Santa Cruz County History - People



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

AIKEN, WILLIAM H (1844-1919)

Sawtelle Soldiers Home Records

Photograph of William H. Aiken
William H. Aiken

NAME: William H. Aiken
REGISTER #: 15845

Military History

RANK/CO/UNIT: Pvt. / Co E / 40th WI Infantry
ENLISTMENT: 1864/05/13
DISCHARGED: 1864/09/16 Navarino, WI End of Service
RE-ENLISTMENT: 1864/08/01 Appleton, WI
RNK/CO/UNIT: Pvt. / Co B / 44th WI Inf
DISCHARGED: 1865/08/28 Paducah, KY, M/O
DISABILITY: Rt. Inguinal Hernia, Defective Hearing, Arterio Sclerosis, Cardial Hypertropy, Left Leg Off

Domestic History

BORN: VT 1844
AGE: 74
HT/CMP/EYE/HR: 5'11 / Lt. Gray
RELIGION: Protestant
OCCUPATION: Orchardist
RESIDENCE: San Jose, CA
MARRIED SINGLE: Married
NEXT OF KIN: Eluera W. (Wife), North Glendale CA

Home History

PENSION AMOUNT: $35
ADMISSION: 1919/02/26
DISCHARGED:
DATE OF DEATH: 1919/10/11
CAUSE OF DEATH: Diabetes, Mellitus

General Remarks

PENSION CERT: #656,742
EFFECTS: Personal $3.95
HOW DISPOSED OF: To Mrs. William H. Aiken, 923 N. Brand Ave., North Glendale CA
BURIAL INFO: Section 39 Row D Grave 8 (Taken from Nation Cemetery Grave Registration)

Wisconsin Roster of Volunteers

William H. Aiken was enrolled as a [Orderly] Private Co. B of the 44th Wisconsin Infantry .

Santa Cruz Sentinel (date unknown)

W.H. Aiken

The California Fruit Grower has these complimentary words for a well-known Santa Cruzan:

A strong movement is on foot in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties to put W.H. Aiken, the Santa Cruz Mountain prune grower, in the field for Senator from that district. Mr. Aiken's well known ability as a debater and parliamentarian, and his close relations with the horticultural interests of the State specifically fit him for the position. He would by no means "rattle" around" in the senatorial seat, but would fill it with dignity and ability. The voters of the counties named could make no mistake in placing Mr. Aiken in nomination, and then to see to it that he is elected.

When a man is a candidate for an important office, it is well to let his neighbors know how he is looked upon by outsiders. This is why we copy the above, and call attention to Mr. Aiken at this time. Those who have kept posted in regard to the proceedings of the Horticultural Society and its Conventions need not be informed that Mr. Aiken has taken a prominent part in the work of advancing the interests of the California fruit growers. He is a practical horticulturist, and his opinions have much weight among the leaders in that department of the State industries.

As most of our readers know, Mr. Aiken is engaged in fruit growing, owning one of the finest and most valuable orchards in this county. He has during the past sixteen years given attention largely to prunes, and is considered an authority in that branch of fruit growing, having contributed several valuable papers on the subject.

Mr. Aiken is a native of Vermont, in which State he was born forty-eight years ago. He received a college education in Wisconsin, and was a soldier in the late war, fighting, of course under the stars and stripes, and has since served as head of the Grand Army of the Republic in this state. He is also a lawyer by profession, having had a lucrative practice in San Francisco, before he married and made his residence at Highland.

We have no doubt that Mr. Aiken would fill the office to which he aspires, with honor to himself and credit to this county and Senatorial district. He would undoubtedly labor for the best interests of his constituents as a whole, and would give special attention to those matters which more particularly concern Santa Cruz. Among these we may mention the proposed purchase of a permanent site for a military encampment in this city. He is also in harmony with the movement for the improvement of the public roads, and could be relied upon to intelligently aid in the enactment of such legislation's may be found desirable to forward that movement.

We have before intimated that we think the delegation from this county in the senatorial convention will be in honor bound to stand by some Santa Cruz candidate. Without intending to make any invidious comparisons with other candidates from this county, we have taken pleasure in giving the above sketch of one of them in order that our citizens who do not already know him, may have a sort of political introduction to W.H. Aiken.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (September 12, 1906)

Judge Aiken is at his mountain orchard in this county. His prunes and grapes look A-1. The judge will vote in this county, his home this fall, although he had spent much time in Santa Barbara for the last two years. Mrs. A is residing in Berkeley where she has a son in school.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (October 17, 1919)

Col W.H. Aiken No More

Judge Aiken, almost 76 years of age, the designation by which he was known in this county during his long life among us, died on the 11th inst. at the Soldiers' Home, Los Angeles Co. The judge was a graduate of Amherst College, a veteran of the Union arm, his mother being a sister of the late Dr. S.H. Willey, and he was known in this section as the leading prune grower of Santa Cruz Co., his orchard being the mountain tops back of Wrights station. This orchard was sold a short time ago, the judge last year having one of his legs amputated, incapacitating him for any kind of physical employment.

The deceased left no children to mourn his death, but a widow, whose home is in the city of angels.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (October 22, 1922)

Wrights Station Letter

Mr. McPherson- I learned on Saturday that the notice of my bother's death was in the Sentinel. W.H. Aiken, who was at Sawtelle, Soldiers' Home, according to that, passed away Saturday, October 11, and on Monday was buried. I do not know any particulars....Miss A.E. Aiken Wrights.

At the time of the publication Miss Aiken refers to we did not know that the deceased had a sister residing in this county at the time of his demise.

To answer a question, we will say that Col. Aiken sold his mountain ranch for $50,000, and that he presided at about every Republican convention held in this city for the last 40 years. When he attended a state convention of his party he usually carried the vote of his whole delegation in his pocket, so high was he in California politics.

Editorial Notes from Robert L. Nelson

W.H. Aiken , as a member of Grand Army of the Republic Lincoln Post # 1 of San Francisco, was elected California Department Commander in 1875.


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