Santa Cruz County History - People



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

HARRINGTON, MICHAEL (1839-1909)

National Archives Military Records

Headstone of Michael Harrington
Michael Harrington
Old Holy Cross Cemetery
Description: Height- 5'8" Fair Complexion Blue Eyes Light Hair
Occupation: Stonecutter
Nativity: Born in Ireland
Service: Enlisted May 1, 1861 at Richmond for 1 year in Co. F 15th
Virginia Infantry as a Pvt.
August 13, 1861- Absent without leave
Nov-Dec, 1861- Service in Richmond
Oct, 1862- Sick in Richmond (Sent to a hospital in Williamsburg)

Santa Cruz County Great Register

1871- Michael Harrington 32 Stonecutter, Ireland, S.C. Naturalized Sept. 18, 1870
1872- Same entry as above
1873- " " " "
1881-1886- Michael Harrington 41 Ireland, Merchant SC. Naturalization of father.
1890 Michael Harrington 49 Ireland Stonecutter Branciforte #2 June 25 1888
1892-1894 Michael Harrington 54 5'8" Light Blue, Gray. Ireland East Sc. Branciforte #2 Santa Cruz, naturalization of father
1896-Michael Harrington Stone Cutter, 5'8" Light Blue Gray, Ireland Naturalization of father Branciforte #2

Editor's note: Register information taken from Phil Reader's files.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (February 8, 1879)

M. Harrington, the enterprising merchant of Branciforte, has bought a lot on the opposite side of the street to his store, has built a new fence in front thereof, and is filling it up to the grade of the street.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (November 20, 1889)

East Santa Cruz

On arriving in East Santa Cruz, after a hasty walk through the rain and mud, the seeker after news lighted near the watering trough on Soquel avenue in from of ex mayor Harrington's symposium. Harrington and a coterie of East Santa Cruzans were gathered on the porch looking at the city officials rather suspiciously.

East Santa Cruz Herald (February 15, 1890)

On Wednesday afternoon, our next door neighbor, Mr. Mike Harrington brought Miss Mary Harrington and Miss Allie Plant into the Herald office, in order to give the young ladies an opportunity of seeing the process of getting up a newspaper. The ladies seemed greatly surprised at the rapidity with which Messrs. Alex Campbell, Glenn Walker and Neil McKay placed the letters into position, yet we are satisfied that the boys did not do their best owing to a little "stage fright" not unusual under such circumstances. The next time you come ladies, just give the boys an hour's notice in order to let their nerves settle and you will see the metal fly.

Unidentified Newspaper article Contributed by Phil Reader (April 26, 1894)

While M. Harrington and G.W. Newhall were talking over war times Saturday evening they learned that they had participated in the battle of Malvern Hill in 1862. Newhall was under Gen McClellan and Harrington under Gen. Magruder. Each veteran gave an account of the battle as he saw it and recalled incidents which both had witnessed.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (October 24, 1894)

Capt. B.A. Osborn and M. Harrington were at Petersburg, Virginia, in the memorable days of 1864. Capt. Osborn was with the 1st Maine Cavalry and Mr. Harrington with the 15th Virginia Infantry. The gentlemen met on Pacific Ave., Tuesday for the first time and exchanged war reminiscences.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (March 28, 1898)

M. Harrington of East Santa Cruz left Monday for San Jose to attend the funeral of his cousin, Mrs. Johanna Murphy who died at the sanitarium there on Sunday.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (July 2, 1898)

Capt. Jones of a Tennessee Company now at Camp Merritt was a comrade of M. Harrington during the war, both being members of a Virginia company. Mr. Harrington had not seen Captain Jones since 1862.

Santa Cruz Surf (May 4, 1901)

Picked up on Pacific Avenue

M. Harrington, ex Mayor of Branciforte, has closed his bar, taken out the water trough he maintained and says he is going to take a rest and travel a little until the no license ordinance is tested. As for himself he says he cannot afford to put himself in the light of a lawbreaker.

Herein is shown how attempted prohibition drives out of business the better class of liquor sellers leaving the irresponsible and the law breakers to continue, while under a judicious license system the keepers of disorderly houses might ultimately be weeded out.

Santa Cruz Surf (February 26, 1903)

Wants His Chickens
Col. M. Harrington Relates a Story of War Times
And Gets Called Down in Proper Shape by a Captain Whom He Foraged

Col. M. Harrington, the genial mixologist of East Santa Cruz, was relating a story the other day of a foraging expedition during war times. The colonel was on the south side and his success as a forager being well known among his comrades he was seldom left behind when an opportunity to get a little "easy" food presented itself.

The scene of the present story was at Newport News, Virginia, in the month of August 1862. The colonel's regiment was encamped along the outskirts of that city and the commissary gave out the "tip" that provisions were running low and some quiet work had to be done.

Michael Harrington got the tip and in company with a boon companion started out for something toothsome. He knew a place where some choice "yellow legs" roosted and twas there he bied himself. Chickens were a great delicacy those days and came high, but not too high for the confederates. He not only helped himself but loaded his companion.

There was a great rejoicing when the two returned to camp, but not more so than was the party that the colonel was telling his yarn to the other day.

"Where did you say that took place?" asked an attentive listener as the colonel concluded.

"About ten miles from Newport News, in August 1861," answered Col. Harrington.

Each followed an exact description of the place, home and all.

"Well, well, I have been looking for you for nearly forty-one years." The last speaker was Captain Ordway at present stopping in East Santa Cruz. It was from his place that Michael Harrington had stolen those chickens and thus the two old opponents of the dark strife were once again brought together.

"Don't you think you had better return those chickens together with what should have been the increase," was the next question. It will take the colonel some time to figure out what would ordinarily be the increase. But before starting in on that mathematical proposition the wet goods have gone the round many times.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (May 28, 1903)

ED Sentinel: In this morning's Sentinel I read the following article "A petition was circulated in this city that the stores close on Decoration Day, the signers saying that if all closed they would too, but one grocer was met who would not sign the agreement, consequently the stores will be open as usual."

A man who is so selfish that he is afraid of losing one dollar on Decoration Day to pay respect to the G.A.R. is not worthy the respect of an American citizen. M. Harrington - 15th VA. Volunteers - ex Confederate

Santa Cruz Surf (January 18, 1905)

In Union There is Strength

The only one apparently who is out and inured is Mr. I. Caplatzi who gave his time for a month or more to work against annexation and in proportion to his holdings was very liberal in expenditure, not hesitating to pay $22 in a lump the day of election for livery rigs to bring the voters.

A party of enthusiastic Eastsiders were over town in the evening headed by Lieutenant Doyle, who won the silk hat of ex Mayor M. Harrington of Branciforte, on a wager.

Santa Cruz Surf [Sentinel] (May 6, 1909)

Death of Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington, an old resident and highly respected citizen, died yesterday at the home of his daughter, Mr. H. Gallagher, near Santa Clara where he has been very ill.

The deceased was 69 years of age and a native of Ireland. He leaves two daughters, Miss Mary, who has resided with him at his home in this city; Mrs. Kate Gallagher of Santa Clara, and a son William.

For about forty years he has resided in Santa Cruz, and for may years was the owner of the only grocery store on the East Side; but of late years has been in another line of business.

He was an old soldier, a veteran of the Confederate army, but always on Memorial Day he marched with the boys in blue, and also attended services with them on Memorial Sunday.

In the days when the Emmett guards were a feature of the city life, and were the only military organization, he evinced a great interest in them.

He was devoted to his faith, and was a faithful attendant at the services of the Catholic Church. During the building of the present church, he did the greater part of the stone cutting for the foundation, as he was a stone cutter by trade. He was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and took a keen interest in all the happenings in Erin. Mr. Harrington was a loyal American, but still loyal to Ireland.

In politics he was a Democrat, and took an active part in the political affairs. A true American, a good citizen, honorable and upright dealings were characteristic of his life.

The funeral will be held tomorrow, when a high requiem mass for the repose of his soul will be celebrated at 10 o'clock at Holy Cross Church.

Editor's Note: A similar article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel of the same date indicates that Michael Harrington was a native of County Cork, Ireland and 71 years of age. According to the article, Harrington's "saloon license transfer has been the cause of some little controversy among city officials the past few days," and he died "after a long illness with dropsy of the heart."

Santa Cruz Evening News (May 7, 1909)

Blue Acts as Guard of Honor to the Gray
Confederate Army Veteran Is Laid at Rest in the Catholic Cemetery

The Blue and the Gray met today when the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic marched thirty strong to the late home of Michael Harrington, a veteran of the Confederate army, and acted as a guard of honor beside the hearse as it carried his body to the Catholic church, where funeral services were held. Taking a last look at the face of the man who had been their foe on the battlefield, the veterans of the Grand Army again fell in line and followed the hearse to the covered bridge, where it wended its silent way to the Catholic cemetery, where the blue and gray are one in death.

Sermons have been preached and articles written on the reconciliation that has taken place between the north and south, but it never was more eloquently attested than by the spectacle of these old Union soldiers doing guard of honor duty at the burial of one of the Confederate dead.

"Michael Harrington used to tell us jokingly that he was a lot better Grand Army man than we were," said Philip Hynes, of the local post today. "He turned out with us at the Memorial day service at no matter what church held, and we always looked upon him as our comrade."

Notes from Phil Reader

1860 census records indicate that Michael Harrington was at the time living in the Covington area of Allegheny County Virginia.


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