AN INTERIOR VIEW OF W. D. GROFF'S WELL
APPOINTED JEWELRY STORE.
The Groffs are among the old settlers of Cloud county. V.H. Groff, a brother of the subject of this sketch came to Kansas in 1866, and took up a homestead on Upton creek, near the present town of Hollis, where he lived several years and was a comrade of such old hunters and trappers as Jack Billings and Root Foster. His wife died in December, 1900, his children were all married and living in homes of their own and in the autumn of 1901 he entered the Soldiers' Home at Leavenworth. His children offered him a home but he preferred that institution. He contracted rheumatism from exposure while on hunting expeditions and is practically disabled. He is sixty-six years of age. The Groffs are Pennsylvania Dutch, having settled in Chester county in the pioneer days, but subsequently located near Harrisburg.
W.D. Groff came to Clyde in 1885, having previously lived in Illinois two years, and established a jewelry store in Clyde. With the exception of three years when his eyes would not permit of his working, he has been a jeweler forty-three years. During the interim mentioned he worked at carpentering until the death of Jeff Nye, with whom he was associated, and after various changes and vicissitudes he established a jewelry store, and by degrees has built up a successful business.
Mr. and Mrs. Groff are the parents of nine children, six of whom are living, viz: William, a station agent at Dennison, Texas, Francis G. was water commissioner of Clyde for several years, but is now an employe of the Clyde creamery. Lizzie A., unmarried and living at home. Jennie, wife of Charles Garwood, a farmer of Elk township. Sarah M., wife of G.M. Wheat, station agent on the Nelson branch at Gladstone, Nebraska. Samuel, a young man of seventeen, is on his second year in the high school.
Mr. Groff served in the Civil war in Company A, Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers. Out of his regiment one hundred and twenty-seven, including himself, were captured at the battle of Gettysburg. He was paroled but not exchanged, consequently re-enlisted in Company A, two hundred and tenth Pennsylvania in September, 1864, served until the close of the war and was mustered out at Arlington Heights. Mr. Groff saw active service, was in both battles of Gravelly Run, Five Forks, Boydton Plank Road, Appomattox and Gettysburg, where the bullets rained like hail. His brother, V.H. Groff, was in the eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
Mr. Groff and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he is treasurer. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the Modern Woodmen of America. Politically Mr. Groff is a Republican. Mrs. Groff is an industrious woman and has been her husband's helpmate in the truest sense of the word. She is a dressmaker, carries on an establishment and is an artist in this line. As a jeweler Mr. Groff receives his share of patronage and carries a full line of goods such as are usually found in a first class jewelry store, consisting of silver and a full line of ornamental ware. As a citizen he is among the most highly esteemed in his town and a man who is interested in all educational and religious enterprises and works faithfully for the interest of any cause pertaining to the welfare of his town or community.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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