January 10, 1933 – Bruce N. Griffing Claimed by Death This Morning

Prominent Citizen and President of Griffin Button Co. Succumbs to Pneumonia

Bruce Nichols Griffing, 84, of 231 Coram Avenue, president of the Griffing Button Co., Inc., died at the hospital this morning. Mr. Griffing was taken ill a week ago with broncho-pneumonia and was removed to the hospital Sunday night where death came at 7:40 o’clock this morning. News of his death came as a great shock to his wide circle of friends who mourn his loss.

Mr. Griffing was born in Newtown, December 7, 1848, the son of John and Julian Griffin. He came to this city 42 years ago when the J. & G. Griffin button shop was removed here from Botsford. After the death of his father the business was taken over by two sons, George and Bruce. Mr. Griffing was a charter member of the Shelton Kiwanis club organized in 1924; Sandy Hook lodge A. F. & A. M., and the Derby and Shelton Board of Trade. He was always interested in the community and although he never sought political office he had the interest of the city at heart. He held the office of president of the Griffin Hospital for 20 years. The Griffin Hospital was endowed by his brother, George Griffin of Newtown in 1909.

History of the Factory

The Griffin Button Company was established in 1846, at Botsford, by John Griffin, father of Mr. Griffing, and was known as the J. & G. Griffin Co. Mr. Griffin invented the first cam machine for turning horn buttons. In 1890, owing to increased business and the invention of labor saving machinery, the plant formerly owned by the Shelton Brass Hardware Co., on Canal Street, was purchased and the business was removed to this city. With new machinery and extended facilities the business was greatly increased. The output of the concern is handled entirely by a few of the largest wholesale houses and distributed to every state in the Union and Canada. 

The improvements of the Griffin company in horn button machinery enabled the concern to lead all competitors in their line, having machines that will turn out 3,500,000 buttons per month or an increase of 600 percent over former methods. The factory turns out over 100 styles of horn buttons from one-quarter to two and one-half inches in diameter.

On May 29, 1902, the Griffin Button Company was incorporated with a capital stock of $600,000. The officers of the company are: Bruce N. Griffing, president; Roger O. Clapp, Secretary, and Sarah D. Reynolds, treasurer.

Mr. Griffing is survived by his wife, Katherine M. Griffin; one son, Clarence C. Griffing of New York; two granddaughters, one nephew, Clarence M. Sear of Shelton, and one step-daughter, Mrs. Clifford E. Lewis, also of Shelton.