Santa Cruz County History - People

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

DENNY, THOMAS L (1833-1905)

Santa Cruz Surf (October 30, 1905)

Headstone of Thomas L Denny
Thomas L. Denny
IOOF Cemetery in Santa Cruz

Thomas L. Denny Veteran of the Civil War Dies this Morning
Called to his Breakfast, but does not Respond

Thomas Littrell Denny, an old soldier, died this morning from heart trouble.

His wife arose about 6, and on arising spoke to her husband, who responded.

She left the room to prepare breakfast, and on returning to call him for the morning meal, there was no response, but she found that during her absence he had quietly passed over the border, the cause being heart trouble, and he was lying in bed as she had left him a short time before.

Mr. Denny was of Southern extraction, and born in Kentucky, his father being a native of that state and his mother of Virginia. He was 72 years old.

Notwithstanding his birthplace being the South, he was a loyal Unionist, and enlisted and served as a second lieutenant of Co. K. 42 Regiment of the Indiana Volunteers.

He came to Santa Cruz from Missouri several years ago, and won many friends for his integrity, honorable and upright living, and was especially well known by the old soldiers being a member of Wallace-Reynolds Post, G.A.R.

He was an attendant at the Congregational Church, his wife and daughters Mrs. Emma Laswell and Miss Denny being members of the church.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (November 2, 1905)

Big Turnout at Denny Funeral

The largest turn out of members of the G.A.R. in this city for years was that which attended the funeral of the late Thomas L Denny on Wednesday. The service at his late residence was conducted by Rev. F. K. Baker, assisted by a quartette, composed of Misses Swan and Boston and Messrs. Aydelotte and Heathcote. Mrs. J. T. Cowell and Mrs. G. Bias also sang at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery, where Commander Wells of Wallace-Reynolds post conducted affairs. The pallbearers were Messrs. S.B. Swanton, P. Hynes, W.V. Lucas, C. Houck, S. Stofer, and H.A.W. Blackburn.

Santa Cruz Surf (November 2, 1905)

Voice of the People
A Tribute to Comrade T.L. Denny

Editor Surf: I will ask permission to have published in your paper a few words relative to the deceased soldier, the late Lieut. Denny, veteran of the war of the rebellion.

Mr. Denny was a veteran of the 42d Indiana Regiment, entering the service during the first years of the war, living to witness the triumph of northern arms.

For a period of four years he had the appointment of provost marshal in Southern Indiana, a position fraught with great personal danger, having had to deal with an element utterly lawless and desperate. It is recorded of Marshal Denny that his career was marked with fidelity to his country's cause in those dark days of its history. the writer vividly recalls this brave young soldier, at that time in the prime and vigor of early manhood enthusiastically entering the lists from the scene of conflict. Warm hearted and generous, his comrades were naturally bound to him by ties of real affection. He was "the life of the camp" while his matchless tenor voice (once heard never forgotten) often brought cheer to weary comrades following a long day's march.

After many years I met my soldier friend in San Francisco, at the time of the national encampment of the war veterans in 1903. I need not name the changes the years had wrought in that once athletic form, yet the eye was as bright and the heart as merry as in other days. But memory was busy with the distant post. We were "looking backward."

Lieutenant Denny was a soldier in the true meaning of that word kindly and genial, loyal to every obligation and as brave a patriot as ever drew sword for or in defense of his country. In token of my realization of his great loss, especially to his devoted family and in reverence for the memory of my valued friend, I would place this brief immortal on his grave. C.B. Seeley, Napa, November 1, 1905.

A Correction

Editor Surf: In your paper of last evening appeared the following headlines of a supposed tribute to Thos. L. Denny "The tribute of a Friend to a Famous Jockey of the Blue Grass State." This morning their came upon me a lifelong friend of the deceased, S.B. Littlepage, M.D. of Oakland Calif who came to attend the funeral. The mission of this gentleman, who had been a friend of the deceased from boyhood was to deny in whole the statement contained in the above article.

It is certainly very bad taste on the part of the writer of the supposed tribute, upon such a sad occasion to refer to the deceased as "one of the most famous jockeys of the celebrated Kentucky race course," when his friend denies that he was ever a jockey or ever rode a race. It is indeed painful to the bereaved ones attending and to the friends to have the demise of their beloved connected in any way with the play at the opera house. Rev. F.K. Baker.

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