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Griffin, Georgia
Griffin City Hall
Griffin City Hall
Nickname(s): 
"The Iris City"
Motto(s): 
Growing, Together
Location in Spalding County and the state of Georgia
Location in Spalding County and the state of Georgia
Country United States
State Georgia
County Spalding
Area
 • Total 14.12 sq mi (36.57 km2)
 • Land 13.98 sq mi (36.22 km2)
 • Water 0.14 sq mi (0.35 km2)
Elevation
978 ft (298 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 23,478
 • Density 1,678.80/sq mi (648.18/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
30223-30224
Area code(s) 770
FIPS code 13-35324
GNIS feature ID 0356111
Website http://www.cityofgriffin.com/

Griffin is a city in and the county seat of Spalding County, Georgia. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. As of the 2020 census, the city had a population of 23,478.

Griffin was founded in 1840 and named for landowner Col. Lewis Lawrence Griffin.

Griffin Technical College was located in Griffin from 1963 and a branch of Southern Crescent Technical College is in Griffin. The Griffin Synodical Female College was established by Presbyterians but closed. The University of Georgia maintains a branch campus in Griffin.

History

The Macon and Western Railroad was extended to a new station in Griffin in 1842.

In 1938, Alma Lovell had been distributing religious Bible tracts as a Jehovah's Witness but was arrested for violating a city ordinance requiring prior permission for distributing literature. In Lovell v. City of Griffin, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the city had violated her First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Building N Hill E Solomon St, Griffin
Building on East Solomon Street (dated 1894) in Griffin

The Griffin Commercial Historic District, among the National Register of Historic Places listings in Spalding County, Georgia) is generally bounded by Central Alley, Sixth Street, Taylor Street and Eighth Street. The district includes the Griffin Grocery Company Building, now the Griffin Regional Welcome Center.

Spanish–American War

Griffin raised two batteries of Field Artillery for the Spanish–American War, Batteries A and B, Georgia Volunteer Light Artillery, which was organized as follows:

  • Mustered In: 13–15 May 1898 at Griffin, Georgia
  • Mustered Out: 17 October 1898 at Griffin, Georgia
  • Mustered In:
Officers: 8
Enlisted Men: 246
  • Mustered Out:
Officers: 7
Enlisted Men: 308
  • Total Number Accounted for on Muster Out Roll:
Officers: 8
Enlisted Men: 333

One of the officers resigned before the unit was mustered out. Three of the enlisted men transferred to other units, six were discharged for disability, ten were discharged for various reasons, two died of disease, and four deserted. Neither unit actually left Griffin.

Geography

Griffin is located at 33°14′51″N 84°16′15″W / 33.24750°N 84.27083°W / 33.24750; -84.27083 (33.247602, -84.270891). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.6 square miles (38 km2), of which 14.5 square miles (38 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.55%) is water.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 2,320
1860 2,855 23.1%
1870 3,421 19.8%
1880 3,620 5.8%
1890 4,503 24.4%
1900 6,857 52.3%
1910 7,478 9.1%
1920 8,240 10.2%
1930 10,321 25.3%
1940 13,222 28.1%
1950 13,982 5.7%
1960 21,735 55.4%
1970 22,734 4.6%
1980 20,728 −8.8%
1990 21,347 3.0%
2000 23,451 9.9%
2010 23,643 0.8%
2020 23,478 −0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Griffin racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 8,658 36.88%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 12,383 52.74%
Native American 56 0.24%
Asian 254 1.08%
Pacific Islander 10 0.04%
Other/Mixed 886 3.77%
Hispanic or Latino 1,231 5.24%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 23,478 people, 8,945 households, and 5,347 families residing in the city.

Sports and recreation

The Spalding County Pickleball Association (SCPA) located at Wyomia Tyus Olympic Park. The SCPA operate, develop and manage programs at the Spalding County Pickleball Complex. The courts are open to the public.

Spalding County Special Olympics Bowling Team bowl every Thursday afternoons from September through March at Magnolia Lanes Bowling Alley.

The Spalding County Leisure Services Department offers youth sports programs including Baseball, Basketball, Fast Pitch Softball, Soccer, and Swimming. For adult Spalding County offers softball, kickball and Adult Basketball Leagues: Men’s Open and Men’s Industrial.

There are 21 golf courses around Griffin, Georgia

Spalding County was named disc golf capital of the southeast, being home to 4 courses.

The Griffin Warriors, a World Basketball Association team, played at the high school in 2006.

Griffin, during the "golden ages" of baseball hosted several minor league class D teams. Griffin Lightfoots, Georgia-Alabama League (1915–1916) Griffin Griffs, Georgia-Alabama League (1917) Griffin, Georgia State League (1920) Griffin, Georgia State League (1921) Griffin Pimientos, Georgia-Alabama League (1947–1949, 1951) (class d affiliate to the St. Louis Browns) Griffin Tigers, Georgia-Alabama League (1950)

Citizens of note

  • Bill Anderson - country singer who was born in South Carolina and grew up in Griffin
  • Edward Andrews - film and television actor (born in Griffin)
  • Tim Beckham - professional baseball player who was first overall pick in 2008 Major League Baseball draft after attending Griffin High School (born in Griffin)
  • James S. Boynton- (May 7, 1833 – December 22, 1902) was an American politician and jurist. Boynton briefly served as the 51st Governor of Georgia from 1883 after the death of governor Alexander Stephens. At the time of Stephens death, Boynton was serving as the president of the Georgia Senate so he assumed the governorship. His additional political service included the office of Mayor of Griffin, Georgia. Boynton also served as a judge in the Spalding County, Georgia Court, and the Flint Circuit Superior Court. He was born in Henry County, Georgia and moved to Griffin in 1865. Boynton died at his home in Griffin in 1902 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in that same city.
  • Jody Breeze - a rapper who has worked with Gucci Mane, Gorilla Zoe, Boyz N Da Hood.
  • Charlie Clemons- football player who played for several different National Football League teams; member of the St. Louis Rams team that won Super Bowl XXXIV and is uncle of Nic Clemons and Chris Clemons
  • Chris Clemons - NFL defensive end and brother of Nic Clemons; played college football for University of Georgia and was a member of Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seattle Seahawks
  • Nic Clemons - defensive end for the Denver Broncos
  • Elbert Dubenion - football wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills
  • Rick Dyer- Bigfoot enthusiast who is known for his high-profile Bigfoot hoaxes. Bigfoot Hunter and Founder of ProjectSasquatch.com 2014
  • John J. Eagan (ACIPCO) - (born April 22, 1870, in Griffin, Georgia; died March 30, 1924, in Asheville, North Carolina) was an American industrialist and co-founder of the American Cast Iron Pipe Company (ACIPCO).
  • Jack Flynt - lawyer and U.S. Congressman from Spalding County (born in Griffin)
  • Willie Gault - NFL wide receiver and Olympic athlete; Gault played 11 seasons for the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Raiders
  • Nick Hamilton - pro wrestling referee
  • Darrin Hancock - basketball player who played with the 1993 Final Four University of Kansas, the NBA, and various minor league teams after graduating from Griffin High School
  • Doc Holliday - iconic figure of the American West and friend of Wyatt Earp, was born in Griffin on August 14, 1851. In Griffin, Georgia is a museum dedicated to Holliday.
  • Jan Kemp - an academic who exposed the bias of passing college football players at the University of Georgia
  • Sidney Lanier - poet, lawyer and musician lived in Griffin as a child after his birth in Macon; he wrote the poem, "Corn" in Sunnyside, Georgia, several miles north of Griffin
  • John McIntosh Kell - Executive Officer of the CSS Alabama, and later served as Adjutant General of Georgia, born in Darien, Georgia. Lived in Griffin in his later life until his death in 1900.
  • Lauren-Ashley - country singer
  • Sonia Leigh - country singer-songwriter, signed by Zac Brown's Southern Ground recording label, attended Griffin High School
  • Sherrod Martin - NFL defensive back for the Carolina Panthers
  • Josh Pace - Syracuse University basketball guard during the school's first National Championship in 2003; he currently plays professional basketball overseas
  • Bobby Rainey - running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and in college for Western Kentucky
  • June Shannon- television reality star and mother of Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson
  • Ben Talley - American football player
  • Dox Thrash - printmaker and painter, helped invent carborundum technique, born in Griffin in 1893
  • Jessie Tuggle - football linebacker who played his entire career with the Atlanta Falcons; played in college at Valdosta State after graduating from Griffin High School
  • Wyomia Tyus - athlete, Olympic gold medalist, first woman to retain the Olympic title in the 100m (born in Griffin)
  • Rayfield Wright - Hall of Fame offensive tackle (born in Griffin); played in college at Fort Valley State
  • Rutledge Wood - Auto racing analyst, automotive expert and television personality; co-host of Top Gear (U.S. TV series)

Culture

Fiction

  • Griffin has also been featured or used as a production site in several movies and television shows, including Driving Miss Daisy, Murder in Coweta County, Mississippi Burning, The Fighting Temptations, Rectify The Walking Dead, and The Hunger Games.

Nonfiction

  • Griffin was featured in the 2010 History Channel television show Top Gear. Griffin was also featured in the A&E series Hoarders which featured Phyllis on the season premiere episode that aired on June 20, 2011.



Education

The Griffin-Spalding County School District holds grades pre-school to grade twelve and consists of eleven elementary schools, four middle schools, and three high schools. The district has 661 full-time teachers and over 10,648 students. Griffin Technical College was located in Griffin from 1963 and, following a merger, a branch of Southern Crescent Technical College is in Griffin. The Griffin Synodical Female College was established by Presbyterians but closed.

The University of Georgia maintains a branch campus in Griffin. Griffin Region College and Career Academy are located within the City limits. The GRCCA prepares students for college and careers through actual college courses for both high school and college credits. The popular Civil Air Patrol aerospace education program promotes aerospace, aviation and STEM-related careers with standards-based, hands-on curriculum and activities.

Notable people

  • Bill Anderson - country singer who was born in South Carolina and grew up in Griffin
  • Edward Andrews - film and television actor (born in Griffin, GA)
  • Lewis White Beck - philosopher, translator, textbook author, and scholar of German philosophy was born here on September 26, 1913..
  • Tim Beckham - professional baseball player who was first overall pick in 2008 Major League Baseball draft after attending Griffin High School (born in Griffin)
  • Brian Bohannon - head football coach at Kennesaw State since March 2013. He played wide receiver for UGA and held a number of assistant coaching positions before becoming a head coach.
  • James S. Boynton - was an American politician and jurist. Boynton briefly served as the 51st Governor of Georgia from 1883 after the death of governor Alexander Stephens. At the time of Stephens' death, Boynton was serving as the president of the Georgia Senate so he assumed the governorship. His additional political service included the office of Mayor of Griffin, Georgia. Boynton also served as a judge in the Spalding County, Georgia Court, and the Flint Circuit Superior Court. He was born in Henry County, Georgia and moved to Griffin in 1865. Boynton died at his home in Griffin in 1902 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in that same city.
  • Jody Breeze - a rapper who has worked with Gucci Mane, Gorilla Zoe, Boyz N Da Hood.
  • Thomas Jefferson Byrd- Actor
  • Charlie Clemons - football player who played for several different National Football League teams; member of the St. Louis Rams team that won Super Bowl XXXIV and is uncle of Nic Clemons and Chris Clemons
  • Chris Clemons - NFL defensive end and brother of Nic Clemons; played college football for University of Georgia and was a member of Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seattle Seahawks
  • Nic Clemons - defensive end for the Denver Broncos
  • Elbert Dubenion - football wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills
  • Rick Dyer- Bigfoot enthusiast who is known for his high-profile Bigfoot hoaxes. Bigfoot Hunter and Founder of ProjectSasquatch.com 2014
  • John J. Eagan (ACIPCO) - was an American industrialist and co-founder of the American Cast Iron Pipe Company (ACIPCO).
  • Jack Flynt - lawyer and U.S. Congressman from Spalding County (born in Griffin)
  • Willie Gault - NFL wide receiver and Olympic athlete; Gault played 11 seasons for the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Raiders
  • Nick Hamilton - pro wrestling referee
  • Darrin Hancock - basketball player who played with the 1993 Final Four University of Kansas, the NBA, and various minor league teams after graduating from Griffin High School
  • Doc Holliday - figure of the American West and friend of Wyatt Earp, was born in Griffin on August 14, 1851.
  • Jan Kemp - an academic who exposed allowing nine college football players to pass a remedial English course at the University of Georgia
  • Sidney Lanier - poet, lawyer and musician lived in Griffin as a child after his birth in Macon; he wrote the poem, "Corn" in Sunnyside, Georgia, several miles north of Griffin
  • John McIntosh Kell - Executive Officer of the CSS Alabama, and later served as Adjutant General of Georgia, born in Darien, Georgia. Lived in Griffin in his later life until his death in 1900.
  • Lauren-Ashley - country singer
  • Sonia Leigh - country singer-songwriter, signed by Zac Brown's Southern Ground recording label, attended Griffin High School
  • Marshall Mann - Atlanta Braves and Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium Public Address Announcer from 1967–1997.
  • Kyle Stemberger - record producer
  • Karen Mathiak - chiropractor and Georgia state legislator
  • Sherrod Martin - Former NFL defensive back for the Carolina Panthers
  • Josh Pace - Syracuse University basketball guard during the school's first National Championship in 2003; he currently plays professional basketball overseas
  • Bobby Rainey - running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and in college for Western Kentucky
  • June Shannon - television reality star and mother of Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson
  • Ben Talley - American football player
  • Dox Thrash - printmaker and painter, helped invent carborundum technique, born in Griffin in 1893
  • Jessie Tuggle - football linebacker who played his entire career with the Atlanta Falcons; played in college at Valdosta State after graduating from Griffin High School
  • Elizabeth Turner - supermodel, graduated from Spalding High School
  • Wyomia Tyus - athlete, Olympic gold medalist, first woman to retain the Olympic title in the 100m (born in Griffin)
  • Rayfield Wright - Hall of Fame offensive tackle (born in Griffin); played in college at Fort Valley State
  • John P. Yates - Georgia state legislator
  • Stephen J. Townsend - U.S. Army general. Graduate of Griffin High School
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