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Santa Cruz County History - People
Old Soldiers: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans
by Robert L. Nelson
LORD, ROBERT D (1817-1911)
Santa Cruz Sentinel (March 25, 1910)
Oakwood Memorial Park
States Oldest Civil War Veteran Lives Here
Remarkable Preservation of Captain Robert Lord of Cayuga Street
Santa Cruz probably has California’s oldest living soldier of the Civil War, and he is living on Cayuga St.
Captain Robert Lord was born in September 1814, and will be 96 years old at his next birthday. He enlisted in 1862 when past military age by three years, was elected captain of his company and served until the close of the war.
He is in good health; his mental faculties are active and clear. His hearing is a little impaired and his eyesight is poor, so much so he is deprived of the comfort of reading. He is much interested in all public affairs and is fond of talking over present conditions. His regiment was in Sherman’s army and saw much hard service. When he talks about the campaign’s he enthuses as do much younger men. He is very modest and unpretending man, but his every word and thought expressed shows him to have been an extra ordinary man in his prime.
He belongs to Wallace-Reynolds Post, G.A.R. and is a regular attendant at every daytime meeting and enjoys the company of his comrades as much as do any one of them. He is quite strong and vigorous considering his extreme age. No indications of second childhood are noticeable about him. One is impressed with his dignity and well balanced makeup, his keen recollection of events of the long ago, garrulity or boasting in his conversation. His life has been one of temperate and industrious habits, backed up by a high moral plane. Long ago his wife of early manhood passed away and he is spending his last days with his daughter, Mrs. Carroll, her husband and family. He has been a resident of the city for four or five years and is much interested in the prosperity of his home city.
It does one good to see and hear the grand old man talk and notice how gentle and kind his disposition is. He is always neat and tidy in his dress and personal appearance. Says he hopes to round out a full 100 years but is ready to surrender when the reaper calls for him.
It is a benediction to visit with him and hear him talk. His fund of ancient history is most interesting and instructive. It is quite likely he is the oldest man in the county.
His comrades are very fond of him and solicitous for him to live until September, if not longer, when they will probably give him and ovation on his birthday.
Father Bliss is said to be only his junior by a year or so. What a team of grand old men they are. Clean bright, vigorous and model men of almost a century ago.
Santa Cruz Surf (October 14, 1911)
Death of Robert Lord
Robert D. Lord who has reached the ripe old age of 94 years [27 days] died this morning at his residence at 150 Cayuga St.
He was a native of New York and a veteran of the civil war. The funeral will be held Monday afternoon at 2:00 from his late residence.
Santa Cruz Sentinel (October 15, 1911)
Died Almost a Centenarian
Capt. Robert D. Lord of Cayuga Ct., This City
Capt. Robert D. Lord died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Julia Stiles, No. 150 Cayuga St., Saturday morning at the ripe old age of 94 years, 1 month and 5 days, having been born in Yates Co., New York, on September 9th 1817.
He removed to Illinois some years before the beginning of the Civil War, where he enlisted in 1862, in Company A, One Hundred and Fifth Illinois Infantry, and served three years. He was almost 45 years old when he enlisted. Being a man of robust health and excellent habits he passed through the service and came home about as good as when he started. He continued to live in Illinois until 1903, when he came to California to make his home with his daughter.
His wife passed away in 1899, thus breaking up his home. This bereavement with advance age, induced him to make his home with his children. He leaves a son in Illinois and Mrs. Stile before mentioned.
It is probable that at the date of his death he was the oldest man in the county; certainly he was the oldest veteran of any war of the United States, in the county, and most likely in the State.
Capt Lord was a quiet, well informed man, well balanced in his mind and judgment.
For the past two or three years he was deprived of the pleasure and comfort of reading because of failing eyesight. He was rarely sick and suffered no pain. His appetite was nearly always good, and he partook of any kind of food he desired without any sort of stomach trouble. He was temperate and moderate in eating but quite regular. He gradually failed in strength, and finally passed away as quietly as if going to sleep. The lamp of life twinkled and glimmered and faded away because it was burned out.
When the reader stops and reflects what mighty and wonderful events and changes have passed in this man’s lifetime, he will begin to comprehend the long stretch of time over which it reaches. It would take volumes to write the wonderful history made since Robert L. Lord came upon the stage of action.
In all the walks of life he was a quiet industrious and faithful actor. Ever in sympathy and a supporter of every move for the uplift of humanity and betterment of the world. For many years a faithful and consistent member of the M.E. Church. He lived away beyond the allotted three score and ten years.
He was a beloved member of Wallace-Reynolds Post of the G.A.R., which will attend his funeral in a body on Monday, the 16th at the home of Mrs. Stiles, 150 Cayuga St. Interment at SCruz/OMP.
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