Biography of Dr. Joshua Griffith
Kings County, CA Biographies





JOSHUA GRIFFITH, M. D.
In many respects one of the strongest and most remarkable characters in the early history of the San Joaquin valley was Dr. Joshua Griffith, to whom the valley is greatly indebted for his enterprising efforts to make improvements and to encourage others in their efforts to up build this section of the state. For many years his name was a household word throughout this section and he died beloved and respected by all who knew him.

Joshua Griffith was born June 16, 1800, in Red Stone Fort, near Cadiz, Ohio. In his boyhood he was denied the privileges of a school education, but was naturally of a studious disposition and through his own efforts became a well informed man, having all his life been a careful reader and a close observer of men and events. In 1820 he emigrated to West Virginia and in 1822 he joined the Ashley expedition to the Missouri river, being one of the sixty men who comprised that historic group of explorers. In 1824 Joshua Griffith made 'the trip to New Mexico, locating in Santa Fe, where he engaged in business. In 1830 he went to Sonora and in the following year to Hermosillo, Mexico, where again he opened a store. In 1848 he moved to Los Angeles. From the time he was twenty four years of age he had applied himself closely to the study of medicine and had practiced that science whenever opportunity presented itself. From Los Angeles he went to Amador, where he engaged in mining in company with Washington Jackson, one of the well known mining explorers of that day. On November 15, 1848, Dr. Griffith discovered the celebrated Jackson Creek region. In 1850 he located in Merced, where he made his permanent home. He went to Santa Cruz and bought chickens and seed wheat, and corn, which he brought to his new home in the San Joaquin valley, and was the first to plant these grains in this valley, he having paid $150 for one sack of wheat. Also in 1853 he established the first flowing well in the valley. In the flood of 1861-2 his property was swept away, but he rebuilt and lived here, honored and respected by the entire community, until his death, which occurred in 1905. In 1854 he built a grist mill, sending to New York for the burrs and he packed them to the valley on pack mules.

From:
History of Tulare County, California
By: Kathleen Edwards Small
and
Kings County, California
By: J. Larry Smith
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1926


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