Charles Wesley Griffith was born 28 Feb 1846 near Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. The fact that he was named after the great hymn writer of the early Methodist movement, Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley, suggests that his parents were likely to have been Methodists. Charles was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, at least late in life. The 1900 census says that both his parents were born in Scotland, but this is clearly incorrect. This may suggest Scottish ancestry, however.
Charles was a son of James and Eliza (Redman) Griffith. James Griffith was born about 1798 in Delaware. Eliza Redman was born 20 Aug 1805 in Maryland and was a daughter of Leven/Levin and Catharine (Cahoe) Redman. Eliza died 13 Mar 1851 in Ross Co., OH. In the 1860 census, James Griffith was living in Monroe Twp., Pickaway Co., OH, age 62, farmer, living in the household of other Griffiths, Levin/Leven Redman (his father-in-law), and James’ son Charles.
In 1860, Charles Wesley Griffith appears in the census in Monroe Twp., Pickaway Co., OH. There he was living with his father James Griffith, other Griffiths, and Levin Redman.
MOSELLE IRON WORKS
In the 1870 census, he is listed as living in the Arthur Tomlinson household in Central Twp., Franklin Co., MO. His post office address was Moselle. He is listed as Charles Griffith, age 24, born in Ohio, “Laborer Iron W.” (iron works).
An Ohio mining company was established at Moselle about 1849, which could possibly explain how Charles, who was born and raised in Ohio, ended up at Moselle, Missouri. Moselle was incorporated as a town in 1860, but has since been disincorporated. At one time Moselle had about five stores and a population of 300. One source says that the mine at Moselle was still very much active in 1875. The town had a railroad depot used by the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company on the A&P (Frisco) Railroad.
The Moselle depot was used as a shipping point for the Moselle Iron Works, about a mile away on the Meramec River. The Moselle furnace, also known as the old Franklin furnace, was built in 1857 according to one source, although another source refers to mining at the site in 1855.
MARRIAGE TO LIVONIA GIVENS WEST
Charles Wesley Griffith was married on May 14, 1871 to Livonia Givens West, daughter of John Laffoon West and his wife, Permelia Emaline (Fancher) West. The wedding was performed by minister J.R. Hamlin at the West home at Leasburg, Crawford County, Missouri.
Various Internet researchers have referred to Charles’ wife as Livonia “Given” West, with no “s” at the end of her middle name. This is incorrect. Livonia Givens West was born 16 Dec 1852 in Miller Co., MO.
SCOTIA IRON WORKS
After working for the Moselle Iron Works, Charles began working at another iron works. This time it was the Scotia Iron Works, near Leasburg, Crawford County, Missouri. Family tradition connects him with the Scotia Iron Works, which is across the Meramec River from Onondaga State Park. The location of the iron works is now in the Huzzah State Forest (Conservation Area). The Scotia iron furnace stack, located on County Road H 6.3 miles southeast of Leasburg, is on the list of registered historic places in MO. According to the National Register, the stack’s “periods of significance” were 1850-1874 and 1875-1899.
An Internet source asserts that the Scotia Iron Works did not open until 1881, but this is clearly incorrect unless it is referring to one of several specific companies that were in operation at the site. The book A Report on the Iron Ores of Missouri by Frank Lewis Nason (1892) points out that the Scotia iron furnace was erected in 1849. A 41-foot-high furnace was built at the site by the Scotia Iron Company of St. Louis in 1870, the year before Charles Wesley Griffith married very close by in Leasburg. By 1873, two mines, located about three miles apart, were in operation, known as Scotia No. 1 and Scotia No. 2. By around 1880, the operation moved south into Dent Co. and became the Nova Scotia Iron Works.
An Internet auctioneer had, at one time, listed a 5-cent certificate from the Scotia Iron Works store. This item pictured a steam train.
LIFE IN TEXAS
When Charles was out of work at Skotia, a brother of his wife Livonia (West) Griffith invited them to come to the general area of Waco, McLennan County, Texas area, according to family tradition. As a result, Charlie and Livonia moved to Texas. There, it is said, he built stock tanks. He was also said to have been a cattle rancher. Charles lived in Texas about 15 years, then returned with his family to St. Louis.
Another family tradition suggests that he went to Texas with his mother-in-law, Permelia Emaline (Fancher) West, so that she could be with some of her Fancher relatives. The 1880 census, however, shows the Charles W. Griffith family in Erath Co., TX, while Permelia (Fancher) West was still living in or near Leasburg, Crawford Co., MO. She may have joined them in TX later, however.
As already noted, Charles Wesley Griffith is listed in the 1880 census in Erath County, Texas. Living with the family was E.D. Harriet(?), a 23-year-old single male farmer who was born in Texas.
THE RETURN TO MISSOURI
After living in Texas, Charles and Livonia moved back to St. Louis. He is said to have been a contractor at the time of the marriage of his daughter Ida May to my great-grandfather William E Bernhardt in Richmond Heights, St. Louis Co., MO in 1897.
After that marriage, William E Bernhardt moved his parents-in-law, Charles and Livonia Griffith, onto a farm he bought in Valle Twp., Jefferson Co., MO. There, the family (evidently mainly Charles) build a “dog-trot” log cabin about 1898. A dog-trot cabin is built with an open breezeway in the middle, sort of like two separate cabins joined by a roof. That cabin was dismantled about 100 years later and reassembled at a location near Eureka, St. Louis Co., MO.
While in Valle Twp., Jefferson Co., MO, Charles Wesley Griffith raised strawberries in a field near the home. That field is still called “the Strawberry Field,” even though no strawberries have been raised there in over a century. Charles would take the strawberries by farm wagon to Bonne Terre, St. Francois Co., MO, to sell.
Charles is listed in the 1900 census as a farmer living in Valle Twp. He also appears in the 1907 Jefferson Co., MO directory as living in Valle Twp.
LIFE IN NEW MEXICO
By 1910, however, Charles and Livonia had moved to Albuquerque, Bernalillo Co., New Mexico Territory. This was because their son Charles, known as Carl, who was only about 18, was taking apprentice courses in the railroad shops there. New Mexico was not made a state until 1912.
Charles Wesley Griffith purchased land in Los Ranchos de Atrisco in Bernalillo Co., the county where Albuquerque is located, on 28 Dec 1910. That land is delineated by the metes and bounds system, and the deed is from E.S. Kates to C.W. Griffith. No evidence has been found, however, to indicate that they ever lived on that property. Instead of living outside of Albuquerque at Los Ranchos de Atrisco, they lived at several locations within the city, as indicated by city directory listings.
The following listings appear in Albuquerque city directories for Charles, Livonia, and/or son Charles Walter (Carl):
|1910-11||Charles W., 1103 S. 4th
Carl W., 314 E. Cromwell Ave.
|1912||Charles W. (no address)|
|1913||Charles W. 412 W. Santa Fe Ave.|
|1914||Livonia G., widow of Charles W., 412 W. Santa Fe Ave.|
|1915||Carl W., 618 S. Edith|
|1916||Carl W., 401 S. Broadway|
|1917||Carl, 401 S. Broadway|
DEATH OF CHARLES WESLEY GRIFFITH
As is suggested by these city directory listings, Charles (Sr.) died in Albuquerque. He died at his home at 1119 S. 3rd Street on 27 Aug 1912. When we visited this location in 1984, a resident then living there remembered being told that the Griffiths had once occupied the house.
The cause of Charles’ death was bowel inflammation. He said that he had been cured of the same ailment back in MO by a local wild herb that he was unable to get in NM. (Perhaps this was sassafras, which was and still is plentiful in southern Jefferson Co., MO.)
Charles was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church at the time of his death. His obituary appeared in the Albuquerque Morning Journal on 28 Aug 1912, p. 4.
He was buried on 1 Sep 1912 in Fairview Cemetery in Albuquerque. This was after a 3 p.m. funeral by Rev. C.O. Beckman at the chapel of French Mortuary, adjacent to Fairview Cemetery. Charles Wesley Griffith was buried in the old portion of the cemetery. When I visited in 1984, this part still consisted of desert sand, and was separated by a concrete wall from the newer green and watered portion of the same cemetery.
He is buried in plot SG6. When we visited in 1984, we found that he did not have a tombstone, so we had a cinder block marker added.
DEATH OF LIVONIA GIVENS (WEST) GRIFFITH
After her husband Charles Wesley Griffith died in Albuquerque in 1912, his widow Livonia Givens (West) Griffith moved to OR to live with her daughter Annie.
Livonia died of mitral stenosis at 8 p.m. on 1 Jan 1916 at 202 West 2nd in Albany, Linn Co., OR. This was likely her home address. The informant on her death certificate was J.A. Campbell of Albany. This was presumably daughter Bertha’s husband John Albert Campbell, who was known as Bert.
Livonia Givens (West) Griffith was buried 5 or 6 Jan 1916 in Rainier, Columbia Co., OR. (One date has been written over the other on the death certificate.) The cemetery is not specified on the certificate. The undertaker’s name was “F. Fortmiller” or something similar.
CHILDREN OF CHARLES WESLEY AND LIVONIA GIVENS (WEST) GRIFFITH
1. Addie Belle Griffith
Addie Belle was also known as Belle, and was born July 31, 1872 in Missouri. She might have been the Belle Griffith who was working as a cashier in St. Louis in 1897 while living at 1218 Morrison Ave., according to a city directory.
She married Samuel Ovid Starkey in Troy, Lincoln Co., Missouri on March 3 or 6, 1898. (They married on the 3rd according to the Troy Free Press, Troy, MO, 13 Jan 1899, p. 3, but two other sources refer to the 6th.)
Samuel O. Starkey was a son of James Madison Starkey, born 9 Nov 1829 in IN or OH (sources differ), died 22 Aug 1910 Anna, Union Co., IL, and his wife Susan Hannah (Butler) Starkey, born 13 Apr 1834 in KY, died 21 Aug 1892. According to the death certificate of Susan’s son Samuel, however, Susan was born in PA.
Samuel O. Starkey appears to have married at least five times. He married Annie Hartzell, Maggie A. Ealem, Ella A. Conrad, Addie Belle Griffith, and a Mary E., in that order. The 1900 census shows Samuel and several siblings living in the immediate vicinity of their parents, all on the same census page. Two of Samuel’s brothers show up as divorced on that page. Evidently the marriage of Samuel to Addie Belle Griffith ended in divorce, because she left and moved to CA, while he then remarried to a certain Mary E.
Samuel Ovid Starkey appears at the age of 13 in the 1880 census living with his parents in Kaolin Twp., Iron Co., MO.
In the 1900 census Samuel and Addie Belle (Griffith) Starkey appear in Clark Twp., Lincoln Co., MO. He is listed as “Samuel O. Starky,” farmer. Also living in the same household was Samuel’s divorced brother Charles O. Starky (Starkey).
Samuel appears in the 1910 census at 1120 Cass Ave., St. Louis, MO in what is listed as his second marriage (actually his fifth), to Mary. She is listed as “Saleslady, Grocery,” while he appears as “Retail Merchant, Grocery.” The address, 1120 Cass, is near the corner of Cass and 11th. This is between Florissant Ave. and I-70, right by Mullanphy Park.
In the 1920 census, Samuel and Mary were living in St. Louis at 1329 Clinton, where again he is listed as a merchant in a grocery store. This was about six or eight blocks northwest of his 1910 location, at or very close to the corner of Clinton and 14th, again between Florissant Ave. and I-70.
Samuel O. Starkey died of chronic myocarditis and arteriosclerosis on 9 Jun 1934 in a sanitarium in St. Louis. He had been living at 1311 N. Market St., which is about three or four blocks north of his 1920 location. This is, again, between Florissant Ave. and I-70, this time about a block and a half west of Jackson Place Park. By the time of his death, Samuel had been working as a night watchman. He was buried in Lakewood Park Cemetery, 2900 Telegraph Rd., St. Louis Co., MO.
Addie Belle (Griffith) Starkey is said to have died around 1938 in Los Angeles.
2. Ida May Griffith
Ida May was my great-grandmother. I have heard many stories about her, and the family has several photos of her. She was born August 25, 1874 at Leasburg, Crawford Co., MO. She married my great-grandfather, William E Bernhardt, on October 10, 1897 in Richmond Heights, St. Louis Co., MO. I vaguely remember William E. from my childhood, but Ida May died before I was born. Their children were William Charles Bernhardt (my grandfather) and George Lester Bernhardt (called Lester). Ida May (Griffith) Bernhardt died April 20, 1947 in Valle Twp., Jefferson Co., MO.
3. John L. Frederick Griffith
He was born 29 Dec 1876 in Texas. The exact location is unknown. His parents, however, were living in Erath Co., TX in 1880, not long after his birth. He died 1 Aug 1880 at the age of 3 years, 7 months, and 1 day, according to the family Bible.
4. O.M. Griffith
O.M. Griffith was a male born about 1876 in Texas.
5. Catherine Emaline Griffith
Her middle name appears as “Euirline” on a piece of notebook paper listing all of Charles Wesley Griffith’s children which I found among the papers of my grandfather William Charles Bernhardt. This appears to have been a miscopy of “Emiline” or “Emaline,” which would have been the child’s grandmother’s middle name. Further, the IGI lists her as “Catherine Emiliene Griffith.” Catherine was born February 6, 1880. The location of her birth, according to the IGI, was Erath County, Texas. She died April 15, 1880.
6. Edith Arminia Griffith
Her middle name has appeared in records in the family as “Arminia” and as “R. Minnia,” the latter being presumably a mistake based on hearing the name pronounced. She was born 10 Jun 1881 at Aquilla, Hill County, Texas. According to family tradition, she was born on the 7-Up Ranch near Aquilla. Note that there were also Fanchers living in Hill County, Texas. (Her grandmother was a Fancher). At one time Aquilla was known as Mud Town.
Her first marriage was before June 5, 1910 to Robert Langenbacher. He was born in December 1873 in Missouri and died before April 19, 1910. Both his parents were born in Missouri, according to the 1900 census. In that year he was a machinist in a railroad shop and was living with his wife (no one else was listed in the household) in St. Louis, at 2924 Rutger Street. He is buried in Rainier, Columbia County, Oregon, probably in Masonic Lodge Cemetery. Edith and Robert had a son, Robert W., called “Bob,” born August 25, 1905 in St. Louis. This Robert W. (“Bob”) appears at age 4 in the 1910 census with his mother Edith in Rainier, Oregon. At one time, Bob lived in a cabin on the former William E Bernhardt farm in Valle Township, Jefferson County, Missouri, in a field still known as the “Bob’s Cabin Field.” In the 1960s and 1970s he lived near Atascadero, California, and I visited him there. In the 1980s he was living at Rt. 1, Box 187A, Blythe, California 92225. He died at Blythe.
Her second marriage was after April 19, 1910 to George Harry Currier. He was born about 1886-1889 in NY, and was from Colden, NY. He died 29 Jun 1929 in Los Angeles, CA, which is where he is buried. He appears as George H. Currier in the 1910 census in Rainier, Columbia Co., OR. There he was working as a bookkeeper in a door factory and is listed as age 24, born in NY, his father born in VT, his mother born in NY. On the same census page is Oscar A. Setterberg, who married Anna Laura Griffith, Edith’s sister.
Edith is listed in the 1900 census at 2924 Rutger Street, St. Louis, Missouri, with husband Robert Langenbacher. No one else appears in the household.
In the 1910 census, Edith is listed in Rainier, Columbia County, Oregon, where she is listed as married but shown without her husband. The only other individual in the household was her son Robert W.
George Harry Currier and his wife Edith Arminia (Griffith) Currier appear in the 1920 census on 21 Jan 1920 in Leona Pct., Douglas Co., OR. There he was working as an accountant in a lumber mill. According to that census, he and both of his parents were born in NY. Listed are the following children: Robert W. (age 14, her son by her previous marriage), William H. (age 4 years, 5 months, born abt 1915 in OR; this would be William Harry Currier), Frank D. (age 3 years, 4 months, born abt 1916 in OR; this would be Frank Donald Currier, said to have been born in Leona, OR), and Richard E. (age 1 year, 5 months, born abt 1918 in OR; this would be Richard Eldon Currier, said to have been born in Leona, OR). William Harry Currier is said to have been born in Wheeler, OR, but it is not clear whether this refers to Wheeler Co., OR or to the town of Wheeler in Tillamook Co.
She died April 20, 1921 in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona. The cause was “uraemia.” She was buried April 25 in Greenwood Memorial Park, 2300 W. Van Buren in Phoenix, in Section 22, Plot 12.
7. Effie Griffith
She was born December 4, 1883 in Erath County, Texas. She died January 13, 1884.
8. Bertha Melvin (“Bertie”) Griffith
She was born February 24, 1885 in Texas.
Bertha’s first marriage was about 1905 to Lawson Hale. He was called Lasse (pronounced “LAW-see”). Lawson Hale appears as Lasson or Lawson (the name was written as “Lasson,” then corrected to read “Lawson,” although his father’s name remained listed as “Lasson”) C. Hale in the 1880 census. In that census, he is listed as age 4 (so born about 1881), born in Missouri, living with his parents in Valle Twp., Jefferson Co., MO. The parents were Lasson C. and Mary A. (Palen or perhaps Pullen) Hale. Lawson Jr. had a brother named Prentiss Ira Hale, who was born February 6, 1882 in Missouri and who died 12 Jan 1925 in Alton, Madison County, Illinois.
Lasson or Lawson C. Hale, Sr. (the name is “Lawson” on his death certificate) was born 8 May 1842 in Missouri, and married Mary A. Palen or perhaps Pullen 3 Jun 1875 in Jefferson County, Missouri. (He was earlier married to Anne E., surname unknown, according to an Internet researcher, but the 1910 census lists his marriage to Mary A. as being his first marriage.) Mary A. (Palen or perhaps Pullen) Hale was born about 1853/1854 in MO (both her parents were born in Kentucky) and she died 6 Feb 1916 in Jefferson County, Missouri at the age of 62 years, 2 months, and 5 days. She is buried in the Hale Family Graveyard in Jefferson County.
Lawson C. Hale, Sr. was a son of George B. Hale, born about 1809 in England, and his wife Lucinda (Shepperd) Hale, born in Pennsylvania. (George B. Hale later married Mary Jane Strickland.) George B. Hale died in 1892 in Washington County, Missouri and is buried in the Blackwell Family Cemetery. Lawson Hale, Sr. died 24 May 1915 at 9610 South Broadway, Carondelet Township, St. Louis, Missouri, and was buried May 26th at Valles Mines, Jefferson County, Missouri. He had been a retired carpenter. His cause of death was angina pectoris with arteriosclerosis.
The younger Lasson or Lawson (who married Bertha) is listed in the 1910 census as 33 years old, which would make his year of birth about 1877 (which contradicts the 1880 census). According to an Internet researcher, he was born in Missouri April 23, 1876. The 1910 census shows him as “Lawson Hale,” with his wife listed as “Bertha Griffith Hale.” Their address at the time was 1322 Georgia (or what appears to be Georgia) Street in Los Angeles, California. His occupation is listed as “conductor” on a “street railway.” No children are listed.
Bertha’s second marriage was on 8 Dec 1913 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to John Albert Campbell (called “Bert”). They had no children. Bert was born 16 Aug 1876 in California. He died 4 Apr 1951 in Chatsworth, Los Angeles County, California. He was 74.
Bertha lived in Los Angeles for 32 years until her death. She died on 3 Feb 1957, sometime before 3 p.m., at her home at 18720 Hatteras Street, Tarzana, Los Angeles County, California. The cause was cerebral hemorrhage and cerebral sclerosis. She was 71. She was buried 6 Feb 1957 in Oakwood Cemetery, Chatsworth, Los Angeles County.
9. Anna Laura Griffith
She was called “Annie,” and was born 6 Feb 1887 in the general area of Waco, TX.
Annie was married 3 Jun 1911 in OR to Oscar Arthur Setterberg, called “Art.” He was born 1 Feb 1886 in Minneapolis, Hennapin Co., MN, a son of Olaf Anderson and Emilie (Quisler) Setterberg. In the 1910 census, his father is referred to as “Swedish” and his mother as “Norwegian.” In the 1910 census, Art was listed in Rainier, Columbia Co., OR as a shipping clerk in a door factory. (Note that George Currier, listed above, worked in the same factory.) Art is listed as 24 years old and born in MN.
My grandmother had a photo of a restaurant called “Home” that had been owned by some part of the Setterberg family. The photo was taken by a Linn Co., OR photographer, as identified by his blindstamp. On the back of the photo mount is written “Anna Setterberg” and (in a different handwriting) “Inside of Our Dining Room – None of us are here.” Art Setterberg died May 22, 1958 in North Hollywood, Los Angeles Co., CA at the age of 72. He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills.
Annie lived in Los Angeles County for 35 years until her death. She died September 29, 1959 at 8:26 p.m. at her home at 7657 Gentry Avenue, North Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California. She was 72. The cause of death was congestive heart failure with acute myocardial infarction. She was buried October 3, 1959 in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills.
10. Charles Walter (“Carl”) Griffith
Charles Walter Griffith was called Carl. He was born February 20, 1892 at 1514 South 3rd Street, St. Louis, MO.
He attended Springdale School in Valle Twp., Jefferson Co., MO during the 1907-08 and 1908-1909 terms. His name does not appear in the 1909-1910 term in the school record book.
Carl was married in 1918 to Aurora Leigh Armstrong, called “Roe.” Her mother’s maiden name was Avery. Both her parents lived in CA. She was born 4 Jul 1895 or 1896 (her death certificate says 1896 but her husband wrote 1895) in CO.
She may have been the Aurora Armstrong who the 1910 census lists as being born Jul 1892 (birth years in censuses were often off) in CO and as a daughter of Fred W. and Lillian Armstrong. The family was living on Lincoln Ave. in Denver, where the house number is listed as 215-something. (The last digit is indistinct.)
Aurora died in August 1985 in Los Angeles. Her last Social Security residence was Los Angeles, California 90048.
Carl took apprentice courses for the Santa Fe Railroad in Albuquerque, Bernalillo Co., NM and worked for the railroad there, after leaving Jefferson Co., MO. His parents moved from MO to NM with him. (For addresses see the above.) Carl was a member of the Congregational denomination, and was president of the Christian Endeavor in Albuquerque.
He left Albuquerque for Los Angeles in 1916. In Feb 1917, while enroute to Portland, Oregon, he met his future wife Aurora Leigh Armstrong.
During World War I, the Emergency Fleet Corporation sent Carl through school for six weeks. He then accepted a position in a steel works in Portland, OR. Carl and his wife Roe then moved to California to be near her parents.
He is listed in the 1920 census in Ardenwald Precinct, Clackamas Co., OR, where he is listed as Carl W. Griffith, 27, born in Missouri, “Inspector” in “Machine shop.” His wife is listed as Aurora L., age 24, born in CO, with her father born in NY and her mother in PA.
Carl Griffith died in Los Angeles Co., CA on March 19, 1960. He was 68 years old. His wife Aurora Leigh (Armstrong) Griffith died August 17, 1985 in Los Angeles at the age of 89.