F. W. Griffin (b. 1880)
Fern Wilbur Griffin was born in Worthington, Minnesota, in 1880. He attended Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, before taking courses in architecture through the International Correspondence School. After working as a draftsman for a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific Railway, Griffin settled in Porterville, California, where he maintained an office in the First National Bank Building and specialized in school architecture.
An advocate of the Mission style, he won a competition in 1912 to design Porterville Grammar School. Among projects he completed before 1915 were schools in Strathmore, Terra Bella, Plano, and Lindsay. His 1914 design for Washington Grammar School in Lindsay is a fine example of his interpretation of the Mission style. Griffin also designed many residences and commercial blocks in Porterville.
In 1915 Griffin received his license to practice architecture after successfully taking his professional examinations at the University of California, Berkeley.
Griffin practiced in Porterville into the early 1920s. In 1923 he established residence in Grand Junction, Colorado. From there he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska. From 1928 to 1932 Griffin lived in Berrien Springs, Michigan, where he taught architectural drawing and woodworking for several years at Emmanuel Missionary College, now Andrews University.
After 1933 his whereabouts are unknown, but it is presumed he died sometime during the mid-1930s because his license to practice architecture in California lapsed for nonpayment of renewal fees in 1934.
© 2001 John Edward Powell. All rights reserved.