Santa Cruz County History - People

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

THRALLS, JAMES C (1842-1929)

History of San Luis Obispo County and Environs, California, Annie L. Morrison and John H. Haydon

Headstone of James C Thralls
James C Thralls
Soquel Cemetery

JAMES CONSTANTINE THRALLS- If there be one class of persons in America whom everyone, high or low, and from the Government to the plainest citizen, loves to honor, it is such a veteran of the great Civil War as James Constantine Thralls, a fine old gentleman, every inch of him with a lovely and splendid lady as his wife. The fourth youngest child, he first saw the light of day on December 1, 1843 at Saint Mary’s, Ind. His father, Jacob Thralls, was a Virginian by birth, who moved to Kentucky, where he married, and thence to Indiana to engage in farming. His mother was Mathilda Rhoades, one of the strikingly fair daughters of far famed Kentucky. The Thralls moved to Knox County, MO, in 1857, and there the parents died. The mother, Mathilda Thralls, saw Abraham Lincoln on several occasions, and very interesting were some of her descriptions of the noted Abolitionist.

Of the twelve children, three are still living, two being in California: J.C. Thralls and Virginia Hanes. , who makes her home with the subject of this review. A brother, George was a member of the 3rd Missouri Cavalry from 1861 to 1863, when he died at Little Rock, Ark. James C. went to the public school at Edina, Knox county Mo., and when only seventeen, at the first tap of the drum in April 1861, he entered the Missouri Home Guards as an enthusiastic volunteer. There he served for three months, when he enlisted in Co. B of the 3rd Missouri Cavalry and served for three years, in both Missouri and Arkansas, taking part in the engagements of this regiment. At the Battle of Mt. Zion he was wounded through the right hand; and what pluck and valor he displayed may be seen from the fact that he tied up the wound and went on fighting as before.

In 1864 he was mustered out, and returned to his home. For two years he farmed in Knox County, and at the end of that time moved to Loma in Sangamon Cnty ill. There he bought a residence and opened a carpenter’s shop; and he also ran a blacksmith shop.

In 1883, the call of Kansas drew him to Oswego, Labette county, where he was active as a carpenter, plasterer and blacksmith, and from there he went to Gaylord, in Smith county, where opened a general blacksmith business and again bought a nice home.

With the flood of tourists to California in 1896, James C. Thralls moved what was left of his effects, after he had sold his home and business; and fascinated by the smiling aspect of Old San Miguel, he located there and once more established himself in the blacksmithing business, in which he continued many years. In 1910, he disposed of his shop and business and retired to private life.

On September 25, 1865, Mr. Thralls had married, at an old Missouri homestead in Knox County, Miss Mary Helen Hammond, who was born in Springfield, IL. , a daughter of William and Emeline (Underwood) Hammond, natives of Kentucky and Tennessee, who had located in Sangamon county. Mr. Hammond was a carpenter and builder, and also a farmer, and finally he removed to Kansas with the Thralls; and there, at Gaylord he died. In the Civil War, Mrs. Thralls brother, Arthur C. Hammond was a member of Company B 30th Ill. Reg., serving three years, when he re-enlisted until the close of the war.

Mr. and Mrs. James C. Thralls have been blessed with six children: Owen G., who is employed in the Southern Pacific car shop in San Francisco, Fred C., who is manager of the Hardwood Floor Co., of Oakland, and resides in Alameda; Arthur, founder of Thralls & Co., merchants, San Miguel; Albert W., a clerk with Thralls & Co.,; Bessie A. Now Mrs. L.F. Jones Alameda social circles; and Ethel L., who, as Mrs. A.L. Andrews presides over a charming home at Guadalupe.

A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Frederick H Dyer

3rd Regiment of Missouri Cavalry

Performed duty in Southeast Missouri and District of Rolla, Mo. till December 1862, under Prentiss and McNeil. Action near Hallsville, Mo., December 27, 1861. Mt. Zion Church December 28. Inman's Hollow July 7, 1362 (Cos. "B," "D," "G," "H"). Mountain Store, Big Piney, July 25-26 (Cos. "E," "F"). Scout in Sinking Creek and skirmish August 4-11 (Detachment). Salem August 9. Wayman's Mills and Spring Creek August 23. Scout from Salem to Current River August 24-28 (Co. "E"). Beaver Creek, Texas County, November 24. Expedition from Rolla to Ozark Mountains November 30-December 6 (Cos. "A," "B"). Ozark December 2 (Cos. "A," "B"). Wood's Creek January 11, 1863. Hartsville, Wood's Fork, January 11. Batesville, Ark., February 4. Operations against Marmaduke April 17-May 2. Castor River, near Bloomfield, April 29. Bloomfield April 30. Coal Bluff, St. Francis River, April 30-May 1. Expedition against Little Rock, Ark., July 1-September 10. Moved from Wittsburg to Clarendon August 1-8. Near Bayou Metoe August 26. Bayou Metoe (or Reed's Bridge) August 27. Advance on Little Rock September 1-10. Bayou Fourche and capture of Little Rock September 10. Brownsville September 16. At Jacksonport, Ark., November 1863, to March 1864. Affair at Jacksonport November 21, 1863 (Co. "E"). Reconnaissance from Little Rock December 5-13, 1863. Jacksonport December 23. Scouts from Brownsville January 17-19, 1864. Hot Springs February 4. Steele's Expedition to Camden March 23-May 3. Elkins' Ferry, Little Missouri River, April 3-4. Mark's Mills April 5. Little Missouri River April 6. Prairie D'Ann April 9-12. Camden April 15, 16, 18 and 24. Mt. Elba Ferry April 26. Princeton April 29. Operations against Shelby north of Arkansas River, May 18-31. At Little Rock till June 1865. Benton Road, near Little Rock, July 19, 1864. Benton July 25 (Co. "C"). Scatterville July 28 (Detachment). Expedition from Little Rock to Little Red River August 6-16. At Tannery, near Little Rock, September 2 (Detachment). Expedition Little Rock to Fort Smith September 25-October 13 (Detachment). Reconnaissance from Little Rock toward Monticello and Mt. Elba October 4-11. Reconnaissance from Little Rock to Princeton October 19-23. Princeton October 23. Expedition from Little Rock to Saline River November 17-18 (Detachment). Expedition from Little Rock to Benton November 27-30 (Detachment). Mustered out June 14, 1865. (Co. "M" at Headquarters Dept. of Missouri, St. Louis, Mo., November, 1862, to June, 1863.) Regiment lost during service 3 Officers and 37 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 172 Enlisted men by disease. Total 213.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (May 28, 1929)

Nineteen Survivors of the Early Wars Will Be Guests of Honor this Memorial Day

J.C. Thralls

Comrade J.C. Thralls enlisted in 1861 when 18 years of age. In 1860 he was a member of the home guard. Went with the 3rd Missouri Cavalry. One of the first skirmishes called a turkey shoot hit him in his right thumb, this being the only wound during the many skirmishes he was in. Came to Santa Cruz for his health a little over a year ago. Now 85 years of age.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (August 4, 1929)

Dropped Dead While on Way to His Lunch
J.C. Thralls of Soquel Falls in Front Yard
Body Found by Granddaughter
Ms. Andrews' Father Expires While Ascending Steps

J.C. Thralls, resident of Soquel for a year and a half, father of Mrs. A.L. Andrews of that place dropped dead yesterday morning at 11:45 and his body was found about five minutes afterwards by a young daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrews. Thrall had evidently started from the yard in front of the home to climb the steps to the front porch to partake of the noon meal, and before he reached the second step, slumped to the ground dead.

He was alone at the time and no one saw him fall. Lois Andrews called her small sister from a neighbors for lunch and she found her grandfather where he fell.

Thralls had not been complaining and yesterday morning was in his usual good spirits and ate a hearty breakfast. Several times of late he said he had slight dizzy spells, but that was not considered serious. It is believed death resulted from a heart attack.

J. C. Thralls was 86 years of age, a native of Indiana. He and his wife came to Soquel a year and a half ago from San Miguel and Mrs. Thralls died six weeks ago. He is survived by four sons, A. Thralls of San Miguel, E Thralls of Ventura, F. Thralls of Alameda, and C.G. Thralls of San Francisco, and two daughters, Mrs. Ethel Andrews of Soquel, and Mrs. Bessie James of Alameda.

Arrangements for the funeral have not been completed but it is expected to hold it Monday afternoon. He made his home with Mr. and Mrs. Andrews. Andrews is Southern Pacific agent at Capitola.

Last Rites for Soquel Civil War Veteran: Died Suddenly Saturday

Funeral services for J.C. Thrall, who died suddenly at the home of a daughter in Soquel Saturday, were conducted at the Wessendorf mortuary this afternoon by the G.A.R. and Rev. W. A. Hensel of the Soquel Congregational church.

Interment as in the Soquel cemetery, where his wife had been buried six weeks ago. Thrall dropped dead in front of the home of his daughter, Mrs. A.L. Andrews, Saturday. He had been under the care of Dr. A.C. Atwood of Soquel for many weeks and for that reason no inquest was held.

The deceased was born in Indiana eighty-six years ago. He served throughout the civil war in Indiana regiments. He has been residing with his daughter and her family in Soquel for the past year and a half, coming her from San Miguel.

Editorial Notes from Edson Strobridge (April 2000)

James Constantine Thralls was born at Saint Mary’s, Vigo Cnty Indiana on Dec 01 1842. In April 1861 he enlisted as a private in Co. B of the 3rd MO Cavalry. He also had served in the Missouri Home Guards for three months prior to his enlistment. He served until 1864 when he was mustered out. He was later to affiliate with the John Logan Post 1&6 of San Miguel, SLO Cnty California. He worked in San Miquel as a blacksmith and as a farmer later moving to Santa Cruz where he died on Aug 3, 1929. He was buried in Lots 157-158 in the Soquel cemetery.

SOURCES: US Military Service Record Index also lists Private, Missouri Home Guards (3 Months) with 3 yrs service in Co B 3rd MO Cav.; San Luis Obispo Co. & Environs, Morrison & Haydon, 1917; 1910 US Census, Res, San Miguel, "G" St., Retied. Union Army; 1912 SLO City and Co Directory, res. San Miguel; Santa Cruz Co. Death records, age 86 yrs, Farmer widow, Res: at place of death, 1 yr. 7 months: in Calif 33 yrs. Soquel Cemetery Records (LDS Film #___).

Obituary Notes from Phil Reader

Soquel James Constantine Thralls 86 years 8 months 2 days died August 3, 1929 B: Dec 1, 1842 Unknown Parents Unknown Res 1 yr. 9 mo. CA 33. Soquel Cemetery.

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