Santa Cruz County History - People

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

KILBOURN, MARTIN H (1845-1910)

Santa Cruz Sentinel (June 22, 1907)

Headstone of M H Kilbourn
M. H. Kilbourn
Oakwood Memorial Park

Major Kilburn and Mrs. Nellie M. Merrick Wedded

Thursday night after the Grand Army post closed, the anteroom was invaded by a full attendance of the Woman’s Relief Corps. The announced that a luncheon was in waiting in Odd Fellows’ dining hall, but before repairing to the festive board, a short program would be furnished by them.

Mrs. Whidden called the audience to order and then invited Post Commander England to the chair while the color sergeant escorted Mrs. President Whidden to the anteroom

Soon an alarm was given and to the chimes of a wedding march, Mrs. Whidden and escort entered the hall, followed by Rev. E.C. Philleo, bearing upon his arm Mrs. Nellie M. Merrick. They were followed by S.B. Swanton, escorting Major M.H. Kilbourn. They halted at the upper end of the hall, faced about and in the presence of a packed hall, Rev. Philleo in a most appropriate manner said the words that bound the gallant Major and Mrs. Merrick husband and wife.

About forty old soldiers were present and for once it may be said truthfully a total surprise was sprung upon every one of them. Not one could say “I knew it,” for they were completely outgeneraled by the Major and his faithful wife, aided and abetted by the whole W.R.C. No more will any member of the post say “A woman can’t keep a secret,” for about fifty of them kept this little surprise a complete secret and sprung it upon the old soldiers amid shouts of laughter and applause.

Major Kilbourn was a gallant and meritorious soldier during the Civil War. The wounds he bears upon his person attest his service upon the fiery field of battle. He is popular and well beloved by his comrades.

Mrs. Kilbourn is a lady of fine personal appearance, and enjoys much popularity with the W.R.C. and all who know her.

About a year ago she came from her home in Guilford, Mass., to visit her cousin, Mrs. S.B. Swanton. Here she met Major Kilbourn and it was not long until in knowing circles it was suspected the Major was smitten with the charms of his present wife, and for reasons now perfectly plain she prolonged her visit, and now the Major has a splendid wife and she a husband she will not regret she was captured by. They will make their home in this city and be identified with the G.A.R. and W.R.C. as well as the progress of the city.

The good wishes of all present were extended to the happy couple. After a visit and handshake, Major and Mrs. Kilbourn led the crowd to the banquet hall where an elegant spread was in waiting.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (Dec. 19, 1910)

Death of an Old Soldier

Martin H. Kilbourn, an old soldier died quite suddenly at his home on Soquel Ave. Saturday morning at the age of 65 years. He was a member of Wallace-Reynolds Post G.A.R. He leaves a wife to mourn his loss. It was about a year ago that he married Alice Gregg of this city.

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cemeteries, Civil War


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