Santa Cruz County History - People



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

CRAGHILL, CHARLES (1830-1910)

Official Civil War Military Records of Adj. General State of Iowa

Photograph of Charles Craghill
Charles Craghill

34th Iowa Company I

Craghill, Charles: Age 31. Residence Howard County, Nativity England. Enlisted Aug 9, 1862. Mustered Oct. 1, 1862. Promoted Eight Corporal Dec. 1 1863; Sixth Corporal March 26, 1864; Fifth Corporal April 13, 1864; Fourth Corporal Aug. 19, 1864. Reduced to ranks. Transferred to Company F, Thirty Fourth and Thirty Eighth Consolidated, Jan. 1 1865.

Santa Cruz Surf (October 23, 1883)

Editor's Note: This article describes Charles Craghill's ranch.

The ranch is located on the road leading from Peterson's (an old land mark) to the coast, about thirteen miles from Santa Cruz, via the Empire grade, a road of wonderful picturesque beauty and grand scenery, and five miles from the Coast road which is reached near the Yellow-bank Dairy. The distance to Felton is about one-half that to Santa Cruz.

Mr. Craghill's ranch contains 160 acres of land, being an original "homestead." He purchased a squatter's claim twelve years ago but owing to contested titles he was only able with others in this section to secure the U.S. patent about two years ago. The contest which settlers here were compelled to wage for years was very depressing, and in view of this that they made such substantial improvements is very significant of their courage and confidence in the ultimate triumph of the right. Since the settlement of this matter Mr. Craghill has erected a new house of 8 rooms, and new hope has been infused into the entire neighborhood. This ranch was originally covered with heavy timber.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (February 11, 1910)

Death of Justice Charles Craghill
As Far as Known Oldest Office Holder on the Coast

Charles Craghill, born in Oswestry Shropshire, England, Nov. 21, 1830, is dead at the age of 80.

In his death, which occurred at 21 minutes past three o'clock on Thursday afternoon, the city loses a venerable and whole hearted citizen, the county loses a "faithful unto death" officer, the state loses perhaps its oldest man of official position, and the country loses one of its brave defenders.

An Englishman by birth and an American by Choice, Justice Craghill was a man respected and esteemed by all who knew him. In times of war his heart was of steel and he was ready to give armed resistance to his country's enemies. In times of peace his heart was tender and his many kind acts are attested to by a host. To those less fortunate than himself he was ready to extend aid, and many an old soldier he assisted in getting a pension from the government. In dealing out justice he was considerate, and in his court many personal differences were settled without the publicity of a trial, but when anyone appeared before him for reprimand and for punishment of law violations, he got his just deserts.

In St. James Church, London, June 23 1853 he married Miss Susan Todd. For fifty-seven years this union has remained unbroken, his wife, two years younger than himself, surviving him. Ten children blessed their life, five of whom are still living.

The Craghills came to the United States in 1857, locating in Iowa. When the Civil War broke out he enlisted for his country's defense, becoming a member of the 38th Iowa Infantry, serving throughout the whole war. At one time during the bloody rebellion he was near death's door at Jefferson Hospital in St. Louis, but was nursed to health and strength again by his faithful wife. In fact this man of four score was snatched from the hands of the grim reaper on seven different occasions by the administrations of his wife and during his last illness, which lasted four days she endeavored to perform like service for the eighth time, although incapacitated to some extent from a fall received a little over a year ago, but this time her efforts were unavailing.

"And though the warrior's sun has set, its light shall linger round us yet. Bright, Radiant Blest."

From Iowa in April of 1871 the Craghills made their way to California, locating in Ben Lomond, where they lived for 17 years. While here he received the appointment as Constable. [At that time he was a well known Democrat, but later affiliated with the Republican Party] The year following, 1890, he moved to Santa Cruz and was elected to the office of Justice of the Peace, which position he has filled for twenty years, no man appearing on the political battlefield being able to defeat him. He was a staunch Republican, and a faithful supporter of his party. During his term of office he has been faithful and although entering office at the age when most men retire, he has been diligent and trustworthy, sticking to his post of duty with an indefatigable spirit to the very last. So feeble was he during the last year of his incumbency that a deep feeling of tender sympathy went out to him from those of all political faiths, and his tottering footsteps sensed a feeling of reverence.

Mr. Craghill was a Workman [AOUW], carrying insurance of $1,000 and of this order he was for twenty-five years its financier. He was a member of Wallace Reynolds Post, G.A.R. [was one of the few members of the Wallace-Reynolds Post who was a Post commander] and under whose auspices he will probably be buried. From his youth he was an Episcopalian, and during the time when the Rev. Mr. Briggs was the pastor of the local Methodist Episcopal Church he became a member of that body.

Mr. and Mrs. Craghill had lived for twenty years in the Whidden building at the corner of Pacific Ave. and Locust St. and it is a strange coincidence that this old building is to pass with the old soldier, for this month it is to be torn down or moved away to make room for the handsome structure of the Peoples Bank.

The following children are left to mourn his death: Charles W. Craghill, of this city [employed by the powder works]; Mrs. W.E. Rice of San Francisco, whose husband is a member of the San Francisco police department; Mrs. J.M. Murphy, of Olympia Wash, where her husband is connected with the Times; Thomas E. Craghill of Corcoran, Cal., and Ernest J. Craghill of San Luis Obispo.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (February [?], 1910)

Funeral of Chas. Craghill
One of the Largest Ever Held in Santa Cruz

The funeral services over the late Charles Craghill were held yesterday from the Methodist Church, the edifices being filled with sorrowing friends.

Wallace-Reynolds Post G.A.R., Santa Cruz Lodge A.O.U.W. and the Naval Reserves attended in a body.

At the church the remarks were by the pastor Rev. Harry Milnes and were touching and appropriate. The full choir sang "Lead, Kindly, Light" and other hymns. Comrades of the G.A.R. and members of the Workmen as pallbearers carried the flower covered casket down the aisle of the church to the hearse.

The funeral procession was a long one with the Naval Reserves, Lieut. Kelly in command, as escort. There were also seventy-eight members of the G.A.R. and old soldiers in the line of procession which, with the carriages made one of the longest funeral processions ever held in the city.

At the cemetery the G.A.R. was in charge of the services which were conducted by Co. W.V. Lucas and H.A. Wagner.


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