Griffin Family Photos:
All photos courtesy of the Griffin-Phillips family
George Griffin is a serious-looking 18 year old in this picture, taken on his birthday in 1880 in Martinez. The second generation head of the Griffin family in Alhambra Valley, George operated the farm from the early 1890s until the late 1940s when his son, Tom, took over active management. George worked every day but Sunday until about a week before his death in 1958 at the age of 96.
Alice Haughton Griffin, mother of George Griffin and grandmother of twins Tom and Bess Griffin shown later in her life. She emigrated to Australia in the 1850s. Thomas Griffin followed her there from their native Ireland and married her. She followed Thomas to California in 1864 with Lilly and George, two of their four children.
George Griffin stopped a task very briefly for this picture taken with four of his grandchildren not long before his death in 1958. Pictured are Tom and Jane Griffin’s children, from left, Robert, Steven, Alice and Peter Griffin on the family farm established by the children’s great grandfather Thomas Griffin in 1868.
George and Jessie Dukes Griffin show off their third and fourth children, fraternal twins Elizabeth Cary and Thomas Haughton Griffin sometime not long after their birth in July, 1912. No one expected twins including Doctor E. L. Merrithew who arrived late with only one birth certificate. Father George delivered the twins himself.
The ‘new’ bridge over Alhambra Creek on what is now Reliez Valley Road is shown during its construction in this undated picture. The entrance to the Griffin farm would be on the left just on the other side of the bridge.
Jessie Dukes Griffin holds an unidentified baby while her own toddler children, Tom at left and Bess at right look at the camera. This photo was probably taken sometime in 1913, a year or so after the twins’ birth at the Griffin farm. George and Jessie had a total of four children one of whom died in childhood. Jessie was a member of the Williams Dukes family who had a ranch in what is now Pleasant Hill and taught school before marrying George in 1895. She attended Stockton Normal School long enough to get her teaching certificate at age 17 and took a position at Nortonville, the old mining town near what is now Antioch. Some of her pupils were older and bigger than she was.
Martinez Historical Society
1005 Escobar Street - Martinez, CA 94553 (925) 228-8160