History of Idaho, Volume 2, by Hiram T. French, M.S.
The Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago and New York 1914, Page 748-749
Leonard Griffith, one of the popular business men of Fruitland, Idaho, is one of a number of young men from Iowa that have sought and found business opportunity in Idaho. He became identified with Fruitland in 1909 when he opened the first drug store in the village, and from that time to the present he has labored with energy and an enterprising spirit in the building up of his private interests and in promoting the growth and development of his community. When the call for volunteers was made in 1898 for the Spanish-American war, Leonard Griffith promptly responded to the call with thousands of other young men, who thus gave convincing proof that there has been no decadence in the patriotic ardor of American young manhood.
Born August 4, 1876, at Montezuma, Poweshiek county, Iowa, he is a son of John A. Griffith, now residing at Ballantine, near Billings, Montana. The latter is a native of Ohio and came to Iowa along in the '50's, thus becoming one of the early pioneers of that state. At the outbreak of the Civil war he went into the Union service as a member of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry under Co. Edward F. Winslow. This was one of the distinguished cavalry regiments of the West and took a conspicuous part in Grant's great campaign against Vicksburg, being, until long after Vicksburg was invested, the only regiment of cavalry in that army and in a state of incessant activity under the daily urgent calls for cavalry service. On Sherman's march from Port Gibson to Jackson, Mississippi, the Fourth Iowa Cavalry formed the advance guard, holding a post of honor in front of Sherman's corps, while from Jackson to Vicksburg it was in the rear-guard of the whole army, keeping back its pursuers.
After three years of brilliant service the regiment was mustered out at Atlanta, Georgia, and carried home with it a name and a fame of which not only its members, but all Iowa was proud. As a member of this valorous regiment, John A. Griffith saw long and hard service but was never wounded or taken prisoner. He also had two brothers in the service, one of whom died in Andersonville prison and the other of whom was a captain in a Kansas regiment. He took a prominent part in Republican political affairs while a resident of Iowa, but was prompted in this activity only by a desire for good government, for he never sought or held public office. By profession he is a druggist, though he is a graduate of law but never took up its active practice. Mary Terrell Griffith, the mother of our subject, was born in Ohio and was married in Iowa, whither she had accompanied her parents along in the latter '50's. She too, is yet living.
Three children came to these parents, namely: Lillie, now Mrs. A. E. Alcorn, of Ballantine, Montana; Leonard Griffith, the immediate subject of this review; and G. C. Griffith, a druggist at Parma, Idaho. It will be noted that both sons have taken up the profession of the father, that of a pharmacist.
Leonard Griffith graduated from the high school at What Cheer, Iowa, in 1894, and following that completed a course in pharmacy at the Highland Park College, Des Moines, Iowa. After leaving college he returned to the parental home, but at the outbreak of the Spanish-American war he enlisted as a private in the Forty-ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry and was in active service in the Seventh Army Corps under Gen. Fitzhugh Lee until discharged in Jacksonville, Florida, on account of sickness. While on detached service he was a clerk for a major surgeon in the army and in that capacity wrote a number of articles on the sanitary conditions of the United States army. After his return from Florida he came to Nampa, Idaho, in 1901 and there entered the employ of Colonel Dewey, with whom he remained six years.. The following two years were spent as a drug clerk at Goldfield, Nevada, from whence he came to Fruitland, Idaho in August, 1909, and established his present drug store there, the first of its kind in the village.
It proved a profitable venture from the start and is today a very prosperous business. In politics Mr. Griffith gives allegiance to the Republican party and is active in its behalf. While a resident of Iowa he served one term as deputy surveyor of Keokuk county. He is a member of the Fruitland Commercial Club, and fraternally is a charter member of the Nampa, Idaho, lodge of the Order of Eagles. Among Idaho's many attractions to him are the opportunities it affords for our door sports, for he is very fond of hunting and fishing and other similar forms of recreation.
At Marshalltown, Iowa, Mr. Griffith was married in February, 1900, to Miss Lenna Rupson, who was born in Brooklyn, Iowa, and is a daughter of Charles Rupson. Mrs. Griffith is a member of the Baptist church and is a prominent worker in the church and social circles of Fruitland.