Santa Cruz County History - People



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

FAIRFIELD, CHAUNCEY P (1833-1923)

Santa Cruz Sentinel (November 29, 1923)

Funeral Services of Capt Fairfield

The funeral services of Capt. C.P. Fairfield were held at the funeral parlors of Hocking & Williams in San Jose November 15.

Captain Fairfield was born in Cambridge, Franklin County, Vermont, on March 16 1833.

His parents soon removed to Arcade, New York. His early manhood was spent in learning the carpentering trade.

The discovery of gold in California caused him to come west in 1853, though at first he became a clerk for the wholesale commission house of Kilburn & Rosenberg, Sansome St. San Francisco. At this time he became a member of the vigilance committee, belonging to Bartlett's company who afterwards was governor of California.

During the Civil War he joined the California volunteers. His commission of first and second Lieutenant and captain were signed by Governors Downey, Stanford and Low, and saw four and a half years of service. [C.P Fairfield entered military service on Oct 2, 1862 and ended it as commanding officer of Co B of the 2 Calif. Infantry] After his honorable discharge, May 10, 1866, he journeyed back to New York State and on August 29, 1866, was joined in marriage to Phoebe A. Wells. Capt. Fairfield and his wife then made the trip out west by boat, crossing the Isthmus of Panama by train. Having arrived once more on the west coast, he made his home at Alviso for a couple of years, followed by a year of farming at Salinas, and later operated a dairy for some time in Oregon.

When he came to San Jose, he was engaged for about three years in helping to erect the first normal school built in California.

In 1873 he purchased 10 acres of land on Meridian road, three miles from San Jose, He now became and orchardist of the well known Willows district, and in a few years acquired more property a half mile west of his home place in the Blackford tract.

Late in the fall of 1915 he retired from the care of his orchard and removed with his wife and daughter to Santa Cruz. After two years residence there, he developed a bronchial trouble, which demanded a drier climate, and on the advice of his physician, Los Gatos was selected as his future home.

Here he enjoyed a fair degree of health until a year ago; when from the weakness of old age he was confined to his bed with a long and painful illness, which he has borne with great fortitude.

His six brothers and one sister have already passed away, leaving only his wife, daughter, son, niece Mary daughter in law and grand daughter to mourn his loss.

Almost to the last he maintained a real interest in world events and the news of the day.

He has held memberships in the Santa Clara County Pioneers, the G.A.R. of Santa Cruz, and at his passing was on the roster of the Col. Bennett post of San Jose.


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