James B. Griffith
No Neg, P86-48, James B. Griffith Sr., State Treasurer 1971-1975.jpg
WSA P86-48

Republican • Lusk
State Treasurer 1971-1975
State Auditor 1975-1987

James B. Griffith, Jr. was born January 13, 1927 in Laredo, Texas but his Wyoming roots go deep. His maternal grandfather arrived in Wyoming Territory in 1879 as drover with a herd of Texas cattle. His grandmother was the first school teacher at Home Station on the Cheyenne-Black Hills stage line. His parents Jim Griffith Sr. and Nellie Snyder Griffith were co-publishers of the Lusk Herald from 1927 until 1955. Nellie Snyder Griffith was born in territorial Wyoming east of Lusk in 1888.

Jim Griffith, Sr. set an example that led his son into politics. The elder Griffith was a long-time member of the Wyoming Republican Central Committee and at one time served as the state GOP chairman. He is generally recognized as being instrumental in the political successes of former governor Nels Smith and Frank Barrett, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives, two years as governor, and in the U.S. Senate.

Jim Griffith graduated from Lusk High School in 1945 and went on to earn a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Wyoming in 1950. He served in the Navy 1945-46. Following college, he returned to Lusk and worked for his parents' newspaper as a reporter, photographer and editor, and eventually took over as co-publisher. He remained active in the newspaper until he was elected State Treasurer in 1970.

In 1974, Griffith was elected State Auditor. As Auditor, Griffith's office made Wyoming the first state in the nation to audit mineral production on both state and federal lands. He also led the way in establishing a uniform accounting system for state government.

Griffith was a past president and Honorary Life Member of the Wyoming Press Association. In 1987, he was named Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Wyoming. He died on June 24, 2001, in Peoria, Arizona and is buried in Lusk.


Griffith and his wife Carolyn have four children (Sally Griffith­ Pringle, Laura Bennett, Carol Lynn Zehnle, Michael McVay).


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