July 12, 1999
MENTZ — John Griggs lived at the dawn of the American republic.
He emigrated to the United States from Germany as a young man, fought in three wars on American soil, served under Gen. George Washington, and lived for 110 years from 1724 to 1834, an unusually long lifespan for his times.
Between wars, he started a family with his wife, Molly.
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That family still thrives today, generations removed from their founding father.
Dozens of Griggs' descendants gathered Sunday at the Dixon-Willson Cemetery for the unveiling of Griggs' new headstone at his final resting place. The family reunion, organized by Sharon Griggs Stewart, brought together family members from eight states, including Oregon, Utah and California.
"I think the Lord wanted it done," Stewart said, as she looked out among her kin gathered in the cemetery, many of whom she had never met before beginning her genealogical study.