Papers of the Crippen Family, including patriarch George H. Crippen, who settled in San Diego in 1886 and helped develop the city through real estate and investment ventures. The papers include writings of John Crippen, son of George Crippen, personal diaries and correspondence of several family members, and amateur historian Marvin Studebaker's research on the Crippen family.


After serving in the Civil War, New York native George Crippen moved to Kansas where he met and married Melissa Daniel of Ohio. They moved to San Diego in 1886 with their sons John and Roy. Included in the move were Melissa Crippen's sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Jennings, and their daughter Belle. In San Diego the Crippens had two more children, both girls; one died in infancy and the other, Ruth, died in 1918.

George Crippen was a prominent businessman and had a hand in developing the Point Loma neighborhood Roseville, and surrounding San Diego areas. John Crippen was an early school teacher for San Diego City schools before he pursued a masters in education at Columbia University.

After living in Point Loma, the Crippens sold their land and moved to downtown San Diego and kept a cabin in Ramona.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Crippen Family Papers are arranged in two series: A) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS and B) DIARIES.

MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS include financial records from George Crippen, fictional writings by John Crippen, Melissa Crippen's typed recollections of her childhood in Ohio, copy photos of the family members, and Marvin Studebaker's writings and research notes on the Crippen family.

DIARIES were written by Melissa Daniel Crippen, and her sons Roy and John. Handwritten entries describe many early events in San Diego such as the first cross-bay ferry service and the openings of schools, as well as daily events in their personal lives. The 1914 diary of Melissa Crippen includes several newspaper clippings and gelatin silver prints of unidentified subjects, which have been placed in envelopes with the diary. The diaries are arranged chronologically.


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Box Folder Oversize
Crippen, George.
1 1 FB-203-07 State and county tax receipts detailing properties owned, 1893-1909.
1 2 San Diego City tax receipts detailing properties owned, 1894-1912.
1 3 FB-203-08 Federal tax return detailing investments and properties owned, 1916-1927.
Crippen, John.
1 4 Fictional writings, undated.
1 5 Teaching application and recommendations, 1906-1908.
1 6 Crippen, Melissa Daniel - "Life in Early Ohio", 1911.
1 7 Crippen, Roy - Correspondence with family, 1918.
1 8 Copy photos.
Studebaker, Marvin.
1 9 "A Literary Treasure Lost", 1968.
1 10 Research notes on Melissa Crippen, 1967-1969.
Box Folder Oversize
Crippen, John.
2 1-2 1888.
2 3 1890.
2 4 1891.
2 5 1892.
2 6 1899.
Crippen, Roy.
2 7 1899.
2 8 1900.
Crippen, Melissa Daniel.
2 9 1908.
2 10 1913.
2 11 1914.
2 12 1915.
2 13 1916.
2 14-15 1917.
2 16 1918.
2 17 1920.

Finding aid generated: 2010-08-09