Santa Cruz County History - People



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

ELY, BENJAMIN M (1831-1912)

Santa Cruz Sentinel (October 29, 1906)

Headstone of Benjamin M Ely
Benjamin M. Ely
IOOF Cemetery in Santa Cruz

Benjamin M. Ely and Wife Celebrate Fiftieth Anniversary

Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin M. Ely celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their wedding at their residence on Lincoln St. Monday afternoon, surrounded by loving children and staunch friends.

The home had been appropriately decorated for the occasion with French marigolds, symbolical of the occasion.

Miss Belle and Mrs. J.W. Anderson, daughters of the venerable couple, received the guests and ushered them into the parlors, where hearty congratulations were extended.

B.M. Ely was united in marriage to Miss Susan M. Liter at Madisonville, Ralls Co., Mo., fifty years ago the 28th inst. Four children, two girls and two boys, live to bless and honor the parents and share their love, while two grand children render additional joy to their lives.

Capt. Ely served in the Southern army during the Civil War. He moved to California nineteen years ago and has lived in Santa Cruz and vicinity since that time.

He opened and conducted the Ely Carriage Works for several years, has participated enthusiastically in church and political matters and has left a beneficial imprint upon the community of which he has been a unit.

Children, grandchildren and numerous friends left nothing undone to make the event one worthy the reverence which the occasion demanded.

Cake and ice cream and lemonade were served after enjoying a social hour. Several beautiful presents were received by Mr. and Mrs. Ely among which was a handsome gold headed cane for the Capt. The levee continued from 2 o'clock until 5 P.M. and will long be remembered by those who participated in it.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (January 3, 1912)

Benjamin M. Ely is Dead
Old Pioneer Passes Away on New Years Day

On the first day of the new year Benjamin M. Ely, an old resident of this city, passed away at his home at 74 Lincoln St. after a sickness of about two months, heart failure and old age being the cause of his demise. Quietly and peacefully he passed on to the land beyond.

He was born in Ralls County, Missouri, and first came across the plains to California in 1851 in an ox team, having many encounters with Indians. He remained in California three years and then returned to the East, enlisting as a soldier in the Confederate army, in which he was raised to the rank of Captain. Then he returned to California the second time, taking up residence in Santa Cruz in November '88. For the following fifteen years the Ely carriage works facing Cooper St. was one of the well known institutions of this city. Mr. Ely was an expert in his line of work and an honest workman whose output bore the stamp of high quality. Eight years ago he retired from active business.

He learned the trade of carriage maker in Hannibal Missouri having gone there for that purpose when sixteen years of age. Hannibal was then quite a busy river point although having but three or four thousand people, where now it has a population of fifteen or twenty thousand. It was here that he met that other boy who became known to the world as Mark Twain. Being a small town these two youths were very well acquainted.

Before coming to Santa Cruz Mr. Ely was a member of the Masonic lodge and the Presbyterian church, but because of deafness he was not an active attendant here. Rev. Philleo will officiate at his funeral at the Presbyterian Church. Benjamin Ely's faithful wife had proceeded him to the land beyond several years ago and he leaves to mourn his loss their children Belle Ely, B.P. Ely, T.D. Ely and Mrs. J.W. Anderson.

The deceased was well known in this city and equally well liked.


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