A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

History: Benjamin E Griggs, Matawan Grocer, Christmas Ad (1881)

The 10 Dec 1881 edition of The Matawan Journal contained this advertisement for fancy fruits, nuts, and groceries for the approaching holidays. The ad said that Kris Kringle had "appointed Ben E Griggs as his Matawan agent for the best Christmas and New Year's grades of oranges, lemons, raisins, currants, citron, foreign and domestic nuts, and fancy groceries for sale at reasonable prices!"

The 1880 Federal Census shows Benjamin E Griggs, age 32, grocer, living in the Matawan Township household of his father, also Benjamin E Griggs, age 60, assessor of taxes. Also living in the household were the grocer's sisters Elizabeth Griggs, age 30, and Sarah A Hendrickson, age 42, and Sarah's husband Garrett Hendrickson, age 42. All were born in NJ.

The 1889 Atlas of Monmouth County shows a lot labeled "B E Griggs" at the corner of what is now Main and Center Streets.

Benjamin was 52 years old (Sept 1847) in the 1900 Federal Census. He was still a grocer but was now head of household. His part of town had become the Borough of Matawan. He was now married to a 43 year old (Oct 1856) woman named Daphne. They had wed four years earlier. Benjamin's widowed brother William Griggs, age 60 (Nov 1839), was living in the household and working as a grocery salesman.


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