Santa Cruz County History - People



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

DILL, SEWARD (1808-1902)

Santa Cruz Sentinel (May 21, 1902)

Headstone of Seward Dill
Seward Dill
Soquel Cemetery

DIED: DILL in Soquel May 20th Major Seward Dill a native of Maine age 94 years.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (May 22, 1902)

At the home of his granddaughter, Mrs. Estey, wife of Supervisor Estey on May 20th at the age of 94 years 4 months and 28 days, this venerable old gentleman passed out of time into the eternal beyond.

Born in Lewiston, Me., on Jan. 22d, 1808, springing from the Puritan stock which has given us a country and a nation, imbibing qualities and principles which found expression in patriotism and a high grade of citizenship, he was a typical American; and all along the pathway of life were scattered by him the seeds of enterprise which bore fruits for the uplifting of his fellows, and the advancement of the human race.

The greater part of his life was spent in Phillips, Me. For 40 years he was in trade in one store. Was moderator at all town meetings for over 30 years. Was Sheriff in Franklin County for several years.

During the Civil War he was sent to the Army of the Potomac to care for sick and wounded soldiers, and did efficient service in ameliorating their sufferings.

He was active in enlisting men, and personally raised one whole company of the 17th Maine. His fellow citizens thought so highly of him as to send him as a delegate to Chicago to help nominate Abraham Lincoln for President.

Major Dill was a member of the Maine Board of Agriculture for 20 years, and a trustee for two terms. He made the trip to and from California 17 times since 1876, accompanied by his wife 13 times.

He was married to Shuah W. Hammond in 1835. For 63 years, hand in hand, they pursued the journey of life and met its experiences of joy and sorrow, but with a trust and loving confidence in each other which made the pathway bright, they were enabled to encounter the obstacles which come into the lives of all to a greater or lesser degree, with the courage born of true philosophy and Christian integrity.

Mr. Dill was a firm believer in the Scriptures. The principles of mercy and kindness were the texts of his life. A favorite expression of his was "A merciful man is merciful to his beast," and this idea was not only dominant in intercourse with his fellow men but also extended to the animal creation. He spent much time and money in trying to lesson the cruelty to animals.

For over thirty years Major Dill and Mr. Estey have been companions. The tie was very strong between them. This venerable old man, in his latter days particularly leaned with trustful confidence on the strong and supporting arm of his companion, feeling that it would never fail him. And the younger man can look back to the example and counsel of his old friend, as landmarks, which helped him over many a hard place and fitted him to better fight life's battles.

The tender patient care of his granddaughter, Mrs. Estey, has smoothed his journey, and her faithful interest in his welfare and comfort has been conspicuous.

Major Dill survived his wife four years. Endowed with a vigorous mind and body the one unimpaired by any of the vices and dissipation's of life, the other kept keen and bright by an active participation in the passing events of life, he lived to an age reached by but few, perhaps not one in a million. After nearly a century largely filled up with purposeful work he responded to the final call, and sank away peacefully, without pain into the slumber which knows no awakening this side of the shores of eternity.

Major Dill was also a prominent Mason having become a member of Blue Mountain Lodge, No 67 Phillips Me. Jan 28, 1851. Appointed Junior Deacon Feb 1st, 1851, elected Junior Warden May 11th, 1853, elected Senior Warden November 1st 1854, elected Worshipful Master Nov 17, 1858 Grand Lodge of Maine. Appointed Grand Pursuant May 6, 1857, appointed Grand Steward May 9, 1861.

The deceased leaves one son H.P Dill, who is U.S. Consul, Port Hope Canada.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (May 22, 1902)

The flag over the Masonic Temple is floating at half-mast in honor of the memory of Major Seward Dill

Santa Cruz Sentinel (May 23, 1902)

The funeral of the late Major Seward Dill took place Thursday in Soquel under the auspices of the Masons. Interment took place in Soquel Cemetery.


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