Merced Express, Merced, CA. Friday Feb. 22, 1895. Page 3.


A Pioneer, Full of Years, Dies at His Home in West Merced.

Dr. Joshua GRIFFITH, a pioneer citizen of this county, died at his residence in West Merced on Saturday evening last at the advanced age of 94 years. He had been sick for a long time and his death was not unexpected.

The deceased was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, June 28, 1800. At the age of ten-years he went with his parents to Ohio, where he remained until 1820, when he went to West Virginia and studied medicine for several years.
In 1824 he set out for Santa Fe, taking the first train of wagons that ever went to that place. From there he went to El Paso, Texas, where he remained until 1830.
From El Paso he went on several wild expeditions to which he had a number of fights with Indians and many a narrow escapes. After roving around for some years he finally settled in Mexico, where he remained until March 1, 1848, when he started for California, stopping a while in Los Angeles county at El Monte.
In 1850 he mined at Fremont diggings, Mariposa county, and from there he came to the Merced river, in Merced county, where he engaged in ranching and packing merchandise into the mines. At one time he had a pack train of sixty mules stolen from him in one night by the Indians which was a great loss to him.
He then purchased another lot of mules and they were also stolen. The Doctor never recovered any of this property or received any payment from the government. His whole loss was estimated at $20,000.
About the year 1854 he established an infirmary which he controlled for ten years, having patients from the mines, San Francisco, Stockton, Los Angeles, and elsewhere in the State who went away satisfied with their treatment.
In the business he also lost a great deal of money, as many of his patients did not have money to pay him.

The Doctor was married July 25, 1844, to Miss. Francisca ARIAS, a native of Mexico, and to them were born four children -- Frank, Mercedus, William and Fred.
The Doctor was a man of an iron constitution and there are but few men now living who passed through the innumerable experiences that have attended Dr. Griffith's life.
At the time of his death he owned a large ranch on the Merced river, and his home in Merced. His wife and two sons still survive him.
The funeral took place from the family residence in West Merced, Monday afternoon last, and interment in the Merced cemetery.


Transcribed by; Alma Stone