Santa Cruz County History - People



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

BAYLEY, BENJAMIN F (1830-1923)

Lompoc Record (November 30, 1923)

Judge B.F. Bayley Passes at Age of Ninety-three

Judge Benjamin F. Bayley passed to eternal rest on Sunday evening at a local sanitarium, following an illness of three week's duration. His funeral was held Tuesday forenoon in Masonic Hal, I.O.O.F. building where the solemn services of the Masonic order was conducted by the officers of Lompoc Lodge No. 262, F&AM. Several beautiful hymns were sung by a choir of mixed voices, and Rev. Putnam, as chaplain offered prayer.

Judge Bayley had been a familiar figure in the community for almost forty years and was known to every man, woman, and child in this vicinity. He had reached the great age of 93 years, 1 month and 22 days, having been born in Pomfret Vermont on October 3, 1830. He had never married and had always lived by himself, although he welcomed and enjoyed many friendships, not withstanding his independent disposition.

Mr. Bayley came to California in 1859 and resided in the northern part of the state. He enlisted November 22, 1861 in the California Volunteers and served during the Civil War with Captain Tidball's in Company K Fifth Infantry. He had reached the rank of Lieutenant when he was discharged on November 30 1864. He never saw active service during the war, having been stationed at western posts most of their time. At the time of his discharge he was located at Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The deceased taught school for a time in Soquel, California, and later was elected district attorney of Santa Cruz County. Some of his old friends among them James Earle and E. Serls, both deceased, had moved here from that section and no doubt accounted for his coming here. He first located in Los Alamos and after a few years residence there came to Lompoc.

In the early days he practiced law here and did considerable legal and notary work until when he retired owing to old age. He also took quite an active part in politics and held the office of justice of the peace and other minor political positions.

Mr. Bayley was the oldest local member of the Masonic fraternity. With his death there remains only one local resident, Mr. H.E. McCabe who is a Civil War veteran. Mr. McCabe, who was one of his brothers in the Masonic fraternity as well as in the G.A.R., attended the funeral Tuesday and served as bearer of the Holy Writings during the lodge ceremony.

Mr. Bayley was laid to rest in Evergreen cemetery besides his hold friend Mr. E. Serls. These two old bachelors purchased their lots together in the cemetery in 1905 and about two years ago Mr. Bayley superintended the erection of a modest granite monument to mark his last resting place.

When assailed by his last illness Mr. Bayley received thoughtful care from his fraternal associates and friends. He had lived a long life and often, during his last days, expressed the wish that it would not be long before he was released from the weariness of age. He was amply supplied with funds to sustain him during his last years, his estate consisting entirely of money in the local savings banks.

His brother G.V. Bayley, and wife of Hollywood, and his niece Mr. H.I Sargent and husband of Maricopa, were here Tuesday for the funeral.

Notes from Edson Strowbridge (April 2000)

Benjamin Franklin Bayley enlisted in the Union army on November 22, 1861 at the age of 31 years, 1 month, and 19 days. He mustered out after serving as a 1st Lt of Co. K 5 CA Inf on November 30, 1864. He was later a member of Robert Anderson Post GAR # 66 of Lompoc California.

He was born on October 3, 1830 at Pomfret Windsor County, Vermont. He was a Teacher, Attorney, Deputy District Attorney, and Judge. He lived at Lompoc, Santa Barbara County and died on November 25, 1923 at the age of 93 years, 1 month, and 22 days. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Lompoc, Santa Barbara County in Lot 76, Gr.15.

Sources checked include U.S. Military Service Record Index; US Military Pension Record Index; IC #1,059,413879 filed 1902 March 24 from California; Santa Barbara County Great Register, age 48 yrs, b VT, "Laborer", res. Los Alamos, Reg. May 24 1879; Lompoc Record, May 4, 1887, newspaper ad "Dep. District Atty.", Lompoc Record, Feb 8, 1890, Newspaper ad "Attorney-at-Law & Real Estate Agent"; Lompoc Record, Oct. 7 1910, "Judge Bayley's 80th Birthday- Santa Maria Pioneer"; Calif. Death Index, age 93 yrs, State File #51040.


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