Santa Cruz County History - People



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

LAMBORN, JOSIAH W (1845-1870)

History of the State of California and Biographical Record of Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey and San Luis Obispo, James Miller Guinn

Occupying a position of respect among the business men of Watsonville is Josiah W. Lamborn, a native of Howard county, Ind., born November 14, 1845, to the union of Thomas and Laura (Morris) Lamborn. When a young man his father had learned the shoemaker's trade, but prior to 1850 he purchased a farm and thereafter gave his attention to agricultural pursuits. In the cultivation of his land, caring for his family, and enjoying the occasional recreations and vacations that form so pleasurable a part of existence, his life was tranquilly passed. After many useful years he passed from earth in 1870.

Like most farmer boys, Josiah W. Lamborn alternated work on the farm in summers with attendance at school during the winter months. In 1862, fired by an ambition to serve his country, he enlisted in Company K, Forty-eighth Infantry, and went with his regiment to the front, where he remained until the close of the war. Among the many engagements in which he bore a part was that in front of Richmond, where (as in other battles) he had several narrow escapes. Bullets penetrated his hat and clothing, but not once was he wounded. On his return home he served an apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade at Lafayette, and when his time had expired traveled as a journeyman through Illinois, Iowa and Missouri, thence to Kansas, and from there to Leadville, Colo., where in 1878 he began to take contracts. During the six years he made that city his headquarters he had contracts for many buildings there and in the vicinity. When the boom at Leadville had to some degree subsided, he left the town and went to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he remained a year. From there he proceeded to Butte, Mont., where he remained for seven years, meantime having charge of the construction of many important public buildings and private residences. From there he returned to Utah and spent four years in Ogden, busily engaged at his trade.

Since 1893 Mr. Lamborn has made Watsonville his home and has found this thriving market town of the Pajaro valley a pleasant place of residence, not only from a climatic standpoint, but also with regard to business possibilities. When the people saw the character of his work, they began to give him contracts and since then he has led a busy life. Among the residences he erected are those for Warren Porter, John Johnson and L. J. Hopkins, also one on Sudden Street for himself. A number of business structures owe their substantial appearance to the reliability of his work as contractor. As an evidence of his energy, it may be stated that during 1901 he built seven houses, remodeled several others, and erected a business block, employing about twelve men all of the year. By his marriage to Mrs. Martha J. (Case) Weightman, a native of New York State, Mr. Lamborn has a daughter, Eva, now a student in the Watsonville schools. In fraternal relations he is connected with the Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias, holding his membership in the latter order in Montana, where he passed all of the chairs and became a member of the grand lodge.


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