By Dan McGrew, Vice President of Business Development
Griffith Company’s diverse history reaches back more than one hundred twenty years. Before the turn of the 20th century, and before Griffith Company was stamped on the letterhead, our Company was hard at work. In fact, Company accounting ledgers date back as far as the 1890’s. But the organization we now know as Griffith Company really began taking shape between the years of 1902 and 1922.
Our founding Company, Fairchild- Gilmore- Wilton originated as an engineering contractor focusing primarily on paving, grading, underground, site development and concrete work. In April of 1902 the Company was incorporated and J.A. Fairchild assumed the Presidency, serving in that role until 1911.
In 1906 George P. Griffith joined the Company, stepping in as a Director before he was elected Vice President. In 1908 Stephen Griffith, George’s cousin left Spokane Washington to join the growing Company. More changes came in 1911 as J.A. Fairchild resigned as President and Director, after transferring all his shares of the Company. George Wilton was elected President. In 1920, George Wilton resigned as President and George P. Griffith was unanimously elected to lead the Company.
During the years 1921 and 1922, the Griffiths were busy in the process of reorganizing the Company and turning Fairchild-Gilmore-Wilton into Griffith Company. On December 7, 1922 it became official when Griffith Company was incorporated in the State of California. The first Board of Directors of the newly christened Company met at the Los Angeles Railway Building on December 15, 1922. Newly elected officers included President George P. Griffith, Vice President Stephen Griffith, and Treasurer George Griffith Jr.
Under the leadership of the Griffiths, the Company’s project list began to encompass a variety of engineering projects, including buildings, bridges, dams, railroads, flood control structures, national security, and airports. Griffith Company took on and completed major projects for an ever-growing list of government agencies and owners among them the Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Metropolitan Water District, California Division of Highways, The Department of Army Corps of Engineers, and just about every department in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Kern and San Diego.
From this exciting beginning one hundred years ago, we have built on the capabilities and skills of these early years to achieve great things today. In the process we are standing on the shoulders of this great family that has given us a wonderful legacy to embrace as we continue to build work with values forged over one hundred years as we continue to build California with safety, quality, value and integrity.