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Richard L. Griggs Papers

Identifier: 374-FACPPR30-UMD

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence, photographs, and print materials from the papers of University of Minnesota Regent Richard L. Griggs which are dated from 1913 to 1973.

Richard Leslie Griggs was born in Barclay, Pennsylvania, December 8, 1886, the son of Eli Z. (died 1931, Tarpon Springs, Florida) and Anna (Kinney) Griggs. His father had pioneer interests in the Mesabi Iron Range in northern Minnesota which brought Richard to the community of Virginia, Minnesota. Eli and Anna had a second son, Orrin Harold Griggs.

His first wife, Neva Warner Griggs died in Duluth November 19, 1946, following a long illness. She had lived in Duluth since 1914. Neva Warner was born in Brooklyn, New York. She married Richard Griggs September 20, 1911, at Athens, Pennsylvania. They had a daughter, Leslie Elizabeth Griggs born October 18, 1912, (died 2003) and two sons, Richard Clemson Griggs born July 10, 1915, Harold Warner Griggs who was born July 23, 1918. H. Warner married Barbara Schurman Ware in 1942 (died October 3, 2008 in Pasadena, California).

Richard L. Griggs was educated in Virginia Public Schools and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota in 1907. Primarily known as a banker, his business career began in 1906, but Griggs’ interests became more diverse rapidly. He was part owner and treasurer of the Virginia Electric and Power Company (1919–1914) which was sold to the city of Virginia. He moved to Duluth, Minnesota, assuming the position of secretary and director of the Northern National Bank (First Bank Duluth since 1980), 1917–1921, vice president 1921–1929, and president 1929–1946, chairman of the board and chief executive officer 1946–1950, retiring in that year. Other business interests included positions of director or officer with Sterling Motor Corporation, 1st National Banks Virginia and Hibbing, Greyhound Corporation of America, Minnesota Power and Light Co., Head of the Lakes Broadcasting Co. (Duluth, Virginia, and Hibbing), Andresen-Ryan Coffee Co., Kinney Corp. of West Virginia (coal mines), Northland Greyhound Lines Inc., one of the founders of the Greyhound Corp., 1926, Hotel Duluth Co., Midplanes Airlines Minneapolis, Universal Airlines, Miners National Bank, Gilbert Minnesota, founder of Western National Bank of Duluth and First National Bank, St. Petersburg Florida, and a variety of others, complete list of which can be found in Who’s Who in Minnesota.

Richard Griggs married Miss Dorothea Ritchie on November 8, 1954, in Seattle, Washington. They returned to Duluth to reside at 2502 East Second Street. They divorced July 14, 1958.

Griggs was a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota, 1939–1963. He was cited in 1956 by the Regents for special service to the Duluth University Branch, and again in 1957 by the student body of UMD. Elected a member of the Duluth Hall of Fame in 1954, Mr. Griggs was active in public affairs, civic and social support through membership and leadership in many philanthropic ways. He was director of the Duluth Community Chest (United Way) for 30 years, vice chair of the St. Louis County National Foundation for Infant Paralysis for ten years, supporter of the Duluth Zoo and many other organizations.

Griggs enjoyed big game hunting in Africa and became enamoured with the nation of (Southern) Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He became close friends with Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and for his efforts on behalf of Rhodesia he was awarded the Rhodesian legion of Merit award on March 14, 1979 by President Colonel Henry Bredon Everard, the final President of Rhodesia.

Mr. Griggs lived a long life, dying in Duluth on May 16, 1987.

Richard Leslie Griggs was a long time Minnesotan who lived in Duluth from 1917. A "self-made" man of diverse business and charitable interests, he lived and served his own and the community’s concerns, lauded by many.


  • 1913-1973


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.


1 box

Language of Materials



The collection contains correspondence, photographs, and print materials from the papers of University of Minnesota Regent Richard L. Griggs which are dated from 1913 to 1973.

Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.

Seanna R. Stinnett Inventory prepared by Prasanga Perera, March 4, 1992
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526