Santa Cruz County History - People

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


Watsonville Pajaronian (January 7, 1907)

Headstone of Michael Valentine
Michael Valentine
Pioneer Cemetery, Watsonville

Patriotic Citizen Responds to Taps
M. Valentine Reaches End of Life Journey After Passing Eighty Six Milestone

M. Valentine, a pioneer millwright of this city died at 10 o'clock Saturday night. He was a victim of Brights disease and his illness covered a period of only about five weeks. Previously, and during nearly all of his long lifetime he had been more rugged than the average of his fellowmen.

He was born in Myerstown, Pennsylvania, on Sept 22, 1820, and at the time of his death was in his eighty sixth year.

M. Valentine was the oldest Odd Fellow in California, having joined the order in the East in 1847. He was a member of the Garden City Lodge of Odd Fellows at San Jose and retained that membership up to the time of his death, although he assisted at the institution of Pajaro Lodge No 90 I.O.O.F.

He arrived in California in 1852 and first located in Marysville. Afterwards he moved to Santa Cruz, and finally to San Jose where he remained until called to Watsonville as a millwright to assist in installing the wooden machinery in the old grist mill at the foot of Main street.

In early manhood he enlisted for the Mexican war and when about to start to the front received a detail on recruiting service. As in duty bound, but to his everlasting regret, he remained on that service until the end of the war.

In 1864 he again enlisted in army, joining the 8th California regiment, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. So far as his patriotic ambition was concerned he was as unfortunate in this as in his Mexican war enlistment, for the Eight California was sent to Astoria and did post duty until the regiment was mustered out at Fort Point in 1865.

Deceased was a man of absolute integrity, fervent patriotism and unbending convictions. Such a man forms his friends from inclination and if they were not as many as the sands of the sea, they were at least of a quality to appreciate the gentleness underlying the eccentricities of a man for whom disappointment had sounded the keynote of life.

Mr. Valentine was in no sense a fadist, but in regard to those things he found pleasure in doing he became very methodical. In instance, for about twenty years before the makeup for the Weekly "Pajaronian" was changed, which was about four years ago, M. Valentine would appear at the office every Thursday afternoon and get unfolded copies of the paper for the purpose of binding them into books of files which he subsequently presented to the library. If through any oversight, all of the papers had been folded before his arrival he would become greatly incensed. Also he made a practice of binding copies of Harper's Weekly and other periodicals and documents, most of which he has since presented to the Odd Fellows or Carnegie libraries.

One of his earnest cares during the later years was to see that every old soldier who passed beyond was remembered with due honor.

He once served with credit as superintendent of streets in this city.

There survive the dead man four sisters and two brothers. They are Mrs. Priscilla Smith and Mrs. J. A. Walters of Altoona, Pa, Mrs. S.B. Copelin, Miss Mary E. Valentine and Harry L Valentine of Pasadena, Cal., and Cyrus Valentine of Altoona, Pa. Deceased had remained a bachelor all of his life.

His estate consists of residence property on upper Main street, stock in the Bank of Watsonville, money on deposit in the Watsonville Savings Bank, Savings Bank of Hollister and Hibernia Bank of San Francisco, representing a total value of about $17,000. All his estate is left to his sisters and brothers, share and share alike, and one of the sisters, Mrs. Copelin and A.A. Morey of Santa Cruz are appointed executors of the will.

The funeral took place from I.O.O.F. hall at 2 p.m. today, and notwithstanding the inclement weather was largely attended. Interment was in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (January 12, 1907)

“Taps” For Old Soldier
Interment of Remains of M. Valentine at I.O.O.F. Cemetery Sunday

The interment of the remains of M. Valentine who died in this city January 5th took place at I.O.O.F. Cemetery at eleven o’clock Sunday forenoon. Owing to the inclemency of the weather at the time of his death the remains had been placed in a vault at the cemetery and Sunday received final sepulcher under the auspices of the Grand Army of the Republic, and with military honors accorded by the courtesy of Lieutenant A.A. Morey, commander of the Naval militia at Santa Cruz. A squad of eight men in regulation uniform stood about the grave, Comrade A. Dickerman made a few remarks, three volleys were fired and the taps- the most plaintively sweet, the saddest, yet most soothing arrangement of bugle notes ever written- sounded out on the still air of the beautiful morning, and, as the call died away into harmonious silence it seemed to carry with it to another world a story of the honorable life of the brave old soldier and to approve his right to eternal peace and rest-----Pajaronian.

Editorial Notes from Robert L. Nelson

Michael Valentine attended the Department Encampment in Pacific Grove May 8-11th, 1901 as a member of the John Dix GAR Post in San Jose.

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