Biography of Hon. Franklin A. Griffin
San Francisco, CA Biographies





HON. FRANKLIN A. GRIFFIN
The history of the judiciary of San Francisco contains no name more honored than that of the Hon. Franklin A. Griffin, who has been on the superior court bench since the year 1913. He was born in Sacramento, California, December 17, 1872, and is a son of the late Martin W. and Maria (Fitzgerald) Griffin.

Martin W. Griffin was a native of Ireland, and came to the United States in the early '50s. He arrived in San Francisco, April 18, 1853, and here successfully engaged in the drayage business, then a very prosperous line of activity. Later he moved to Placer county and there engaged in hydraulic mining. Unfortunately, however, heavy floods destroyed his mining property and swept away the wealth he had accumulated. He then acquired a hotel in Forest Hill, the old Forest House, which was very popular as a rendezvous for the early mining men. In the later years of his life, he retired from active pursuits. His death occurred in 1892, when he was sixty five years of age. His wife, Maria (Fitzgerald) Griffin, was also born in Ireland, and was married to Mr. Griffin in New Orleans. She died in 1915, when she was eighty one years old. To their union six children were born, four sons and two daughters, of whom three now survive, namely: Judge Griffin; and Lizzie M. and Mary, who reside in the old homestead in Sacramento.

Judge Griffin finished his schooling in Sacramento, having graduated from high school when sixteen years old. As a youth, he cherished the ambition to become a lawyer, and he held steadfastly to this purpose. After leaving high school, faced with the necessity of earning his own livelihood, he secured a position of clerical nature in the city engineering department of Sacramento. Later, he was employed by the Southern Pacific Railroad in similar capacity in Sacramento. Soon after he found opportunity to enter the law office of White & Seymour, the members of which firm were among the foremost lawyers of Sacramento, and under their guidance Judge Griffin studied assiduously in preparation for his future career. Eventually he felt himself in readiness for entering the practice, and on August 31, 1899, he was successful in passing the bar examination. He remained in private practice in Sacramento until 1904, in which year he came to San Francisco to enter the law office of Hiram W. Johnson, who is now United States senator from California. When Senator Johnson became governor of the state, Judge Griffin accompanied him to the state capital as his executive secretary, and in this position served for two years. His knowledge of jurisprudence and his exceptional ability in legal procedure having become obvious to the governor, the latter appointed him to the superior bench in August, 1913, and thereupon Judge Griffin returned to San Francisco. Subsequently, he was elected to the office, and has remained continuously therein. His fine sense of justice and unquestionable honesty have been most gratifying to the citizens, and he has given unremittingly of his efforts to the position which is the fulfillment of his boyhood dreams.

In San Francisco, on July 23, 1916, Judge Griffin was married to Miss Esther M. Jacobs, a native of Idaho, and a daughter of Mathias and Cora (Addison) Jacobs, the former being deceased and the latter a resident of San Francisco. Judge and Mrs. Griffin are the parents of two children, Patricia M. and Eleanor Ann. The family residence is situated at 385 San Benito way.

Judge Griffin is a member of the San Francisco Bar Association. His political affiliation is with the republican party, and his religious affiliation with the Catholic Church. He is a member and past president of Stanford Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West; and also belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Commonwealth Club, and the Olympic Club. During the World war period, Judge Griffin gave patriotically of his services on the local draft committee, and in every possible way assisted the national cause. Aside from his work on the superior bench, his greatest enjoyments are his own family, his home, good reading and study. He is fond of clean athletics, particularly baseball, and during his school days managed a team himself. Judge Griffin has attained the honors and success he holds not by gift or favoritism, but by sheer hard work and natural ability, a fact which is recognized wherever he is known.

From:
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931


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