Santa Cruz County History - People

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

GRETTER, GEORGE W (1845-1919)

Pajaro Valley Historical Association Records (March 1, 2001)

Headstone of George W Gretter
George W. Gretter
Pioneer Cemetery, Watsonville


George W. June 9, 1845- Jan 23, 1919- born in Virginia- age 73 yrs.
Belle P. May 7, 1845- Jan 17, 1910- born in Tennessee age 64 yrs


Dora      06/24/1875 - 10/16/1886    11 yrs
Mattie    10/04/1876 - 09/02/1882    6 yrs
Robert    05/07/1878 - 08/23/1882    4 yrs
Sterling   02/22/1869 - 11/15/1871     2 yrs

Watsonville Cemetery records

Cemetery records indicate that some of their children probably died of diphtheria. Mother, Belle P., was the daughter of George C. and Dorinda W. Smith. She was sister to Mrs. Kate S. King, Mrs. Narcissa Thompson, and Miss Edmonia Louise Smith (who died December 24, 1942).

Cemetery record also show:
GRITTER, George Washington, born ?, died Jan 24, age 74 years, 7 mos. 24 days. Note on log says this name (Gritter) was taken from the cemetery book of records, and is not shown in the gravestone, it is believed to be GRETTER instead of GRITTER. He is probably the father of Mattie, Robert and Sterling Gretter and husband of Belle P Gretter.

VMI New Market Cadet Graves Database

There is a very brave man buried in Santa Cruz County. The VMI Corps of Cadets fought as a unit at the Battle of New Market, Virginia, on May 15, 1864. Two hundred fifty seven cadets were on the field. Ten cadets were killed in battle or died later from the effects of their wounds; 45 were wounded. The youngest participating cadet was fifteen; the oldest twenty-five.

Could someone in Watsonville, Santa Cruz County, please photograph the tombstone of: George Washington Gretter, VMI class of 1864, Pioneer Cemetery. If you could find some biographical information that would be wonderful! (Material requested was forwarded to Great Grand daughter Sarah Reveley 11/26/2006.)

A group of Virginia Military Institute alumni are attempting to locate the graves of all of the cadets who fought in the Battle of New Market in the Civil War.

Monterey Cypress (January 25, 1919)

George W. Gretter Has Passed Away

George Washington Gretter was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 11, 1845, and went home to be with God Friday afternoon January 24th, at 3:20 o'clock. His youth was spent in Richmond Virginia. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1864. Lieutenant Gretter fought in the Civil War, receiving a medal for valor. He was captain of the guard that fired the last salute over Stonewall Jackson.

He was married in Tagwell, Virginia, in 1868 to Miss Isabel Smith. Six children were born of their union, four of whom, with their mother, have preceded him to that home beyond.

Mr. Gretter came to California in 1869, living in the San Joaquin Valley for four years. He then came to Monterey county in 1874 and began teaching school here in 1877. He was principal of the grammar school in Pacific Grove from July, 1889, until July, 1897. The inscription which is now on the grammar school is in his own handiwork.

Mr. Gretter was one of God's fine gentlemen. To know him was to love him. Kind and loving, with a good word for everyone, he has left a most precious memory to his two sons who survive him- W.C. Gretter of Pacific Grove and George K. Gretter of Port Costa.

Owing to the influenza situation, no services will be held here. The remains will be taken to Watsonville tomorrow for burial.

"Sleeping, 'twas a thorny pathway,
Those aged, trembling feet so faithfully trod-
Those feet are wandering now in soft green pastures,
With holiness and with glory shod.
Sleeping- the bosom of his Father and his God."

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cemeteries, Civil War


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