Santa Cruz County History - People

A Walk Through Time: Elihu Anthony
by Janet Krassow and
by Randy Krassow

Widely considered as the Father of Santa Cruz, Elihu Anthony was born in New York and arrived in Santa Cruz in the spring of 1847.

Anthony initiated a number of "firsts" in Santa Cruz including organizing the first protestant Church, establishing the first blacksmith foundry, building the first wharf, and was appointed the first postmaster.

Photograph of Elihu Anthony's grave site
Grave site of Elihu Anthony

Over the year Anthony served as a member of the board of supervisors, a town trustee, minister, and an assemblyman in the state legislature. In the early days he bought a lot on Mission Street and Pacific Avenue and developed the first commercial block in Santa Cruz. Together with Frederick Hihn, he built the first waterworks system, adding impetus to the county's prosperous growth.

A religious man, Anthony was a strong supporter of the Union cause during the Civil War and an avid abolitionist. He helped the small struggling African American community establish itself in Santa Cruz, and as a trustee, ensured all schools were fully integrated. In a strangely paradoxical move, Anthony was a leader of the Anti-Chinese movement of the 1870s. He died in 1905.

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