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Tina Griffin

Christina Sadie (Booth) Wood Griffin
March 31, 1882   --   September 28, 1975.

Photograph at left, left to right:
Christina (Booth) Griffin in conversation with Effie (Maltby) Booth, Amy (Maltby) Price and Alice (Maltby) Howard. Effie, Amy and Alice were sisters. Photo from the collection of Teresa Benz.


The Western Star, October 9, 1975.

Christina Griffin Dies Sunday

Christina Griffin passed away Sunday night, September 26, 1975, at the Comanche County Hospital in Coldwater, Kans. Funeral services were held in the Wilmore Federated church on Thursday, October 2, 1975, at 2:30 p.m. The minister, Gib Clark, of the Coldwater Christian church was in charge of the services.

Donald G. Booth of Wichita was the organist. He accompanied Jim Booth, who sang "Blessed Assurance." The Wilmore Mennonite quartet sang "Does Jesus Care?" and "I'll Make It Home Some Day."

Pallbearers were her grandsons, Robert Pendegraft, Dick Wood, Travis Baker, Gary Richard, Jim, Sam and Don Trummel.

Honorary pallbearers were her nephews, Lester, Ivan, Chuck, John, Fred, and Donald Booth, and Clifton Wood.


Christina Sadie Booth, one of a family of 13 children born to Christina and Samuel Booth on March 31, 1882, in Morris, Ill., came to Medicine Lodge, Kans., with the family in June 1886. Her family located in Kiowa county.

She was united in marriage to Samuel Moody Wood on March 27, 1901 at Coldwater, Kans. They worked on the Rockefeller ranch near Belvidere and the Pyle ranch near Wilmore before locating on a farm five miles north and west of Wilmore where they lived in a sod house until 1914 when they built a new two story frame house. Samuel Wood passed away September 5, 1922, and Christina remained on the farm with her family. To this union four children were born, Helen Margaret, Eulah Booth, Ruth Mae, and Richard Samuel.

Christina was united in marriage to James P. Griffin on December 6, 1926. They continued to live on the farm until Mr. Griffin's health failed. They the moved to Wilmore where he passed away on June 2, 1950. She continued to make her home in Wilmore until her death.

She united with the Wilmore Christian church November 17, 1914 and later became a member of the Federated church. She was faithful in her attendance and the work of her church until her health failed. She was a loving and faithful wife and mother, took great price in her home, her family, her flower and vegetable gardens and always shared her flowers and vegetables with neighbors and friends. She also did lots of hand work, especially piecing quilts and also quilting them. She had made a quilt for each of the grandchildren and the great grandchildren as well as for her many friends and relatives. She as a member of the Wilmore embroidery club for a number of years until it disbanded.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one sister, nine brothers, and four grandchildren. Her survivors are one son, Richard S. Wood, San Diego, Calif.; three daughters, Mrs. Edward (Ruth) Baker, Mrs. Lester (Eulah) Trummel, Mrs. Charles (Helen) Pendergraft, all of Wilmore. Two stepsons, Jim Griffin of Wilmore and Bill Griffin of Moline, Kans. One daughter-in-law, June and two sons-in-law, Charles and Edward. Ten grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren. Two sisters, Mrs. Isabelle Wright of Belvidere and Mrs. Hattie Wood of Wilmore.

"Aunt Teen," as she was called by a host of nieces, nephews, friends and relatives, will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her. To her grandchildren she was very "special."

She was Wilmore's oldest resident at the time of her death.


She always leaned to watch for us,
Anxious if we were late,
In winter by the window,
In summer by the gate;
And though we mocked her tenderly,
Who had such foolish care,
The long way home would seem more safe
Because she waited there.
Her thoughts were all so full of us,
She never could forget!
And so I think that where she is
She must be watching yet.
Waiting till we come home to hear,
Anxious if we are late--
Watching from heaven's gate.

The following two letters written by Tina Griffin are from the book The Family History of Samuel and Christina Baird Booth, 1865-1983, compiler unknown. The first letter was written in answer to a request in the Home Town News, Wichita Eagle, for information about the Frank Rockefeller Ranch from someone who had worked there. -- Teresa Benz

Early days on the Frank Rockfeller Ranch in the summer of 1902,
Belvidere, Kansas.
Christina Griffin

========== + ==========

We went to work in the spring of 1902. I helped cook for some of the men as there were about 40 men working there at that time. Some of the men were married so they would board some of the workers and the rest would board with the boss and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Pelton. We just got 15 cents per meal in those days. They were doing lots of building that year so they kept a carpenter and stone mason all the time as the large barns were mostly built of stone. Mr. George Hubert, Sr. was the stone mason and Mr. Stearman was the carpenter. I don't recall the wages they got but the ordinary help just received $20 per month. They had a large bunk house as they called it in those days and the hired help all slept there.

There were three divisions of the ranch as follows: The south house where Mr. and Mrs. Dan Gillet lived, the middlehouse where my husband and I lived, it was a nice new 5 room house so had plenty of room and was located right by the creek. I could go out and fish so did catch some nice ones. And the house up on the north side. I have forgotten the name of the people who lived there. In later years my brother Joe and his wife lived there so had three bothers working at the ranch. They had a zoo and had many wild birds and animals there. Also had buffalo but they were in a pasture to themselves. There were plenty of sight seers there on Sunday as there were quite a lot of things to see such as a fine herd of thoroughbred cattle.

The Rockefeller family consisted of three daughters and the mother and father. The youngest girl was a cripple. They would spend about three months at the ranch. Mrs. Pelton and I would go to Wellsford to buy the groceries. We went in a spring wagon and drove horses. She did the driving. We traded at the Anderson store. At the time there was two stores, the other one by the name of Powell but we did not trade there. The Anderson store finally burned down so now there is nothing left at Wellsford. Just eight people living there. That was a very thrifty little town in those days. The Rockefeller home was a very large house with lots of room. It finally burned so not much of a house there any more. The Rockefellers liked it there but I thought it a very lonely place where we lived. Did not have any close neighbors and we lived close to the railroad. There were tramps in those days and several came to my home. Some would want something to eat so I always gave them food even though I was scared as I was alone most of the time. So we just lived there for six months and moved to Wilmore and are still in Wilmore at this time, January 28, 1970.

Christina Griffin

Pioneer Life in Early Kansas: Autobiography of Christina Griffin

Samuel and Christina (Baird) Booth's homestead in Kiowa County, just north of Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas. Both Sam and Christina Booth and many of their descendants are buried in the Powell Township Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.  Photo from the collection of Teresa Benz.

Homestead of Samuel & Christina (Baird) Booth, childhood home of Christina Griffin.

My father and mother came to Kansas in the year of 1886. Father came in April and built a sod house and mother and us children came in July. Was here for the 4th, so celebrated it in Kansas. There were nine of us children, all born in Morris, Grundy Co., Illinois, and brother and sister born in Kansas (Hattie Wood and Fred Booth).

We came to Kansas after the terrible blizzard that was in February. It was much worse than the one we had here in March as it was zero and below, so froze most all cattle and lasted several days. My father did not have any cattle for the first couple of years as he did not have any money in those days to buy any as they had a large family to feed and clothe. They surely had the courage and determination to come to a strange state to live but father worked in the coal mines and decided it be best to come West and get a farm, so that is what he did and it was a real good one. It had plenty of good water and a spring was no problem at all. So as the years went by the good Lord prospered them and they raised the family. All went to school and all married and had nice farms and good old time families.

They all went to school in Kiowa County. Our first teacher's name was Ella Hanna. I can remember her well and she was a bit cross eyed, but we all liked her. Our school house was just a small room with as many as 21 pupils in it. Taught all grades in those days. I finished school and taught one year. So then I decided it was time for me to quit and get married and have a home of my own.

So I married Samuel M. Wood on March 27, 1901, in Coldwater, Kansas, by Hi Burr, the Probate Judge. We went to the Ben Pyle farm to live for one year, then over to Belvidere to live on the Frank Rockefeller ranch. Frank paid all of $20 per month for his hired help at that time. So I did not care to live there so we came back to Wilmore and went to work for A. W. Watson, just west of Wilmore. Stayed there one year then broke up housekeeping and moved to our home in Kiowa County. Lived in a two room house for several years. In 1915, we built our new home. Was so nice to have plenty of room but was happy in the old soddie as some of my children were born there. My oldest girl, Helen Pendergraft, was born in the year 1903, November 27th. Eulah Trummel was born November 25, 1907. She was born in the sod house. Ruth M. Baker was born July 21st, 1916. Ruth was born in our new home. Richard S. Wood was born there also. All born in Kiowa County but Helen. All members of the Christian Church and were baptized in the running waters of Mule Creek.

I did not have any family by James P. Griffin. Getting too old to raise another family. I came to Wilmore to live in the year 1948. Had just lived there two years when James passed away(June 2, 1950). My first husband, Samuel M. Wood, died September 2, 1922. So I managed the farm till 1926 when I married Jim Griffin. Was so glad to get relieved of managing the farm as that was quite a problem. Had quite a lot of prairie fires in the early days that would burn for miles before being checked. Also had coyotes, prairie dogs, prairie chickens, and rabbits. Those rabbits were good to eat in those days. We did not have thieves and not so much stealing as there is today. People were more settled and happy to have a home.We did not have much sickness as did not have any doctors to care for the sick ones today.

Then I bought me a home in the north part of Wilmore and still live there, raise flowers and take care of my yard so that is about the end of a Pioneer Kansas. May put in a few more years if the Lord is willing.

Bye... the end

Christina Griffin

Pioneer Life in Early Kansas was written in 1970. Christina Booth Wood Griffin died September 28, 1975. She is buried in Powell Township Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas. She was the daughter of Samuel & Christina (Baird) Booth.

Pendergraft Brothers Drowned in River, The Western Star, October 9, 1936. (Grandsons of Tina Griffin.)

Mary Ellen Booth Is Taken By Death, The Wilmore News, November 13, 1931. (Sister of Tina Griffin.)

Helen Margaret (Wood) Pendergraft, daughter of Tina Griffin.

Eulah Booth (Wood) Trummel, daughter of Christina Sadie (Booth) Wood Griffin.

This web page was added to this site by Jerry Ferrin, 23 Feb 2003; it was last updated 6 Feb 2006. Thanks to Teresa Benz for contributing the letters & photos.

Thanks also to Joan Armundsen for contributing The Booth Descendants of The Bairds of Lanarkshire in Comanche and Kiowa Counties, Kansas..

Thanks to Shirley Brier for contributing the obituary.