Santa Cruz County History - People



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

AGERTER, SOLOMON (1839-1912)

Unidentified Newspaper Article, Contributed by Phil Reader (July 17, 1880)

Photograph of Solomon Agerter
Solomon Agerter

S Agerter, of Hazel Brook School District, a later purchaser of forty acres of productive hill and valley land, is erecting thereon the most modern and attractive residence in the neighborhood. The main building is 18 x 28 feet, story and a half; kitchen one story, 10 x 12 feet. Total cost $600. In the rear of the house is to be erected a tank, and the pure water of a spring in the hill yard by us to be piped thereto.

Within the community he took an active part in the running of the Hazel Brook School District. He is also a proud member of Wallace-Reynolds Post of the G.A.R. In 1897 he was reported to having been granted a pension.

In 1912 he was committed to the Old Soldiers Home at Sawtelle in Los Angeles County where he died on November 6, 1912.

His widow Amelia Agerter died at their home in Doyle's Gulch on August 24, 1916. While they had no children of their own they did have an adopted daughter Susie.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (November 7, 1912)

Death of Solomon Agerter

Solomon Agerter of Doyle Gulch, an old soldier of the Civil War, a resident of Santa Cruz for many years having been engaged in agricultural pursuits, a man of sterling character who had the respect of those with whom he was acquainted, is dead at the Soldiers Home in Sawtelle, Los Angeles county, having died there Monday evening.

C.J. Todd, formerly of this city, who is at the Home, writes to the "Sentinel" regarding the deceased as follows:

Solomon Agerter, who was committed to this Home hospital from Doyle Gulch, above Soquel, died in ward 15 at 5:45 o'clock P.M. He was only temporarily admitted at post and was received by direct entry to the hospital on account of his serious condition and intense suffering. His case was hopeless, and so severe that he was partially demented. I visited him and conversed a little, but his agitation became so extreme when trying to speak of the past, that fearing the worst, I could remain but a few moments at a time. The end came peacefully in sleep. His funeral will occur on Wednesday, the 6th at 2 P.M.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (November 10,1912)

Solomon Agerter

In the death of Solomon Agerter at the Soldiers Home on the 4th last, the State and community loses a good citizen and man. He was born in Switzerland, came to this country at an early age and became a citizen by naturalization as soon as he could, since which time he has well and faithfully performed every duty devolving upon him. When the late Civil War burst upon the country he early entered the army as a member of the 77 N.Y. Infantry and remained a faithful soldier until discharged for disability incurred in the line of duty. He was married in Fulton Co. N.Y. in 1864, and soon afterwards came West, finally locating in California a quarter of a century ago or more. He was a farmer and devoted to his calling, industrious, frugal and careful in his business affairs. He was never strong after leaving the military service, but was uncomplaining and cheerful in every walk of life. With the loyal support and assistance of his faithful wife they accumulated a comfortable home on Doyle gulch where he had the comforts of life earned by the willing hands of his faithful companion and himself. But as the years sped by the seeds of ill health won in this army service grew into a disability for him to overcome by any and all means of physicians.

Last of all he decided to go to the Soldiers' Home with the dim hope that treatment there might restore him to a better state of health. But all was in vain. Ten days after he left home the burden was too great for the old veteran to carry longer, he laid it down and passed to a land of perfect rest.

He leaves his faithful and loyal wife to mourn his absence and an adopted daughter on whom he lavished a fathers love. He was a member of Wallace-Reynolds Post G.A.R. who will miss his presence in its meetings and councils. While his comrades mourn his loss they will side step, close up the gap made by his dropping out, remember his virtues, and forget his foibles, if he had any, and march along bravely until the last one is called. In the death of Solomon Agerter the State loses a good citizen, the Post a loyal comrade, and his family a priceless head and director.

Notes from Phil Reader on Solomon Agerter

Solomon Agerter was born in Bern Switzerland, and came to the U.S. at an early age. The family settled in Fulton County, New York.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Solomon enlisted in the army as a member of the 77th New York Infantry. He was discharged after suffering a disability in the line of duty.

In 1864 he married Amelia Lair, also a Swiss immigrant, and became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. on October 22, 1869 at Fulton County. Shortly thereafter the Agerters moved to California where they settled in Berkeley.

On November 4, 1879 he bought 40 acres of land in Doyle's Gulch. This land was at one time part of the Thomas Howell ranch. It consisted of hills and valleys which Agerter cleared and planted in fruit trees and vineyards.


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