Updike, Rapid City; Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Newton and Mrs. Elsie Bardo, Lander.

From Cheyenne came State Treasurer Charles B. Morgan, Mr. and Mrs. Ewing T. Kerr, Harry B. Henderson, Paul Godfrey, State Examiner Norris E. Hartwell, Wm. "Scotty" Jack, E. S. MacClean, P. J. Owens, and Mr. and Mrs. Glenn I. Willson. ``

Images & Attachments

Nellie Snyder Griffith
The Snyder Sisters - Vira (Olinger), Veda (Stratton) and Nellie (Griffith)

Gravestone pictures courtesy of Joshua Brackett's Eagle Scout Project

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