Santa Cruz County History - People



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

HEATH, ALBERT (1829-1887)

Santa Cruz Sentinel (September 16 1865)

Photograph of Albert Heath
Albert Heath

CHANGE OF PROPRIETORS- By referring to the advertisement of the Eagle Livery Stable, it will be seen that Col. A. Heath, late of the army of the Potomac, has purchased the interest of Mr. Merritt Love, and will in future assist in conducting the business, in connection with Mr. C. H. Dustin, at the old stand, on Main street [Pacific Avenue]. The stock of horses and carriages are in fine order and let at the lowest rates. Horses kept on livery, and grain and hay for sale.

Editor's note: The display ad in the adjacent column, 3:2, names the proprietors: Chas. H. Dustin & A. Heath.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (March 5 1870)

Proposed Park

A meeting was convened on last Saturday evening for the consideration of the conversion of the Upper Plaza into a park. The number collected was not large, taking into consideration the importance of the subject under consideration, but every man present, there being no dissenting voice, favored the project. The proposition is, to lay the plaza out with a street on either side, of fifty feet width, and the park to be fenced with a good and substantial fence, graded, and then to be set out, at regulated distances, to ornamental and shade-trees, and the water that is now running to waste along the upper boundary of the proposed park made to contribute to their support, thereby converting a common that is a camping-ground of sick swine, sore-backed horses and braying asses, into a garden of beauty and a joy forever - a bower of shade and rippling waters to which we, our families and our friends may go and enjoy fanning breezes and pleasant converse. Justice can not be done to this enterprise with less than from $1,500 to $2,000. To raise this amount is where the strain comes on the back of those who are laboring in its furtherance. After some little discussion it was unanimously decided to appoint a committee, and R. C. Kirby, T. Wright and Col. Heath, were appointed as said committee, to canvass the town and obtain signatures petitioning the Town Trustees to levy [sic] a tax to the amount of about $800, a sum deemed sufficient to erect the fence. The meeting then adjourned to meet tonight at 7 o'clock at the same place. During the present week the committee has been at work with general success. If the Town Trustees made the concessions petitioned, there will yet be nearly $1,000 to raise from parties owning property contiguous to the Plaza and by contribution. Springtime has come again, and if there is any thing to be done this season it must be done quickly. Time strides rapidly on, while public improvements move their slow length along.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (July 9, 1870)

To correct mistakes, we would say that Col. A. Heath is now reputed to be the ostensible editor of the Times, and any "Insanity" which may appear in that paper he is responsible for. Heath is a Democrat of the Andy Johnson school of politics, and long after A. Johnson had made the celebrated Philadelphia speech, he tried to raise a "Johnson Club" in Santa Cruz -himself, of course, to be President - to inculcate the principles of Johnsonism in this community. The doughty Col. failed to get up his "club" (a stuffed one) because it was inexpedient at that time, as his political advice said, "to shoot your gun unless the game is in sight," there being no election at hand. The Col., however, was rewarded with a good fat office, as Deputy Collector, by Gen. Miller for his services - an office which he holds to this day. We hope Collector Phelps will remove all Democrats from office, and thus relieve this community from an incubus almost intolerable.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (September 21, 1887)

DIED: HEATH, In San Francisco, Sept 20 Albert Heath, a native of Erie Co. NY. Aged 58 years.

Col Heath is Dead

Col. Albert Heath, only brother of the Hon. Lucien Heath, of this city died in San Francisco on the 20th inst. Col. Heath fought through the war on the Union side, and arrived in Santa Cruz shortly after the war. He was a lawyer by profession and a [?] politician, being a strong Republican particizer during his time of residence among us. He succeeded E.L. Williams as U.S. Collector of this port (San Francisco) , his residence being on Mission St. The Colonel engaged in mining, and at one time had a contract to excavate the big Volcano tunnel. At the time of his death the Colonel was 58 years of age and leaves a family.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (September 23, 1887)

Col. Heath met his death by falling from an embankment at Indian Diggings, El Dorado Co. last Monday. At the time of his death he was on his way from Placerville to Volcano.

Contributed by Stanley Stevens (June 19, 2003)

Colonel Alfred Heath

Bounded by Sylvar, Emmet, Mission, and High Sts. is the Plaza Municipal Park, also known as the upper plaza. It was originally the Mission quadrangle. Surveyor Thomas Wright, along with R. C. Kirby and Colonel Heath, laid out the plan for the park. The work was financed by individual contributions, two benefit balls, and possibly the proceeds of a special tax.

Editorial Notes from Robert L. Nelson (June 2003)

Albert Heath was born in Erie NY approximately 1827. According to HDS files on April 24, 1861 he enlisted as a 1st Sgt in Co. C of the 9th Indiana Inf. in Elkhart County, Indiana and at the completion of his 90-day enlistment was mustered out at Indianapolis on July 29, 1861. Albert Heath then enlisted as a Captain in I Co. of the 44th Indiana Inf. on September 20, 1861 in Elkhart County and was discharged for promotion to Lt. Colonel in the 100th Indiana Infantry on October 18, 1862 where he served on the Field and Staff. On January 8, 1864 he was promoted to Colonel and remained in that position until his discharge for disability on May 10, 1865.

Albert Heath apparently arrived in Santa Cruz county prior to July 16, 1866 when he registered as a voter. While in the county he was instrumental in the founding of the California Veterans Association in Santa Cruz in 1866, and the GAR in 1868 where he served as Chaplain and Post Commander. During this period he became involved in controversial issues with the Santa Cruz Sentinel and apparently took the position of the "radical" Republicans of the day. He appeared in the Memorial Day service of 1872, but according to the Santa Cruz Great Register he had left by December 29, 1875 and gone to San Francisco.


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