Santa Cruz County History - People

A Walk Through Time: The Hinds Family Children
by Janet Krassow and
by Randy Krassow

On the grounds of Santa Cruz Memorial Park can be found a neatly configured row of four small marble tombs which contain the bodies of the four children of Alfred and Sarah Hinds.

It was during the winter of 1876, when a dreaded diphtheria plague struck California unchecked, carrying away scores of small children. The economic times were hard following a decade of floods, droughts, and earthquakes. The state of medicine was still so primitive that the disease was allowed to vent its fury without mercy.

Photograph of the grave site of the Hinds Family children
The grave site of the Hinds Family children

The Hinds family had a small stationary and music store located on Front Street which was just beginning to prosper. Their children ranged in age from five years to eight months when diphtheria struck, and one by one, death bore them away. The first died on Thanksgiving Day, 1876, and the last passed away on Christmas. Even though they would later rebuild their family with the births of three more children, the sorrow of that dreaded winter would haunt them for the remainder of their lives.

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cemeteries, epidemics


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