Born in South Carolina, October 3, 1794, Lewis Lawrence Griffin moved to Georgia with his widowed mother in the early 1800's. He fought in the Georgia Militia under General Daniel Newnan in Florida and, later, under Generals John Floyd and Thomas Glascock in the Creek Wars. He was a country merchant, a General in the Militia, a legislator. In 1833 the Legislature chartered the Monroe Railroad Co. and he was made its president.
In 1840 General Griffin auctioned off lots in the town which was named for him and through which the railroad would pass. He planned a great city with wide boulevards. A philanthropist, he gave generous lots to churches, schools, public buildings and a parade ground. He sacrificed a fortune attempting to save the railroad and the bank connected with it from financial ruin. Unsuccessful, he moved to Mississippi where he made another fortune and died in 1867.
When he visited Griffin in 1856 to receive a hero's welcome, the town newspaper commented: "He did more than any other man to arouse the people of Central and Western Georgia to a proper sense of the necessity of works of internal improvement. Every prediction that he made in reference to the beneficial results of his designs has been fulfilled."