|To honor our hometown veterans who served
in the "War of the Rebellion" 1861 - 1865 . . .
Dean A. Enderlin
(Member, Col. Elmer Ellsworth Camp, No. 23, SUVCW)
|Civil War Veterans Buried
in Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery
During the course of researching Calistoga history, I discovered that I had accumulated a surprising amount of information related to American Civil War veterans buried in Calistoga's Pioneer Cemetery. Other Civil War veterans who are not buried in the cemetery, also made their mark on this town's history, and deserve to be remembered. This website is my small attempt to honor and preserve the memory of those soldiers and sailors who offered their service in one of the darkest times in our country's history.
Research still continues, so this website should be considered a work in progress. I will update it as new information becomes available. Please scroll down to view the website content, or click on a link at left to jump to a topic. If anyone reading this has additional information on Civil War soldiers or sailors who lived in Calistoga, I would love to hear from you! There is always room for improvement here!
Calistoga, Napa County, CA
Updated 4 June 2016
|The Collins ("Pioneer") Cemetery - A Brief History
|Gov. Morton Post, No. 41,
|Gov. Morton Corps, No. 40,
Medal of Honor Recipient
Winfield Scott, Calistoga's Last Civil War Veteran
|Where are Calistoga's Veterans of the
I have very limited information on the following Civil War veteran who is reportedly buried in Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery. His grave is unmarked, and its location uncertain. If anyone reading this has more information relating to him, please contact me! He deserves to be remembered.
Charles E. Jennings
Unknown Civil War service
click here to see what I have so far
To date, I have found 24 Civil War veterans in Calistoga's Pioneer Cemetery (23 confirmed Union). This list is believed to be complete. Arranged below, in alphabetical order, are biographies, obituaries and military service information for each. You can view the biographical information by scrolling down, or by clicking the link to a name in the "quick index" below.
Daniel Bentley's G.A.R. badges.
Badge Serial No.
V66807 (Mfr'd 1882)
1825 - 1903
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, 20 March 1903):
Another Old Soldier Dies.Daniel M. Bentley, a civil war veteran, died at his home north of town last Saturday morning after a lingering illness. Mr. Bentley was stricken with paralysis some five months ago, and this, coupled with old age, was the cause of his death.
The deceased was a native of New York state and was aged 77 years and 5 months. He served for nearly two years in the civil war, being a member of the Sixth Iowa cavalry. Mr. Bentley came to California about thirty-five years ago, and after spending a few months in different parts of the state seeking a location, took up his residence near Calistoga. The deceased was twice married, his first wife having died many years ago, but his second wife survives. He was the father of four children, namely: Emmett, Ida, Emma and Charles, all of whom are dead save the latter.
The funeral was held Monday afternoon from his late residence and was conducted under the auspices of Governor Morton post, No. 40 [sic -- 41], G.A.R., of which, the deceased was a highly respected member. The Rev. George Clifford officiated and the remains were laid beside those of his son, Emmett. The funeral ceremonies were largely attended by old friends and acquaintances.
Notes: Native of New York, born 15 August 1825. He is reported to be the son of Russell D. Bentley (1802-1890) and Julia Fanny Betts (1802-1878).
He was described in 1892 as age 66, height 5 feet 8 inches, dark complexion, blue eyes, gray hair, occupation farmer. The Bentley family lived on their property west of the intersection of Palisade Road and what is now Highway 29. An S-curve in the old county road near their house was once known as "Bentley's Corners." The family also owned property east of the highway on the present-day Deiss residence, which in my youth we called the "Bentley Hill." Their property was immediately north of my own. Daniel and his wife, Lydia, had a son Charles "Charlie" Bentley, who reached adulthood and married. Charlie's son, Wesley, is a good friend of our family.
Daniel M. Bentley appears in the 1850 census in Van Buren, Onondaga County, New York, as a head of a household of three. He was listed as age 25, born in New York, occupation farmer. His household included his wife Calista L. (age 20, born in New York), and an Irish farmer (hired help?) named Stanley Christopher (age 16).
By 1861, Daniel and his wife had moved to Iowa. Calista died there on 3 March 1861, and was buried in Oakshade Cemetery, Marion Township, Linn County, IA. Daniel was still living in Marion when he enlisted in the 6th Iowa Cavalry in October 1862, serving until August 1864. Daniel married his second wife, Lydia F. Martz (born 21 September 1836 in OH), in Linn County, IA, on 6 July 1862.
The Bentleys' first child, Emmitt, was born in Iowa on 12 January 1868. By 1870, they had returned to New York to be close to Daniel's parents.
"Morgan D.Bentley" was enumerated in the 1870 census in Van Buren (Baldwinsville P.O.), Onondaga County, New York. He was listed as age 44, born in New York, occupation farm hand. His household included his wife Lydia F. (age 30, born in Ohio), and son Emmett (age 2, born in Iowa). They were living next door to Russell D. Bentley (age 68, born in Rhode Island) and his wife Julia (age 68, born in New York), who were probably relatives.
About 1872, Daniel, Lydia and their son Emmitt came to California, settling in Calistoga a few months after their arrival. A son, Charles Elmer, was born two years later (18 October 1874).
"D. M. Bentley" and his family were enumerated in the 1880 census in Hot Springs Township (Calistoga vicinity), Napa County. He was listed as married, age 55, born in New York, mother born in Connecticut, father born in New York, occupation farmer. The household included his wife "Elizabeth" (age 42, born in Ohio), and son "Emmet" (age 12, born in Iowa), and son Charles (age 6, born in California).
Tragedy struck the Bentley family in 1887 with the death of Emmitt at Calistoga on 22 September.
Daniel and his family were enumerated in the 1900 census in Hot Springs Precinct (Calistoga vicinity). He was head of household, listed as married (38 years), age 74, born August 1825 in New York, father born in Connecticut, mother born in New York. His occupation was not given. The household included Daniel's wife, Lydia, born September 1839 in Ohio, and Charles, born October 1873 in California.
Daniel Morgan Bentley died at his home north of Calistoga on 14 March 1903, and was buried in Section 3, Block B, Lot 13 of Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery on 16 March 1903.
Military Information: Union. Enlisted on 4 October 1862 at age 36, and mustered into Company K, 6th Iowa Cavalry Regiment on 10 October 1862. At the time of enlistment, he was listed as a resident of Marion, Iowa, and native of New York. Discharged on 8 August 1864 at Fort Randall, Dakota Territory. Indian fighter. Rank in: Private. Rank out: Private.
He was an early member and officer of Calistoga's Gov. Morton Post, No. 41, G.A.R.
6th Iowa Cavalry
1836 - 1918
Rank: Captain (Brevet Lieutenant Colonel)
Biography 1 (History of Butler and Bremer Counties, Iowa, 1885):
Colonel N. [sic] E. Billings, one of the attorney’s of Waverly, Iowa, was born in Booneville, Oneida county, New York, July 8, 1837. His father was Jarvis Billings, formerly of Tolland, Connecticut; his mother, Almira Partridge, of Wilbraham, Massachusetts. They were married in Chenango county, New York, where eight children were born to them. In 1845, he emigrated with his family to Boone county, Illinois, where he engaged in farming until 1855. That year he removed to Fillmore county, Minnesota, where he laid out Preston, the county seat of that county, and where he still resides at the advanced age of ninety-three. The subject of this sketch was reared on a farm, receiving his early education in the common schools, spending two years and eight months at Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, where he studied the languages and law, and fitted himself for a civil engineer. He was admitted to the Bar of the United States Courts in 1865, by the United States District Court of Kentucky. In the spring of 1861, he entered the First United States Sharp Shooters, participating in the engagements with the Army of the Potomac. He was wounded at the battle of Antietam, by the explosion of a shell, and for this cause discharged January 7, 1863. He then returned to Minnesota, where he raised a company and joined the Second Minnesota Cavalry. He was commissioned First Lieutenant of the Company. After a time he resigned and enlisted as a private in Company L, of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant of the One Hundred and Fifteenth United States Veterans, and still later promoted to Captain of the one Hundred and Twentieth United States Veterans. He was in front of Petersburg and Richmond, when the Rebel army surrendered, at which time he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel of the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth United States Veterans. At the close of the war he returned to Minnesota. In 1867, was appointed as assistant United States District Attorney, at Russellville, Kentucky; also appointed agent in the Freedman’s Bureau. In 1869, he went to Kansas as civil engineer on the L. & G. R..R.; then to northwestern Missouri, where he was engaged on the Chicago and Southwestern Railroad; then to the Central Iowa Railroad. In the fall of 1869, Mr. Billings came to Waverly, where has since followed his profession, and is one of Waverly’s most studious and energetic attorneys. He has built up a lucrative practice. Aside from his practice here, he has an extensive real estate interest in Fillmore county, Minnesota. He is an active member of the Legion of Honor of this place.
Biography 2 (History of Solano and Napa Counties, California, 1912):
JUDGE MYRON E. BILLINGS.
Few, if any, citizens of California have made careers more illustrious than that of Judge Billings, of Calistoga, Napa county. His has been an exceedingly useful and busy life, crowded with work and filled with varied experiences. His retirement from the heat and burden of the day enabled him to review his past and give to the present generation an inspiration to deeds of nobler endeavor in the service of humanity.
Myron E. Billings was born in Booneville, Oneida county, New York, July 8, 1836. Tracing his ancestry back to England, we find that he comes of a noble family. He has in his possession the old coat of arms of the English Billingses. When he was eight years old his immediate family moved to Boone county, Ill. Here he went to the public school and at the age of thirteen years passed an examination permitting him to enter Notre Dame College, at South Bend, Ind. There he studied law and civil engineering, graduating with honors in both departments. He also mastered the German tongue and can, to this day, read and translate German writings and write in the language. At the outbreak of the Civil war in 1861, being at the time in Minnesota, he enlisted in the First Minnesota regiment, the first regiment to volunteer its services upon the beginning of hostilities. There being no railroads in those days, the quickest mode of transportation for the regiment was by boat down the Mississippi river and up the Ohio. At Gettysburg this organization lost heavily, eighty-five per cent. of the members of its ten companies being killed or wounded. Mr. Billings was on duty at the capture of Yorktown and fought in all engagements in which his regiment participated up to and including the battle of Antietam, in which he was wounded as one of the minor consequences of the explosion of a shell against a rock. Seven members of his regiment were blown into unrecognizable fragments. It was only because Sergeant Billings was a little outside of the shock center that he escaped with his life. But from his belt to his feet he was almost literally filled with fragments of shell and rock. His company was attached to the First United States Sharpshooters. He had just been promoted to be adjutant of the Seventh Minnesota regiment, but was prevented from accepting the position because of his wounds. After a hospital term, during which many fragments of rock and cast-iron were removed from his body, he was honorably discharged July 12, 1863. Returning to his home he was under physicians' care until his recovery was complete. Then he made application to the secretary of war for an examination for a commission and appeared before an army board presided over by Major General David Hunter, was passed first-class and recommended for a commission. He was soon commissioned second lieutenant in the One Hundred and Fifteenth regiment United States Veteran Volunteers and detailed to the staff of Major General George H. Thomas. His next promotion was to a captaincy in the One Hundred and Twentieth regiment United States Veteran Volunteers, this also by examination. He entered Richmond in command of the third Union regiment that went into the city after the Confederates had been driven out. It was his regiment that escorted President Lincoln through the streets of Richmond to the Spotswood Hotel, and took possession of the so-called "Lion's Den," formerly occupied by President Davis of the Southern Confederacy. Judge Billings vividly recalls seeing President Lincoln walking up the streets of Richmond, leading his son, "little Tad," by the hand. At this time the President issued orders promoting and giving medals of honor to officers for their bravery in the capture of Richmond. Mr. Billings was promoted to brevet lieutenant colonel and given command of the One Hundred Twentieth Infantry, state of Kentucky, and later was transferred to the One Hundred Twenty-fifth United States Veteran Volunteers. He was judge advocate under General Joe Holt, who was judge advocate general.
Mr. Billings resigned from the army June, 1865, and returned to Minnesota. He was recalled by appointment of President Lincoln, as justice of the United States criminal courts district of five counties in the southwest part of Kentucky. This was during reconstruction times in Kentucky, when the historic Ku Klux Klan was active, sometimes in most unpleasant ways. Returning to Minnesota Mr. Billings practiced law two years in Owatonna, Steele county. Then he accepted employment as civil engineer in the construction of the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Gulf Railroad in Kansas, and later in the construction of the Chillicothe and Des Moines Railroad in Missouri and Iowa. He also served on the Central Railroad of Iowa at Grinnell and on the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern road at Shell Rock, Iowa. In another period of his life he was county surveyor of Bremer county, Iowa, and city attorney of Waverly, Iowa. In the latter town he practiced law for twenty-two years, afterwards removing to Kalama, Washington, where he practiced thirteen years and was for a time city attorney.
Leaving Washington, Judge Billings came to California, first settling in Berkeley, whence he came to Calistoga, Napa county in 1903. There he has since lived. He has been city attorney for two years and has shown otherwise that he has not retired fully from active business life at the close of his remarkable career.
By special act of Congress after the Civil war, Judge Billings' brevet rank was increased to full rank of lieutenant colonel with pay, and a pension of $30 a month. He was one of the few men so honored by the President and by Congress, illustrating the value of his service to the country. Judge Billings has a fine residence in Calistoga, built of stone from Napa county and walls two feet thick, the best constructed house in the county, which contains many relics of his illustrious experiences. Among other things, he has two beautiful inlaid tables, made by himself, of elegant design and workmanship.
January 19, 1856, Judge Billings married Julie C. Churchill, a native of Illinois. His second marriage took place in Iowa, where Delia E. Welcher became his wife November 13, 1874. He has the following named children: Elmore M. (Mrs. Clara M. Von Dorn), and Mrs. Lucille M. Dickerson.
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, 8 November 1918):
COLONEL BILLINGS DIED ON MONDAYColonel M. E. Billings, who was reported in last week's paper as being very ill from bronchial pneumonia, died at his home at the residence of I. M. Martin on Lincoln avenue Monday just at the noon hour. He had been sick for nearly three weeks, but was so much better the day before his death that he dismissed his nurse and sat up in bed a little while Sunday. About 1 o'clock the following morning he grew worse and called to I. M. Martin to come and stay with him, which he did, and from that time on Mr. Billings failed rapidly. About ten minutes before his death he asked Mr. Martin to hand him a letter from his daughter, and he took a pen and changed an address, saying that it might be of importance some time. When he had finished that task he remarked, "I cannot see well; I am gradually getting blind. I guess I have about come to the end of my trail." At that he lay back on his pillow, and after floundering around a little he expired.
Well-Known Citizen a Victim of Bronchial Pneumonia
Colonel Billings was really a remarkable man and was possessed with a wonderful amount of information. He was one of the best read men in the country and was greatly interested in the European war from its beginning. He made a number of prophecies from time to time to the editor of this paper, and every one of them came true. Shortly after the Lusitania was sunk the writer said to him: "Colonel, do you think the United States will get into the war?" He replied: "Yes, Charley, your Uncle Sammie will never stand for its citizens -- innocent women and little helpless children -- to be murdered on the high seas. Then when we do, both Kaisers (meaning Germany and Austria) will have to come down and Hungary will break away from Austria. It will take time and lots of money and bloodshed, but it cannot terminate otherwise." And that is just what is happening today, and it's a pity that he could not have lived a little longer to see it.
Colonel Myron Elmore Billings was a native of New York, and was aged 82 years, 3 months and 27 days. He was a veteran of the Civil War and served throughout its entire period of four years. While he had always been called a Colonel, his correct title was that of Captain. He was first commissioned a Lieutenant and then a Captain. He was wounded only once, being shot in the foot. His younger days were spent in Minnesota and Iowa where he practiced law and was considered a good trial lawyer in those days. He moved to the State of Washington about thirty years ago and came to California sixteen years ago. After spending a year in Berkeley, he came to Calistoga and continued to live here up to the time of his death.
He is survived by a son, E. M. Billings, and two daughters, Mrs. ---. ---. Von Dorn and Mrs. H. E. Strassburger.
The funeral was held today under the auspices of Governor Morton Post, No. 40, [sic -- 41] G.A.R., of which the deceased was a member, and interment was made in the Grand Army plot in Calistoga cemetery.
Notes: Native of Booneville, Oneida County, New York, born 8 July 1837. 1900: Attorney living in Kalama, Washington. 1910: Attorney living on Main St. (now Foothill Blvd.) in Calistoga. According to I. C. Adams, he purchased the Francis house (old Calistoga Hospital) at the corner of Spring and Myrtle Streets after the death of J. H. Francis. Billings kept his law office there until his death in 1918. His widow sold the property, and moved to Oakland.
He was reportedly a member of the Iowa Legion of Honor. At Calistoga, he was an active member of Gov. Morton Post, No. 41, G.A.R., and served as it's Post Commander from 1908 to 1911.
He died of pneumonia in Calistoga on 4 November 1918, and was buried in the G.A.R. plot (Section 1, Block D) of Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery on 8 November 1918.
Military Information: Union. Myron Billings has one of the most complex service records of any of Calistoga's Civil War veterans. He first joined the 2nd Minnesota Sharpshooters company (attached to the 1st Minnesota Infantry regiment). He enlisted 16 December 1861, at the age of 25. Residence Preston, Fillmore County, Minnesota. The regiment was attached for a time to the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters (commanded by Colonel Hiram Berdan) until 30 May 1862. Then attached to the 1st Minnesota Infantry as Company "L." Rank in: 5th Sergeant. Rank out: Sergeant. Received medical discharge on 12 July 1863, on account of shrapnel wounds received in the foot during the Battle of Antietam (17 September 1862). He was one of twenty sharpshooters wounded at Antietam in the first ten minutes of battle.
He recovered from his disability, and in spite of his wounds, made efforts to rejoin the Army. According to an 1883 biography, after his recovery, he raised a company and re-enlisted in the 2nd Minnesota Cavalry, reportedly commissioned First Lieutenant. I could find no record of this service.
He then enlisted as a Private in the 5th Iowa Cavalry on 1 February 1864, and was mustered into Company "L" on 17 February. The roster lists him as a native of New York, age 27, resident of Winneshiek County, Iowa. The Iowa roster notes that he was discharged for promotion as Second Lieutenant to the 16th U.S. Colored Infantry (Source: Roster and Record of Iowa Troops in the Rebellion, Vol. 4, 1908-1911). There is no record of him having served as an officer in the 16th U.S. Colored Infantry. He did, however, transfer for promotion to a colored regiment, as noted below.
While serving in the 5th Iowa Cavalry regiment, he reportedly applied for reinstatement of his commission as an Infantry officer in the Regular Army. His application was accepted and he was awarded a commission as an officer in Company "A" of the 115th U.S. Colored Infantry on 5 October 1864. As was typical of the time, the colored regiments were commanded by white officers. Rank in: Full 2nd Lieutenant. Rank out: Full 2nd Lieutenant.
He transferred (for promotion to Full Captain) to Company "C" of the 120th U.S. Colored Infantry on 28 February 1865. The regiment was assigned to garrison and guard duty in the Department of Kentucky. The 120th was discontinued in June 1865, at which time he received orders to transfer to the 125th U.S. Colored Infantry. He chose to resign from the 120th U.S. Colored Infantry on 12 July 1865. Rank in: Full Captain. Rank out: Full Captain (Brevet Lieutenant Colonel). His headstone lists his rank as Major (possibly the rank he held in his post-war service in the JAG Corps). His commissioned rank during the Civil War was never higher than Captain. The full text on the military headstone, located in the GAR Plot at Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery is: MAJOR | M. E. BILLINGS | 120. U.S. VOL.
He is listed as "Myron E. Billings" on the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C. The memorial was developed by the African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation and Museum, and is now managed by the National Park Service. Billings appears in the rosters of both the 115th and 120th U.S. Colored Infantry regiments on the memorial.
Additional information on the 5th Iowa Cavalry (including biographical information on Myron E. Billings and other members of the regiment) can be found at the Scriptorium Novum website. Highly recommended!
Myron E. Billings applied for and received a veterans disability pension on 17 April 1876 (application no. 217452, cert. no. 255603). Service on the pension death index card was listed as 2 Lt., Co. A, 115 U.S.C. Inf.; Co. L, 5 Ia. Cav.; Co. C, 120 U.S.C. Inf.; 2nd Co. Minn. S.S.; and Co. L, 1 U.S. Vol. S.S. Date of death was noted as 4 November 1918 at Calistoga, Calif.
2nd Minnesota Sharpshooter Company
1st Minnesota Infantry)
Attached briefly to the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters
2nd Minnesota Cavalry
5th Iowa Cavalry
115th U.S. Colored Infantry
120th U.S. Colored Infantry
Judge Advocate General's Corps
c.1834 - 1908
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, 11 September 1908):
Louis Barger [sic], a veteran of the civil war, died at the county infirmary yesterday. He was a native of Germany and aged seventy-three years. The remains were brought here by County Undertaker M. Moran and were buried in the Calistoga cemetery this afternoon.
Notes: Native of Saxony, Germany. Little is known about him. Louis Burger's obituary indicates he died in Napa on 10 September 1908, and was buried in Calistoga on 11 September. He died in a period in time when the remains of some deceased persons from the County Infirmary (in Napa) were being shipped to Calistoga for burial. It is possible that he never actually resided in Calistoga. There were apparently no family members available to see to the proper burial of Burger's remains, so the County authorized Calistoga mortician and undertaker, Michael Moran, to handle the matter. Burger is buried in the G.A.R. plot in the Calistoga cemetery, so the G.A.R. must have also been involved with the arrangements.
A Louis Burger, who was enumerated in the 1900 census under the household of his wife, Sarah A. Burger, in Oakland, Alameda County, California, is not the same individual as this soldier. The former appears in Oakland in the 1910 census as Louis P. Berger.
He died at the County Infirmary in Napa on 10 September 1908, and was buried in the G.A.R. plot (Section 1, Block D) at Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery on 11 September 1908. His military headstone is inscribed as follows: LOUIS BURGER | CO. I. | 1 U.S. ART.
Military Information: Union. Regular Army. His name is listed as Lewis Burger in the roster for Battery I of the 1st U.S. Light Artillery. He reenlisted (his second enlistment) in Battery I of the 1st U.S. Artillery at New York City on 8 April 1861. Previously, Burger had served in Company B of the 6th U.S. Infantry. At the time of reenlistment, he was described as age 27, native of Saxony, Germany, occupation soldier, eyes gray, hair red, complexion florid, height 5' 5 1/4". He was discharged for disability at Fortress Monroe on 19 January 1863, rank Private.
Battery I was assigned to the Army of the Potomac until May of 1865. The battery engaged in battles at Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness. It reportedly suffered heavy losses at Bull Run and Gettysburg. Battery I was present at Appomattox Courthouse when Lee surrendered.
1st U.S. Light Artillery (Regular Army)
Pre-Civil War Service:
6th U.S. Infantry
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, 27 May 1921):
HON. REESE CLARK HAS PASSED AWAY
Well-Known Attorney and Citizen Died Wednesday
Hon. Reese Clark, well-known attorney and former legislator, died at his home in Calistoga on Wednesday night, death being due to kidney trouble.
Mr. Clark, in his younger days, enjoyed a lucrative law practice in Woodland and later in San Francisco, and was connected with some of the most prominent criminal cases in the State. His entire life has been an eventful one, full of romance and change. He was a self-made man, as the tale of his career will disclose. He was born in Missouri on November 19, 1847, while his parents were emigrating westward in search of a new home, in company with a large party; many of the number were killed by Indians, while others perished from exposure and hardships. Among the number who died on the plains were the father, mother, and brother of Mr. Clark. A relief party rescued the few who survived the horrors of that terrible trip. The relief party brought the rescued into Oregon, and young Clark was placed in charge of a man named Besketh, who, at a very tender age, put the lad to the dangerous labor of riding the horses of the place, which, as a rule, were broken and managed only with extreme difficulty. In 1857 young Clark's master took offense and flogged him severely, whereupon the spirited boy ran away, and going some twenty miles, fell in with a man with a pack mule bound for Yreka. He joined the traveler and reached the California town in safety, where he worked at such odd jobs as he could secure, mainly serving trading parties, until late in the year, 1860. The opportunity offering, he went to Jocksonville [Jacksonville], Ore., and enlisted as a bugler in the First Oregon Cavalry, Company A. Here his training in horsemanship served him well. He served in the command on the frontier for three years, and in 1863 was honorably discharged. He then bought a pony and struck out for the Idaho mines, was successful in his venture, and sold out for a good sum and returned to Oregon. Up to this time Mr. Clark could neither read nor write. But he resolved to remedy these omissions, and attended the Bethel College for two years studying with untiring diligence and advancing with great rapidity. He then engaged in merchandising in Polk county, Ore., and continued in it until 1875, when he met with reverses and lost all of his little fortune, except about a thousand dollars. With this left he struck out for Winters, Yolo county, in this State, where he engaged in the retail grocery and liquor business. At all possible leisure, he pursued his studies, and took to reading law, and with such diligence and intelligence that he was admitted to the bar by the Superior Court in 1878, and to the bar of the Supreme Court in 1884. In the meantime, he moved to Woodland, the county seat, and entered upon the practice of his profession. By reason of his diligence, natural ability and strong purpose, Mr. Clark soon won an enviable place in the esteem of the people and enjoyed a large and lucrative practice for years.
In 1890 he was a candidate for the Republican nomination for Assemblyman from Yolo county. He was the choice of the people, but not of the bosses, and they turned him down in the convention. Such a strong appeal was made to him to run anyway that he came out as an independent candidate and was triumphantly elected, receiving almost as many votes as the Republican and Democratic nominees combined.
Mr. Clark came here about fifteen years ago to make his home, but for a time kept his law office in San Francisco, where he had extensive business in the courts. His health failing a few years ago caused him to retire from active practice and enjoy the fruits of a useful and well-spent life.
Mr. Clark was twice married, his first wife having passed away many years ago. By that union there were three son[s], viz: Henry, Jay and George Clark; by the second marriage there are five children -- Joseph R., Charles F. Clark, Mrs. Daisy Rathke, Benjamin H. and Robert R. Clark. All the children and the second wife survive.
The funeral was held from his late home today and was strictly private. Interment was made in the Calistoga cemetery.
Notes: He was a native of Missouri, born 19 November 1844. His parents were Benjamin Clark and Tabitha Sanders. The above obituary paints a clear picture of the amazing life's accomplishments of this man. My notes below draw from the above biographical information, supplementing it with primary source data where available.
Reese appears as "Reese Clark" in the 1850 census in Macon County, Missouri, living in the household of his parents, Benjamin and Tabitha Clark. Reese was listed as age 7, born in Missouri. There were four other Clark children in the household: William E., Esther A., John P., and Erial. Benjamin was listed as age 31, farmer, native of Kentucky. Tabitha was listed as age 30, also native of Kentucky.
According to his obituary, Reese's parents brought him across the plains when he was young, but they died enroute to Oregon, leaving Reese as an orphan. The "History of the Columbia River Valley From The Dalles to the Sea," published in 1928, provides some clues to the hardships of the Clark family in crossing the plains, noting in a brief account that the family (consisting of the parents, three boys and a girl) left Missouri and crossed the plains in 1852. The parents, Benjamin and Tabitha, died of cholera on the trail in Idaho. One of the children (John P.) also never completed the journey.
Besides Reese, the family survivers of the tragedy were Reese's brothers, William and Erial Clark, and their sister, Esther (Hester) Clark. A rescue party was able to bring Reese and the other survivors to Oregon, where Reese was placed in the custody of a rancher named "Besketh" (possibly Lemuel D. Beckett, who had been captain of a wagon train to Oregon in 1852). Reese reportedly left Besketh in 1857, after an incident in which the lad was beaten by the latter. Clark then sojourned in the vicinity of Yreka, California, until returning to Oregon in 1860. In the 1860 census for Gold precinct, Polk County, Oregon, "Rice Clark" (Reese?) was enumerated under the household of "W. E. Clark." The former was working as a laborer on the farm, age 18, native of Missouri. The head of household (probably Reese's older brother, William E.) was listed as a native of Missouri, age 25. Reese remained in Oregon into the fall of 1861, when he joined the 1st Oregon Cavalry at Jacksonville.
After his discharge in 1863, Clark explored a variety of pursuits, including mining in Idaho, a mercantile business, and personal education. In Polk County Oregon on 20 November 1867, he married Mary E. Richardson, daughter of William and Sarah Richardson (information courtesy Joni Brown, 2012). To this marriage were born four children: Henry, Nellie, Jay and George.
In 1870, "Reece Clark" was living in Polk County, Oregon (Monmouth post office), where he appeared in the census as a merchant, age 23, born in Missouri. His real estate was valued at $12, and his personal estate at $700. His wife was named Mary (age 22, born in Illinois), and their household included a one-year-old son, Henry. Mary died around 1875, at which time Reese moved to Yolo County, California. He first settled in Winters, later moving to the Yolo County seat at Woodland. On 17 November 1876, at Cottonwood in Yolo County, Clark married Florence Luella Smith, daughter of Daniel W. and Sarah A. Smith of Winters.
The family appears in the 1880 census in Woodland, Yolo County, California, where Reese was listed in the census as "R. Clark," age 34, born in Oregon, occupation lawyer. His wife was Florence (age 21). Children in the household were Henry (age 11), Nellie (age 9), son Jay (age 7), George (age 5), and son Jo (age 1).
The Clark family was still living in Woodland in 1900. In the census for that year, "Reese Clark" is listed as an attorney at law, born November 1844 in Missouri, parents both born in Kentucky. He had been married 21 years to his wife, "Florence S.," born September 1857 in Iowa. Florence was listed as the mother of eight children, five still living. Others living in the household were their sons George Clark (b. Jan. 1875 in Ore.), Joseph R. Clark (b. Oct. 1879 in Calif.), and Charlie Clark (b. March 1881 in Calif.), daughter Daisy E. (b. Dec. 1885 in Calif.), son Benjamin H. (b. March 1889 in Calif.), and son Reese (b. July 1888 in Calif.). Reese Clark's sister-in-law, Maggie M. Smith, was also living in the household.
Around 1906, the Clark family moved to Calistoga. They where enumerated here in the 1910 census, living on Main Street (now Foothill Boulevard) next door to Angus P. Mefford (my granduncle). "Reese Clark" was listed as an attorney, age 64, born in Missouri. His wife, Florence L. (age 52, b. in Iowa) and son "Reese Jr." (age 18), were the other members of his household. Florence was listed as the mother of eight children, five still living. The census indicates that this was the first marriage for both Reese and Florence, noting that he was 33 and she was 23 when they married. This was actually Reese's second marriage. It was also noted that Reese was not a veteran, although it is known that he was one.
Reese and his family were still in Calistoga in the 1920 census. They were living on Main Street (Foothill Boulevard) on their own ranch. Reece was listed as age 75, born in Missouri. The others in his household were his wife, Florence (age 61), son Benjamin H. (age 22) and three grandchildren, George E. (age 9), Harry B. (age 7), and Lurline (age 1 year and 6 months).
Reese Clark continued to practice law in Calistoga and San Francisco until a few years before his death. He died in Calistoga on 25 May 1921, and was buried at Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery in Section 1, Block B, Lot 6a. His age at death was officially recorded as 73, but he was most likely 77 years old. His wife, Florence Luella (a native of Waverly, Bremer County, Iowa, born 9 September 1857/8), relocated to Oakland where she died on 5 January 1924. They are buried together at Calistoga's Pioneer Cemetery.
Fraternally, Reese Clark was a member of the Gov. Morton Post, No. 41, G.A.R., and Capay Lodge, No. 230, I.O.O.F. He probably had other lodge affiliations that I have not discovered.
Military Information: Union. He enlisted at the age of 19 as a Private at Jacksonville, Oregon, on 21 November 1861, and was mustered into Company A of the 1st Oregon Cavalry regiment. He was promoted to Bugler on 11 December 1862. He is named in the roster of the "Baker Guards," which was the first cavalry company raised in southern Oregon at the beginning of the Civil War. According to the History of Southern Oregon (published by A. G. Walling, 1883), the Baker Guards were named in honor of Senator Baker of Oregon. The company was raised during a recruiting campaign at Jacksonville, Oregon, in the fall of 1861. Most of the recruits were residents of Jackson County. The company numbered about 80 men, and was garrisoned at Camp Baker, near Phoenix, Oregon. The above history also notes that the "privates received thirteen dollars per month 'and found,' and in case that they provided their own horses and equipments (they were cavalry), they got twelve dollars per month in addition, besides a bounty of $100." Noteworthy remarks in his service record include the following:
* Detailed to attend to horses at stables eight miles from Camp Baker in February 1862.
* Cook in March 1862.
* Detailed to take charge of horses six miles from Camp Baker in April 1862.
* Appointed Bugler on 11 December 1862 at Fort Dalles.
* On detached service per starting 30 July 1863, per Order No. 43 by Col. R. F. Maury.
* From 29 February to 20 June 1864 he was mounted on a government-furnished horse and charged.
* In the field in May 1864. Charged with neglect of duty on 8 May 1864 and relieved 10 May.
* From 20 June to 29 September 1864 he was again mounted on his own horse.
* He was issued a "U.S. sabre complete" in July/August 1864 (charged $7.50).
* His horse died on 29 September 1864 (value $125). He was remounted on 30 September 1864 and charged.
* From 29 October to 15 November 1864 he was again mounted on his own horse.
Reese was discharged at Fort Vancouver, Washington Territory, on 23 November 1864 on expiration of his term of service.
"Reece Clark" applied for veteran's disability pension in December 1906: Application no. 1354667, certificate no. 1130545 (California). His widow, "Florence L. Clark," applied for a widow's benefit on 2 January 1922: Application no. 1175999, certificate no. 914697 (California).
Photo courtesy Joni Brown
1st Oregon Cavalry
1829 - 1893
Biography 1 (History of Napa and Lake Counties, California, 1881):
COLLINS, S. W. Son of John W. and Miriam R. Piper Collins, was born in Nicholas County, Kentucky, June 13, 1829. He resided in his birthplace until he was three years of age, when his parents moved to Greene County, Illinois, where he received his education at the common schools, and afterwards worked a farm until 1854, when he moved to Greenfield, that county, and was engaged in selling goods until 1857. He then went back on his farm and sold that in 1859, and moved to Girard, Macoupin County, Illinois, and was engaged in selling goods again at that place, until 1862. He then sold out and moved to Linn County, Kansas, and located in Mound City, and was engaged in selling goods at that place until December of that year. Then he sent his family to Leavenworth City, and he took a stock of goods down into the Osage Nation, about fifteen miles south of Humboldt, Allen County, Kansas. After the war had closed in 1865, he moved with his family to Labette County, Kansas, and remained there until the ninth day of June, 1875, and arrived in California June 14. He spent a couple of weeks in Stanislaus County and with his brother-in-law, near Hills Ferry, then came to Napa County, and July 29, 1875, he settled on his ranch of forty acres, about one mile west of Calistoga, where he still resides surrounded by his family and respected by all who know him. Mr. Collins was appointed in August, 1879, to the office of Justice of the Peace, and the following year was elected to the same position, which he now holds. He is also a Notary Public, having been appointed by Governor Perkins in February, 1880. Mr. Collins was twice married, first, December 12, 1850, to Miss Sarah O. Dickerman, who was born in Mount Holly, Vermont, November 3, 1832, and died March 26, 1867. By this union they have five children, Isaac W., born December 9, 1851, and died March 19, 1853; Miriam H., born December 30, 1852; Samuel A., born September 18, 1855; Nelson W., born January 29, 1862; Major C., born February 20, 1866. Mr. Collins was married, secondly, in March, 1869, to Mrs. Mary A. Hawes, a native of Indiana, who was born November 2, 1831. By this union they have one daughter, Anna S., born October 14, 1871.
Biography 2 (Memorial and Biographical History of Northern California, Illustrated, 1891):
HON. S. W. COLLINS. -- In the following pages will be found sketched briefly one of the most interesting and eventful life-histories that it has ever been the good fortune of the writer to hear related, and not alone a busy one either, but full as useful also, many of the incidents being an intimate portion of the early pioneer history of the old-time Western States.
Mr. Collins is a Kentuckian by birth, dating his nativity at a point some two miles from Carlisle, Nicholas County, on June 13, 1829. When a child of two and a half years the family removed to Green County, Illinois, where his father took up a farm. His father's name was John W. Collins, of Danish descent, born near Snow Hill, Maryland, and raised in Baltimore. His mother was a Miss Piper, of Irish descent, born and raised in Kentucky. For thirty years Mr. Collins remained in Illinois, some of his brothers and sisters still residing there. Mr. Collins was brought up to the life of a farmer, and afterward started a store, carrying on a farm as well. Living, as he did, on the margin of the Indian country, he became thoroughly acquainted with the Indian life and character, learned to speak their language thoroughly (the Osage), and came to wield over them a great influence, -- an influence, let it be said, that was always exerted for good. As a consequence he was much employed by the Government in their dealings with the redskins, especially during the war and later. For many years Mr. Collins was post trader in the Neosho Valley in Kansas, and in all important matters represented the United States Government as interpreter, negotiating for the sale of lands, etc., etc. He assisted in raising Colonel Phillips' Indian Regiment in 1861, and was one of the most active and effective workers for the Union cause. In connection with these times Mr. Collins has many soul-stirring incidents to relate. Indeed, he is one of the most interesting talkers whom it is possible to meet, possessing a good memory and rare descriptive powers. He has also many momentos of early western times and ways. Twice he was taken prisoner during his war experiences, and has sustained and overcome a wound that would have laid a man of lesser mettle. As is but proper under the circumstances, he is an active and enthusiastic member of the Grand Army and a stanch supporter of good government. He recollects well the days when buffalo roamed over the plains by the million, and has hunted and trapped when the Indians and a few hunters and trappers were about all west of the Missouri. In 1875 Mr. Collins tired of life on the Western plains changing so rapidly as it was with the influx of population, accordingly he set his face westward and came to the Pacific coast. Choosing Calistoga as his home, he purchased fifty-five acres in the outskirts of town, and settled down to enjoy the quiet so deserved after his long and busy years. He has laid out a vineyard of twenty-five acres, has a small but choice orchard for house use, and possesses a magnificent water privilege, having an abundant spring 1,400 feet above the house, with a water-head of 400 feet as piped down. Five acres of his property he laid off as the Calistoga cemetery, the cemetery of the town. Mr. Collins is one of the incorporators of Calistoga, this useful move taking place in 1885. For two terms now Mr. Collins has been Supervisor of the county from his district, six years in all. During the latter term, he has been Chairman of the Board, and the most active and useful member of the Board. Indeed, it is customarily said that he is the best Supervisor the county has ever had. For eight years he has been Justice of the Peace for his township, from which circumstances he acquires the honorable title of "Judge," by which he is generally known. There is not a more popular man in the county than he, and no one gifted with more energy and sound common sense on all matters. He is a worker, and cannot help coming to the front. He is too useful to his fellow-citizens to be let go by himself.
Mr. Collins was married in December, 1850, to Miss Sarah E. Dickerman, a native of Mount Holly, Vermont. She died March 26, 1867, in Kansas, leaving the following children: Miriam H. (now Mrs. Piper), born December 30, 1852, living near Lawrence, Kansas. Samuel A., born September 18, 1855, living in Labette County, Kansas. Nelson W., born January 29, 1862, now in business in Calistoga. All the above were born in Illinois. Major Clinton, born in Labette County, Kansas, February 20, 1866, the first white child to be born in that county, now working on the railroad. By the way, it should be stated that Judge Collins helped organize Labette County, and gave it its name. He was married, secondly, March 10, 1869, in Labette County, to Mrs. Mary A. Howe, nee Conner, a native of Miami County, Indiana. They have one daughter, Annie C., born October 14, 1870, in Kansas. A singular circumstance in connection with Judge Collins' family history is the following: His mother died, leaving one daughter and three sons, the daughter being the eldest. His first wife died, leaving also a daughter and three sons, the daughter being again the eldest. His son Samuel A. has also lost a wife, who left a daughter and three sons, the daughter being again the eldest. Judge Collins is a member of Governor Morton Post, No. 41, G.A.R., and also of the I.O.O.F., having joined the latter order so long ago as October 10, 1850, when just of age. He has held every honor conferrable by the order.
Obituary (St. Helena Star newspaper, 26 May 1893):
Death of S. W. Collins
We learned of the death of Ex-Supervisor S. W. Collins at his home in Calistoga last Thursday. He had been sick, we understand, for a long time and his death was not unexpected.
Deceased was nearly 63 years of age at the time of his death and has been a resident of the Upper Napa valley since 1995 [sic-1875]. Mr. Collins has held several positions of public trust, the most important being that of Supervisor. During his last term he officiated as chairman and took a great deal of interest in all matters calculated to advance the interests of Napa county.
The funeral took place at 1 o'clock on Thursday, May 25th, in Calistoga.
Notes: Native of Nicholas County, Kentucky, born 13 June 1829. He was the son of John W. Collins and Mariam Richardson Piper.
He married Sarah Olivia Dickerman, daughter of Nelson Dickerman and Hannah Vaughn, in Greene County, IL, on 12 December 1850. To this union were born the following children: Miriam Hannah Collins (b. 1852), a son (died as an infant 1853), Samuel A. Collins (b. 1855), and Major Clinton Collins (b. 1866).
He moved to Girard, Macoupin County, Illinois, in 1859, where he worked as a merchant until 1862. In the latter year, he sold his interests in Illinois and moved to Mound City, Linn County, in southeastern Kansas. In December of 1862, he moved his family to Leavenworth, Kansas (presmumably for their safety), and began trading south of Humboldt, Kansas, southwest of Mound City. It was while Samuel Collins was trading in the vicinity of Mound City and Humboldt that he was called upon to defend southeastern Kansas as a militiaman in October 1864.
S. W. Collins was enumerated in the 1865 Kansas state census, living in Mission Township (Humboldt Post Office), Neosho County. He was listed as married, age 37, born in Kentucky, occupation trader. His real estate was valued at $600, and his personal estate also at $600. His household included his wife S. C. Collins (age 34, native of VT), daughter M. H. Collins (age 13, native of IL), son S. A. Collins (age 10, native of IL), and son S. W. Collins (age 3, native of IL). Dickerman relatives (inlaws) lived next door.
In 1865, Samuel moved with his family to Labette County, Kansas, where they remained until June 1875.
S. W. Collins was enumerated in the 1875 Kansas state census in Liberty Township (LaBette City Post Office), Labette County. He was listed as age 46, born in Kentucky, previously from Illinois, occupation farmer. His real estate was valued at $100, and his personal estate at $80. His household included his wife M. A. Collins (age 42, native of IN), son S. A. Collins (age 20, native of IL), son "N. W." Collins (age 19, native of IL), son "N. C." Collins (age 9, native of KS), and daughter A. S. Collins (age 4, native of KS).
Samuel died 23 May 1893 in Calistoga, and was buried in Section 1, Block W of Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery on 25 May 1893. An obituary could not be found in the Calistoga newspaper, because no copies for the year 1893 are preserved. A short obituary appeared in the St. Helena newspaper. He was the founder of Calistoga's Pioneer Cemetery.
Military Information: Union (activated militia). In the California state G.A.R. roster of 1886, Samuel Collins' service in the Civil War was noted as being in the "15th Kansas Infantry." The reference is to the 15th Kansas Militia Infantry. This militia regiment (part of the Army of the Border) was called into service to repel Major General Price's Confederate Missouri campaign of 1864. Price's forces entered Kansas on October 23, 1864, and camped at the Marais de Cygnes river, just north of Mound City. They advanced on Mound City the following morning. While Union forces engaged the Confederates near the settlement of Trading Post, the defense of Mound City was initially left to the 80 militiamen of the 15th Kansas Cavalry, and three companies of militia, "negroes," and men exempted from regular service.
The regiment was called into service on October 9, 1864. It was present at the Battle of Little Blue River and engaged the enemy at the Battle of Westport on October 23, 1864. The regiment was disbanded on 29 October 1864.
15th Kansas Militia Infantry
(Army of the Border)
c.1843 - 1888
Obituary (The Independent Calistogian newspaper, 1 February 1888):
The death of N. B. Conner, recorded elsewhere, occurred yesterday afternoon after sickness of five days' duration. The funeral takes place from the residence of E. H. Cable, to-morrow afternoon at 2 o'clock. Mr. Conner was a member of the G.A.R. Post here, he having served three years in the army. He leaves a wife, but no children. His mother is s[t]ill living here, and also numerous other relatives.
Death Notice (The Independent Calistogian newspaper, 1 February 1888):
CONNER. -- In Calistoga, Jan. 31st, N. B. Conner, a native of Miami Co., Indiana, aged 44 years.
Notes: Native of Miami County, Indiana. His full name was most likely Napoleon Bonaparte Conner, also known as N. B. Conner in Calistoga. He was a member on Calistoga's Gov. Morton Post, No. 41, G.A.R., but he does not appear on the roster in 1886.
Napoleon appears in the 1850 census in Union Township, Miami County, Indiana, in the household of his parents, William and Amelia Conner. Napoleon was listed as age 6, born in Indiana, attending school. He was the second youngest boy in the family of nine children of William and Amelia. Napoleon was still living with his parents in Union Township in 1860.
Napoleon appears in the 1880 census in Peru (4th Ward), Miami County, Indiana, in the household of his brother-in-law, Emanuel Cable. Elizabeth Cable (Napoleon's older sister) was Emanuel's wife, also in the household. Napoleon was listed as single, age 36, born in Indiana, occupation carriage trimmer.
The Cables moved to Calistoga in the 1880's (Emanuel Hoover Cable was Calistoga's town marshall in the early 1890's). It is possible that Napoleon Conner came with them when they moved. Napoleon advertized his business as "Carriage Trimmer" in the Indendendent Calistogian newspaper in 1886. He died on 31 January 1888 in Calistoga, and was buried in Section 1, Block K, of Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery.
Military Information: Union. He was one of sixteen recruits who joined the regiment after it had formed. He enlisted as a Private on 21 September 1862, residence Miami County, Indiana. Mustered into Company A, 20th Indiana Infantry Regiment on 21 September 1862. Mustered out on 31 May 1865. He apparently also served in Company H of the same regiment, according to the entry on the index card for his widow's benefit. Rank in: Private. Rank out: Private.
His older brother, Newton Conner, served in the same infantry regiment as Napoleon in the Civil War. Napoleon enlisted about a year after Newton.
His wife, Laurinda, applied for a widow's benefit under the Civil War veterans' pension program in California on 13 October 1890: Application no. 478049, certificate no. 410850.
Companies A & H
20th Indiana Infantry
1840 - 1925
Biography (History of Solano and Napa Counties, California, 1912):
NEWTON CONNER.The popular deputy assessor of Napa county was appointed to his present position in the year 1905. Since then he has given every satisfaction and is well liked by the people. In the early days he served as roadmaster and tax collector of township No. 8 and gave general satisfaction in the discharge of his duties. Mr. Conner was born in Miami county, Ind., February 16, 1840, and was brought up on a farm. He received very meagre educational advantage, but reading and observation have made him a well-informed man. In 1861 he enlisted in the service of his country, being mustered into Company A, Twentieth Indiana Volunteer Regiment, attached to the Army of the Potomac. Mr. Conner took part in all of the battles in which his regiment engaged. The record of this regiment was more men killed in active service than any other regiment from Indiana, two hundred and one sacrificing their lives on the battlefield. In the regiment were five hundred and seventy wounded, twenty-five died in prison, eighty-eight died of disease and one hundred and forty-four were captured, the total number of casualties being ten hundred and twenty-eight out of an enrollment of fourteen hundred and three. At the close of the war Mr. Conner was mustered out at Louisville, Ky., going from there to Labette county, Kansas, where for eight years he was engaged in farming with varying success.
Coming to California in 1875, Mr. Conner made his way direct to Calistoga, Napa county, where for five years he engaged in raising hay and grain. Seeing a good opportunity to open a butcher shop in Calistoga, he took advantage of it and carried on the business for several years. Selling it out, he retired from active business, but was not long allowed to enjoy his freedom, as he received his appointment to the position of deputy assessor soon afterward. At the time of the incorporation of Calistoga he was elected the first city treasurer and held it for twelve years.
In 1867 Mr. Conner married Miss Caroline M. Gapen, a native of Logansport, Ind., and the following children were born to them: Charles W. G., of Calistoga; Beecher Barnum, a Methodist minister at Willitts; Edward S., also of Willitts; and Frank H., engaged in the butcher business in Calistoga. Mr. Conner has held many important offices that have brought him before the public and thus he is quite a well-known resident of Napa county. For one year he served as president of the Grand Army Veteran Association of Northern California. In addition to being a member of the Grand Army he is also a member of the Masons, Calistoga Lodge No. 233, having held the position of tyler for a number of years. Mr. and Mrs. Conner are charter members of Calistoga Chapter No. 189, Order of Eastern Star. Politically he is a Republican, believing in the principles that have stood as the bulwark of the nation for so long, and for the preservation of which he fought.
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, 16 January 1925):
NEWTON CONNER PASSED AWAY SATURDAY
A PIONEER HAD BEEN A RESIDENT OF THIS SECTION HALF A CENTURYNewton Conner, who came here in July of 1875, and had lived here for nearly half a century, died at his home in Calistoga last Saturday morning at an early hour. Death was due to the infirmities of his advanced years, after having been bed-ridden for the past seven months.
Mr. Conner was born near Peru, Ind., February 16, 1840, and had therefore reached the ripe old age of 84 years, 10 months and 25 days. He was the last member of a family of six brothers and three sisters to pass away. With his family he came to California in 1875, arriving at Banta station in the San Joaquin valley on June 11th, and in Calistoga on July 4th of that year. For more than forty-four years he had been a resident of his present home on the corner of Cedar and Berry streets. In his earlier years in this valley he engaged in farming, living on the Evey and Finley places north of town. For twenty years he was interested in the butcher business, and for many years operated a stage line between Calistoga and the Oathill mine, and had a mail and express contract. In later years he served as Deputy Assessor in Calistoga.
The deceased grew to manhood in his native State of Indiana, and on August 21, 1867, he was united in marriage to Mrs. Caroline M. Fitzgerald, their married life continuing for more than fifty-seven years. Of this union, there were five children born, four of them growing to maturity.
In 1867, with his wife and step-daughter, he moved to LaBette, Kansas, where they resided for eight years; from that State they came to California.
In July, 1861, he entered the Civil War and enlisted in Company A, 20th Indiana Regiment, where he served for more than four years. He fought in the battle of Bull Run, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Melvin Hill, Cold Harbor before Richmond, and in several others that were of value in winning the war.
The flag, to him, was an emblem of great value and he held it in the highest honor. He was a member of Governor Morton Post, No. 41, G.A.R., and was bound to his comrades by that tie that only men know who have sacrificed and suffered together.
For fifty years he belonged to the Masonic order and throughout his life was a consistent member. He was the oldest member of Calistoga Lodge, No. 233, F. and A. M. He was also a faithful member of Calistoga Chapter, No. 189, O.E.S. He was an honored citizen, always standing for the welfare and best interests of the community.
He was a devoted husband and father, greatly interested in planning for the welfare of his home
A daughter, Minnie, passed away in infancy. Mrs. Delia Martin, his step-daughter, preceded him to the grave six years ago. Of the immediate family there is left to mourn his passing, his wife, Caroline M. Conner, four sons with their wives and families, as follows: Charles W. G. Conner of Calistoga, Rev. Beecher B. Conner of Ukiah, Edward S. Conner of San Francisco, Frank H. Conner of Richmond; also a son-in-law, Oscar Martin of Isleton; five grandchildren: Mrs. Etta Stott of Antioch, Marjorie, Dorothy, Grace and Alice Conner. These, with the other members of their families and many close friends of years' standing, have realized the true value of his quiet life and close friendship.
The funeral was held Monday afternoon from the Masonic hall in Calistoga under the auspices of Calistoga lodge of Masons, with Past Master Martin Wolleson presiding. The funeral was very largely attended, the hall being crowded. Interment was made in the Calistoga cemetery.
Notes: Native of Indiana. He was described in the 1896 Great Register as age 56, height 5 feet 8 inches, dark complexion, gray eyes, brown hair, occupation mail carrier.
Newton Conner appears in the 1850 census in Union Township, Miami County, Indiana, in the household of his parents, William and Amelia Conner. He was listed as age 10, born in Indiana, attending school. He was one of nine children in the family, the others being: Gabriel (age 20), Mary (age 18), James and Jasper (age 16), Elizabeth (age 12), Indiana (age 8), Napoleon B. (age 6), and John (age 3). Newton was still living with his parents in Union Township in 1860, listed as age 20 and a twin to Elizabeth. Newton married Caroline M. Gapen Fitzgerald in Logansport, Cass County, Indiana, on 21 August 21 1867. By 1870, the two of them were living in Liberty Township, Labette County, Kansas, with Caroline's daughter by her previous marriage, Delia Fitzgerald (age 7) and a domestic servant. Newton was listed as a farmer with real estate valued at $5,000. Caroline ("Carrie") was keeping house.
Newton and Caroline moved to California in 1875. They appear in the 1880 census in Hot Springs Township (Calistoga) as N. and Caroline Conner. Others in the household were Newton's step-daughter Adelia (age 17), and natural children Charles (age 9), Barnum (age 6), and Edward (age 1).
Military Information: Union. Enlisted on 22 July 1861. Residence Miami County, Indiana. Reenlisted in Company A, 20th Indiana Infantry Regiment on 1 January 1864. Transferred on 18 October 1864 from Company A to Company H of the 20th Indiana Infantry. Mustered out on 12 July 1865 in Louisville, Kentucky. Rank in: Private. Rank out: Private.
Newton & Caroline Conner on their 50th Wedding Anniversary, August 1917
Companies A & H
20th Indiana Infantry
1845 - 1917
Rank: 5th Corporal
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, 23 November 1917):
John Sanford Failing Passed Away on MondayJohn Sanford Failing passed away at the Veterans' Home last Monday. He was a member of the 17th Wisconsin Regiment, having joined the army at the age of 16.
The deceased was born near Syracuse, N.Y. He joined the army at 16 and on November 21, 1869, he was married to Miss Clara Lynn of Concord, Minn. They lived for a while in Minnesota and Indiana, then came to California in about 1846. In 1881, he went to Texas, where he was engaged in farming. In 1889 he returned to California, and later he purchased a farm near Calistoga, on which they were living fourteen years ago when his wife died.
For the past three years he has been making his home with his daughter, Mrs. J. G. Finch here in Calistoga, and a short time before his death was taken to the Veterans' Home for treatment.
The deceased leaves two daughters, Mrs. J. G. Finch of Calistoga and Mrs. Retta A. Reynolds of Idria, and two sons, Alfred L. Failing of Idria and Chester A. Failing of Tres Pinos. He was aged 72 years, 8 months and 14 days.
The funeral was held from the Masonic hall under the auspices of Calistoga lodge, No. 233, F. and A. M., of which he was a member, and there was a large attendance. C. S. Brace furnished the music.
The sympathy of the community is extended to the bereaved ones.
Notes: Native of Syracuse, New York. His calculated date of birth was 5 March 1845.
He went by the name Sanford in life. He lived in Calistoga, Middletown, and Panoche, California, in his later years. His wife died in Calistoga on 8 April 1903. 1880: In Middletown, occupation steam engineer, wife Clara, age 35, b. NY., children: Burton, Mary J., Alfred L. (Alfred was a carpenter at New Idria in 1920), Retta. 1910: In Panoche Township, San Benito County, boarding in the household of his son-in-law, James Finch, occupation electrician for the Idria quicksilver mining company, age 64, widowed, b. NY. Finch was superintendent at the New Idria mine in 1900 and 1910, and was later superintendent of the Oat Hill mine near Middletown in 1920.
Most of Sanford Failing's family are buried next to him in Calistoga Cemetery: Wife Clara A. Failing (d. 1903), daughter Jennie M. Finch (1874-1945) and her husband James G. Finch (1862-1942), son Alfred L. Failing (1875-1939), and daughter Retta A. Reynolds (1878-1941).
John Sanford Failing died at the Yountville Veterans Home on Monday, 19 November 1917, and was buried at Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery. His grave is marked by a military headstone inscribed as follows: SANFORD FAILING | CO. A | 17. WIS. V. INF.
Military Information: Union. His obituary states that he enlisted at the age of 16, which would place the year of enlistment around 1861. Sanford Failing (alias Jeremiah Failing) enlisted (reenlisted?) 30 December 1863 as a Corporal and was mustered into Company A of the 17th Wisconsin Infantry on the same date. His residence at the time of enlistment was Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. He was wounded on 1 August 1864 at Atlanta, Georgia (during the Siege of Atlanta). He was mustered out 14 July 1865 at Louisville, Kentucky. Rank in: Private (prior to reenlistment?). Rank out: Fifth Corporal.
He applied for and received a veteran's disability pension on 16 March 1885 (Application no. 534944, cert. no. 402920). Service on the pension death index card was noted as Co. A, 17 Wis. Inf. The card also notes that he died at the "Sol. Home Napa County" on 19 November 1917.
17th Wisconsin Infantry
1836 - 1919
Rank: Ordnance Mechanic
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, 7 February 1919):
P. H. Flynn Died Wednesday at the Veterans' HomePatrick H. Flynn, who has been a resident of Calistoga for about forty years, died at the Veterans' Home Hospital on Wednesday afternoon, where he had been since the death of Mrs. Flynn, which took place in December. His demise was due to his advanced years, he being 82 years, 11 months and 5 days old at the time of his death. He was a native of Ireland.
Mr. Flynn came to America from his native country when only a boy and lived in New York and the southern States. He was a veteran of the Civil War, having gone through the entire engagement and experienced some pretty tough battles and hardships. He came to California at the close of the war and lived for a few years in Contra Costa county, then came to Napa county and settled on his present homestead site east of town. Here he lived for almost half a century, enjoying a wide acquaintance and a host of warm friends.
The deceased is survived by three children: Miss Mamie Flynn, Thomas F. Flynn and John H. Flynn. The funeral will be held tomorrow morning at 10:30 from the Catholic church, and interment will be made in the Calistoga cemetery beside his wife, who died less than two months ago.
The sympathy of the many friends go out to the bereaved ones.
Notes: Patrick Henry Flynn was a native of Ireland, born 9 March 1836, and described in adulthood as 5 feet 7 1/2 inches in height, light complexion, hair brown, eyes blue/dark. In his early years, he went by the name Henry, but later in life, he referred to himself by his full name, Patrick Henry, or "P. H." He came with his parents to America in 1842, arriving in New York on 11 February, according to his own account. The family reportedly lived in Binghamton, New York. His parents returned to Ireland within a few months of their arrival in America, took sick and died there, leaving Patrick Henry an orphan. Flynn's history from that time until he entered the military service is not known. He joined the Regular Army in 1857, and was assigned to Battery E of the 3rd U.S. Artillery regiment. This unit was dispatched to Fort Ridgely, Nicollet County, Minnesota, in the late 1850's to guard against Indian uprisings. There, he appears as "Henry Flynn," a soldier, age 24, in the Federal census of 1860. The census incorrectly lists his birthplace as New York. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Flynn's artillery regiment was called back to Washington, D.C., to assist in the conflict.
Flynn was promoted to the position of Ordnance Mechanic in June of 1861, and served in that position until his tour of duty ended in 1862. His responsibilities required that he be in close proximity to the cannon in battle, and he suffered later health consequences as a result. His right eardrum was permanently ruptured from the concussion of cannon fire at the battle of Bull Run (July 1861). So severe was the damage, that his ear bled from the injury, leaving a hole in the tympanum "the size of a wheat straw." He also reportedly suffered sun stroke while his regiment was on occupation duty at Arlington Heights, Virginia (May/June 1861). He claimed injury to his eyes later in life as a result of this. Flynn also suffered from varicose veins in his legs in his later years, which he attributed to the long and uncomfortable rides seated on the chest of the limber (munitions wagon). The 3rd U.S. Artillery was a "light" artillery regiment, meaning that the artillerymen were mounted on horseback for rapid deployment. Flynn was apparently not mounted, so his means of transportation was aboard the limber, as was customary. The limber chest often served as a seat for up to three artillerymen.
When his tour of duty ended in March of 1862, Flynn opted to stay with the army as a civilian harness maker at the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac through most of the remainder of that year (possibly into the spring of 1863). He was paid $40 per month, reporting first to Capt. George B. Dandy and later to Capt. John B. Howard, both of whom held the position of Assistant Quartermaster (A.Q.M.). Capt. Dandy was formerly with the 3rd U.S. Artillery, which is probably how Flynn got the job.
Flynn came to California in September 1863, but shortly thereafter chose to move to Mexico. He sojourned there two years, then returned to California. He married Mary Cathrine Finney (daughter of Thomas C. Finney) at Pacheco, Contra Costa County, California, on 2 October 1865. The marriage produced three children: Mary E. "Mamie" (b. 1866), Thomas F. (b. 1868), and John Henry (b. 1879).
According to the 1882 Great Register of Voters (Napa County), Flynn was naturalized in a county court in California on 8 April 1868.
In 1870, Flynn's wife, Mary (age 28), was living near Martinez, in Contra Costa County, under the household of Thomas and Mary Finney (her parents). The children, Mary (age 4) and Thomas (age 1), were also in the household. Patrick Henry Flynn was not listed there. He may have been working in the Stockton area, where a "P. H. Flynn" appears in the 1870 census as a farmer, native of Ireland, age 34. According to his wife's obituary, the family came to Calistoga from Contra Costa County in 1877, settling on homestead lands on what is now the Oat Hill Road, northeast of Calistoga. Their cabin was located near the southwestern corner of a homestead Flynn patented in 1892. He also patented 160 acres immediately to the south in 1888. His daughter, Mary "Mamie" Flynn, patented a homestead to the west, allowing the Flynn family to control almost all of section 30 (Township 9 North, Range 6 West, MDBM). Remnants of the cabin foundation, which burned in the 1940's, are still visible. The land later became known as the Calistoga Palisades parcel (525 acres), which was ultimately annexed to the Robert Louis Stevenson State Historic Park through a land transfer by the Land Trust of Napa County.
In 1880, Flynn was enumerated as "P. H. Flinn" in Calistoga, living on his ranch on the Oat Hill Road (then known as the Calistoga and Knoxville Road). He was listed as a farmer, native of Ireland, age 44. Included in the household were his wife Mary (age 37, a native of Virginia), daughter Mary E. (age 14), son Thomas (age 11), and son Henry (age 3 months). His principle occupation in the early 1880's was sheep herding on his homestead (noted in the 1882 Great Register of Voters). In the 1900 census, Flynn and his family were still on their homestead on the Oat Hill Road. He was listed as "Patrick H. Flynn," born March 1836 in Ireland, immigrated 1842, occupation farmer. His household included his wife Mary C. (born Nov. 1842 in Mississippi), and son John H. (born Nov. 1879 in California). In 1910, Flynn was still on his ranch on the Oat Hill Road, listed as "Patrick H. Flynn," widower, age 74, born in Ireland, occupation farmer. His household included his daughter Mamie C. Flynn (age 44) and son Henry J. Flynn (age 30). Strangely, Flynn was not a widower in 1910.
Flynn's wife, Mary Cathrine, died of pneumonia in December of 1918. The same week that his wife died, Patrick Henry suffered a stroke, which left him partially paralyzed. Shortly thereafter, he checked into the hospital at the Veterans Home in Yountville. He died there about five weeks later (5 February 1919). He is buried in Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery alongside his wife.
His daughter, Mamie (Mary E.) Flynn, was an acquaintance of my grandparents, George and Altha Enderlin. She would walk down to the valley to visit them, collecting water and produce while there. The Flynn cabin was a short distance east of the Oat Hill Road, on a knoll overlooking the Napa Valley. They were a poor family. How they survived on their hillside homestead has always been a bit of a mystery. Patrick Henry Flynn caught the mining fever in the 1880's and excavated at least one tunnel -- about 90 feet in length -- on his property alongside what is now the Oat Hill Road. The portal is now collapsed, but can still be seen alongside the trail. He was exploring for gold, silver, quicksilver, copper, etc., but had no experience in mining or prospecting. He would frequently bring specimens to town to show the local newspaper editor, and was always enthusiastic about his finds.
Military Information: "Old War" (pre-Civil War), later Union. The inscription on his military headstone indicates that he served in Battery E of the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery (a.k.a., 152nd Pennsylvania Volunteers). I can find no evidence that Flynn served in this regiment, and the records that I have strongly support the notion that his headstone inscription is in error. He was, instead, a Regular Army man whose service record predates the onset of the Civil War. He enlisted as a Private in the Regular Army at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 4 March 1857, and was assigned to Battery E of the 3rd U.S. Light Artillery. The regiment was dispatched to various locations around the country, with Battery E sent to garrison duty at Fort Ridgely, Minnesota. Henry Flynn appears there in the 1860 census. He was appointed Ordnance Mechanic on 30 June 1861.
He was honorably discharged at Port Royal (Hilton Head), South Carolina, on 4 March 1862 on expiration of his service. He continued to serve as a civilian saddler/harness maker at $40 per month at the Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac from 17 April 1862 to 30 September 1862, possibly continuing in some capacity as a civilian contractor until the spring of 1863.
Rank in: Private. Rank out: Ordnance Mechanic.
"Henry Flynn" applied for veteran's disability pension on 1 September 1890: Application no. 935814, certificate no. 663746 (California) His service on the index card was listed as Battery E, 3rd U.S. Artillery; Battery Ordnance Mechanic; also noted as serving in the "Old War" (pre-1861 regular army service).
3rd U.S. Light Artillery
1847 - 1928
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogan newspaper, Friday, 13 July 1928, p.1, col. 4):
A Chef by Vocation, Served in The United States Navy In the Civil War
On Wednesday afternoon at the funeral parlor of M. M. Moran, final tribute was paid by friends, neighbors and relatives, to the late Henry Isaac Ford, who passed away at his home on Washington street here, on Monday night last. The funeral services at the chapel and at the Calistoga cemetery were conducted by Rev. B. B. Conner, pastor of the Fruitvale Methodist church, who is here on his vacation.
The music was rendered by F. L. Grauss, Rev. B. B. Conner and I. B. McMahill, with Mrs. F. L. Grauss as the piano. The pall bearers were M. T. Trutta, C. W. Crouch, Leo Pick, Earl Houston, Homer C. Hurst and I. B. McMahill. The casket was flag-draped, as well as embowered in floral tributes, for the deceased had served his country during the Civil War as a member of the United States Navy.
Henry Isaac Ford was a native of Connecticut, born at Norwich, March 13, 1847. He grew to manhood in his native State and in July of 1862, he enlisted in the navy, serving on the Sabine, the North Carolina, and the Houghton up to July, 1863. In August, 1863, he re-enlisted and served until October, 1864. In the latter part of 1864 Mr. Ford came to California, and in San Francisco, Oakland and the bay region, he made his home until he came to Calistoga nine years ago.
Twenty-five years ago he was united in marriage with Dolly Silva of Oakland, and of this union, one son was born, Henry I. Ford, Jr., now a rising young artist of San Francisco.
Henry I. Ford was a man of pleasing personality and well liked by all
who knew him. In his profession, he ranked high and held very
excellent positions. For the past four years he had been ill
almost continuously. The sympathy of the community is extended
heartfully to his widow and son.
Native of Norwich, Connecticut, born 13 March 1847. He came to California in late 1864, and was a professional cook. In 1898 Henry was registered as a voter in San Francisco, living at 922 Battery Street, occupation cook. In 1920, he and his wife, Dorothy "Dolly," were living in San Francisco, where Henry was listed as a cook at a summer resort. He was probably spending part of his time in Calistoga at the time, as his obituary suggests the Fords moved to Calistoga about 1919. Dorothy was working as a waitress in 1920.
Henry died on 9 July 1928, and was buried in Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery
in Section 3, Block P, Plot 4.
The USS A. Houghton was a sailing bark, armed with two 32-pounder guns. She served in the early years of the war as an ammunition ship, supporting the Union fleet. Beginning in March 1863, she was assigned to the Atlantic blockading squadron, first as a supply vessel and later as a health ship.
The USS North Carolina was older sail ship that served as a training vessel (receiving ship) during the Civil War. She was docked in the New York Navy Yard.
Ford appears on naval rendezvous reports as follows:
1862, July 19: At New London, CT. Record of service: USS Houghton. Discharged 16 July 1863.
1862, July 19. Frigate USS Sabine (at New London, CT). Enlisted 17 July 1862 for a term of 1 year. Rating 2.C.B. (2nd Cabin Boy). No previous naval experience. Born in New London, CT, age 15, occupation none, eyes blue, hair light, complexion light, height 5'-1".
1863, August 29. USS Sabine (at New London, CT). Record of service: Niagara, State of George, Ohio.
1863, August 31. USS Sabine (at New London, CT). Enlisted 15 August 1863 for a term of 1 year. Rating 1.C.B. (1st Cabin Boy). One year of previous naval service. Born in Norwich, CT, age 16, citizen of CT, occupation none, eyes gray, hair flaxen, complexion light freckled, height 5'2-1/2", distinguishing marks none.
U S S Sabine
U S S
U S S
1833 - 1904
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, 19 February 1904):
Henry H. Garrett, an old-timer and a veteran of the civil war, died at his home in town last night at 7:40 o'clock. He had been ill for several months past, and had been confined to his home for over a month. Death was due to general debility. He was born in Beamisville, Penn., on October 8, 1833, and was therefore past the three score and ten. Mr. Garrett came to California in the early fifties and settled in Napa valley in 1858, and had resided in and around Calistoga ever since. He leaves a wife and five grown children, namely: F. E. and E. L. Garrett, Mrs. Frank Petross, Mrs. G. D. Gibbs and Miss Eva Garrett. The funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock from the family residence on Main street, and the remains will be laid away in the Calistoga cemetery.
Notes: Native of Pennsylvania.
He was described in the 1898 Great Register as age 60, height 5 feet 8 inches, fair complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, occupation teamster, native of New York. Some sources indicate he was a native of New York. He appears in Calistoga in the 1880 census, listed as "H. Garrett," age 38, born in New York, occupation laborer. His family in 1880 included his wife, Sarah (age 24), sons Franklin (age 9) and Edward (age 7), and daughters Hattie (age 4) and Retta (age 1). His brothers-in-law, Abner and Charles Lee, were also listed in his household in 1880.
In the 1900 census, he is listed as "Henry Garett," born October 1843 in New York, married 32 years, occupation day laborer. His household in 1900 included his wife, Sarah (born August 1853), son Frank (born December 1870), daughter Eva (born March 1884), and daughter Retta (born July 1879) with her husband George Gibbs, and children Ruth and Loleeta Gibbs.
Henry Garrett died on 18 February 1904, and was buried in the GAR Plot at Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery. His military headstone is inscribed as follows: HENRY H. GARRETT | CO. H. | 4 CAL. INF.
According to published genealogies, his wife was Sarah E. Nance, born 26 August 1853 in Missouri, died 18 June 1906 in Calistoga.
Military Information: Union. He enlisted as a Corporal on 14 October 1861 at Weaverville, California, and was mustered into Company H of the 4th California Infantry Regiment on 1 November 1861. He was discharged on 15 October 1864 at Drum Barracks, California (term of service expired).
According to the California State Military Museum, Company H was at Camp Sigel (near Auburn) until January of 1862. They moved from there to Camp Union, Sacramento, and from there to San Francisco on April 28th of that year. They next saw duty at Camp Latham and Camp Drum until March of 1863. They were next ordered to Fort Yuma, and were stationed there until January 1864. In July, 1864, they moved to San Luis Obispo, then returned to Drum Barracks, where they were stationed until being mustered out in April of 1866.
Henry H. Garrett applied for and received a veteran's disability pension on 11 April 1892 (application no. 1102442, cert. no. 1047143). His wife received a widow's benefit (application no. 803772, cert. no. 577073). Service on the pension death index card was noted as Co. H, 4 Cal. Inf.
4th California Infantry
Obituary (The Independent Calistogian
newspaper, 27 February 1889):
Chas. E. Jennings, while plowing in George Lang's vineyard in town Friday afternoon last, fell and almost immediately expired. A man and a boy also plowing in the vineyard, were witnesses to his sudden death. Being a case in which the attendance of a Coroner was necessary, Mr. Lawrence was telegraphed for, and after his arrival on the evening train, a jury was summoned and an inquest held in Town Hall. Autopsy of the body was omitted. After due consideration of the facts elicited, the following verdict was rendered:
We the jury summoned to inquire into the cause of the death of the man found in Lang's vineyard, do find that the deceased's name was Jennings, a native of New York, aged 46 years, and that he came to his death from natural causes.
The verdict bore names of the jurors, as follows: W. L. Taylor, foreman, Wm. Cole, W. E. Stratton, W. H. Wale, T. C. Brown, H. E. Boynton, J. M. Johnston, J. H. Coulter.
The funeral took place Sunday afternoon, Rev. Hemphill conducting services, and the remains were buried in Calistoga Cemetery.
The cause of Jenning's death was undoubtedly heart disease, of which his wife says he had long complained. By his death a widow and five children are left in very destitute circumstances. The oldest of the children is a girl aged 14 years, and the youngest a boy two years of age. Mrs. Jennings is a native of Tennessee, where she married her husband, and they came to California twelve years ago. Jennings was well educated, was in the war, was wounded at Lookout Mountain and after the close of the Rebellion remained South for some time. The father of the deceased is eighty or ninety years of age, and a resident of New York city. Mrs. Jennings' parents are still living in Tennessee but are unable to send her money. They however desire her to return there with her children, and she is very anxious to go. Her father-in-law in New York has been informed of the family's needs and her desire, and it is believed that he will forward funds for her and the children to go to Tennessee.
Notes: Native of New York City, born 4 July 1844. His father was probably William P. Jennings, who was a book binder in New York City. The father appears in the 1850, 1860 and 1870 censuses in New York City. In 1880, he had moved to Linden, New Jersey.
Charles was living in Humboldt, Gibson County, Tennessee, in 1871. He enlisted in the U.S. Army there in October of that year, and was assigned to Company D of the 16th Infantry.
Charles met Martha Jane Warmath (b. 3 Sept. 1856), daughter of Micajah "Mike" Washington Warmath and Martha Eudaly/Eudaley, around the year 1873 (while he was in the service). He married her in Humboldt, Gibson County, Tennessee, on 14 May 1874 (license issued 13 May). The minister was W. T. Bennett (Baptist). Martha was made a laundress in Company D, and travelled with the outfit with her husband on his assignments. Their first child, Ollie E. Jennings, was born in Tennessee (presumably Humboldt) in April 1875. The family transferred to Nashville in June 1876.
Charles re-enlisted at Nashville in October 1876, and was assigned to Company F of the 2nd U.S. Infantry. The company was assigned to duty in the Indian Wars at Lewiston, Idaho, and later garrisoned at Fort Lapwai, Idaho. A son, Charles Edward Jennings (Jr.), was born in Idaho on 5 September 1877.
After being discharged in November 1878 at Fort Walla Walla (Washington Territory), Jennings took his family to Pendleton, Oregon, where he worked as a book keeper in a law office. Their third child, Mary "Mattie" J. Jennings was born there in February of that year. The family was enumerated in the 1880 census in Pendleton, Umatilla County, Oregon (Enumeration District 112), where Charles was listed as married, age 40, born in New York, father born in Massachusetts, mother born in Pennsylvania, occupation clerk. His household included his wife Martha J. (age 25, born in TN), daughter Ollie E. (age 6, born in TN), son Charles E. (age 3, born in ID), and daughter Mary J. (born February 1880 in Oregon).
The family next moved to Portland, Oregon, where Charles kept books for another law office for a short time. They then moved to San Francisco, where they briefly resided (possibly at the Presidio). In August 1882, they had relocated to Benicia, where Charles enlisted at the Benicia Arsenal. He worked for one winter in the powder works (Ordnance Detachment) at the arsenal, but reportedly didn't like the work. He deserted as a Private 2nd Class in March 1883. According to Charles' brother-in-law, William Burge, the family then moved to Calistoga, where Charles worked as a day laborer, unloading train cars, etc.
A son, Stephen Grover (aka, "Grover Cleveland") Jennings, was born at Calistoga on 24 February 1887 (Source: Independent Calistogian, 2 March 1887). By 1889, the number of children in the family had grown to five.
Charles Jennings died 22 February 1889 in Lang's vineyard (just north of the Brannan Stable) in Calistoga at the age of 46. The suddenness of his death resulted in the convening of an inquest to determine the nature of his demise. It was determined in Charles Jennings' inquest that he died of natural causes. His obituary states that he was buried at Calistoga Cemetery on Sunday, 24 February 1889. There is no marker indicating the location of his grave, and the name, Jennings, does not appear on the original Calistoga cemetery map. The family was destitute, so it is possible he was buried in an unmarked grave. The widow was eventually able to return to her family in Tennessee. The particulars of her return were given in an article in The Independent Calistogian newspaper of 17 April 1889, transcribed below:
"To-morrow has been set for the departure of Mrs. Jennings and her five children for Tennessee. Her husband died while plowing a few weeks ago, it will be remembered, and she was left in destitute circumstances. Something had to be done for her benefit, and, as her parents are anxious for her to return home, arrangements have been made for her to go. Contrary to Jennings's oft-repeated statement, his father in New York is a poor man working for monthly wages. The best he could do for Mrs. Jennings was to send her $50; this, together with $100 given by the county for the purpose, and a sum raised in Calistoga by subscription, will send her to a point where she will be met by relatives. Supervisor Collins will accompany her to San Francisco, purchase the necessary tickets, and see that the family start eastward in a proper manner."
Martha J. Jennings returned to her hometown of Dyersburg, Dyer County, Tennessee, in 1889, and remained there until about 1900, when she moved to Friendship, Tennessee. She appears in the 1900 census in Civil District 12 (in the vicinity of the town of Friendship), Crockett County, Tennessee. Martha was listed as a widow, born September 1854 in Tennessee (parents both born in Tennessee). She was head of a rented house, and was noted as the mother of six children, five still living. Her household included her daughter, Mattie (born January 1880 in Oregon), son Stephen G. (born February 1887 in California), and son William W. (born September 1889 in Tennessee). The census indicates that the birthplace of the children's father was New York. All of the above information is consistent with what is known about the family of Charles Jennings. The age of the youngest son indicates that Martha was pregnant when Charles died in February 1889.
Although not enumerated in Crockett County in 1910, Martha Jennings -- still a widow -- appears in Civil District 12 of that county in the 1920 census. She was living in the household of her son-in-law, Frank Curtis (William F. Curtis, b. June 1863). Martha's daughter was Ollie Curtis, born April 1875 in Tennessee. Ollie (Ollive?) was probably the oldest daughter described as age 14 in Charles Jennings' 1889 obituary. An Ollie Jennings appears in the November 1888 school report in the 5th Grade in Calistoga. This is no doubt the same person.
About 1926, Martha moved to Blytheville, Arkansas, and in November 1927 she moved back to California, settling into the home of her son, S. Grover (aka, Grover Cleveland) Jennings, in San Diego. In 1930, she was still living at her son's address (2236 L Street in San Diego) when she applied for a military widow's pension benefit. Martha died of apoplexy at the home of her daughter, Mary J. "Mattie" (Jennings) Murdaugh, in Blytheville, Chickasawba Township, Arkansas, on 26 February 1936, and was buried in North Sawba Cemetery (Chickasawba Twp.) the following day.
A few more notes on Martha Jane Warmath Jennings:
Martha J. Warmath (shown as M. J. Warmoth on the county record) was married to Charles E. Jennings in Gibson County, Tennessee, by W. T. Bennett (Baptist minister) on 14 May 1874. The marriage license was issue on 13 May in Gibson County. A review of census records indicates that Martha J. was the daughter of Micajah Washington Warmath and Martha Eudaly/Eudaley. The family was enumerated in Civil District 3 (Humboldt Post Office), Gibson County, in the 1870 census. The father (listed in the censuses only by his initials, M. W.) was a carpenter, age 44, born in Tennessee. The mother was also age 44, also orn in Tennessee. The family was a large one. Aside from Martha J. (listed as age 14), there was Lucy A. (age 16, listed as deaf and dumb), Washington (age 12), Henry T. (age 9), Eliza A. (age 8), Sarah A. (age 6), and Polley (age 3). Martha appears as "M. Warmath" in the 1860 census, listed as age 5, living in her parents' household in District 1 (Dyersburg Post Office), Dyer County, Tennessee.
The parents (M. W. and Martha Warmath) were enumerated in the 1880 census in Friendship (Enumeration District 9), Crockett County, Tennessee, along with other members of their family. They were probably still in the vicinity of Friendship when Martha made her move back to Tennessee in 1889.
Military Information: Charles E. Jennings was reportedly a Civil War veteran, wounded at the Battle of Lookout Mountain (Chattanooga, Tennessee, 24 November 1863). This is all that is known of his Civil War service record thus far. The G.A.R. did not assist with the funeral or burial, which is unusual given the circumstances. This raises the possibility that Jennings was a Confederate veteran or was dishonorably discharged from Federal service. More research is necessary.
Charles E. Jennings' post-war military service is known. He enlisted on 9 October 1871 at Humboldt, Tennessee, in the U.S. Army, and was assigned to Company D of the 16th Infantry as a Private. He was described at the time of enlistment as age 25, born in New York City, occupation book keeper, eyes brown, hair light, complexion dark, height 5' 6". He was discharged as a Private on 9 October 1876 at Nashville, Tennessee, on expiration of his term of service.
On 14 October 1876, Charles E. Jennings re-enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was described as age 30 1/2, native of New York (City), occupation clerk & soldier, eyes brown, hair light, complexion dark, height 6' 6". He was assigned to Company F of the 2nd U.S. Infantry (noted as 2nd enlistment). He was discharged as a Corporal at Fort Walla Walla, Washington Territory, on 24 November 1878 per General Orders.
On 23 August 1882, Charles E. Jennings re-enlisted (noted as his 3rd enlistment) at Benicia Arsenal, California. He was note as being a clerk, age 26, native of New York (City), eyes brown, hair brown, complexion dark, height 5' 6". He served in the Benicia Arsenal Ordnance Detachment. The record indicates he deserted as a Private on 4 March 1883.
Charles' wife, Martha, applied for a military pension benefit as his widow on 16 September 1929, but was denied. The application number was 1650922.
The family of Charles E. Jennings after their return to Tennessee (c. 1890).
L to R: Charles E. II, Ollie E., Martha J. holding William W.,
Mattie (standing), and Stephen Grover. Photo contributed by the Jennings
Family in appreciation to Calistoga, the Napa County Sheriff-Coroner (for
preserving the Jennings inquest file), and to Dean Enderlin.
Post War Service:
16th U.S. Infantry
2nd U.S. Infantry
Ordnance Dept., Benicia Arsenal
1842 - 1915
Biography (History of Solano and Napa Counties, California, 1912):
CHARLES W. LANESoon after the birth of Charles W. Lane, which occurred in New York state in 1842, the family moved to Wisconsin and later resided in Minnesota. On the outbreak of hostilities in 1861 Mr. Lane enlisted in the Second Minnesota Infantry under Colonel George and later commanded by Colonel Bishop. This company was attached to the brigade under General Thomas. Mr. Lane took part in thirteen engagements, in all of which he distinguished himself by his bravery. At the famous battle of Mission Ridge he was one of the first men over the Ridge. Twice wounded, once in the ribs and once in the shoulder, he was sent to Nashville, Tenn., to get well, and on his way back to join his regiment was nearly captured by the rebel army. After three years of valiant service he was mustered out at Nashville, Tenn., June 24, 1864. Returning to Minnesota, he remained there several years and then, in 1867, came to California, and settled on a dairy and fruit ranch in Petaluma, Sonoma county. There he worked successfully until he removed in 1870 to Calistoga, Napa county, where he worked on the Gibbs' ranch for nine years and spent five years in the employ of E. Light. On leaving that employ he bought his present place of twelve acres, called Loma Vista, on the hillside near Calistoga, four acres in prunes and balance in pasture.
In 1866 Mr. Lane married Miss Phoebe A. Page, and to them the following children were born: Grace, now the wife of George Lincoln of Calistoga; Carl A., now of Santa Rosa; Fred, residing in Nome, Alaska; Frank, of Fresno; Edward, of Plumas county; and Madge, the wife of Edward Riley. Leslie, Page and Harry are deceased. Mr. Lane is a member of Gov. Norton [sic -- Morton] Post, No. 41 G.A.R. of Calistoga.
Obituary (The Mail of Woodland newspaper, 22 September 1915, research courtesy Kirby Morgan, SUVCW):
Following an illness of several weeks, Charles W. Lane was found dead in his bed in the home of his son, Frank C. Lane, on the Fair ranch yesterday morning. Deceased was a native of Minnesota and 73 years of age.
Surviving children besides Frank C. Lane are Carl A. of Santa Rosa, Fred of Washington state, and Edward Lane of Portola, and Mrs. Madge Riley of Santa Cruz, and Mrs. Grace Lincoln of Calistoga.
Deceased was a member of Calistoga lodge No. 241, I.O.O.F., and also of the G.A.R. post of that town. The funeral will be held in Calistoga Thursday afternoon under the combined auspices of these two organizations.
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, 24 September 1915):
CHARLES W. LANE HAS PASSED AWAYCharles W. Lane, a well-known Calistoga pioneer and highly-respected citizen, died on Tuesday morning at the home of his son, Frank C. Lane, in Knights Landing, Yolo county, after an illness of several days' duration due to paralysis.
Well-Known Calistoga Pioneer Died at Knights Landing
Mr. Lane had been making his home with his son, Frank and family, nearly ever since Mrs. Lane passed away several years ago.
Charles White Lane was born in New York State and went to Rochester, Minn., with his parents when a small boy. At the age of 19 years he enlisted in Company B., Second Minnesota Infantry, and served through the Civil War. He was wounded twice, but not seriously, and preferred marching on with his comrades instead of going to the hospital. He served under General Thomas and at the famous Mission Ridge battle carried the flag and was the first of his company to reach the top of the hill. The mayor of Rochester offered a town lot to the soldier returning with the best record and the lot was won by Mr. Lane.
Shortly after the close of the war he was married to Miss Phoebe A. Page of Ripon, Wis. They came to California in 1876 and located on a dairy near Petaluma, and in the fall of that year came to Calistoga to make their home. In 1882 they bought the well-known Lane place above town when it was a barren hillside and made it what it is today. There they continued to live and raised a large family. There were nine children in all, six of whom are living, namely: Mrs. G. F. Lincoln, Carlton A., Fred E., Frank C. and Edward L. Lane and Mrs. E. H. Riley.
The deceased was aged 73 years, 6 months and 17 days, and was a member of Calistoga Lodge, No. 227, I.O.O.F., and Governor Morton Post, No. 40 [sic - 41], G.A.R.
The remains were brought here and the funeral was held from the Odd Fellows' Hall yesterday morning under the auspices of that organization and the services were largely attended by old friends and acquaintances. Interment was made in Calistoga Cemetery beside his wife, who passed away three years ago.
Bravely he fought in the battle.
Charging ahead of the rest.
Though wounded and sore, never murmuring,
But gave for his Country his best.
After the grim war was ended,
Putting his hand to the plow,
Life's battle he fought with a vigor,
And won by the sweat of his brow.
Lived he and worked for his family,
With the wife of his youth by his side;
Never despaired he nor faltered,
Until his beloved wife died.
Now he is resting beside her,
Ne'er to be parted again.
And though we will miss him so sadly,
We know that our loss is his gain.
Notes: "Chas." Lane (age 18, born in NY) was enumerated in the 1860 census in Fair Haven, Olmsted County, MN, under the household of his father, Carlton Lane. He was still attending school. Charles (age 27), his wife Phebe (age 26), and daughter Grace (age 1) appear in the 1870 census in Farmington Township (Rochester P.O.), Olmsted County, MN. Charles was listed as a farmer, born in New York, personal estate valued at $350. Charles appears in the 1880 census in Hot Springs Township (Calistoga area), Napa County, CA. He was listed as a laborer on a farm, age 38, born in New York. His household included his wife "Febe A." (age 36), daughter Grace (age 11), son Carlton (age 9), son Harry (age 8), son Page (age 6), son "Fred'k" (age 4), and son Frank (age 1 month). Charles' father, Carlton Lane (age 72), was living nearby.
He was described in the 1896 Great Register as age 54, height 5 feet 7 inches, light complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, occupation farmer.
According to I.C. "Burt" Adams, Charles and his family lived for a time in the Hot Springs Hotel, located on the Springs Grounds in Calistoga. He later purchased and lived on a property on the east side of what is now State Highway 29, north of Calistoga.
In later years (1920's and 1930's), my grandparents and grandaunt lived on the opposite side of the highway on a subdivided portion of the Gibbs ranch. The Lane property was owned by Axel Wetterburg at the time. Axel eventually passed it to his niece, Anna McDonald (another good friend of our family).
Families in the Calistoga area that are related to the Lanes include the following surnames: Cordy, Jones, Lincoln, LeStrange, Trebotich, and Radelfinger.
Military Information: Union. Enlisted 26 June 1861 at age 19. Assigned to Company B, 2nd Minnesota Infantry Regiment on 26 Jun 1861. Discharged from Company B, 2nd Minnesota Infantry Regiment on 25 Jun 1864.
Applied for veteran's disability pension on 9 May 1892: Application no. 1110264, certificate no. 880815 (California). Name listed as "Charles W. Lane," service "B 2 Minn. Inf."
2nd Minnesota Infantry
1846 - 1928
Biography (History of Solano and Napa Counties, California, 1912):
ANDREW BRADLEY MANGIS
The birth of Andrew B. Mangis occurred in Monroe county, Tenn., in 1846, he being the son of parents who had resided in that state for some time. Four years after the birth of the son the family removed to Hamilton county, Ill., where the boy grew to young manhood, in the meantime receiving an education in the common schools of the time and place. When fifteen years old he enlisted in the army under Colonel Grierson, being a member of Company, D, Sixth Illinois Cavalry, which was attached to the army of the Tennessee. The regiment patrolled the Ohio and Missouri rivers and was also a factor in the famous Grierson raid from Tennessee to Baton Rouge. At the battle of Holly Springs, Miss., the lieutenant of the company was killed and Mr. Mangis was tendered the commission by the company, but he refused it. He engaged in many skirmishes along the rivers mentioned, being wounded at la Grange, Tenn., in 1863, and was mustered out at Memphis. From there he went to Indianapolis, Ind., where he attended school, and later on he taught school in that state and also in Illinois for eight years. Removing to Junction City, he taught school for one year and then engaged in farming and stock-raising, later proving up on a homestead and tree claim and making his home there for fifteen years.
It was in 1888 that Mr. Mangis came to California and settled in Napa county near Calistoga, which has been his home ever since. Here he has ninety-three acres on hillside land in orchard and vineyard. Being in the thermal belt and above the frost line he has no fear of loss of crops by frost. Here he raises oranges and lemons, apricots, silver and French prunes, peaches, apples, plums, figs and walnuts, besides having twenty acres in grapes. Tomato vines grow the year round. Two hundred different varieties of fruit are represented on his place, and his exhibit has received the first prize. When Mr. and Mrs. Mangis located on this place most of the land was covered with timber and brush. Now it is a veritable garden spot and one of the most productive ranches in the whole district.
Mr. Mangis was married in Wayne county, Ill., in 1870, to Miss Eliza Anderson, daughter of Col. J. J. Anderson, who commanded the Eighteenth Illinois Infantry during the Civil war. To Mr. and Mrs. Mangis the following children were born: William J., who married Mary Wilson, and has one daughter, Dorothy; Augustus O., who married Hattie Turner, and has one son, Augustus; Fleta P., who is assistant secretary of the Oroville Chamber of Commerce; and Bert. of Willows, Cal. May died at the age of twenty-two, and Nora, Mrs. Abner Burke, died leaving one daughter, Winifred, who is being reared and educated by her grandparents. Mr. Mangis is a member of Governor Morton Post No. 41, G.A.R., of Calistoga, of which he is past commander. Mrs. Mangis is a member of the Woman's Relief Corps.
Biography (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, 20 May 1927):
CALISTOGA VETERAN IS SOLE SURVIVOR
A. B. Mangis the Only One Left of Original Seventy-five of Calistoga's G.A.R.
A. B. Mangis, who came to California nearly forty years ago and settled at Calistoga, where he has resided ever since, has been going to Grand Army gatherings in Santa Rosa for many years. He was one of the regular visitors in the days of the Northern California Veterans' Association, which had annual re-unions for many years in the old Grace Bros. park on Fourth street at McDonald avenue, and later in the Veterans' park at the city limits on McDonald avenue.
Mr. Mangis was commander of the Calistoga Grand Army of the Republic Post, when it numbered seventy-five members and participated in the great Grand Army parade with twenty-three comrades from that Post when the National encampment took place in San Francisco many years ago [37th National Encampment, August 1903]. He is now the sole survivor of that company of Civil War veterans, although there are now three others who have enrolled in the Post in Calistoga in recent years. He was elected first vice president of the Northern California Veterans' Association's last meeting at Santa Rosa, and since the death of his old-time friend and associate, Newton Conner of Calistoga, who also was a regular attendant at these encampments, and who was elected president of the association at its last gathering there, is acting president of the organization.
Mr. Mangis entered the army as a lad between fifteen and sixteen years of age in 1861 as a member of the 6th Illinois Voluntary Cavalry under Colonel Grayson [Grierson], who later became general. He served with his command up and down the Mississippi river and participated in the memorable raid in which the regiment covered more than 1,500 miles in fifteen days between Memphis and Baton Rouge, La. He was wounded in 1863 and spent three months in the hospital in Memphis.
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, 4 May 1928):
A. B. MANGIS DIED SUNDAY AFTERNOON
Was Highly Respected Resident of This Section for Third of a Century
A. B. Mangis, another highly respected resident of this section for over thirty-three years, was claimed by death last Sunday afternoon at the Veterans' Home Hospital at Yountville. He was a veteran of the Civil War, and had been taken to the soldiers home for treatment about three weeks prior to his death.
Andrew Bradley Mangis was born in Tennessee on March 8, 1846, and was, therefore, 81 years, 1 month and 21 days of age at the time of his death. He came to California thirty-three years ago, and had resided in the hills west of Calistoga ever since. He was one of the three remaining members of the Governor Morton Post, No. 40 [sic -- 41], G.A.R., of Calistoga, and always took an active and important part in all patriotic events. This post at one time had about forty members.
His wife, the late Eliza Mangis, died on December 13, 1920, and a son, Oliver A. Mangis, and a daughter, Mrs. Nora Burke, have also preceded him to the grave.
Mr. Mangis was an industrious man and an upright citizen and came as near living up to the "Golden Rule" as anybody ever could.
He is survived by two sons, William J. Mangis and Andrew Burt Mangis of Calistoga, and a daughter, Miss Fleta Mangis of San Francisco, as well as a granddaughter, Mrs. Winifred Everett of Santa Clara.
The funeral services were held at the Methodist church here Wednesday afternoon under the auspices of the grand army post, and the local American Legion post, and were largely attended by old-time friends. Interment was made in the family plot in the Calistoga cemetery.
Notes: Native of Tennessee. Died 29 April 1928 at Calistoga. He was described in the 1896 Great Register as age 50, height 6 feet, fair complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, occupation farmer. The Mangis place was on the Petrified Forest Road, west of Calistoga. Their property was adjacent to the old Mitchell hatchery, which is now the Graeser Winery. The Mangis family also owned property on the east side of the Napa Valley, at the western base of the Palisades. The property was also known as the Keller place. It later became the Palisades Hunting Club. Oliver A. Mangis, Jr., was one of the owners. The property included a site known as the "Burke Cabin," which may have had a connection to Andrew B. Mangis' daughter, Nora, and her husband, Abner Burke. The Mangis family is related through marriage to Calistoga's Cavagnaro family.
Military Information: Union. Enlisted on 11 October 1861 in McLeansboro, Hamilton County, Illinois. Name recorded as "Andrew Mangus." Described as age 18, height 5'7", hair fair, eyes blue, complexion fair, single, occupation farmer, nativity Monroe County, Tennessee. Mustered in at Shawneetown, Illinois, on 9 January 1862. His father, William Mangis, enlisted at the same time, and served with Andrew in the same cavalry company. A Cornelius C. Mangis (age 18) also enlisted in McLeansboro on the same day in 1865. He may have been a cousin to Andrew.
Andrew Mangis served in Company D of the 6th Illinois Cavalry, and participated in the infamous "Grierson's Raid" during the Vicksburg Campaign. Mangis was reportedly offered (and refused) a field commission when a lieutenant in the Company was killed at the Battle of Holly Springs, Mississippi, in December 1862. Mangis was wounded near LaGrange, Tennessee, in early 1863 (possibly in the surprise midnight attack against a regimental detachment on 29 March). On 6 June 1863, after three months recovering in the hospital at Memphis, he received a medical discharge from that facility.
6th Illinois Cavalry
1839 - 1921
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, 18 March 1921):
Francis M. McPherson died at Placerville, El Dorado county, on Tuesday of this week, and the remains were brought here for burial. He lived here in early days, but went away something over thirty years ago. He was a carpenter by trade and is well-remembered by old-timers. The remains were brought here and the funeral took place this afternoon from the Odd Fellows' hall under the auspices of the Calistoga lodge. He was a member of Georgetown lodge of Odd Fellows, and Rebekahs. Interment was made in the Calistoga cemetery beside his wife, who passed away several years ago.
Notes: Native of Scott County, Illinois, born 31 July 1839. He married Mary Elizabeth Norton in Jefferson County, Kansas, on 22 July 1869 (source: IGI and death certificate).
He was enumerated as F. M. McPherson in the 1875 Kansas census for Oskaloosa Township, Jefferson County, Kansas, listed as a farmer, age 25, born in Illinois. His household included his wife, M. McPherson, age 24, born in Missouri; and his son A. E. McPherson, age 2, born in Kansas. In 1900, he was enumerated in Georgetown, El Dorado County, CA, b. July 1839 in IL, father born NC, mother born TN, widowed, occupation miner in gold mine, son Albert E. (b. Sept. 1872 in KS) living with him. In 1910, he was still in Georgetown, age 71, b. in IL, parents born KY, widowed, working as miner in gold mine, served in Union Army, son Albert E. still living with him.
He died at Placerville, El Dorado County, on 15 March 1921 at the age of 81 years, 7 months and 15 days, according to his death certificate. Cause of death was chronic myocarditis. His miltary headstone is inscribed as follows: FRANCIS M. McPHERSON | CO. A | 61 IL. INF.
Military Information: Union. Enlisted as a Private on 24 February 1862. Described at enlistment as age 23, resident of Manchester, Scott County, Illinois, height 5'11", hair dark, eyes blue, complexion dark, occupation farmer. Assigned to Company A, 61st Illinois Infantry Regiment on 24 February 1862. Received a disability discharge from Company A, 61st Illinois Infantry Regiment on 6 August 1862 at St. Louis, Missouri.
He was listed as a pensioner in the 1883 U.S. GPO official list: Residence, Calistoga; Cause for Pension, gunshot wound to the left hip; Monthly Rate, $18.00; Certificate number, 16557.
61st Illinois Infantry
c.1822 - 1890Obituary (The Independent Calistogian newspaper, 10 September 1890):
News article (The Daily Republican newspaper, Santa Rosa, Calif., 6 January 1887). Research by Ray Owen, Santa Rosa, 2009:
A Tramp with a History.But few persons who read the daily papers ever pause and think, when notice is made of some poor tramp who has bee sent to jail, who the fellow is, or what he might have been. When Judge Seawell sent a vagrant named A. J. Moore to the county jail for ten days, Tuesday, there were few people who, if they thought about it at all, but said to themselves, "the sentence was too light." But when they learn the poor old fellow's history, many of our pioneers will feel more kindly toward him; when they think that there are many of their old comrades in the same position. The tramp, A. J. Moore, came to California in the 40's, and settled in the mining districts. He was highly respected, and was elected the first Sheriff of El Dorado county. He served in this capacity until California was admitted to the Union. His worth and ability caused three successive Sheriffs to retain him as Under-Sheriff. In those early times only a pioneer knows what a man in the Sheriff's position was compelled to contend with. Moore remained there until the war broke out, when he joined the Oregon Infantry Volunteers, and served until wounded. He was honorably discharged, and now holds a pension. He is one of the many who have fallen so low.
A. J. Moore, or "Jack," as he was usually addressed, met with quick, accidental death Sunday afternoon last at his cabin in Teale canyon, the facts being as follows: Higgins Jeagel and Sam, the colored man, were at the cabin enjoying Jack's hospitality a few hours. They were outside but close to the cabin, a few feet from which flows a small stream, now very low. The bank on the cabin side is precipitous, and about five feet from the top down to the bed of the creek. "Jack" is said to have been drinking considerably that day, and while near the bank he stumbled forward and went head foremost over the bank striking on his head among the stones in the bed of the creek, the body going over and resting squarely on the back. The two men present hastened to render assistance, but there were no signs of life noticeable. "Jack" did not breath nor move a limb. Death was instantaneous. Particulars were brought to town and Coroner Lawrence was summoned by telephone. He sent word requesting that a jury be summoned immediately, which Constable Cherry did. On the arrival of the Coroner he and the jury repaired to the scene of the accident, where an inquest was held. After examining into facts in the case, the jury rendered a verdict of accidental death. The immediate cause of dissolution was not ascertained, but it was not a broken neck as was at first reported. "Jack" was an old-timer. It is said that he was in this vicinity as early as 1855. He left, and after roaming for years over the Pacific Coast country returned to the Upper Napa Valley three or four years ago. He was a Mexican war pensioner, a native of Ohio, aged 68 years. His remains were buried in Calistoga Cemetery Sunday last by Gov. Morton Post, Rev. Joseph Hemphill officiating at the grave.
Notes: He was probably a native of Georgia, but his obituary notes he was a native of Ohio. His father was a native of Virginia, and his mother a native of Georgia. His mother's maiden name may have been Gwinnett, Walton or Hall, as Moore notes that her family name appears on the Declaration of Independence. He was born circa 1822.
Andrew J. Moore provided glimpses into his early life in his Civil War pension correspondence. In a letter dated 9 June 1878, written in Astoria, Oregon, Moore states that, "in 1843 I was permited to take a rest from School, also permit[ted] from my Father to go to Oregon." He continues:
I came to Oregon chance to have a western life, 5 years lived under a provisional government, help to drive the wild Indians back, help to retake our women & children back from the Indians after the ma[ss]acre of the Whitman family and the immigrants went to California, was in all the Indian trouble there, been a Successful Miner, have been an unfortunate Miner, have served in the Union sick of the Rebellion war and no other. I was born South of Mason & Dixon line. I bleave this could not be a United Republic if we tolerate Secession although all of Father's were Southern people. My Father of the Colony of Virginia. My Mother of Gorgia. Herres that name is on the Declaration of the Independence.
The above account suggests that Moore was one of the earliest settlers in the Oregon Territory. He may be the same person as "Jackson Moore" who parted from the Bidwell Party at the Platte in 1843. This man reportedly went to Taos, rather than continue on to Oregon with the party. Andrew J. Moore statements suggest that he was involved in civilian or military actions against Native Americans in southeastern Washington after the Whitman Massacre of November 1847.
According to an 1887 news article, A. J. Moore came to California in the 1840's, and was sheriff in the El Dorado County area until 1850. He reportedly was undersheriff in El Dorado County for a few terms thereafter. It is possible that Moore's position as "sheriff" was based on prior military experience. Captain William E. Shannon was Alcalde of the Coloma District in 1849, and Moore would have reported to him. Shannon had been a captain of Company I of the First Regiment of New York Volunteers (also known as Stevenson's Regiment), which saw service in California in 1847 and 1848. There were two soldiers named Andrew Moore in the regiment. One served in Company B, but returned to Pennsylvania after his service. The other served in Company D, and remained in California. The latter was noted as still living in April 1882, residence Gilroy.
After the formation of El Dorado County, Moore was possibly undersheriff to the county's first sheriff Sheriff William Rogers. Further research may confirm this.
Moore appears as Jackson A. Moore in the 1850 census in California. He was listed as constable, living in the hotel in the town of Coloma, El Dorado County. He was noted as age 30, and a native of Ohio. He owned real estate valued at $2,000. In the "Historical Souvenir of El Dorado County, California," published in 1883, Moore is mentioned as being one of the early residents of Coloma, affectionately called "little Jack More."
He may be the same individual as Andrew J. Moore who appears in the 1860 census in Alisal Township (Natividad Post Office). He was listed as a farmer, age 36, born in Arkansas. He was rooming with Geo. W. Fisk, Jas. Leach, Christopher C. Coffin, and Peter Canavan. He may also be the same individual as "A. J. Moore," who appears in the 1870 census in the Youngs River Valley (Astoria P.O.), Clatsop County, Oregon. He was listed as a carpenter, age 46, born in Arkansas. The same individual, listed as "Andrew J. Moore," was still living at Astoria in the 1880 census. He was listed as a widower, age 56, born in Georgia, parents born in Virginia, occupation wood chopper.
Moore was living in Jacksonville, Jackson County, Oregon, in 1883. By January of 1887 he had moved to Sonoma County, California, where he was arrested for vagrancy, and sentenced to ten days in jail. Shortly after his release, he drifted into the Calistoga area where he remained for the final three years of his life.
According to research by Ray Owen, Andrew Jackson Moore appears in the 1890 Great Register of California, native of Georgia, resident of Calistoga.
He died on Sunday, 7 September 1890, and was buried the same day in the GAR plot in Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery. His military headstone was one of eighteen headstones that were ordered by William T. Simmons in December 1896. The stone is inscribed as follows: A. J. MOORE | CO. E. | 1ST OREGON INF.
Military Information: Union. He served as a Private in Company E, 1st Oregon Infantry regiment. The regiment organized between November of 1864 and January of 1865. Detachments were dispatched to various locations in the District of Oregon, including Fort Vancouver, Fort Klamath, Fort Yamhill, Fort Steilacoom, Fort Dalles, Fort Walla Walla, Colville, Fort Hoskins, and Fort Boles. Also saw duty in the Idaho Territory, protecting the Boles and Snake River country and the Owyhee mines from Indian raids. The regiment was mustered out on 19 July 1867 (Source: Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System)
According to his pension file, Andrew J. Moore enlisted in Company E of the 1st Oregon Infantry at Astoria, Clatsop County, Oregon, on 20 December 1864. Moore notes that he was honorably discharged as a Private at Fort Vancouver on 22 November 1865.
Andrew J. Moore applied for veteran's disability pension on 16 May 1878: Application no. 255285, certificate no. 172144, service was listed as Company E, 1st Oregon Infantry. The state of filing was not listed in the pension index. The U.S. GPO "List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883" supplements the above information: He was living in Jacksonville, Jackson County, Oregon, in 1883. Name listed as "Andrew J. Moore." He was receiving $8.00 per month on a pension first awarded in August, 1880 (certificate 172,144). The pension was awarded due to an injury to the abdomen (left inguinal hernia). The injury occurred on or about 16 November 1865, during a march from Fort Colville to Wallula, Washington, to take a boat to Fort Vancouver.
Although he does not mention it in his pension application, I suspect Andrew Jackson Moore also served in (or assisted) Stevenson's Regiment (1st New York Volunteers) in California immediately prior to statehood.
1st Oregon Infantry
1836 - 1880
Rank: Ship's Steward
Obituary (The Independent Calistogian newspaper, 11 August 1880):
Sudden Death.Last Monday morning Samuel Murphy went to Stratton's house in Calistoga for the purpose of sawing some wood, but on reaching the place he felt unwell and sat down in a chair in the saloon. He was comparatively quiet aside from some complaint made occasionally in regard to his feelings, and nothing very serious was supposed to afflict the man until a few minutes before eight o'clock, when his condition was considered to be precarious, and medical assistance was sought, but before it arrived he had breathed his last. The body was removed to Bryant's Hall, and Coroner F. W. Colman was telegraphed for. On his arrival a Coroner's Jury, consisting of J. B. Brown, W. F. Fisher, C. W. Northup, J. A. Chesebro, R. P. Johnston and J. Nunberger, was summoned and a post mortem examination made. After making such examination and ascertaining facts the following verdict was rendered by the jury:
We the undersigned Coroner's Jury, convened to inquire into the cause of the death of deceased, find his name to be Samuel Murphy, native of Massachusetts, 46 years of age, and that he came to his death on the morning of the 9th inst. from pulmonary apoplexy.
The deceased was addicted to intemperence but the effects of ardent spirits on his system did not cause his death as some people seem to believe, and the post mortem examination proved this. His intestines and liver were in perfect condition; but there was something in connection with the heart that might have caused pulmonary apoplexy, though this could not, as we understand, be positively decided. Only for undue exposure previous to Monday forenoon it is very probable the deceased would still be among the living.
Samuel Murphy was a native of Fall River, Mass.; was born July 1st, 1836, died Aug. 9th, 1890, and was therefore 44 years, 1 month and 8 days old.
Notes: Native of Fall River, Bristol County, Massachusetts, born 1 July 1836.
He is undoubtedly the same individual as Sam'l C. Murphy, who was enumerated in the 1870 census in the vicinity of Bale Mill, near Calistoga. He was listed as age 35, born in Massachusetts, occupation farmer. His household included P. Michael Murphy, age 23, born in Massachusetts, and Mary Murphy, age 52, born in Ireland.
In 1880, Michael Murphy was living near the John Cyrus family, near Calistoga. This may be the same Michael Murphy who served as Calistoga's first city clerk.
In the 1873 Great Register of Voters for Napa County, he is listed as Samuel Courtney Murphy, age 35, born in Massachusetts, occupation cook, residence Calistoga.
Samuel Murphy died on 9 August 1880 in Calistoga. His military headstone was one of eighteen headstones that were ordered by William T. Simmons in December 1896. As is typical for Navy headstones, the inscription is a simple one: SAM'L MURPHY | U.S. NAVY.
Military Information: Union Navy. Although his headstone is simply inscribed "U.S. Navy," the NARA index card for his military headstone indicates that he served as Steward aboard the U S S Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania was the largest of the Navy's sailing warships: A three deck, 120-gun Ship of the Line, with a 3,241 ton burden. She was launched in 1837. Murphy probably served aboard the Pennsylvania during the period that she was a receiving ship (training vessel for naval recruits) at the Norfolk (Gosport) Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia. The ship was used for this purpose between 1842 and 1861. The Pennsylvania was burned to the water line by order of the shipyard commander on 20 April 1861, when Confederate forces threatened the facility.
U S S Pennsylvania
1841 - 1887
Rank: Full Quartermaster Sergeant (Brevet Captain)
Obituary (The Independent Calistogian newspaper, 19 October 1887):
In our present issue, we record the death of Captain James Burroughs Norton, a respected member of the Chicago Board of Trade. He was born in the State of New York, July 16th, 1841; spent the most of boyhood and early manhood in Wisconsin; and led his active business life in Chicago. At the age of seventeen he entered the Union Army, and served in Sherman's division in the famous march to the sea. At the close of the war, on account of his distinguished bravery, he was commissioned to the rank of Captain. In the peaceful walks of life he was marked by intelligence, skill, and enterprise, and, had not his health failed him, would have gained prominence in the great commercial city of the West. Four years ago a severe illness sapped the foundation of his health, and from that time he gradually faded away. Distinguished doctors and noted climes were alike ineffectual in checking his malady. His last resort was the dry, sunny climate of California. He came to the home of his sister, Mrs. Ayer, last March, and spent his last days in Calistoga. His last earthly hope was blighted, even California could not restore to him that priceless treasure -- health.
On Sunday evening, Oct. 16th, he sank peacefully into that "sleep which knows no waking." He leaves behind him a wife and two children. His death is deeply felt by many, as his sterling qualities had endeared him to a large social circle. A kind and indulgent father, a devoted husband, an affectionate brother, a dutiful son, a genial companion, a prudent business man, a warm-hearted patriot has gone and left a blank that time can not fill.
Death Notice (The Independent Calistogian newspaper, same issue):
DIEDNORTON. -- In Calistoga, Oct. 16th, at the home of his sister, Mrs. Mary C. Ayer, James Burroughs Norton, a native of New York, aged 46 years and 3 months.
Notes: In 1860, he was living in Springfield, Wisconsin; listed as age 19, born in New York, parents Burris and Margaret Norton. In 1880, he was living in Chicago, Illinois; listed as age 38, born in New York, occupation "Com. Merchandise." He was living under the household of his mother-in-law, Eliza H. Cox. Also in the household were his wife, Julia B. Norton (age 29, born in Ohio), and sons Milton G. (age 6) and Weber C. Norton (age 5 months). Both the sons were born in Illinois.
James' sister, Mary Catherine Ayer (nee Norton), was the wife of Calistoga's first dairyman, Charles A. Ayer (1839-1885). She also served at one time as President of Calistoga's Woman's Relief Corps. According to research by Kent Domogalla, Mary was living in the house at the southeast corner of Berry and Cedar Streets in the 1870's (about the time that James came to Calistoga). The house was later used as a Christian Science Society. My mother and grandmother were members, and I was in the house many times attending services. The Society disbanded in the late 1970's.
Military Information: Union. Enlisted 17 October 1861. Residence Springfield, Wisconsin. Assigned to Company E, 16th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment on 17 October 1861. Wounded on 3 October 1862 at Corinth, Mississippi. Promoted to Brevet Captain on 3 October 1862. Transferred on 22 August 1864 from Company E to Company S of the 16th Wisconsin Infantry. Promoted to Full Quartermaster Sergeant on 22 August 1864. Mustered out of Company E, 16th Infantry Regiment Wisconsin on 12 July 1865 at Louisville, Kentucky. Rank in: Private. Rank out: Q.M. Sergeant.
Applied for veteran's disability pension on 29 August 1887 (California): Application no. 620916, certificate no. 457062. His widow, listed as Mary W. Norton, applied for a widow's benefit in California on 3 April 1888: Application no. 370842, certificate no. 264808.
Companies E & S
16th Wisconsin Infantry
c.1836 - 1896
Rank: Full Chief Bugler
Notes: He was a native of Marlborough, Massachusetts.
He was described in 1898 as age 61, height 5 feet 8 inches, light complexion, blue eyes, light hair, liquor dealer in Calistoga. In the 1880 census, he was listed as age 43, born in Massachusetts, parents also born in Massachusetts, occupation saloon keeper. His household in 1880 included only his wife, Sarah (age 34), a native of England. His wife, Sarah A. Stratton (nee Towill), died Wednesday, 1 May 1895, as the result of a fall while enebriated. The results of her inquest were published in the 4 May 1895 edition of the Independent Calistogian newspaper.
William's marriage to Sarah A. Towill is recorded in Napa County Marriage book 4, page 58. The marriage took place on 31 December 1879, probably in Calistoga. W. S. Bryant, Preacher of the Gospel, was minister, and witnesses were L. N. Bryant and James Allen, both of Calistoga. The marriage license was issued on 25 February 1874. It described William as a native of Massachusetts, age 38, resident of Calistoga. Sarah was described as a native of England, age 32, resident of Calistoga.
William advertised himself as "Notary Public and Conveyancer." In addition to being a notary public in Calistoga in the late 1880's he was also in real estate sales, an insurance agent, and a loan agent and general banker. His office was on Lincoln Avenue, opposite the Calistoga Depot. William died on 10 October 1896. His military headstone was one of eighteen headstones that were ordered by William T. Simmons in December 1896. It is inscribed as follows: W. E. STRATTON | 16TH N.Y. CAV.
He appears in the 1882 Great Register of Voters of Napa County, listed as William Edward Straton, age 43, native of Massachusetts, occupation saloon keeper, residence Calistoga.
He was noted for having a miniature cannon, which he would fire in public on special occasions, such as Washington's birthday.
Military Information: Union. Prior to the Civil War, William E. Stratton served as a Bugler in the U.S. Regulars. He enlisted at Boston on 1 March 1858, and was mustered into Company A of the 2nd Dragoons (2nd U.S. Cavalry). A "Horatio W. Stratton" (possibly a younger brother) enlisted in the same company on the same date. William was described at the time of enlistment as age 22, native of Marlborough, Massachusetts, occupation bootmaker, eyes blue, hair brown, complexion dark, height 5' 7 1/2". He was discharged on expiration of his term of service as a Bugler at camp in Falmouth, Virginia, on 2 March 1863. He was listed as a Bugler in the muster roll of Company A, 2nd Dragoons, for the period ending 31 December 1861. Several companies in the regiment were broken up in July of 1862, the buglers in Company A being sent on recruiting duty to New York City.
William enlisted at the age of 27 as a volunteer on 24 April 1863 at Buffalo, New York, and was mustered into Company B of the 16th New York Cavalry ("Sprague Light Cavalry") as a Private on the same date. He was immediately promoted to Full Chief Bugler and assigned to Regimental Field Officers and Staff. He was transferred to the 3rd New York Provisional Cavalry Regiment as F&S (Field Officers and Staff) on 17 August 1865, during the consolidation of the 13th and 16th New York Cavalry Regiments into the newly organized 3rd Provisional. The regiment was only in existence for 30 days. He was mustered out the 3rd New York Prov'l Cavalry Regiment on 21 September 1865 at Camp Barry, Washington, DC. Rank in: Private. Rank out: Full Chief Bugler.
He applied for a veteran's disability pension in California on 30 October 1873 (application no. 910441, certificate no. (none). The application was apparently denied. The pension index card notes his service as Co. A, 2 U.S. Cav., and as Bugler in the 3 N.Y. Prov. Cav.
2nd U.S. Dragoons (Regular Army)
16th New York Cavalry
Field Officers & Staff
3rd Prov'l New York Cavalry
1833 - 1900
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, 27 July 1900):
Augustine Towle died at his home in this place on Tuesday morning at about 10 o'clock of heart disease. While he had been ill for several months, yet he was able to be up and around and his sudden demise was considerable of a surprise to his family. The deceased was a native of Maine and aged nearly 67 years, but he had been a resident of California for about thirty-three years. He leaves a wife and five grown children to mourn his demise. The funeral was conducted Wednesday from the family residence and was held under the auspices of the Grand Army of the Republic and Woman's Relief corps, he being a member of the former organization. Rev. H. C. Tallman conducted the services and the remains were laid at rest in the Calistoga cemetery.
Notes: Native of Maine. He was described in 1896 as age 62, height 5 feet 5.5 inches, light complexion, blue eyes, gray hair. In 1860, he was living in North Chelsea, Mass.; listed as age 26, born in Maine, teamster, wife Susan age 19, daughter Elizabeth E. age 10/12. In 1870, he was living in Hot Springs Township (Calistoga); listed as age 36, born in Maine, teamster, with wife Susan, and children Elizabeth E., Susan A., Augustine, and Ada M. 1900: In Calistoga, born February 1833 in Maine, father born in NH, married for 39 years, wife Susan born March 1842, son William born 1873.
His military headstone is inscribed as follows: AUGUSTINE TOWLE | CO. I. | 1 MASS. INF.
Military Information: Union. He enlisted on 22 October 1861 and was mustered into Company I of the 1st Massachusetts Infantry regiment on the same date. Residence North Chelsea, Massachusetts. Occupation, teamster. He was reported missing (wounded) at Nelson's Farm, Virginia, on 30 June 1862. Wounded at Chancellorsville, Virginia, on 3 May 1863. Transferred to Company D, 9th Veteran Reserve Corps (VRC) on 4 May 1864, on account of his injury. Reenlisted in Company D, 9th VRC Regiment on 6 May 1864. Discharged on 18 November 1865.
Applied for veteran's disability pension on 23 April 1881 (California): Application no. 420242, certificate no. 232446. His widow, Susan, applied for a widow's benefit in California in 1901: Application no. 737801, certificate no. 536743.
1st Mass. Infantry
9th Veteran Reserve Corps
Unassigned Detachment Veteran Reserve Corps
1843 - 1916
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, 28 April 1916):
Thomas F. Veale Died at the Veterans' HomeThomas F. Veale of Calistoga, who had been a patient at the Veterans Home Hospital for several months past, died at that institution at a late hour Wednesday night. Death was due to heart failure and chronic bronchitis of which he had been a sufferer for a long time.
Mr. Veale was a native of Illinois and was aged 73 years, 3 months and 4 days. He came to California fifty years ago, leaving shortly after the close of the Civil War, of which he was a veteran.
The deceased had been a resident of Napa county during the greater part of the last half century and lived most of the time in or near Calistoga. For many years he was engaged in farming, but of late years resided at his home on Washington street in town.
Mr. Veale is survived by his wife, his two children by a former wife having passed away some years ago.
The remains were brought to Calistoga and the funeral will be held at the Methodist church Sunday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock, and interment will be made in Calistoga cemetery.
Notes: Native of Eldara, Pike County, Illinois. He was described in the 1896 Great Register as age 53, height 5 feet 6.5 inches, light complexion, blue eyes, gray hair, occupation farmer, end of left forefinger off. I am completing a full biography on Thomas and his family. A draft version is available in pdf format on this website. The Veales once owned the ranch on which I live in Calistoga. His civilian headstone in Calistoga's Pioneer Cemetery incorrectly lists his name as Thomas Roe Veale, probably due to some confusion with Thomas' brother's name, Richard Rowe Veale.
Military Information: Union. Enlisted on 15 August 1862 at Pittsfield, Illinois, at the age of 19. Name spelled Thomas Veal. Described as height 5'6", hair light, eyes gray, complexion fair, single, occupation farmer. Assigned to Company G, 99th Illinois Volunteer Infantry on 23 August 1862. Contracted rubella (German measles) at Salem, Missouri, in November 1862. Hospitalized at Houston, Missouri, for several months, then transferred to hospital at Milliken's Bend, Louisiana. Received medical discharge on 11 April 1863 from Milliken's Bend. Official records incorrectly list him as deserted at Milliken's Bend. Rank in: Private. Rank out: Private.
Applied for veteran's disability pension on 21 March 1881: Application no. 508886, certificate no. 445819 (California). Widow (Ellen Veale, nee Boase) applied for widow's benefit on 6 November 1916: Application no. 1083609, certificate no. 859672 (California).
99th Illinois Infantry
1837 - 1913
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, Friday, 21 November 1913):
Death of Mr. Von Boyd.Alexander Von Boyd died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. John Schmehle, on Monday evening [17 November] of heart failure after a brief illness. Mr. Von Boyd was a native of Ohio, but moved with his parents to Indiana when a young boy. He went to Idaho about forty years ago, where he resided until about fourteen years ago when he came to California to make his home with his daughter. He united with the Congregational church when a young man, and was a member of the congregation of the Methodist and Presbyterian churches of this place. He was a school teacher for many years in his younger days.
The deceased was aged 75 years, 11 months and 25 days. He was a veteran of the civil war and an Odd Fellow.
The funeral was held yesterday afternoon from the home of Mrs. Schmehle, and was largely attended. Rev. W. G. Trudgeon officiated and a choir furnished the music. Interment was made in Calistoga cemetery. The burial services of the Odd Fellows were exemplified at the grave by the officers of the local lodge.
Notes: Alexander Von Boyd (a.k.a., Alexander V. Boyd) was a native of Tuscarawas County, Ohio, born 23 November 1837, according to his own accounts in the military pension files. His family name was Boyd, but for unknown reasons, he added "Von" to his surname, giving it a Germanic character. It may have been an adaptation using his middle name. He was one of at least four children born to Robert Boyd (1810-c.1842) and Mary Jane Vaughan (1812-1850) of Wayne Township in Tuscarawas County (Source: Ancestry.com, data posted by Dave Richardson). His parents died when he was young, so the statement in his obituary that he moved to Indiana with his parents appears to be incorrect. In the 1850 census, he and his younger sister Martha appear in the household of Conrad and Jane Adams of Wayne Township, Tuscarawas County. Alexander probably came to Indiana with his older brother, Joseph, who settled in Daviess County.
Alexander is probably the same individual as "Alex. Boyd" (age 16), who was a farm hand working for Allen Hadley in Monroe Township, Morgan County, Indiana, in 1860. Alexander was a resident of Roanoke, Huntington County, Indiana, when he enlisted in the 75th Indiana Volunteer Infantry in 1862.
After the Civil War -- for a few years beginning in 1866 -- Von Boyd and his family lived in the vicinity of Washburn, Barry County, Missouri. Judging from the birthplaces of his two daughters, the family moved from Missouri to Arkansas sometime between 1868 and 1870. By July of 1870, Von Boyd and his family were living in Cedar Township (Berrysville Post Office), Carroll County, Arkansas. He was listed as "Alexander Boyde," age 32, farmer, probably renting a farm. His household included his wife "Liddy An" (age 21, a native of Tennessee), daughter Martha A. (age 2), and daughter Sarah Ida (age 1 month). According to his own account, Von Boyd then moved to Idaho about 1873. In 1880, Von Boyd was enumerated in Wood Creek, Alturas County (now Blaine County), Idaho, along with his wife, Lydia (age 30), and daughter Martha A. (age 12). He was listed as "Alexander Boyd," age 41, keeping station (railroad). Around 1894-95, Von Boyd was admitted to the National Home for Disabled Soldiers in Idaho (located in Boise). He was still in Idaho in 1897, stating that he was a resident of Blaine County.
Around 1899, Von Boyd moved to California to be closer to his daughter, (Martha) Alice. He initially moved to the Pacific Branch of the National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (at Santa Monica). He was enumerated there (in Los Angeles County, California) in the 1900 census, listed (with obvious errors) as "Alexander V. Boyd," single, age 65, born July 1834 in Indiana. He remained at the soldiers home in Santa Monica until sometime after February 1908. By 1910, he was living in the home of his daughter, (Martha) Alice Fletcher, on the "Lake County Road" (now Lake Street) in Calistoga. The house they lived in was an architectural curiosity in Calistoga, being octagonal in shape. According to local historian Ira C. "Burt" Adams, it was built by A. D. Rogers for Mr. Fletcher, who was "a mining man from Idaho." In the 1910 census, Von Boyd was listed as a widower, age 72, born in Ohio. Others in the household were Alice Fletcher's children, Ida (age 20), and Bert (age 18). The "octagon house" was located on the northwest corner of the intersection of Lake and Grant Streets. Alexander appears to have also purchased a lot on the southwest corner of the same intersection (now part of the high school property). His name appears as the owner on a 1915 map of Napa County parcels, published a little over a year after his death.
Alexander was described in 1891 as 5 feet 10 1/2 inches tall, light complexion, sandy hair, with blue eyes. In later years he reportedly sported a beard.
Alexander Von Boyd was the subject of a research project by Bruce Hitchko's 5th Grade class in the 1990-91 school year at Calistoga Elementary. Students involved in the project included Nicola Scott, Dalila Malina, Justin Cole, Charles Blakely, Tyson J. Miller, Allison Insogna, and Tina Frediani. The group did an impressive amount of research, preserved in a report which was kindly loaned to me by Bruce Hitchko in 2007.
Related family names include Fletcher, Schmehle, Tomasi, Bynon, Scannell, and Jamison. The Tomasi and Bynon families have Sonoma County ties. Alexander's daughter, Alice Fletcher Schmehle (nee Boyd) (1868-1932), is buried next to him in Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery. His military headstone is inscribed as follows: THOS. VEAL | CO. G. | 99 ILL. INF.
Military Information: Union. He enlisted as "Alex. V. Boyd" on 6 August 1862 in Company H, 75th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, at Roanoke, Huntington County, Indiana. He was 24 years old at the time of enlistment. The regiment was mustered in at Wabash, Wabash County, Indiana, on 19 August 1862. He saw action in the engagements at Perrysville (Oct. 1862), Hoover's Gap (June 1863), Chickamauga (Sept. 1863), and the siege of Chattanooga (Nov. 1863). In early May of 1864, while on duty in the Atlanta Campaign at Chattanooga, Tennessee, Alexander became unfit for duty due to symptoms of exposure. He was sent to the rear to recover. Suffering from chronic diarrhea, rheumatism and partial deafness, he was admitted to the military hospital at Madison, Indiana, in the summer of 1864. On 30 August 1864, Alexander left the military hospital at Madison "for the purpose of transacting business of an important character relative to his property." He apparently did so without clear permission from his superiors, and upon his return on 14 September 1864, was refused admission and turned over to the Provost Marshall as a deserter. In November/December 1864, his case was forwarded to Louisville, Kentucky, and recommended for court marshall. It appears that the charges were dropped, as there are no records showing that the case was prosecuted.
Alexander next appears in the military hospital at Evansville, Indiana, where he was released back to his regiment on 25 May 1865. On 8 June 1865, he was transferred to Company K, 42nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry, which was stationed at Washington, D.C., at the time. A note in the regimental roster indicates that he was absent and sick from the time of his transfer until the regiment was mustered out in Louisville, Kentucky, on 21 July 1865. His last few weeks in the 42nd Indiana Infantry allowed him to complete his 3-year volunteer service commitment.
Rank in: Private. Rank out: Private.
He applied for veteran's disability pension as "Alexander V. Boyd" on 12 February 1891. Application no. 986992, certificate no. 905636 (Idaho). His service was noted as "H 75 Ind. Inf."
75th Indiana Infantry
42nd Indiana Infantry
1836 - 1914
Rank: Full Corporal
Obituary (The Weekly Calistogian newspaper, 18 December 1914):
Nelson L. Wandell died at his home in the Power cottage on Myrtle and Elm streets last Sunday night at about midnight. He had been ill only a few days prior to his death, although his health had been poor for some time. The deceased was a veteran of the Civil war and several of his comrades here administered great comfort to him in his last hours on earth. The deceased was a native of New York and aged 78 years and 22 days. His only relative on this coast is a sister-in-law, Mrs. Martha Forsyth, who came up from Berkeley to attend the funeral. He had been a resident of this state forty years and was a carpenter by occupation. The funeral was held Wednesday from the undertaking parlors of M. Moran and interment was made in Calistoga cemetery.
Notes: Native of Buffalo, Erie County, New York, probably born 22 November 1837. This date of birth was noted in his Civil War journal (see Military Information section below), and it agrees with information reported in the 1900 census. Based on his obituary, his calculated birth date would be 21 November 1836.
Nelson Wandell appears in the 1850 census in Buffalo (2nd Ward), Erie County, New York, living in the household of Louisa Wandell (age 40, b. in NY). Nelson was listed as age 13, born in New York, attending school. Others in the household (presumably Nelson's siblings) were Charles P. Wandell (age 18, b. in NY, tailor), Henry Wandell (age 14, b. in NY), and Margaret J. Wandell (age 11, b. in NY).
In 1860, Nelson Wandell was living in Hinsdale, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, where he was enumerated in the census in the household of Leonard and Harriet Perham. Wandell was listed as age 22, born in New York, occupation carpenter. By July 1862, he had moved to Brattleboro, Vermont, where he enlisted to serve in the Union Army.
By 1870, Nelson Wandell had moved back to his home town of Buffulo, Erie County, New York, where the 1870 census finds him living in the household of Justus and Sarah Clark. Wandell was listed as age 26, native of New York, occupation carpenter. His personal estate was valued at $2,000 (he had no real estate). Wandell's obituary suggests that he moved to California sometime around 1874.
In 1900, he was living alone on Mission Street in San Francisco, working as a merchant. He was listed as single, age 62, born November 1837 in New York, parents both born in Vermont. In 1910, he was still living in San Francisco as a lodger on Guerrero Street, name listed as "Nelson A. Wandell." He was listed as a retired carpenter and Union Civil War veteran, single, age 72, born in New York. His parents were also noted as being born in New York.
He appears as Nelson Lord Wandell, age 62, living at 1133 1/2 Mission Street, in the 1900 Great Register of Voters in San Francisco.
Wandell died in Calistoga on 13 December 1914, and was buried in the G.A.R. Plot at Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery on 16 December 1914. His military headstone is inscribed as follows: NELSON L. WANDELL | CO. K. | 9 VT. INF.
Military Information: Union. Nelson Wandell enlisted on 4 July 1862, and was mustered as a Private into Company K of the 9th Vermont Infantry on 9 July 1862. His residence at the time of enlistment was Brattleboro, Vermont. He was promoted to Full Corporal on 1 September 1863. He was mustered out near Manchester, Virginia, on 13 June 1865.
Wandell kept a journal during his service in Company K of the 9th Vermont Infantry. He donated the journal to the Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro, Vermont, in 1906. The text has since been transcribed, and can be read at the Brooks Memorial Library website at the following link:
Thanks goes to Tom Ledoux, webmaster of the Vermont in the Civil War website, for passing along the above information about the journal and its transcription!
9th Vermont Infantry
1808 - 1883
Obituary (The Independent Calistogian, 21 March 1883):
Death. -- John Watson, for over fourteen years a resident of the Upper Napa Valley, died at his residence in Calistoga last Sunday. The funeral took place from the M. E. church Monday afternoon, and the remains were buried in the Calistoga cemetery. Having been a soldier during the rebellion, we understand, a number of veterans were in attendance at the funeral, some of whom acted as pall-bearers. Mr. Watson was a native of New Hampshire, and 74 years of age. The only surviving member of the family is his aged widow.
Death Notice (The Independent Calistogian, 28 March 1883):
WATSON -- In Calistoga, Sunday, March 18th, 1883, John Watson, aged 74 years and 7 months.
The deceased was a native of New Hampshire, having been born at Northwood in that state in 1808. He came to California many years ago, and was a resident of the Upper Napa Valley more than 14 years. His widow is the only surviving member of the family.
Notes: Native of Northwood, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, born about August 1808.
John Watson was in California in February of 1865 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was discharged at Point San Jose (Fort Mason, San Francisco) in February of 1868. According to his obituary, he had migrated to the upper Napa Valley within a year of his discharge. I could find no record of him in the 1870 census.
John and his wife, Louisa, were enumerated in the 1880 census in Calistoga. John was listed as a retired farmer, age 72, born in New Hampshire. Luisa was listed as age 46, born in New York.
John died in Calistoga on 18 March 1883, and was buried in the family's plot in Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery. His wife, Louisa, apparently moved back to New York, where she filed for a widow's benefit in 1891. John's grave is marked by both a family and military headstone. The family headstone is inscribed as follows: JOHN WATSON | DIED | Mar. 18, 1883 | AGED | 74 yr's, 6 mo's. His military headstone is incribed: JNO. WATSON | CO. D. | 2ND U.S. ART.
Military Information: Union. Regular Army. John Watson enlisted at Sausalito, California, on 9 February 1865 for a term of 3 years. He was described at the time of enlistment as age 35; born in Northwood, New Hampshire; occupation machinist; eyes blue, hair brown, complexion fair; height 5' 5 1/2". Service was listed as Battery B of the 3rd U.S. Artillery and Battery D of the 2nd U.S. Artillery.
Battery B of the 3rd U.S. Artillery was stationed in the San Francisco Bay area during the war. John Watson's actual Civil War service would have been while assigned to this battery. Battery D of the 2nd U.S. Artillery saw much action in the eastern conflicts during the war. The regiment was assigned to San Francisco in September 1865. It would have been after the war that John Watson was transferred to Battery D of this regiment. Battery D remained posted at the San Francisco Bay defenses through the remainder of John's three-year term of service. He was discharged as a Private on account of expiration of service on 9 February 1868 at Point San Jose (later called Fort Mason), California.
John's wife, Louisa, applied for and received a widow's pension benefit in New York on 26 March 1891 (application no. 504801, certificate no. 408243). Military service on the pension index card was noted as "D 2 U.S. Art." and "B 3 U.S. Art."
3rd U.S. Artillery
Post War Service:
2nd U.S. Artillery
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The Collins ("Calistoga Pioneer") Cemetery
A Brief History
Obelisk in the G.A.R. plot
Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery
Calistoga's first public cemetery was not where today's Pioneer Cemetery is located. It was planned by the town's founder, Samuel Brannan, who set aside an area of land in his Lot 48 on the east side of the Napa Valley for that purpose. The proposed site was in the foothills above the intersection of present-day Mora Avenue and State Highway 29. It appears on the first map of Calistoga -- Frederick Mow's "Map of the Napa Railroad Homestead in Calistoga" -- surveyed and drawn in 1868.
For unknown reasons, the original site designated was quickly abandoned, and a new one was selected by late 1870. Shown on Thomas Wolfe Morgan's "Map of Calistoga or Little Geysers and the Hot Sulphur Springs," drawn January 1871, the new site covered 8.89 acres and was situated closer to Calistoga. It was laid out in part of Brannan's Lot 49, in a little side valley later known as the Greer property. The little valley is now part of Zahtila Vineyards, just southeast of the present-day Pacific Gas & Electric Company substation. Although the place became known as the Greer cemetery, John Greer (its namesake) had very little to do with it. The property was still owned by Sam Brannan when the decision was made to place the cemetery there. Greer -- a native of Ireland -- lived in the vicinity of St. Helena and was an early landholder in that town. For many years, he ran the livery stable at White Sulphur Springs. He was quite active in land purchases and sales in the upper Napa Valley, and acquired Brannan's Lot 49 from the Sacramento Savings Bank in 1880. The bank had previously acquired the property from Sam Brannan by foreclosure. Greer held the property for only two years, selling it to two brothers, Theodore M. and Ephraim Light, in 1882. By that time, the cemetery on the property had long been abandoned, as discussed below.
There is a tragic side note to the John Greer story. On August 22, 1888, while traveling aboard the coastal steamship City of Chester on a business trip to Humboldt County, Greer was one of sixteen souls lost when the ship collided with the RMS Oceanic near the Golden Gate. According to newspaper reports, Greer went below decks to recover some personal items from his cabin as the ship was sinking. He was trapped there, and went down with the ship. He was traveling with his daughter, Lizzie, who survived the ordeal. There is a cenotaph (memorial headstone) to him in St. Helena Cemetery.
The site known as the Greer cemetery proved to be less than desirable, because the rocky hillside ground was too hard to dig. Consequently, most Calistogans in those early days opted to bury their dead in St. Helena's cemetery. The seven mile distance between the two towns made arrangements for funerals extremely inconvenient, though. Services had to begin early in the morning, and the horse-drawn funeral processions were compelled to hastily roll down the valley to assure that the participants could get back to their homes in a reasonable time. Public frustration was clearly growing about the time that Judge Augustus C. Palmer's wife, Sarilda, died in the spring of 1873. She had to be buried in St. Helena, like so many others! It was probably more than just coincidence that a notice proposing a meeting to form a cemetery association in Calistoga appeared in the same (June 7th) issue of the Calistoga Tribune newspaper as the write-up on Mrs. Palmer's burial! It was probably also not just coincidence that the meeting was to be held in the office of the highly influential Judge Palmer!
One of the talking points of the meeting was to consider establishing a cemetery on the west side of the Napa Valley, where the soils were more conducive to digging graves. The outcome of the meeting is not known, but the attendees were apparently unable to reach a decision. Calistogans continued to use the Greer cemetery site for another three years.
According I. C. "Burt" Adams, as told to him by Grace (Lane) Lincoln, the Greer cemetery had been in operation for several years ("about four") before her family came to Calistoga in the fall of 1876. This places the first burials there around 1872. She noted that, on the first Decoration Day celebrated in Calistoga after the Civil War, there were 34 graves in the Greer cemetery, which were all decorated for the occasion. Decoration Day (now known as Memorial Day) was officially celebrated by the G.A.R. as early as 1868, but the first observance in Calistoga was probably around 1877. Grace, who was the daughter of local Civil War veteran Charles W. Lane, was one of the participants in the first decorating ceremony. She at one time lived on her father's property just north of the cemetery. Evidence of the old cemetery (a monument to a little girl) was still present there as recently as the 1960's, although many of the burials had been disinterred and relocated long before that time.
The Greer cemetery, as depicted in 1871
(click here for larger view)
Source: Sharpsteen Museum collection
In 1877, Calistoga Civil War veteran Samuel W. Collins established his own private cemetery on land west of town, a little over a mile southwest of the old Greer cemetery. The Collins cemetery later became Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery, which goes by that name to this day. The old Greer cemetery was quickly abandoned, once the Collins cemetery became available. According to Kay Archuleta, as told to her by Len Bryant of Porter Creek, Reverend Henry Doty Bryant (Methodist-Episcopal) was the first burial there.
As a Union veteran of the Civil War, Samuel Collins saw the need to accommodate burials of his G.A.R. comrades in Calistoga. He was probably inspired by the 1882 dedication ceremony of a G.A.R. plot at St. Helena Cemetery, wherein Calistoga's newly organized G.A.R. post had participated. The establishment of St. Helena's G.A.R. plot had served as a good lesson as to why a soldiers' plot was needed. A veteran, known only as a "friendless man," had been buried years before in the potters' field at St. Helena. His remains were disinterred and were the first to be buried in St. Helena's G.A.R. plot when it was established. Samuel Collins was probably moved by St. Helena's effort to honor an otherwise forgotten comrade, and decided to do likewise in Calistoga.
Following through with his commitment, Collins formally presented a veterans' plot within his cemetery to the Governor Morton Post, No. 41, G.A.R., on Decoration Day (May 30), 1883. Post Commander William H. Easley accepted the plot on behalf of the post. This was the first Decoration Day officially commemorated by the G.A.R. at the Collins cemetery. Memorial Day ceremonies are still conducted at the old G.A.R. plot in the Collins cemetery, well over a century after it was first dedicated. It is one of Calistoga's oldest traditions.
Samuel W. Collins died on 23 May 1893. Following his death, the title to the cemetery passed to his youngest child, Anna, wife of local house painter and building contractor, Henry Lee Hopper. Eventually, the burdens of maintaining the cemetery became too great for Anna to handle. According to I. C. Adams, Chris L. Petersen (chairman of the Memorial Day committee) conveyed the cemetery deed, on Anna's behalf, to the City of Calistoga on May 30, 1936. The cemetery has been managed by the city since that time.
The central feature of the G.A.R. plot today is the obelisk, which is traditionally adorned with a wreath in honor of unknown soldiers on Memorial Day. I am unsure of the obelisk's age, but the concept of a memorial to unknown soldiers in Calistoga dates back to the late 1880's. The earliest memorial to the unknowns at the Collins Cemetery was described as "a green mound to represent the unknown dead." It was recognized in the Decoration Day ceremony in 1888 at the G.A.R. plot. In early 1892, the green mound was replaced by a more conspicuous monument in the plot, described as a "shaft entwined with garlands of flowers." It was dedicated as the "monument to the Unknown Dead" by the members of the Woman's Relief Corps, in a ceremony officiated over by local Corps President, Mary C. Ayer. This was probably the precursor to the obelisk.
Pleased with their progress in improving the G.A.R. plot with the monument to the unknown dead, the G.A.R. and W.R.C. were inspired to make additional improvements to the site in the late 1890's. Chief among these, was the placement of a concrete curb and chain enclosure around the plot. The decision to install these improvements was voted on and approved by the membership of Gov. Morton Post, No. 41, at their meeting on 4 May 1897. Construction began immediately, with labor furnished by post member John P. Martin, and materials paid for through a $50 donation from the Calistoga W.R.C. The project was completed shortly before Memorial Day that year. It consisted of a 24 ft. x 24 ft. concrete wall, 12 inches wide and nine inches high, surmounted by a cable chain supported by iron stanchions at eight foot intervals. At the Memorial Day ceremony in 1897, these "beautiful and substantial improvements to the burial plot" were formally presented to Post Commander Andrew B. Mangis (representing the G.A.R.) by Mrs. Peter S. Eastman (representing the W.R.C.). These structures still stand today, over 110 years after they were originally dedicated.
Another significant improvement to the cemetery in the late 1890's was the installation of military headstones to mark the graves of veterans. The arrangements for the military stones were made by Capt. William T. Simmons, who began the project in December of 1896. The shipment of eighteen headstones from the War Department arrived in Calistoga in June of 1897. It is unlikely that all of the stones were destined for Calistoga's cemetery, however. We didn't have that many veterans buried here at the time! Some may have been destined for St. Helena's cemetery. Captain Simmons was active in the G.A.R. posts in both communities, so he may have had all of the stones delivered to him at the depot in Calistoga as a matter of convenience.
A map of the cemetery and the known Civil War veterans' plots appears below...
|Key to Civil War Grave Sites on
Veterans' graves are marked by either military (mil.) and family (fam.) stones, or combinations of the two. Click on the associated links to view images of grave markers.
Billings, M. E., d. 1918 (mil.)
2. Wandell, N. L., d. 1914 (mil.)
3. Burger, L., d. 1908 (mil.)
4. Norton, J. B., d. 1887 (mil.)
5. Garrett, H. H., d. 1904 (mil.)
6. Moore, A. J., d. 1890 (mil.)
7. Failing, J. S., d. 1917 (mil.)
8. Von Boyd, A., d. 1913 (mil.) (fam.)
9. McPherson, F. M., d. 1921 (mil.)
10. Veale, T. F. W., d. 1916 (mil.) (fam.)
11. Flynn, P. H., d. 1919 (mil.)
12. Collins, S. W., d. 1893 (fam.)
|13. Watson, J., d. 1883 (mil.) (fam.)
14. Towle, A., d. 1900 (mil.)
15. Conner, N., d. 1925 (mil.)
16. Stratton, W. E., d. 1896 (mil.)
17. Mangis, A. B., d. 1928 (fam.)
18. Lane, C. W., d. 1915 (mil.)
19. Murphy, S. C., d. 1880 (mil.)
20. Bentley, D. M., d. 1903 (mil.) (fam.)
21. Clark, R., d. 1921 (fam.)
22. Conner, N. B., d. 1888 (fam.)
23. Jennings, C. E., d. 1889 (location unk.)
|"Comrades! to eternal muster soon we'll
Clean at Heaven's inspection, may all vet'rans prove!"
The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was formed in Illinois in April of 1866. Its membership was limited to Union Veterans of the American Civil War, who had served between 1861 and 1865. It was both a fraternal organization, and (for a time) a volunteer reserve corps of veterans. In addition to the primary organization, the G.A.R. included women's auxiliaries, known as the Woman's Relief Corps (WRC) and the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic. In the 1880's the G.A.R. established a corps of cadets which evolved into the Sons of Veterans (SV), and in the 1920's into the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW). Other allied orders included the Daughters of Veterans (DV), now known as the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War (DUVCW), founded in 1885; and the Auxiliary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (ASUVCW), founded in 1883.
The G.A.R. was divided into regional departments, ours being the Department of California (now the Dept. of California and Pacific). Within each department were numerous community-level organizations, called posts. Calistoga had its own post, officially known as Governor Morton Post, No. 41. Other nearby towns had their own G.A.R. posts, the nearest being St. Helena's Kilpatrick post, No. 38. At its peak, the Governor Morton Post consisted of approximately forty members. It was a very active post, which frequently attended (and at least once hosted) state-level veterans' camp meetings. Because the membership was limited to Civil War veterans, the membership naturally dwindled with time. By 1904, the Calistoga membership stood at fourteen. In 1923, it was down to five, and with the passing of Andrew B. Mangis in early 1928, the membership stood at only two individuals. The last member was John W. Scott, who died in 1940.
The final national camp meeting of the G.A.R. was held in 1949 in Indiana. Today, the spirit of the G.A.R. is perpetuated by the SUVCW, which is the official successor organization to the now-extinct G.A.R. Today, Calistoga falls within the jurisdiction of Col. Elmer Ellsworth Camp, No. 23, SUVCW, based out of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California. The camp serves Napa, Lake, Del Norte, and Humboldt Counties, as well as Sonoma, Mendocino and Marin Counties east of U.S. 101.
National Statuary Hall Collection
The Governor Morton Post, No. 41, G.A.R., was named in honor of Oliver Hazard Perry Morton (1823 - 1877), Governor of the State of Indiana during the Civil War. Morton was one of the strongest supporters of President Lincoln and the Union cause. He faithfully responded to the national calls for state troops to aid the war effort, in spite of opposition from his own state's legislature. He was one of the thirteen members of the Loyal War Governors' Conference, held in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1862, to support President Lincoln and his Emancipation Proclamation. Known as the "War Governor," Morton personally financed the support of Indiana's volunteer troops, filling areas of need where other channels of support failed. So ardent was his support for the Union cause, that he employed unprecedented wartime powers from his office against rebel sympathizers, Copperheads, and other political opponents in his state. Most controversial was the establishment of a secret police, to gather intelligence on the allegedly treasonous secret societies that opposed him.
When the Civil War ended, Governor Morton continued to show concern over the welfare of his state's veterans, and was nicknamed "the soldier's friend" for his ongoing post-war efforts on their behalf. He personally welcomed every "Hoosier" regiment that returned home after the war, hosting a dinner and ceremony in their honor.
First news of plans to organize a G.A.R. post in Calistoga hit the local newspapers on 8 March 1882. The idea of organizing a post had apparently been considered in the past, but it was thought that there weren't enough veterans in town to qualify. Inquiries around town revealed that there were about 25 eligible Union Civil War veterans in Calistoga, which was a sufficient number to proceed with a petition for a new charter.
The inaugural meeting of Gov. Morton Post, No. 41, took place at the home of Maj. George W. Johnson in Calistoga on Saturday evening, 25 March 1882. The mustering officer was Major (later Brigadier General) Richard Henry Warfield of Rod Matheson Post, No. 16, out of Healdsburg. Also assisting with the mustering ritual were Post Commander William T. Simmons and Post Adjutant Frederick M. Dickinson from St. Helena's newly organized Kilpatrick Post, No. 38. The following men were installed as the charter officers:
A total of eighteen names appear on the charter. In addition to the above officers, the other charter members of Post 41 were: Augustine Towle, Charles Paine Welch, William Mitchell Cherry, Alva Delanson Scott, Daniel Morgan Bentley, Patrick Henry Flynn, William Henry Harrison Reed, and Samuel Wallace Collins.
Calistoga's Gov. Morton Post, No. 41, was the twenty-fifth G.A.R. post chartered in California. The other posts in the state at the time included three posts in San Francisco, and one each in Sacramento, Vallejo, Los Angeles, San José, Oakland, Modesto, Alameda, Oroville, Healdsburg, Santa Ana, Biggs, Chico, Santa Rosa, Ferndale, San Quentin, Stockton, Watsonville, Santa Cruz, San Diego, Wilmington, and St. Helena.
The members of Calistoga's post received their official caps, badges and white gloves in late May 1882, just in time to participate in full regalia in the Decoration Day exercises in St. Helena that year. By 1886, the membership had grown to about twenty. At its peak in the 1890's, the post is said to have had about forty members (some say as many as seventy-five). Meetings were originally conducted on the first Saturday of each month in the original Odd Fellows hall (Calistoga Lodge, No. 227, I.O.O.F.), located across Lincoln Avenue from the Calistoga Depot. After the "new" brick Odd Fellows building was built in 1887, the G.A.R. met there. When this building was damaged in the 1906 earthquake, the G.A.R. temporarily relocated in the Masonic hall (Calistoga Lodge, No. 223, F.&A.M.) across the street. In later years, meetings were held at the homes of members.
Original records from Gov. Morton Post, No. 41, are presumed lost, but in time, I hope to reconstruct a list of the known membership of the post from other sources. A glimpse at the post's organization is provided in the Register of the Department of California, Grand Army of the Republic, published in 1886. San Francisco hosted the National Encampment of the G.A.R. that year, inspiring the publication of the Register. Information on Gov. Morton Post, No. 41 appears in the Register as follows (notes in brackets are mine):
POST MEMBERSHIP, 1886.
The final five members of Calistoga's Gov. Morton Post are listed below:
Calistoga's G.A.R. post was active from 1882 to 1940. The last full election of officers was held at the home of John W. Scott in late December, 1927. At the time, the total membership was four, with the elected officers for 1928 being: Andrew B. Mangis, PC; John W. Scott, SVC; Clark Williams, JVC, Adjutant and QM; and Robert A. Tyson, Chaplain, Patriotic Instructor, and Officer of the Day. Clark Williams' wife, Anna, was designated as "Assistant Adjutant," to assist her husband in carrying out his duties. The officers-elect were scheduled to be installed at a joint installation with the Yountville Veterans Home's Unity Post, No. 171, with the installing officer scheduled to be Elbridge L. Hawk, Commander in Chief of the G.A.R., from Sacramento.
Calistoga's G.A.R. Post concluded its existence in May, 1940, with the passing of its last member, John Winfield Scott. As last member and Commander of the post, he would presumably have held the post charter and other key records until the time of his death. The charter was returned to the Department of California & Nevada, G.A.R., and is preserved at Patriotic Hall in Los Angeles. The whereabouts of other records of the post are not known. If anyone reading this has additional information relevant to the history of Gov. Morton Post, No. 41, I would be very much interested in hearing from you!
Lists of officers of the Calistoga G.A.R. and W.R.C. organizations are in the process of being compiled. It's a big project, but I'm making progress. Calistoga was also home to members of the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic (L.G.A.R.), Sons of Veterans (S.V., predecessor to the SUVCW), and Daughters of Veterans (D.V.), but these organizations were never chartered locally. To see the lists, please click on the following link:
Gov. Morton Post, No. 41, G.A.R., probably at the 1903 annual encampment of the Northern California Veterans Association at "Camp Governor Morton" in the grove of oaks on the Charles W. Crouch place between Cyrus Creek and the Napa River. Newton and Caroline Conner are seated 2nd and 3rd from right.
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If you would like to read more about the June 1903 annual encampment of the Northern California Veterans Association in Calistoga, please click on the following link:
As noted in the G.A.R. section above, the Woman's Relief Corps (W.R.C) was one of the auxiliaries to the Grand Army of the Republic, the other "sister" organization being the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic (L.G.A.R.). In many communities, the members of the affiliated ladies' organizations were as active -- if not more active -- than their male counterparts in the G.A.R.
The Woman's Relief Corps had its origins in the various ladies aid societies that arose after the Civil War. Through the 1870's and early 1880's, these organizations grew and consolidated. The W.R.C. became an officially allied order with the G.A.R. in July of 1883. Their purpose was stated as follows (Source: History of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1888):
"... to specially aid and assist the Grand Army of the Republic and to perpetuate the memory of their heroic dead; to assist such Union veterans as need our help and protection, and to extend needful aid to their widows and orphans; to find them homes and employment, and assure them of sympathy and friends; to cherish and emulate the deeds of our army nurses, and of all loyal women who rendered loving service to their country in her hour of peril; to inculcate lessons of patriotism and love of country among our children, and in the communities in which we live; to maintain true allegiance to the United States of America; to discountenance whatever tends to weaken loyalty and to encourage the spread of universal liberty and equal rights to all men."
Unlike the Ladies of the G.A.R., the Woman's Relief Corps welcomed women into its membership who were not necessarily related to a Union veteran of the Civil War. Any "loyal woman," being an American citizen who had never given aid or comfort to the enemies of the United States of America, was eligible for membership. The Woman's Relief Corps still exists today. More information can be found at the following website:
Like the Grand Army of the Republic, the W.R.C. formed community-based organizations (each called a corps, rather than a post). The Calistoga corps was established on June 2, 1887, designated as Governor Morton Corps, No. 40, W.R.C. The inaugural meeting of the corps was documented in detail in the Independent Calistogian newspaper in its Wednesday, June 8, 1887 edition. A transcription of the full article appears below:
WOMAN'S RELIEF CORP.Thursday afternoon last, there were present at a meeting in Odd Fellows' Hall forty ladies, including those in attendance from St. Helena, the object being to organize a Woman's Relief Corps, Mrs. M. Jennie Simmons acting in the capacity of organizer. Thirty-two ladies of Calistoga and vicinity became charter members.
In the evening there was public installation of officers, followed by a short but pleasing programme. The meeting was opened by Mrs. Simmons, who is Secretary of Kilpatrick Corps of St. Helena, and who introduced Mrs. Sarah Pratt Carr, Department President, W.R.C., and Installing Officer. The work of installation was commenced without delay, the following ladies being installed officers of Gov. Morton Corps, No. 40:
President -- Mrs. Mary A. Camp.
Senior Vice-President -- Mrs. Mary E. Johnson.
Junior Vice-President -- Mrs. Mary C. Kellett.
Treasurer -- Mrs. Mary E. Brown.
Secretary -- Mrs. Minnie B. Culver.
Conductor -- Mrs. Eola M. Cyrus.
Assistant Conductor -- Miss Mildred A. Tucker.
Guard -- Mrs. Mary A. Collins.
Assistant Guard -- Mrs. Susie Harley.
After the installation of these officers, which had been conducted in a graceful and creditable manner, Mrs. Carr introduced the President, Mrs. Camp, and placed in her hand the ritual and the gavel. The President after thanking the installing officer and others of Kilpatrick Corps for their kind offices during the afternoon and evening, made a few remarks addressing her sister officers and members of the newly organized Corps. Past Post Commander S. W. Collins, Maj. G. W. Johnson and Capt. W. T. Simmons, of the G.A.R., then briefly spoke, and were followed by Mrs. Carr, who though weary from the work of the afternoon and evening, gave an outline of the object sought by the Relief Corps, and also of the good work that was being done. Members of the Corps . . . [illegible due to paper damage] . . . to so live that their acts would be a bright example to those around them; and so work that they might greatly benefit the needy. The speaker dwelt in a feeling manner, upon the fact that the Posts must necessarily continue to decrease in membership as one member after another of the Grand Army passes away and is laid beneath the sod; and said that the Corps may, however, be receiving new members into their circles from time to time, and continue to do good.
After the conclusion of Mrs. Carr's remarks, there was singing and recitations, the time being very agreeably passed, the exercises closing with the singing of America, by the audience. Goodbys were then in order and quickly said, as the hour was late, and in a short time the hall was dark and quiet.
Gov. Morton Corps, No. 40, will meet in the Odd Fellows' Hall at 3 o'clock in the afternoon of the second and fourth Thursdays of every month.
To view a list of officers of Corps, No. 40, please click on the following link:
Although William Thomas Simmons lived in Calistoga in the last years of his life, his grave (marked by two military stones) is in St. Helena Cemetery. Because of this, he does not appear in the roster of Civil War veterans buried at Calistoga's Pioneer Cemetery, listed above. His military record is exceptional, so special recognition is given to him in this section.
Simmons was a first lieutenant in Company C of the 11th Missouri Infantry. His story stands out from those of his Civil War comrades in Calistoga, because he was a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for his valor in the Civil War. He was quite probably the only Calistogan to bear that honor from the Civil War period. His citation was for the "capture of flag of 34th Alabama Infantry (C.S.A.). Being the first to enter the works, he shot and wounded the enemy color bearer." The capture occurred at the Battle of Nashville on December 16, 1864. The capture of the enemy's regimental flag was considered a high achievement in Civil War battles (often more strategically important than the capture of the commanding officer). Although the official citation indicates the flag belonged to the 34th Alabama Infantry, the Alabama Dept. of Archives and History points out that the 34th Infantry was nowhere near that position. Most likely, the flag belonged to the 19th Alabama Infantry. Simmons' personal account of the capture is reprinted below (from Beyer, W. F., and Keydel, O. F., editors, 1903, Deeds of valor: How America's Civil War heroes won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Detroit, Michigan: Perrien-Keydel Co.):
Our division was massed to the right of Granny White Pike -- the direct route from Nashville to Franklin -- about 400 yards in front of Hood's center. My regiment was in our second line about four o'clock in the afternoon. Just before the assault all the boys in my company as well as myself were commenting upon a Confederate flag (the stars and bars) planted on the enemy's entrenchment directly in our front. Several of us had remarked, banteringly, that we would have the flag before dark, when the order came to assault. From the beginning we had been under a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, but as we started forward the regiment in our immediate front wavered and became somewhat broken up under the murderous fire, so that my regiment pressed forward and, passing them, dashed on about 200 yards. A moment later my captain fell. I was left in command of the company, and leaving my place as file closer I sprang to the front and led the way, making straight for the flag. Being an exceptionally speedy runner at the time, I was first to reach the breastworks, and demanded the surrender of the colors. The Confederate sergeant attempted to run away with the prize and I was compelled to shoot, wounding him and thereby securing the flag.
An interesting account of Simmons' wartime deeds appeared in the Independent Calistogian newspaper of Wednesday, 3 June 1891. He had recently been honored at the Memorial Day ceremonies in Calistoga by William H. Reed, Commander of Gov. Morton Post, No. 41, G.A.R. The article was probably a recapitulation of Commander Reed's speech:
An Incident of the Rebellion, and a Correction.
In February, 1865, at Washington, D.C., a reception was tendered by Secretary of War Stanton to a few daring soldiers who had captured rebel flags in battle, etc., the colors being presented to the Secretary at this time, numerous high military and civil officers being present. The soldiers visited Washington by order of Gen. Thomas. At this reception Secretary Stanton is reported to have shed tears after hearing the soldiers' stories as to how they captured the enemy's flags. The captors were afterward each presented with a medal of honor by order of the Secretary, who also at the close of the reception gave each a thirty day furlough. A Denver, Col., paper recently credited T. P. Gere, of Sioux City, Iowa, with being "the only officer in the western army" upon whom the above distinction was conferred. This is a glaring error. "The Bravest Five Hundred," a war history, which speaks of the above reception, gives the names of soldiers present, including that of W. T. Simmons, now of Calistoga. The Captain of the company of which Simmons was Lieutenant, was wounded in the charge on the rebel works near the "Granny White" pike at Nashville, Dec. 16th, 1863, and Lieut. Simmons, then a mere boy, took command of the company, and was the first man in the brigade to cross the rebel works. The color bearer of the 24th [sic] Louisiana tried to escape with the flag, but was ordered to halt and deliver it up. This he refused to do until stopped with a bullet from Lieut. Simmons's revolver. The medal awarded him by Secretary Stanton for this act of bravery was lost by Simmons within ten days after its receipt. His great interest in fire matters cost him the medal. When he arrived at Springfield, Ill., a fire was raging, and the medal was lost while fighting the fire as a volunteer in his old fire company.
The full title of the above-mentioned book is "The Bravest Five Hundred of '61." It was compiled by Theo. F. Rodenbough, Brevet Brigadier General, and published in New York in 1891 by G. W. Dillingham. Simmons is mentioned in the chapter, "The Victors and the Spoils," beginning on page 97 (part I, Nashville Trophies). Simmons was one of seventeen honored soldiers, ordered to report to the reception in Washington, D.C., by Special Field Order, No. 38, issued by Major-General Thomas, dated February 13, 1865 at Nashville. It was noted on page 102 that "Lieut. William T. Simmons presented the flag of the 24th Louisiana." As each soldier presented his captured flag, it was received by a veteran of the Mexican War. Each flag was then unfurled and placed on one of a series of musket stacks which lined three walls of the ceremony room. Secretary Stanton ordered that each soldier receive the Medal of Honor, one month's pay in advance, and be granted thirty days' furlough with free transportation to his home and back to his regiment.
Regretably, William T. Simmons lost his cherished medal in early 1865, shortly after arriving in Springfield, Illinois, on the furlough granted to him as a reward for his valor. A fire had broken out in Springfield, and Simmons joined the local fire company to protect the town. In the turmoil and commotion of fighting the fire, Simmons lost his medal in the flames. He tried at various times to get a replacement medal, but the process proved to be lengthy and complicated. Among the notable public officials who intervened on Simmons' behalf to replace the medal, were U.S. Senator (Major General) John F. Miller and Congressman (Major General) William S. Rosecrans, both of California. The War Department rejected both of their requests. Finally, following a new round of requests by Congressman John A. Barham of California, the replacement medal was granted. Simmons received it in Calistoga on Monday, February 1, 1897. According to an article in the February 5th edition of the Weekly Calistogian newspaper, the inscription on the back of the medal appeared as follows:
Duplicate. The Congress to Lieutenant William T. Simmons, Company C, 11th Mo. Inf'ry.
The matter of replacing his lost medal was not the only lesson in frustration that Simmons experienced with the Army. An article from the March 2, 1900, edition of the Weekly Calistogian newspaper gives the particulars:
Captain W. T. Simmons says that the old adage, "Everything comes to those who waits," is a good one to tie to. When the captain was discharged from the army as an enlisted man (first sergeant Company C, Eleventh Missouri Veteran infantry,) to accept a commission as first lieutenant in the same company on the 23rd day of November, 1864, there was due him twenty-three days' pay as sergeant, a small amount for clothing allowance and an installment bounty. He and the paymaster did not agree as to the exact amount due, and the captain refused to accept the amount offered. After the close of the war Mr. Simmons filed a claim for what was due him. Nothing further was heard of it until August, 1891, when he received a letter from the comptroller to the effect that the claim had been rejected, so the captain let the matter drop; but he was very much surprised this week to receive a notice from the treasury department that the claim had again been taken up by the department and allowed after more than thirty-six years had elapsed.
Simmons was a carpenter by trade, and a prominent citizen in both St. Helena and Calistoga. He was referred to locally as "Captain" Simmons, although his rank when discharged was 1st Lieutenant. He served as Secretary of the Northern California Veterans Association, and was also reportedly Commander at one time. He was also a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS), and was listed in the register for the order, compiled by J. Harris Aubin in 1906. His son, Edwin W. Simmons, was also listed in the 1906 MOLLUS register. Locally, he was a charter member and first Post Commander of St. Helena's Kilpatrick Post, No. 38, G.A.R. (organized 7 December 1881).
His lengthy obituary appeared in The Weekly Calistogian newspaper of Friday, 1 January 1909. It is reprinted in full below:
W. T. SIMMONS PASSES AWAY
WELL-KNOWN BUSINESS MAN SUCCUMBS TO AN ATTACK OF PARALYSIS
Had Been a Highly-Respected Resident of Calistoga for Nearly a Quarter of a Century.
In the death of Captain W. T. Simmons, Calistoga has lost another of its oldest and most highly-respected citizens, and the entire community mourns the loss of one of its best known residents. Death was due to slow paralysis, of which he had been a sufferer for about three years, although he had only been confined to his bed for three weeks.
The deceased located here nearly twenty-three years ago and engaged in the undertaking and furniture business, which he conducted up to the time of his death. He was appointed agent for Wells-Fargo & Company over fifteen years ago and continued in that capacity also up to the time of his demise. He also served several terms as justice of the peace and town recorder a number of years ago, and was later a director of the Veterans' home at Yountville. He was a candidate for sheriff of the county in 1898, but failed to receive the nomination at the hands of the Republican Party.
William Thomas Simmons was a native of Newport, Ills., and was aged 65 years, 10 months and 29 days. He had been a resident of California for almost forty years, and in addition to the widow, Mary J. Simmons (nee Risley), is survived by three children -- Mrs. R. C. Wilson of San Francisco and E. W. and W. F. Simmons of this place.
Captain Simmons served throughout the civil war and was a lieutenant of Company C of the Eleventh Missouri Volunteer Infantry. He enlisted at the age of eighteen years as a private in Springfield, Ills. The quota of that state being full, he went to St. Louis, Mo., where he mustered into the above-named company. His first engagement was at Frederickstown, Mo.; he served with Pope at the siege of New Madrid and Island No. 10, with Grant at the siege of Corinth, with Rosencrans at the battles of Iuka and Corinth, and with Sherman at Jackson and the series of engagements culminating in the siege and capture of Vicksburg. He re-enlisted for the war with A. J. Smith at Tupelo, and under Rosencrans followed Price into Missouri in his last raid on that state. The deceased received a commission as first lieutenant at that time; was under Thomas at Nashville, captured the rebel battle flag, and was sent by order of Secretary of War Stanton to Washington, where he received a medal for meritorious service, being one of only thirty-five of that class issued during the war. He served with Canby at Spanish-Fort-Blakely and the surrender of Mobile; at Montgomery, Ala., at the time of Lee's surrender, and was discharged on January 11, 1866, at St. Louis. Mr. Simmons was wounded only once -- at Corinth, Miss., October 4, 1862, although he was under fire in thirty-six engagements.
The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon from his late home on Cedar street and was attended by a large number of friends and acquaintances of many years standing. The services were held under the auspices of the Governor Morton post, No. 40 [sic -- 41], G.A.R., and Rev. U. E. Partridge was the officiating clergyman, assisted by Rev. James Mitchell of St. Helena. The remains were taken to San Francisco Wednesday morning for incineration at the Odd Fellows' cemetery.
The many friends and acquaintances of the deceased join The Calistogian in extending its sincerest sympathy to the stricken relatives in this, their hour of bereavement.
William T. Simmons' calling card. Cards such as these were popular with veterans. They were often exchanged at encampments or other meetings in which G.A.R. men gathered. Simmons was a member of both the St. Helena and Calistoga G.A.R. posts. He was instrumental in founding both.
Additional resources for W. T. Simmons:
St. Helena Historical Society, Electrolier newsletter, v. 3, no. 3, Summer 2005 (pdf)
Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients (M-Z), US Army website
The flag, displayed in the Alabama Department of Archives & History
Veterans of the Civil War - St. Helena, California
"The Man Who Knew Lincoln"
9th Illinois Infantry
117th Illinois Infantry
In every community across the country, there came the time when the
Civil War veteran was laid to rest. Calistoga reached that sad
day on 21 May 1940, with the passing of John Winfield Scott. His
obituary appeared in the The Weekly
Calistogian newspaper on Friday, 24
May, and is reprinted below:
John W. Scott, Beloved Citizen Of Calistoga, Has Passed AwayCalistoga lost one of its oldest and most revered citizens Tuesday, when John W. Scott passed away at the Calistoga Hospital.
Town Mourns Death of Well-Known Civil War Veteran Who Died Tuesday
HE KNEW MR. LINCOLN
Was One of the Oldest Veterans of the Civil War Left in The United States
Born in Belleville, Illinois, February 12, 1842, Mr. Scott spent his growing years in his native state. Joining the 9th Illinois Regiment, he saw early service in the Civil War with that regiment, and later with the 117th Illinois. His Civil War service saw him in action at the battle of Fort Donaldson and the Battle of Shiloh.
Following his discarge from the army at the cessation of hostilities, he followed stock buying up to the time of his marriage in 1889. On August 29th of that year he married Frances A. Wolcott, who survives him. They celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary last year.
Came Here in 1921Until 1911, Mr. Scott engaged in Farming in Illinois and Kansas. In that year he left White Hall, Illinois, and moved with his family to Willows, California, where he spent the next ten years at ranching. In 1921 the family moved to Calistoga, where they have resided ever since.
To know John W. Scott was to love him. His long life, crowded with a wide variety of experiences, was one of which any man could be proud. Keen and alert of mind up to the very moment of his passing, he was one with whom it was a pleasure to talk, for he was not only full informed upon present day happenings, but also had a mine of interesting stories of the days prior to and during the Civil War and the years that followed.
Knew LincolnAs a boy in 1850, he met Lincoln, who was a friend of John's father, and his keen mind retained every detail of the meeting. His experiences during the Civil War included being captured three times and escaping each time. He was actually present when General Sherman made his famous remark that "War is Hell." More than all else, he cherished the fact that his birthday, like Lincoln's, was on February 12th.
Life had taught him tolerence and kindness toward his fellow men and he followed the precepts of that teaching in all his contacts.
Widow and Son SurviveSurviving Mr. Scott are his widow, Frances A. Scott; a son, Chester W. Scott; and three nieces, Mrs. C. J. Bragg, Mrs. G. W. Loomis and Nellie Hahn, all residing in the east. Two brothers and a sister passed away several years ago.
Funeral ServicesFuneral services were held yesterday afternoon from the Calistoga Methodist church. Rev. B. Barnum Conner of Sacramento, an old friend, officiated at the services in accordance with the wishes of Mr. Scott. Services at the grave were attended by a firing squad from the Veterans' Home, arranged for by Calistoga Post, No. 231, American Legion.
All of Calistoga extends condolence to the family and sincerely mourns the passing of the fine gentleman and a good citizen.
Military records indicate that John W. Scott enlisted for three years of service at O'Fallon, Illinois, on 12 August 1862. At the time of enlistment, he was a resident of Belleville in St. Clair County. He was single, age 19, and a farmer by occupation. He was described as 5 ft. 11 inches in height, black hair, blue eyes, and dark complexion. John was mustered in as a Private in Company I of the 117th Illinois Infantry at Camp Butler, Illinois, on 19 September 1862. His service continued until 5 August 1865, when he was mustered out of the 117th with the rank of Corporal at Springfield, Illinois.
I can find no record of his service in the 9th Illinois Infantry, although his stories of participation in battles at Fort Donelson and Shiloh would be consistent with service in this regiment prior to his enlistment in the 117th.
John applied for, and was granted, a disability pension on 18 October 1890 (application no. 936879, certificate no. 681245, Illinois).
John Winfield Scott is buried in St. Helena Cemetery, alongside his wife and son. To view a photo of the family headstone, click here.
1st National Flag
Confederate veterans were few and far between in Calistoga, and I
can find no record for any buried in Calistoga's Pioneer Cemetery.
In the post-Civil War years, many veterans of the Confederacy came to California to start a new life, there being little left for them at home. Some California communities were sympathetic to the plight of the South during the war years, and those sympathies translated into open invitations to come to California after the war. Members of these communities welcomed their friends from the South, and encouraged them to start new lives, away from the trying times of Reconstruction. The nearby town of St. Helena is said to have been generally sympathetic, as was Santa Rosa.
To date, I have only one account of a Confederate veteran who lived in Calistoga, which is that of Andrew Domay (1833-1921). He held a large tract of land on the outskirts of Calistoga, south of the Pioneer Cemetery. Domay may have served in the Confederate Navy, since he was a specialist in marine steam engines. He reportedly enlisted in Tennessee. No records of his service are available, other than what is stated in his obituary.
Domay died at his home on Blake Street in Berkeley on 13 November 1921, and was buried in Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerito, Contra Costa County. The obituary, published in the Weekly Calistogian newspaper on 18 November 1921, appears below:
ANDREW DOMAY DIED SUNDAY IN BERKELEYAndrew Domay, a former well-known resident of Calistoga for many years, died at his home in Berkeley last Sunday after a brief illness due to the infirmities of his advanced years. Mr. Domay came to this country when a boy of only seventeen years as one of the crew of an American ship from England. He fought in the Civil War for the Southern Confederacy, having enlisted in Tennessee. He was a marine engineer by occupation.
After the war was over he came to San Francisco in May, 1866, and had resided in California ever since. He came to Calistoga over thirty-five years ago and resided here until he moved to Berkeley a few years ago.
His wife passed away many years ago, and his son, Frank, died after they left here. He is survived by two sons, Adolph and Henry.
The deceased was a native of Sweden and was aged 88 years and 8 months. The funeral was held Tuesday from his late home in the college town, and interment was made in the Sunset View cemetery.
As I find more information on Confederate veterans who sojourned in Calistoga, I will update this site. In the meantime, if anyone reading this is aware of any who may have once lived here, please let me know!
|The author would like to
acknowledge several individuals and organizations who have helped to
preserve and honor the memory of Calistoga's Civil War veterans:
Boy Scout Troop 18, for their diligent care and marking of veteran's
graves in Calistoga area cemeteries.
Bruce Hitchko, teacher at Calistoga Elementary School, and his classes
who have researched the history of Civil War veterans in Calistoga.
Library and the Native Daughters of the Golden West, Calistoga Parlor
No. 145, for maintaining
the historical newspaper microfilm collection at the library.
Sharpsteen Museum, especially to Jo Noble for her efforts to answer
inquiries regarding local Civil War veterans.
Dean A. Enderlin
2950 Lake County Highway
Calistoga, CA 94515
Memorial Day of 2007