Austin E. Griffiths papers, 1891-1952  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Griffiths, Austin E. (Austin Edwards), 1863-1952
Title
Austin E. Griffiths papers
Dates
1891-1952 (inclusive)
Quantity
11.73 cubic feet (25 boxes )
1 microfilm reel
Collection Number
3119
Summary
Papers of a lawyer, civic leader, and politician of Seattle, Washington.
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

The papers are open to all users.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Austin Edward Griffiths was born in Worcester, England, in 1863 and was raised by foster parents Philip and Ann Priday, who emigrated to Nebraska in 1872. After graduating from the University of Michigan, Griffiths moved to the Washington Territory in 1889 and began practicing law in Grays Harbor before moving to Seattle in 1897. Throughout his adult life, Griffiths was active in public affairs both in Seattle and in Washington State. He served on the Seattle City Council from 1910 to 1913 and 1934 to 1937, ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1913-1914, was appointed chief of police in 1914, served as superior court judge from 1921 to 1929, and was elected twice to the Seattle School Board (1929-1930, 1931-1934).

Griffiths's faith in collective programs for social advancement led to his involvement in numerous civic and charitable causes. As founder, in 1908, of the Seattle Playground Association, Griffiths became known as the "Father of Seattle Playgrounds" for his successful efforts to establish parks and recreation centers throughout the city. He subsequently became identified with the National Playground Association and helped popularize the playground movement nationwide. He was an active member of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, serving as a trustee and member of many committees. Griffiths also held leadership positions in the Young Men's Christian Association, the Seattle Charity Organization Society, and the Cascade Tunnel Association.

Griffiths's concern for progressive causes also was reflected in his political activities. An important voice in Progressive Republican affairs in Washington State, he supported Theodore Roosevelt's Bull Moose campaign in 1912 and later joined with Harold Ickes and other Progressive Republicans to lobby for the United States's participation in the League of Nations. In later life, Griffiths was a prolific writer and commentator on national and international affairs, authoring a column entitled "Free Lance" in the Washington Weekly Review. He published several articles on police and reform and was a member of the International Law Association.

For further biographical information see Griffiths's autobiography, Great Faith, in the Speeches and Writing series in this collection. A copy is also available in the University of Washington Special Collections Pacific Northwest Collection.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Correspondence, speeches and writings, financial records, clippings, scrapbooks, and ephemera of Griffiths, a Seattle attorney and Progressive Republican politician, 1891-1952 (bulk 1904-1920). The collection also includes one reel of microfilm containing an unpublished manuscript and other materials. Major correspondents include John P. Hartman, J.A. Hutcheson, Mark A. Matthews, Miles Poindexter, the Charity Organization Society of Seattle, Grays Harbor Commercial Company, the International Law Association, Merrill and Ring Lumber Company, the Metropolitan Building Company, the Northwestern Lumber Company, the Pacific Coast Lumber Manufacturers' Association, the Playground and Recreation Association of America, Polson Logging Company, the First Presbyterian Church (Seattle), the Russell Sage Foundation, the Young Men's Christian Association (Seattle), and a number of Seattle mayors.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The creator's literary rights have been transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Accession No. 3119-001: Austin E. Griffiths papers, 1891-1952 (bulk 1904-1930)Return to Top

11.61 cubic feet (25 boxes )
Arrangement: Arranged into 17 series by type of document:
  • Biographical features
  • Organizations
  • Correspondence
  • Minutes
  • Financial records
  • Speeches and writings
  • Reports
  • Legal documents
  • Court papers and case files
  • Newsletters
  • Campaign materials
  • Legislation
  • Lists
  • Scrapbooks
  • Clippings
  • Ephemera
  • Notes
  • Maps
No attempt was made to organize the collection according to Griffiths's interests, since his activities as lawyer, progressive reformer, and public official often overlapped.Clippings of Griffiths's articles in the Washington Weekly Review and Municipal News have been filed under "Speeches and writings" as "Newspaper articles." Complete issues are filed in the "Newsletters" series.

Scope and Content: Correspondence, speeches and writings, financial records, clippings, scrapbooks, and ephemera of Griffiths, 1891-1952 (bulk 1904-1920). Substantial correspondence ends in 1920 and what follows does not document Griffiths's major activities during those years.

Papers concern his public career as Seattle city councilman, police chief, and judge, as leader of many charitable organizations, as founder of the Seattle Playground Association, and as attorney for the Metropolitan Building Company and the Pacific Coast Lumber Manufacturers' Association. Also documented are his interests in the Cascade Tunnel and government reform.

The papers also document Griffiths's law practice as a member/partner of various firms, including Greene and Griffiths. After moving to Seattle, Griffiths continued to represent Grays Harbor clients, including the Grays Harbor Commercial Company and other lumber companies. One of his major cases involved a rate dispute in 1907-08 between the Western Washington Lumbermen's Association and all the railroads serving the Northwest. Also documented are Griffiths's business and real estate ventures.

The papers also include outgoing letters and speeches and writings of Griffiths's wife, Margaret Ella Montgomery Griffiths, as well as financial records and legal documents of his foster family, the Pridays.

Restrictions on Access: The papers are open to all users.

Acquisition Info: Gift of Austin E. Griffiths on December 30, 1938, and January 11, 1939 (Accession No. 0489); and of Margaret McCune on August 6, 1980 (Accession No. 3119), September 25, 1980 (Accession No. 3119-002), and an unknown date (Accession No. 3119-004).

Processing Info: Accession No. 3119-001 is a merger of Accession Nos. 0489, 3119, 3119-002 and 3119-004.

Processing Info: Photographs that were originally part of these papers have been relocated to the Special Collections Portrait Collection, PHColl 563, Special Collections division, University of Washington Libraries.

A number of publications in the papers have been relocated to the Special Collections Pacific Northwest Collection, also in the Special Collections division, University of Washington Libraries.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder Accession
1/1a 3119-001
Biographical information
Organizations
Box/Folder Accession
1/1b 3119-001
American Protective League, Minute Men Division
undated
1/1b 3119-001
Committee of Forty-Eight
undated
1/1b 3119-001
League to Enforce Peace, Northwestern Congress for a League of Nations
undated
1/1b 3119-001
Memorial Auditorium Association
1919
1/1b 3119-001
Municipal League, Seattle and King County
1914
1/1b 3119-001
Playground Association, Philadelphia
1907
1/1b 3119-001
Playground Association, Seattle
1908
1/1b 3119-001
Playground Association, Seattle, Community Service
1919, undated
1/1b 3119-001
Prison Reconstruction League
undated
1/1b 3119-001
Progressive Party
1912, 1916
Correspondence
Incoming letters
Processing Info: An alphabetical index to the correspondents in this series appears at the end of this inventory.
Box/Folder Accession
1/2 3119-001
A-Z
1891-1900
1/2-14 3119-001
A-Z
1901
1/15-29 3119-001
A-Z
1902
1/30 3119-001
A-Z
1903
1/31-2/13 3119-001
A-Z
1904
2/14-33 3119-001
A-Z
1905
3/1 3119-001
A-Z
1906
3/2-21 3119-001
A-Z
1907
3/22-27 3119-001
A-Z
1908
3/28-30 3119-001
A-G
1909
3A/1-25 3119-001
A-Z
1908
3A/26-3B/12 3119-001
A-Z
1909
4/1-7 3119-001
H-Z
1909
4/8-26 3119-001
A-Z
1910
4/27-5/26 3119-001
A-Z
1911
6/1-21 3119-001
A-Z
1912
6/22-7/19 3119-001
A-Z
1913
7/20-8/5 3119-001
A-Z
1914
8/6-17 3119-001
A-Z
1915
8/18-21 3119-001
A-Z
1916-1917
8/22-9/5 3119-001
A-Z
1918
9/6-10/7 3119-001
A-Z
1919
10/8-24 3119-001
A-Z
1920
10/25-38 3119-001
A-Z
1921-1952
10/39 3119-001
Unidentified
1901-1922, undated
Box/Folder Accession
11/1-15/23 3119-001
Outgoing letters
1900-1951
15/24 3119-001
Outgoing letters of Margaret Ella Montgomery Griffiths
1933
Minutes
Box/Folder Accession
16/1 3119-001
Playground Association of America
1909-1911
16/2 3119-001
Playground and Recreation Association of America
1912, 1918, 1919-1920
16/4-5 3119-001
Playground and Recreation Association of America, War Camp Community Service
1918-1920
Financial records
Financial records -- law practice
Box Accession
15, 16, 17 3119-001
Day books
12 volumes
1892-1915, 1937-1846
Ledgers
4 volumes
1897-1907
Box/Folder Accession
18/1 3119-001
Financial records--Seabreeze Mining Company
1899-1907
18/2 3119-001
Financial records -- political campaigns
1913-1935
Box
18 3119-001
Financial records--Priday family
3 volumes
1888-1913
Speeches and writings
Speeches and writings of Austin E. Griffiths
Arrangement: Griffiths's speeches are arranged alphabetically. Speeches without titles are identified by a keyword, whereas speeches with actual titles are in quotation marks.
Box/Folder Accession
19/1 3119-001
"Great Faith: Autobiography of an English Immigrant Boy in America, 1863-1950"
Scope and Content: Griffiths's autobiography.
undated
19/1 3119-001
"Abolish County Board"
1937
19/1 3119-001
"Address on the League of Nations' Treaty"
1919
19/1 3119-001
"Adjustment of Labor Controversies"
[1919?]
19/1 3119-001
"American British League"
1900
19/1 3119-001
"American-British Unity"
1945
19/1 3119-001
"Article Ten Like Ship's Keel"
[1919?]
19/1 3119-001
Austria
1918
19/2 3119-001
"The Blight"
undated
19/2 3119-001
"Cafes"
[1914?]
19/2 3119-001
"The Cascade Tunnel: An Imperative Necessity of the State of Washington"
1925
19/2 3119-001
Cascade Tunnel Association address
1925
19/2 3119-001
"Cascade Tunnel: Move Puget Sound and Alaska to the Inland Empire"
[1925?]
19/2 3119-001
Cascade Tunnel: "Points on Which We are Driven to Agree"
undated
19/2 3119-001
"Cascade Tunnel Promotion"
1925
19/2-19/4 3119-001
Cascade Tunnel
18 items
1927-1937, undated
19/5 3119-001
Cedar River Dam
1912
19/5 3119-001
"China's Open Door"
1938
19/5 3119-001
"City Peace and Progress"
1919
19/5 3119-001
"Comments on the Addresses of General Douglas MacArthur in Texas, June 13-17, 1951"
1951
19/5 3119-001
"Community Service"
1919
19/5 3119-001
Constitutional rights
undated
19/5 3119-001
Corruption
undated
19/5 3119-001
"Criminal Anarchy"
undated
19/6 3119-001
DeGaulle, Charles
1943
19/6 3119-001
"Democracy, Its Own Worst Enemy"
undated
19/6 3119-001
"Departmental Interference and Police Efficiency"
[1920?]
19/6 3119-001
"Do We Want War with Japan?"
1919
19/6 3119-001
Duties
undated
19/6 3119-001
Embargo Act
1939
19/7 3119-001
Foreign policy
7 items
1937-1941
19/7 3119-001
"George Washington, World Court, League of Nations"
1923, 1926
19/7 3119-001
"Gospel of Achievement"
1931
19/7 3119-001
"Great Cascade Tunnel: An Imperative Necessity"
1927
19/7 3119-001
"The Great Cascade Double Track Electric Tunnel"
1930
19/8 3119-001
Hughes, Charles Evans
1916
19/8 3119-001
"The Ideal Policeman"
1917
19/8 3119-001
Industrial Code Commission
1919
19/8 3119-001
Industrial Workers of the World
1918
19/9 3119-001
Japan
1939
19/9 3119-001
"Juries, Instructions, Courts, Punishments"
1928
19/9 3119-001
Land policy
1912
19/9 3119-001
Law
2 items
undated
19/9 3119-001
"Lawlessness Becomes Alarming; Corrective Measures Proposed"
1922
19/9 3119-001
"The Lawyer's Responsibility for Business Ability in Office"
1928
19/9 3119-001
League of Nations
4 items
undated
19/9 3119-001
Legal rights
1920
19/9 3119-001
"A Light Wish"
1920
19/9 3119-001
Lloyd, George David
1920
19/9 3119-001
Logged-off land
1912
19/9 3119-001
Logged-off land conference
1916
19/10 3119-001
Mayor
1918
19/10 3119-001
Menace of strikes
2 items
1939
19/10 3119-001
"National Hysteria or Sanity"
1920
19/10 3119-001
"National Issues of 1928"
1928
19/10 3119-001
National Municipal League
1919
19/10 3119-001
"On to Genoa"
1922
19/11 3119-001
"Patriotism and Socialism in War Time, Which?"
1918
19/11 3119-001
"Peace or War on the Pacific"
1921
19/11 3119-001
Playgrounds
1910, 1933
19/11 3119-001
"Police Bill"
1913
19/11 3119-001
"The Police and the Cafes"
1912
19/11 3119-001
Police practices
[1920?]
19/11 3119-001
"Police Tyranny"
[1916?]
19/12 3119-001
"Progress or Blockade?"
1918
19/12 3119-001
"Proposed Changes in Judicial Procedure"
1925
19/12 3119-001
Public Memorial Auditorium Committee
2 items
1919
19/12 3119-001
Public ownership
undated
19/12 3119-001
"Public Responsibility for Crime Prevention"
1926
19/13 3119-001
"Rapid Transit"
1939
19/13 3119-001
"Reconstruction and Jail Reform"
2 items
1918-1919
19/13 3119-001
"Reconstruction of Logged-off Land"
1918
19/13 3119-001
"Relation of Supreme and Superior Courts"
1927
19/13 3119-001
"Relations with the Orient"
1930
19/13 3119-001
"Report to the Supreme Court on Defects and Omissions in the Laws"
1922
19/14 3119-001
"The Republican Convention"
1920
19/14 3119-001
Roosevelt, Theodore
1916
19/14 3119-001
"Roosevelt for League of Nations"
1919
19/15 3119-001
Seattle
2 items
1939
19/15 3119-001
"Seattle and the 'Open Door' Policy as to China"
undated
19/15 3119-001
Settlement (southern United States)
1939
19/15 3119-001
Simplon Tunnel
undated
19/15 3119-001
Social reconstruction in England
1920
19/15 3119-001
States rights
undated
19/15 3119-001
Strikes
1941
19/16 3119-001
"The 30 mile Cascade Tunnel"
1925
19/16 3119-001
Transit
1939
19/16 3119-001
"The Transportation Question"
1907
19/16 3119-001
"Two Police Chiefs"
1920
19/16 3119-001
"The Under-Mountain Highway-- The Great Cascade Tunnel, Its Necessity and Value"
1928
19/16 3119-001
"Washington Playground Bill, Value of Playgrounds to the Public"
1924
Box/Folder Accession
19/17-21 3119-001
Newspaper articles by Austin E. Griffiths
approximately 20 items
General Notes: See also: Newsletters series
Scope and Content: Includes clippings of Griffiths's articles in the Washington Weekly Review and Municipal News. Complete issues are in the "Newsletters" series.
1919-1951, undated
19/22-23 3119-001
Speeches and writings by Margaret Ella Montgomery Griffiths
undated
19/24 3119-001
Speeches and writings by others
undated
Reports
Box/Folder Accession
20/1 3119-001
Cascade Tunnel Association
7 items
1925-1928, undated
20/2 3119-001
Playground Association of America
8 items
1908-1919, undated
20/3 3119-001
Seattle (government)
10 items
1912-1924
20/4 3119-001
International organizations
2 items
1928, 1931
20/5 3119-001
Miscellaneous
11 items
1910-1938
Legal documents
Box/Folder Accession
20/7 3119-001
Deeds
20/8 3119-001
Leases
20/9 3119-001
Licenses and certificates
box:oversize
25 3119-001
Licenses and certificates
Box/Folder
20/10 3119-001
Mortgages
20/11 3119-001
Title abstracts and insurance
20/12 3119-001
Miscellaneous
box:oversize
25 3119-001
Legal documents -- Margaret Ella Montgomery Griffiths
Box/Folder
20/13 3119-001
Legal documents -- Priday Family
Court papers and case files
Box/Folder Accession
20/13a 3119-001
Court paper--United States versus Hulet M. Wells, et al.
1918
Case files
Box/Folder Accession
20/14 3119-001
Anderson (Andrew), et al. versus Steam Tug Printer
20/15 3119-001
Ashton (James M.) versus Boole (George), et al.
1909
20/16 3119-001
Pacific Coast Lumber Manufacturers' Association, et al. versus Northern Pacific Railway Company, et al.
1907-1908
20/17 3119-001
Ramsey (Samuel V.) versus Thorp (F.S.) and Wheeler (Litt)
1908
20/18 3119-001
Schwager and Nettleton, Incorporated, versus Great Northern Railway Company
1907
20/19 3119-001
Tift (H.H.), et al. versus Southern Pacific Railway Company
1903-1906
20/20 3119-001
Trout (Frank) versus Gilbert (John E.), et al.
undated
20/21 3119-001
Miscellaneous
1918-1935
Newsletters
box:oversize Accession
25 3119-001
Seattle Municipal News
1914-1930
25 3119-001
Washington Weekly Review
1940-1941
Box/Folder
21/1 3119-001
Miscellaneous
1918-1935
Campaign materials
Box/Folder Accession
21/2-3 3119-001
Campaign materials of Griffiths
1910-1934
21/4 3119-001
Campaign materials of others
1907-1920
Box/Folder Accession
21/5 3119-001
Legislation
1907-1946, undated
Lists
Box/Folder Accession
21/6 3119-001
Miscellaneous
undated
21/7 3119-001
Seattle Playgrounds Association
1909
21/7 3119-001
Memorial Auditorium Association
1909
21/7 3119-001
League to Enforce Peace
undated
Scrapbooks
box:oversize Accession
25 3119-001
Scrapbooks
4 volumes
1899-1943
Box
21 3119-001
Scrapbooks
4 volumes
1901-1923, 1913
21 3119-001
Scrapbooks--Cascade Tunnel
1926
Clippings
Box/Folder Accession
22/2-7 3119-001
Clippings about Austin E. Griffiths
1905-1951, undated
22/8-20 3119-001
Clippings -- general
1905-1951, undated
Ephemera
Box/Folder Accession
22/1 3119-001
Address book
undated
23/1 3119-001
Programs
16 items
undated
23/2-6 3119-001
Publications
1904-1930
23/7 3119-001
Business and membership cards
undated
24/1-3 3119-001
Miscellaneous
1927-1939, undated
Box/Folder Accession
24/4-13 3119-001
Notes
1907-1920, undated
24/14 3119-001
Maps
1922-1939, undated

Accession No. 3119-003: Austin E. Griffiths papers, 1949Return to Top

1 microfilm reel : negative

Scope and Content: Microfilm includes an unpublished, typewritten manuscript entitled "Government in Daily Action: Comments and Suggestions" (225 pages), Seattle, Washington, 1949; a map labelled "Cascade Tunnel Association;" 5 photographs; and 5 postcards signed "Mother" and Jane Fanny Cottrell.

Restrictions on Access: The papers are open to all users.

Acquisition Info: The originals were loaned by David Griffiths for copying in June 1968.

Processing Info: Other materials originally included in this accession were integrated into Accession No. 3119-001 above.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • British Americans--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Businessmen--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • City council members--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Civic leaders--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Commercial associations--Washington (State)
  • Community welfare councils--Washington (State)
  • Judges--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Lawyers--Washington (State)--Archives
  • Lumber trade--Washington (State)
  • Mayors--Washington (State)
  • Municipal government--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Playgrounds--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Police chiefs--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Political parties--Washington (State)
  • Progressivism (United States politics)
  • Railroad tunnels--Washington (State)
  • Real estate management--Washington (State)
  • Recreation areas--United States--Societies, etc
  • School board members--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Young Men's Christian associations--Washington (State)
  • Personal Names :
  • Griffiths, Austin E. (Austin Edwards), 1863-1952--Archives
  • Hartman, John P. (John Peter), 1857-1945
  • Hutcheson, J. A
  • Matthews, Mark A. (Mark Allison), 1867-1940
  • Poindexter, Miles, 1868-1946
  • Corporate Names :
  • Charity Organization Society of Seattle
  • First Presbyterian Church (Seattle, Wash.)
  • Grays Harbor Commercial Company
  • International Law Association
  • Merrill and Ring Lumber Company
  • Metropolitan Building Company (Seattle, Wash.)
  • Northwestern Lumber Company (Wash.)
  • Pacific Coast Lumber Manufacturers' Association
  • Playground and Recreation Association of America
  • Playground Association of America
  • Polson Logging Company
  • Russell Sage Foundation
  • Seattle (Wash.). Mayor
  • Young Men's Christian Association (Seattle, Wash.)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Cascade Tunnel (Wash.)
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Officials and employees--Archives
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Social conditions
  • United States--Politics and government--20th century
  • Washington (State)--Politics and government--1889-1950
  • Washington (State)--Politics and government--1951-
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • articles
  • case files
  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • correspondence
  • daybooks
  • ephemera
  • financial records
  • Legal documents
  • Microfilms
  • minutes
  • Newsletters
  • reports
  • Scrapbooks
  • Speeches, addresses, etc
  • writings

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)