Notes for GRIFFITH VAN VELSOR DAVIES:
Son of Franklin Benjamin and Josephine "Josie" Van Velsor (Tobin) Davies.
Born: May 10, 1895 in New Jersey.
Died: August 20, 1928 in Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania.
Cause of Death: Automobile Accident in Pocono Mountains, Northeast Pennsylvania.
Buried: Fairview Cemetery, Westfield, Union County, New Jersey.
Married: Marion Genevieve Day December 8, 1921 in Unknown.
Griffith Van Velsor Davies was the first of two children born to Josephine Van Velsor Tobin and Franklin Benjamin Davies. Griffith's younger brother, Horace Franklin, was known as "Spitz." Griffith was the beloved husband of Marion Genevieve Day. He was 6'2", blue eyes, blonde hair with fair complexion, lean, handsome, a baseball player and high jumper in high school. He attended New York University, but interrupted his education to enlist in the National Army on September 19, 1917 at the age of 22. He did his basic training at Camp Dix with the 3rd Officers Training Corps and was commissioned on June 1, 1918 at Camp Lee, Virginia as Second Lieutenant. He was promoted to First Lieutenant Infantry on August 24, 1918 in Company A, 311th Infantry. He left the United States on October 20, 1918 and left France on June 21, 1919. He was in command of the First Battalion of the 811th Pioneer Infantry, a fighting unit made up of African-American soldiers. Armistice Day, effectively ending World War I, was November 11, 1918. He arrived back in the United States on Independence Day and recieved his Honorable Discharge at Camp Meade, Maryland on July 26, 1919 after serving 22 months for his country.
He and his wife lived for a time in Tampico, Mexico while he was the Assistant Superintendent at the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey Refining Plant at La Barra, Mexico during the 1920's. Among other administrative duties, he designed petroleum stills. A letter dated February 15, 1924 written by the superintendent confirms his employment position. When his daughter Patricia was born, he was listed on the birth certificate as Assistant Foreman Pressure Still, Standard Oil Company.
Griffith and Marion were residing in Woodbury, New Jersey when Griffith died in a tragic automobile accident in the Pocono Mountains with his family in the vehicle - his wife, his first daughter Josephine and his younger daughter Patricia. The brakes failed and the family vehicle ran into a bus stopped at a railroad crossing, which was required by law at that time. Griffith never regained consciousness. The death information states that he died in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Marion, Josephine, and Patricia survived.
After Standard Oil Company gave $1,000 in cash to his widow Marion upon hearing of his passing, she invested in Standard Oil, and its successors, her entire life out of gratitude, sentiment and remembrance of her husband. He is buried at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey near his parents. Arrangements were made by the Prall Funeral Home in Roselle, New Jersey. (Source: "War Activities of the Borough of Roselle, 1915-1919". The Plimpton Press, Norwood, Massachusetts.)