Santa Cruz County History - People

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

READ, WILLIAM H (1843-1928)

Pioneer Cemetery Records

B 25 October 1843 in Ohio, d. 14 Dec 1928. Husband of Sarah Ann. Enlisted 10 Aug 1861 in Co. of 18th Ohio Infantry. Re-enlisted, in Co. E., 2nd Ohio H(eavy) A(rterillery) 17 June 1863.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (October 27, 1927)

Veteran Celebrates 84 Birthday

On Tuesday afternoon W.H. Read, commander of the Wallace Reynolds post entertained his comrades and the Woman’s Relief Corps members at the home of his daughter Mrs. Eva Gruwell, Frederick St.

October 25th was Com. Read's eighty fourth birthday, and nothing was left undone that could add pleasure to the occasion. Eighteen Civil War veterans sat down to a table arranged as the old time mess table: tin plates, tin cups for coffee, baked beans and hard tack with wooden benches to sit on.

The youngest comrade present had passed his seventy ninth birthday; eleven were in the eighties, and three of them were ninety three years young. A tin horn had been placed on one side of each plate, on the other a rattle weapons to be used for the mess call, and they were lustily used by "the boys". When the call ceased a number of their familiar songs were sung led by the commander. After the "army beans" had been enjoyed, both in song and reality, a wonderful birthday cake was cut and served with ice cream.

The corps president, Anna Lutz, in a brief address told the veterans how much their joys and pleasures meant to the order she represented and to herself personally. The program was mostly amusing and consisted of readings, talks and recitations. The house was very prettily decorated in a Halloween effect, with favors along the same line. Each guest brought either flowers or a more substantial gift, and the rooms were filled with the offerings.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (December 15, 1928)

DIED: READ - In Santa Cruz, Dec 14, W.H. Read, native of Ohio, aged 85 years 1 month and 19 days.

Funeral services at Chase's undertaking parlors Monday at 1:30 p.m. Friends and acquaintances respectfully invited to attend. Interment in Watsonville cemetery.

Taps Sound for Commander Read, Local G.A.R. Post

W.H. Read, Civil war veteran, a good citizen, an earnest Christian, and one who stood for all that was true and good, passed away yesterday morning at the home of his daughter, Mr. Eva I. Gruwell, at 93 Frederic St.

Mr. Read was 85 years of age, was born in Ashland county, Ohio, in 1843, and his home since 1913 has been at Soquel, where he was active in all good works especially in the Congregational church, of which he was a devout member and loved and esteemed by all the members.

Coming to California, he first located at Hanford, later settling on a ranch in the Prunedale district of Watsonville.

He was highly honored by Wallace Reynolds post, G.A.R., of this city, and for four years had been commander, and held that office at the time of his passing. He had quite a war record, enlisting as a private in Company I, eight regiment, Ohio infantry volunteers. He enrolled Aug. 10, 1861, and was discharged because of disability on May 8, 1862.

He re-enlisted with the heavy artillery, Ohio volunteers, on June 17, 1863, and was discharged Aug. 23, 1865 at Nashville, Tenn., by general order No. 94 of the war department. He was tenth corporal at the time of his discharge.

He leaves his daughter, Mrs. Eva Gruwell; two sons, W.A. Read of Soquel and G.H. Read of Hanford: grand children, Mabel I. Wallace and Sheldon Read of Soquel, and others in various parts of the state, and three great grandsons, children of Mrs. Wallace.

A wife, son and daughter preceded him in death.

The remains are at the Chase mortuary, where services will be held at 1:30 o’clock Monday afternoon. Interment will be in Watsonville cemetery.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (December 18, 1928)

Obsequies For Old Veteran

Funeral services were held yesterday at the chapel of Chase's mortuary for William H. Read, old soldier and commander of the Wallace Reynolds Post, G.A.R.

The members of the Wallace Reynolds Post, G.A.R., the Wallace Reynolds Women's Relief Corps and many friends from Soquel Congregational church, the community, friends from Santa Cruz and relatives filled the chapel, one end of which was filled with the loveliest flowers.

The services were conducted by Rev. J.J. Kelly of the Soquel Congregational church, pastor of the deceased and Rev. W.H.D. Hornaday of the East Side Methodist church.

The G.A.R. service was also conducted and Mrs. Mabel Wallace and Rev. W.H.D. Hornaday sang "Saved By Grace" and "Sometime We'll Understand. At the cemetery at Watsonville they sang "Abide With Me."

The pall bearers were Harvey Read, Arthur Read, Sheldon Read, Joseph Gruwell, Floyd Wallace and Marion Green.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (December 23, 1928)

Pass Resolutions of Respect for G.A.R. Commander

The following resolutions have been passed by Wallace-Reynolds post, No. 32 Grand Army of the Republic, of Santa Cruz, on the occasion of the death of W.H. Read, late commander of the post:

Whereas, It has pleased God, in his infinite wisdom, to remove by death our comrade, who at the date of his death was the commander of our post, having held that position for several years, the post having great confidence in his ability and integrity, did at the first meeting of this month, Dec. 1, 1928, re-elect him to be our commander for the ensuing year.

Comrade Read served his country faithfully during the rebellion of 1861-1865, having endured the hardships of soldiers in hard campaigns and having gone through the fiery furnace of battle during that war. He was honorably discharged by reason of the close of the war as a corporal.

And again: After the close of the war, he returned home and took up the civil occupation of his future life. In the course of time he married an estimable young woman of his acquaintance, who was a loving companion and helpmate to him. They raised a family of girls and boys, and lived happily together. Our comrade, at the time of his death was a widower, his wife having preceded him in death.

Again: W.H. Read was also a good citizen, patriotic and loyal to our country and flag. He was associated with the Congregational church, a loyal member and practiced what was professed that of Christianity. He was loved and respected by all of his comrades and acquaintances.

Again: Our comrade having passed his 85th milestone (as time is counted), became weary and lay down to rest- fell into that last sleep from which he will never awaken. He answered the last call and joined that innumerable army above. His spirit went to Him who gave it, and his body (the house where his spirit dwelt) has been lad in the grave gone back to the dust from whence it came.

Again: The members of the Wallace Reynolds post deplore the death of our post commander, Therefore, be it Resolved, That the Wallace-Reynolds post, No. 32, Department of California, G.A.R., as a token of respect and love to our departed comrade, drape our charter for 30 days; also that a vacant chair be draped for the same period of time. Therefore, let us cherish in remembrance our departed comrade.

And again: In our sorrow, let us not forget the sons and daughters and grandchildren of our departed comrade. We also grieve for and with them for the loss of father and grandfather. Therefore, be it further Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be delivered or mailed to his daughter, Mrs. Eva Gruwell, with whom our post comrade resided; also that one copy be furnished the Santa Cruz papers, if they so desire.

(Signed) J.W. Smith, W.J. Stoker, Jose Slaven.....Committee

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