Santa Cruz County History - People



Old Soldiers: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans
by Robert L. Nelson

WRIGHT, JACOB L (1842-1916)

Santa Cruz Sentinel (Friday, July 21, 1916)

Portrait of Jacob L Wright
Portrait of Jacob L. Wright

Faithful Officer and True Fried is Called
Death Claims J.L. Wright For More Than Fourteen Years City Clerk; City Loses a Staunch Citizen

By W.V. Lucas

The city was shocked Thursday morning when the news was flashed on the streets that City Clerk J.L. Wright had passed away at 4 o'clock in the morning at his home on Riverside Av. To his family and near friends the event was not wholly unexpected. He had been very ill for several days, but his friends hoped his usual good health and strength would restore him soon.

No man in the city was more widely known or highly respected than was Mr. Wright. For fifteen years or more he held the office of city clerk. His ability and efficiency, his pains taking care of every part of the business of the office, his courtesy, politeness, gentleness, exactness in every detail of the complicated work in his office, his unquestioned integrity and fairness in the discharge of his official duties was often spoken of by people who transacted business with him. No man in the city had a more complete knowledge of city affairs than he did. He was a walking compendium of information upon all matters touching city affairs, and was always prompt and ready to give kindly answers to inquirers. His popularity is well attested by his repeated elections to the office he so efficiently and ably filled. No man in the city will be missed more than J.L. Wright, and few, if any more sincerely mourned. Mr. Wright was a splendid citizen, a staunch friend of Santa Cruz, a man of high morals, an ardent lover of his family and home. In short a model American citizen.

In social life he was urbane and popular, as well as loyal to his friends. All his life he was an industrious and busy man, and in his career held many places both in public affairs and private business of great responsibility and high trust, and in every case he filled the place and honored the trust. For a long time he was one of Miller & Lux trusted employees and left their service because he could do better for himself and growing family. He was a competent and faithful man in whatever he undertook. He came to Santa Cruz in 1890 and was identified with its growth and prosperity from then until now.

Mr. Wright was born in Fairfax Co., Virginia, October 16, 1842, and remained there until after the close of the Civil war, then went to Chicago where he had got started in life when the great fire burned him out and left him stranded. But while defeated and impoverished he was not entirely discouraged. He came to this state and as stated above entered the service of Miller & Lux. From them he came to this city, where he has resided ever since.

He was married in Virginia to the good and faithful wife who sits bowed in sorrow and grief today. About her are two stalwart sons, Harry and Leslie; two affectionate daughters, Estella and Myrtle, who mourn, as children do not often do, the loss of a father. One of the sons said to this writer, "No doubt other boys have had good and model fathers, but I am sure none ever had a better one than we had." Such a tribute speaks golden words for Mr. Wright, and his neighbors know they are true.

When the war clouds burst on our country in 1861 he was in the Old Dominion state. All he had was there, and as a matter of course he took up arms with the Confederacy and for more than four years endured the hardships of the field, rejoiced in the victories and shared in the defeats of the army of Virginia. He served under Stonewall Jackson, in Lee’s armies, and it is needless to say saw much hard service and no doubt but he did his duty well, as he always did wherever he was placed. When the struggle ended he accepted the decision as the best for the country and mankind.

He always was an honored guest of the Grand Army, marched with them on memorial days and participated with them in general gatherings and was as welcome and as much respected as a guest could be.

He leaves a devoted wife and Harry of San Francisco, Leslie of this city, Estelle of San Francisco and Myrtle of Los Angeles, to mourn his loss.

He was my neighbor and my friend. We fought on opposite sides in the Civil War. We often discussed the struggle and were always close friends. I wish we had more as good and loyal citizens as was Jacob Leslie Wright. Peace to his ashes.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (July 22, 1916)

Last Respects Paid to City Clerk Wright

From his late home on Riverside Av. the funeral of the late J.L. Wright was held yesterday afternoon, citizens being present in large numbers to pay last respects to the man who had been the city’s clerk for 15 years. Mayor F.R. Howe and the official family were present and ex Mayor George W. Stone delivered a fitting and sympathetic eulogy, being a very close and personal friend and intimately associated in official life in the past.

Beautiful floral pieces were in evidence, one of choice orchids and ferns from the city officials and one from A. Caminetti, U.S. commissioner of immigration.

Members of the Knights of Pythias attended in a body, the deceased being a past chancellor. Among others present was W.J. Stockton of Los Banos, a close friend of years ago who motored 200 miles to be present.

The pall bearers, old friends and political associates of many years standing, were as follows: Dr. T.W. Drullard, F. K Roberts, R.S. Tait, Samuel Leask, H.A. Wagner and L.D. Fitzsimmons. Interment was in SCruz/OMP cemetery.


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