Death of Alice Hills Grindle

Studio portrait of Alice Hills taken when she was 17 years old. (Kelley House Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

January 30, 1882 – Mrs. Alice Hills Grindle, age 23, passed away at the home of her parents, leaving her husband Joshua Grindle, her parents Spencer and Senith Hills, and her 8-day-old son to mourn her. Joshua named their newborn son, Aliston, in honor of his late wife.

Born in Boston on May 16, 1858, Alice arrived in Mendocino with her parents on July 16, 1859. She was educated at the Mendocino public school and trained to be a teacher. She received her teaching certificate at the age of 16 and was immediately hired as an assistant teacher at the same Mendocino public school she had attended. Just 16 months later, she was named principal at the Navarro Ridge schoolhouse, and taught there for three terms.

On September 3, 1879, Alice married Joshua Grindle, who was 14 years her senior. Alice’s parents gave the newlyweds a large piece of property just east of their residence on Little Lake Road. J. D. Johnson and Perley Maxwell began building the Grindle house in 1879, but Alice died before the home was completed.

The Beacon described Alice in her obituary, “She was of a kind and genial disposition, beloved by all who knew her; a dutiful and affectionate daughter and wife. Her bereaved husband and parents have the deep sympathy of the whole community, who knew her worth, and can appreciate their loss.”

Her funeral was held the afternoon after her death, the Presbyterian minister Rev. G. T. McClellan officiating at the home of her parents and at her grave in Evergreen Cemetery.

Last day to see the elaborate gown worn by Jennie Blair in 1887 when she was presented at the Court of Saint James in England! Open today: 11 am to 3 pm. The Museum is located at 45007 Albion Street in Mendocino.