Santa Cruz County History - People

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

GRAY, IRVIN (1842-1892)

Santa Cruz Sentinel (August 26, 1892)

Death of Irvin Gray
He Breathes His Last Thursday Morning-
Result of an Accident

Irvin Gray, foreman for the F.A. Hihn Co. at Soquel, died at his home at three o'clock Thursday morning from injuries received by an accident on Soquel Av. the previous evening. Mr. Gray and Dr. Forrest were driving toward Santa Cruz about 8:20 p.m. Wednesday in a buckboard drawn by two horses, who were traveling at a pretty lively gait when a short distance west of Ocean St. the team collided with R.J. Mattison's light spring wagon, in which were Mr. Mattison, his uncle, Noah and Harry Thurber. The force of the collision threw all the occupants out, and the wheels of both vehicles became locked. Mr. Mattison's horse broke loose and ran up Hall's hill, while the other team continued their course to the lower bridge, dragging both vehicles after them. At the bridge Mrs. Comstock's buggy was struck and badly wrecked, though the occupants luckily escaped injury. The runaway team was stopped on the bridge, but the vehicles were badly smashed. Mr. Gray was rendered speechless by being thrown from his vehicle, and never regained his voice, although he made repeated attempts to speak before his death. He had been conveyed to his home on the Grover Mill road, after the accident, and everything possible was done for him, but medical assistance proved of no avail.

Mr. Gray was a native of Maine, in the fiftieth year of his age, and leaves a wife and a two-year-old child to mourn his untimely demise. He was a member of Branciforte Lodge, No 96 , Santa Cruz Encampment, No. 30 I.O.O.F., Santa Cruz Lodge, No 2,046 Knights of Honor, and W.H.L. Wallace Post No. 32 G.A.R.

Mr. Gray served during the war in the famous Sixth Massachusetts Infantry, and was at Baltimore when that regiment was mobbed on the 19th of April, 1861. The regiment passed through that city in two divisions; the first succeeded in riding through in a train, but the latter encountered a hard fight while marching through, the rails having been torn up by the rebels. The soldiers were stoned and assaulted in every possible manner, and it was in the streets of Baltimore that Mr. Gray did his baptismal firing. The distance from one depot to the other, about a mile and a half was one continual fight, many soldiers being killed.

He was also at the battle of the Deserted House in Virginia, and remained in the army nine months, returning to his home on a furlough. He came to California about twenty two years ago, working in the mines in Tuolumne Co., two years, and afterward moving to Mayfield, Santa Clara Co. Here he was married seventeen years ago to Miss Emma Lindsay, (Now Mrs. Warren Piatt), and a son, Darrell Gray, now thirteen years old, is the result of their union. Mr. and Mrs. Gray came to Santa Cruz fifteen years ago, residing in the county ever since. Six years ago Mr. Gray was divorced from his wife and shortly afterwards married his present wife, by whom he had one daughter.

The deceased had been the efficient foreman of the Hihn Co. at Soquel for about eleven years, and was well known throughout that section. Previous to his removal there he served as janitor at the High School in this city for a number of years.

Mr. Gray was a good hearted, cheerful and conscientious man, and had recently been elected a trustee of the Soquel School district. His death Thursday morning cast a feeling of gloom over Soquel, where every one knew him, and his many friends in this city sympathize with his widow and child in their hour of sorrow.

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