Santa Cruz County History - People

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

WEBSTER, GAIUS (1843-1904)

San Luis Obispo Evening Tribune (January 13, 1904)

Prominent Attorney Dies
Gaius Webster, a Pioneer of San Miguel Passes Away at Paso Robles, Aged 61 Years

Gaius Webster, for years a prominent citizen and attorney of San Miguel, died in Paso Robles yesterday morning. Mr. Webster had been a resident of Pacific Grove recently to which place he moved in the hopes of benefiting his health. But as his health failed rapidly of late he was brought to Paso Robles where his son Alex Webster resides.

The deceased was born Nov. 22, 1842, and was therefore 61 years, 1 month and 21 days old. He had been a resident of this county for many years, at San Miguel, and had always been active in politics and business. In recent years he had been in the law business with his son Alex Webster under the name of G.& A Webster. Offices were maintained in both Paso Robles and San Miguel. Even after Mr. Webster moved to Pacific Grove he opened a law office there.

During the populist agitation Mr. Webster was a populist and latterly he had been a democrat. He took great interest in the California Central Coast Counties Improvement Association and was active in its organization.

A widow and four children are left. The Children are two daughters Elizabeth and Etta Webster, who reside at home, and J.C. Webster, an attorney at Sonora, and Alex Webster, the well known resident of Paso Robles who was a candidate for district attorney on the Democratic Ticket at the last election.

Mr. Webster was a man who had stood remarkably well socially and in all situations in life. The news of Mr. Webster’s death was received here by undertaker C.A. Palmer. The funeral services will be conducted tomorrow at two o’clock in the afternoon at the Presbyterian church in San Miguel. Interment in San Miguel.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (January 14, 1904)

Gaius Webster, formerly an attorney of this city, died Tuesday in Paso Robles. He was 61 years of age. He was for many years a resident of San Miguel.

Notes from Edson Strobridge (April 2000)

Gauis Webster was born on November 22, 1842 in Delaware County, New York. In August 1862 he enlisted in Company A of the 144th NY Infantry. During the Civil War he rose to the rank of corporal and was mustered out in July of 1865. He later affiliate with the John Buford Post #136 of San Miguel California.

While living in San Miguel he worked as an Attorney, Publisher, and Farmer. He died on Jan 12, 1904 in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County where he was buried in Blk 27 Lot 9 of the District cemetery. He has a military marker.

SOURCES: Note: Mr. Webster originally buried in San Miguel cemetery January 13, 1904 but was removed to Paso Robles November 10, 1923; US Military Service Record Index; Paso Robles Record, January 16, 1904 "Obituary; Paso Robles Record, January 30 1904 "In Memorium"; The Inland Messenger, San Miguel, April 30, 1886, newspaper advertisement, "Atty. at Law", SLO Republic, February 19, 1887 "Charter Member of Gen. John Buford Post #136, Grand Army of the Republic" (1887) "Officer of the Day", "G Webster, Publisher of San Miguel Messenger", April 30, 1886; Register of the Department of California Grand Army of the Republic, 1886 lists Gaius Webster as Adjutant in the E.O.C. Ord GAR Post #82, Los Gatos Calif., residence Los Gatos; A Memorial & Biographical History of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo & Ventura Counties, Ida Addis Storke, 1891; Paso Robles Moon, Jan 18, 1895 "Mr. Webster purchases Paso Robles Moon", Paso Robles Record, Jan 26, 1895, "changes name to Paso Robles Record".

Editorial Notes from Robert L. Nelson

Gaius Webster was active in W.H.L. Wallace Post 32 in the early 1880s. Being a lawyer he was frequently asked to speak as at various events such as Memorial Day 1884:

Gaius Webster made the following remarks at the cemetery: "Comrades: In the name of the Grand Army of the Republic, we have deposited these memorial flowers upon the graves of those who were once our companions in arms. And for the purpose of this ceremony these tombs by which we are surrounded represent the graves of all of the dead who bore a part in the sacred cause of our country. These, our floral tributes, will wither, but the tender and fraternal sentiment of which they are emblems, shall remain fresh and green in our hearts, till we shall be called to take our station with departed comrades in the ranks of the silent army of the dead."

His wife apparently had an interest in poetry and would be called upon at functions.

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