Stephen Griffing – Soldier, Father and Farmer
Thurman's story would be incomplete without mentioning Stephen Griffing, a commissioned officer in the colonial army, who moved here after the war. He and his wife, Elizabeth Uhle, had owned a fine farm in Duchess County, but when they heard glowing reports of the rich farmland in this new area, they decided to pack up their possessions and their first nine children, and relocate to a 240 acre farm they had bought for $1,000 silver from John Backus, a Tory who was disenchanted with the new republic. The home Griffing completed in 1804 (now designated as 792 State Route 418) originally stood with its side to the river and faced Northeast.
Stephen Griffing, having bought the Richardson Thurman farm to his north, gave it to his son William, who tore down the Richardson Thurman house and replaced it with the one that remains in use today. It passed through several Griffing hands before leaving the family early in the 1900s. It is one of our few working farms in Thurman.
Stephen’s own farm was divided in 1821 between sons Nathanial and Henry. Stephen died at age 87 in 1841, and was buried beside many of his kin in the Griffing burial ground just south of his home, on the corner of Athol Road.