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Nathan Kirk Griggs, 1844-1910


RG1873.AM:  Nathan Kirk Griggs, 1844-1910

Papers:  1874-1915
Beatrice, Gage County and Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.; Chemnitz, Germany:  Lawyer, politician
Size:  38.5 cu.ft. and 1 reel of microfilm

BACKGROUND NOTE

Nathan Kirk Griggs was born in Frankfort, Indiana, Oct. 25, 1844. When his father, Lucien D. Griggs died, his mother, Mary T. Griggs, moved into the country a short distance from Frankfort where the children received a common school education. At age seventeen Nathan Griggs began to teach school and continued that vocation for four years in Clinton County, Indiana. He then entered the law school of the University of Indiana, completing the full two-year course in one year. He graduated in the spring of 1867 with a Bachelor of Laws degree. The next spring he moved with his mother to Pawnee County, Nebraska where an elder brother had already located. After deciding that he wished to live in Beatrice, Nathan walked there from Pawnee County. His mother soon followed and homesteaded on the land that now forms the Glenover addition to Beatrice. A number of years later Nathan and his mother moved to Lincoln. She died there on January 29, 1904.

On December 25, 1869, Griggs married Elsie E. Saunders of Delphi, Indiana. In Beatrice he began legal practice and soon became one of the leading citizens. From law to politics was a short step, and his political abilities were recognized when he was chosen president of the State Republican Convention, a position he filled many times. In 1871 he was elected to the Nebraska Constitutional Convention and in 1872 he was elected to the state Senate. By a majority of 6,500 he was re-elected in 1874, and unanimously chosen president of the Senate the following year.

Without any solicitation on Griggs' part, President Grant appointed him Consul to Chemnitz, Germany in 1876. On his return to Beatrice in 1882 he resumed his law practice. In 1890 the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad appointed him attorney for its northwestern division which included the states of South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and western Nebraska. To be nearer the Burlington headquarters, he moved to Lincoln in 1893, residing there until his death.

In addition to his political career, Griggs became well known to the general public as a poet and composer. His first collection of poems, The Lillies was followed by his Collection, which was favorably received by the public. Other poetic works included Lyrics of the Lariat, Hell's Canyon and Wails of the Wild. His Voices of the Winds, a series of songs, was widely published.

On Sept. 4, 1910 Griggs was found dead in the berth of a train car on his way to the northwest to prosecute some railroad cases. He died of heart failure.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

This collection is arranged in six series: 1) Legal Correspondence, 1888-1900; 2) Letter Press Books, 1874-1915; 3) Legal Material, 1882-1900; 4) Financial Material, 1888-1900; 5) Miscellaneous; and 6) Dispatches From Chemnitz, Germany, 1874-1882 [microfilm].

The bulk of this collection consists of legal correspondence relating to the law firm of Griggs, Rinaker & Bibb, 1888-1904. These files consist almost entirely of correspondence and legal material. The correspondence is arranged by year, month and alphabetical designation. Some correspondence, found in the letterpress books, relates to Griggs appointment as Consul to Chemnitz, Germany, 1876-1882. Very little of this correspondence has any political nature but deals primarily with his daily activities as Consul.

The first series of legal material relates almost entirely to the law firm of Griggs, Rinaker & Bibb. The legal correspondence found in the early letter press books deals with Griggs first law partners such as: Griggs & Dobbs, Griggs & Ashley, Griggs & Enlow. One letter book, Sept. 11, 1889 - June 4, 1892, documents Griggs' involvement as attorney for the northwestern division of the C.B. & Q. Railroad. The letter books dating from Dec. 11, 1888 - July 2, 1892, relate to Smith Bros. Loan & Trust Co. & 1st National Bank, Griggs, Rinaker & Bibb attorneys.

Note:  See the Portrait collection [RG2411.PH] for images of Nathan K. Griggs. See the NSHS Library Catalog and the Nebraska History index for published materials by and about Nathan K. Griggs.

DESCRIPTION

Series 1 - Legal Correspondence, 1888-1900

Box 1: 1888-1889(A-G)
Box 2: 1889(H-R)
Box 3: 1889(S)-1890(B)
Box 4: 1890(C-K)
Box 5: 1890(L-T)
Box 6: 1890(U)-1891(C)
Box 7: 1891(D-K)
Box 8: 1891(L-R)
Box 9: 1891(S-Z)
Box 10: 1892(A-C)
Box 11: 1892(D-H)
Box 12: 1892(I-O)
Box 13: 1892(P-S)
Box 14: 1892(T)-1893(B)
Box 15: 1893(C-D)
Box 16: 1893(E-I)
Box 17: 1893(J-N)
Box 18: 1893(O-S)
Box 19: 1893(T)-1894(B)
Box 20: 1894(C-D)
Box 21: 1894(E-K)
Box 22: 1894(L-R)
Box 23: 1894(S-Z)
Box 24: 1895(A-C)
Box 25: 1895(D-G)
Box 26: 1895(H-M, June)
Box 27: 1895(M, July-S, Feb.)
Box 28: 1895(S, Mar.-W, May)
Box 29: 1895(W, June)-1896(C)
Box 30: 1896(D-G)
Box 31: 1896(H-L)
Box 32: 1896(N-S)
Box 33: 1896(T)-1897(B)
Box 34: 1897(C-G)
Box 35: 1897(H-P)
Box 36: 1897(R)-1898(B)
Box 37: 1898(C-L)
Box 38: 1898(M-Z)
Box 39: 1899(A-F)
Box 40: 1899(G-R)
Box 41: 1899(Q)-1900(E)
Box 42: 1900(F-W)
Box 43: n.d.(A-U)

Series 2 - Letter Press Books, 1874-1915

Box 44
Volume
  1. 1874, Jan. 24-Dec. 31; Contains correspondence of law firm of Griggs & Ashley. Legal and Political correspondence follows, 1882, Oct.-Dec. After his return from Germany. Correspondence signed N.K. Griggs, Griggs & Dobbs, Griggs & King.
  2. 1875, Jan. 1-Oct. 21; Correspondence of law firm Griggs & Ashley. Most correspondence signed N.K. Griggs only.
  3. 1875, Oct. 24 - 1876, Apr. 18; Legal correspondence N.K. Griggs.
  4. 1876, Apr. 18 - 1877, Aug. 6; Legal correspondence N.K. Griggs, Griggs & Enlow.
Box 45
Volume
  1. 1876, Nov. 10 - 1877, July 6; Begins duties as Consul to Chemnitz, Germany. Page 83 begins a 10 page account of Griggs' trip to Germany and his travels in Europe.
  2. 1877, July 7 - 1878, Feb. 25; Consul to Germany. Govt.- Business
  3. 1879, Apr. 4 - 1880, Sept. 30; Consul to Germany. Govt.- Business. Page 235 detailed report showing state of trade in the Consular Dist. of Chemnitz during the year ending Sept. 30, 1880.
  4. 1880, Oct. 29 - 1882, Mar.; 1st letter to John Hay Asst. Sec. of State. Consul to Germany. Govt. - Business
  5. 1889, Sept. 22-Dec; Some material on Consulate but most of it is after Griggs return home.
  6. 1882, Dec. 14, - 1884, May 27; Griggs & Dobbs Legal correspondence
Box 46
Volume
  1. 1884, Jan. 29 - 1885, Apr. 15; Legal correspondence. N.K. Griggs
  2. 1885, Apr. 16 - 1886, Aug. 20; Legal correspondence. Griggs & Rinaker.
  3. 1886, Aug. 21 - 1887, Nov. 21; Legal correspondence. Griggs & Rinaker.
  4. 1886, Aug. 23 - 1889, May 30; Legal correspondence. Griggs & Rinaker.
Box 47
Volume
  1. 1887, Dec. 5 - 1889, Jan. 7; Legal correspondence. Griggs & Rinaker.
  2. 1889, Jan. 7-Sept. 10; Legal correspondence. Griggs & Rinaker.
  3. 1889, Sept. 10 - 1890, Feb. 11; Legal correspondence. Griggs & Rinaker.
  4. 1890, Feb. 11-May 7; Legal correspondence. Griggs & Rinaker.
Box 48
Volume
  1. 1890, May 7-Oct. 8; Legal correspondence. Griggs & Rinaker.
  2. 1890, Oct. 8 - 1891, Mar. 6; Legal correspondence. Griggs & Rinaker; Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  3. 1888, July 25 - 1891, Mar. 19; Legal correspondence. R.S. Bibb, Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  4. 1890, Nov 12 - 1891, Mar. 17; Legal correspondence. R.S. Bibb & Griggs, Rinaker & Bibb.
Box 49
Volume
  1. 1891, Mar. 19-Oct. 2; Legal correspondence. Griggs, Rinaker & Bibb. Ans. Of Chas. B. Holt, James Myers & J.D. Myers wife. Affidavits in case of Chas. L. Schell v. City of Beatrice.
  2. 1891, Oct. 3 - 1892, Apr. 23; Legal correspondence. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  3. 1892, Apr. 23-Aug. 17; Legal correspondence. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
Box 50
Volume
  1. 1892, Aug. 17-Oct. 13; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  2. 1892, Oct. 13 - 1893, Feb. 6; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb Receipts to July 6.
  3. 1893, Feb. 6.-Apr. 10; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  4. 1893, Apr. 11-June 3; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
Box 51
Volume
  1. 1893, June 3-Aug. 19; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  2. 1893, Aug. 19-Nov. 10; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  3. 1893, Nov. 10 - 1894, Jan. 16; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
Box 52
Volume
  1. 1894, Jan. 16-Apr. 30; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  2. 1894, Apr. 30-Oct. 11; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
Box 53
Volume
  1. 1894, Oct. 11 - 1895, Feb. 9; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  2. 1895, Feb. 9-July 26; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
Box 54
Volume
  1. 1895, July 26 - 1896, Jan. 15; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  2. 1896, Jan. 15-July 10; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
Box 55
Volume
  1. 1896, July 10-Dec. 31; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  2. 1896, Dec. 31 - 1897, July 3; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
Box 56
Volume
  1. 1897, July 3 - 1898, Jan. 7,; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  2. 1898, Jan. 7-July 15; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
Box 57
Volume
  1. 1898, July 15 - 1899, Jan. 23; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  2. 1899, Jan. 23-Oct. 26; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
Box 58
Volume
  1. 1899, Oct. 26 - 1900, Aug. 14; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  2. 1900, Aug. 14 - 1901, June 18; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
Box 59
Volume
  1. 1901, June 18 - 1902, Apr. 2; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  2. 1902, Apr. 2 - 1903, Aug. 11; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
Box 60
Volume
  1. 1903, Aug. 11 - 1904, June 14; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  2. 1904, June 14-20; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  3. 1904, June 20 - 1905, Apr. 12; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
Box 61
Volume
  1. 1905, Apr. 12 - 1906, Jan. 20; Legal Corres. Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  2. 1906, Jan. 20-Aug. 18; Legal Corres. Rinaker & Bibb.
Box 62
Volume
  1. 1906, Aug. 18 - 1907, Apr. 5; Rinaker & Bibb.
  2. 1907, Apr. 5-Dec. 6; Legal Corres. Samuel Rinaker.
Box 63
Volume
  1. 1907, Dec. 6 - 1908, May 26; Legal Corres. Rinaker
  2. 1908, May 26 - 1909, Jan. 8; Legal Corres. Rinaker
Box 64
Volume
  1. 1909, Jan. 8-June 12; Legal Corres. Rinaker & Kidd.
  2. 1909, June 14-Nov. 11; Legal Corres. Rinaker & Kidd.
Box 65
Volume
  1. 1909, Nov. 11 - 1910, Mar. 19; Legal Corres. Rinaker & Kidd.
  2. 1910, Mar. 19-Aug. 15; Legal Corres. Rinaker & Kidd.
Box 66
Volume
  1. 1910, Aug. 15 - 1911, Jan. 27; Legal Corres. Rianker & Kidd.
  2. 1911, Jan. 27-June 20; Legal Corres. Rinaker & Kidd.
Box 67
Volume
  1. 1911, June 20-Dec. 8; Legal Corres. Rinaker & Kidd.
  2. 1911, Dec. 8 - 1912, Apr. 30; Legal Corres. Rinaker & Kidd.
Box 68
Volume
  1. 1912, May 1-Nov. 1; Legal Corres. Rinaker & Kidd.
  2. 1912, Nov. 1 - 1913, Mar. 1; Legal Corres. Rinaker & Kidd.
Box 69
Volume
  1. 1913, Mar. 1-Aug. 13; Legal Corres. Rinaker & Kidd.
  2. 1913, Aug. 13 - 1914, Jan 1; Legal Corres. Rinaker & Kidd.
Box 70
Volume
  1. 1914, Jan. 1-Apr. 22; Legal Corres. Rinaker & Kidd.
  2. 1914, Apr. 22-Sept. 15; Legal Corres. Rinaker & Kidd.
Box 71
Volume
  1. 1914, Sept. 15 - 1915, Apr. 22; Legal Corres. Rinaker & Kidd.
  2. 1888, Dec. 11 - 1890, Oct.; Smith Bros. Loan & Trust Co. & 1st National Bank, Griggs, Rinaker & Bibb attorneys.
  3. 1890, Oct. 7 - 1892, Jan. 19; Smith Bros. Loan & Trust Co. & 1st National Bank.
  4. 1891, Dec. 21 - 1892, July 2; Smith Bros. Loan & Trust Co. & 1st National Bank.
Box 72
Volume
  1. 1889, Sept. 11 - 1892, June 4; Railroad Book, Corres. Griggs.

Series 3 - Legal Material, 1882-1900

Volume
  1. Approx. 1882-1886, Pleadings & Readings. Griggs & others.
  2. Legal Reports, 1889-1894, Griggs, Rinaker, & Bibb.
  3. Legal Papers, Pleadings, Petitions, etc. 1891-1892
Box 73
Folder
  1. 1888-1889
  2. 1890
  3. 1890
  4. 1891
  5. 1892
  6. 1893
  7. 1894
  8. 1895
  9. 1896
  10. 1898
  11. 1899
  12. 1900

Series 4 - Financial Material, 1888-1900

Box 74
Folder
  1. Receipts, 1888-1889
  2. Cancelled Checks, 1888-1889
  3. Receipts, 1890
  4. Receipts, 1890
  5. Cancelled Checks, 1890
  6. Receipts, 1891
  7. Cancelled Checks, 1891
Box 75
Folder
  1. Receipts, 1892
  2. Receipts, 1892
  3. Cancelled Checks, 1892
  4. Receipts, 1893
  5. Receipts, 1893
  6. Receipts, 1893
  7. Cancelled Checks, 1893
Box 76
Folder
  1. Receipts, 1894
  2. Receipts, 1894
  3. Cash Receipts, 1894
  4. Receipts, 1895
  5. Cash Receipts, 1895
  6. Receipts, 1896
  7. Receipts, 1897
  8. Receipts, 1898
  9. Receipts, 1899
  10. Receipts, 1900

Series 5 - Miscellaneous

Box 77
Folder
  1. Misc. Advertisements, brochures, calling cards, etc.
  2. N.K. Griggs certificates of membership to the Nebraska Territorial Pioneers' Association; Nebraska State Historical Society.

Series 6 - Dispatches from Chemnitz, Germany, 1874-1882

Reel 1: Dispatches, 1874, December 31 - 1882, November 28

 

ADDED ENTRIES:

Chemnitz (Germany) -- History
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad
Griggs, Nathan Kirk, 1844-1910
Griggs, Rinaker & Bibb
Griggs & Ashley
Griggs & Dobbs
Griggs & Enlow
Lawyers -- Nebraska
Politicians -- Nebraska
Smith Bros. Loan & Trust Company

 

Encoded TMM   04-13-2010

 

For additional information about this collection, please contact our Library Staff.


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