Santa Cruz County History - People

Old Soldiers: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans

LOUCKS, GARRET D (1839-1900)

Records of Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, William H. Ward

Photograph of Garret D Loucks
Garret D. Loucks

GARRETT D LOUCKS - Was born in Woodstock, Mich., October 22, 1842; has followed steam boating, and is at present engaged in the saloon business. Enlisted in December, 1863, in the 9th KS Cavalry; served as sergeant; was attached to the 15th and 20 Corps; took part in the battles of; Shiloh, Fort Donelson, Fort Henry, Corinth, Vicksburg, Big Bull Bayou, [NOTE: The engagements listed above all occurred prior to 12/13/1863 the date of his stated enlistment, and the March 28, 1864 enlistment which the state of Kansas credits him with] and other actions of less note; was mustered out August 14, 1865. Comrade Loucks is a member of WHL Wallace Post of Santa Cruz Cal where he resides; has served as officer of the guard of his post.

Evergreen Cemetery Records

Garret Loucks lived at 146 Water St. according to Voters Registration information, which described him as being 5'11-1/2". His complexion was dark, his eyes brown, and his hair black.

Garret Loucks became very active in the WL Wallace Post of the GAR and subsequently rose to the position of Post Commander.

On February 12, 1900, Garret Loucks, age 61 ,was murdered in East Santa Cruz by gunshot wound.

The Life of Billy Yanks, Bell Irvin Wiley

Bell Irvin Wiley had this to offer on "units which were assigned to outlying areas and performed for the most part noncombatant duties," particularly of the 9th KS Cavalry, where Garret Loucks was enlisted.

"The following letter, written by an inspecting officer in September 1864 to the commander of the cavalry division stationed in Arkansas, speaks for itself:

"Gen'l... I visited the Stables of the 9th Kan. Cav. this morning... at least half an hour after reveille; and not one commissioned officer was present... No stable call had been sounded. Most of the horses had been fed; many had not, and were restless and fretting for something to eat. Some of the horses were provided with feed boxes, the larger number had none. Upon inquiring of one of the men why all the horses had not been fed, his reply was that the men in charge of them had not got up, especially those under arrest. When I inquired of a private soldier present whether the officers were in the habit of attending stable calls, he laughed at the idea... Horses unprovided with Boxes were obliged to eat their grain in the mud... No provisions is made for draining... the stables..."

Santa Cruz Surf (February 1, 1884)

Three Dollar Greenbacks
A Counterfeit Sharp Caught in the Act
The Evils of an "Irredeemable Currency"

For three months or more the sporting men of this community have been troubled to a great extent, by someone passing off on them counterfeit greenbacks, and a close watch has been put over the tables to detect the man who carried an unlimited supply of three dollar bills. About a week ago the city police force put on its green goggles and promenaded up and down the dark side of Pacific Avenue, watching suspiciously every strange movement made by citizens and strangers alike. During the early part of the present week, a Mr. Loucks, who keeps a fern and sea moss store in the Duncan block, was suspected of being the man who kept in stock the greenbacks which the banks refused to accept, and a close watch was kept on the mans movements. Communications were opened with the officers in San Francisco, and yesterday a telegram was received requesting the officers here to arrest the man, search the premises and secure what evidence they could against him and communicate with the United States officers at once. Last evening officer Patterson arrested Mr. Loucks and searched his person and the premises, but failed to find anything except gold and silver coin, still the evidence against him was deemed sufficient to hold him and Mr. Loucks is now the guest of Jailer Sylvar.

Mr. Louck's mode of operation was to go into a saloon and engage in a came of cards, and during the excitement of the game, convert three of four of these bills into gold or silver, pocket the money and jump the game. The persons who have been taken in, in this manner, looked upon it as a first class sell, and sooner than give themselves away, stood the loss and allowed the matter to pass unobserved. But jokes of this kind wear out in course of time, and as the stock of counterfeits did not seem to diminish, the "boys" got tired and raised objection to the swindle by putting officers on the track of the sly gambler, with results as above stated. The bill passed by Mr. Loucks is one, which a school boy would hardly accept as money. It is about the size of a ten dollar greenback, on the left end of the bill one side, is the picture of the Goddess of Liberty, in the lower right hand corner is a portrait of some unknown man, while immediately to the left of this portrait is a red seal bearing the inscription, "Novelty Ad. Co., Pub. Peoria, Ill." In the upper right hand corner is a large frame "three," under this is printed "Act of May 10th 1869". In the center of the bill is another large figure "three and across the top is printed "The United States," "D". The bills are numbered "37,968". The back of the bill represents a ten dollar greenback, with the exception of a blank square in the center, which was intended by the publishers to be used for advertising purposes. It seems that none, only the most stupid, could be picked up on such a sham counterfeit as this, but the party who had passed them has taken pains to oil and rub the bill so as to almost obliterate everything except the figures. Truly speaking, the bill passed is not a counterfeit, but when these bills were first issued, a dozen years ago, for advertising purposes, many persons were deceived by them and their use was made a criminal offense by the law of the United States, so the parties guilty of using them are in as bad a fix as though they had counterfeited the currency of the country.

There are many rumors on the streets today regarding the guilt of the party charged with passing these bills, some say that not more than two or three were passed while others say many others were used. Mr. Loucks will not make any statement regarding the matter, but seems in good spirits. His attorney Underwood McCann will try this afternoon to have him released on a writ of habeas corpus, while the prosecution will sternly oppose the effort.

Last evening District Attorney Hall, notified the United States Attorney Hilborn of the facts by telegraph and received the following this morning. "Hold prisoner, Marshall will start today. We are informed that the United States Marshal is here subpoenaing witnesses."

Santa Cruz Surf (February 2, 1884)

The Counterfeit Case

The report that the U.S. Marshal was here yesterday was unfounded, as he did not arrive until the 7:40 train at night. As the prisoner could only be held one day without a warrant he was released last evening, but immediately re-arrested on a State charge by direction of the District Attorney. Underwood McCann, Louck's counsel, made every possible effort to secure his release, but Patterson held the prisoner until the arrival of the Marshal with the warrant from the U.S. Court.

As the Marshal did not arrive on the first train, District Attorney hall sent another telegram of inquiry to U.S. Detective Finnegass, who responded emphatically to "hold at all hazards." Marshal Drew returned to San Francisco today at 12:40 with his prisoner.

Santa Cruz Surf (February 9, 1884)

The case against G.D. Loucks wherein the defendant was charged with obtaining money by fraud has fallen through. Loucks was taken to San Francisco by the U.S. Marshal and Col Finnegass, setting his eyes on the "counterfeit greenbacks," discharged him. As near as we can learn, Loucks bet his $3 greenbacks at a little game of poker, and an officer swindled thereby in a swindling game chirped, squealed, pleaded the baby act. Now who was this officer and what State, county or city does the officer represent? No man who gambles is as safe an officer as he would be did he not gamble.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (December 13, 1888)

G.D. Loucks elected to the position of Post Commander of the Wallace Post G.A.R

Santa Cruz Sentinel (June 3, 1890)

G.D. Loucks has ceased to do business on River St.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (October 4, 1895)

In Justice Gardener’s Court Thursday J.D. Loucks was acquitted on a charge of disturbing the peace. Cost assessed to M. Perez, complaining witness.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (February 12, 1900)

Murdered For Money
G.D. Loucks Succumbs to the Wounds He Received.
He Passed Away at 7:25 O’clock Monday Evening
His Assailants Will Have to Answer to the Charge of Murder

The cold blooded and deliberate crime committed in G.D. Loucks' saloon in the Lodtmann building, East Santa Cruz, at 12:30 o'clock Sunday morning, startled the people who first learned of it through the "Sentinel". The crime was discussed in all its phases wherever men gathered together. In jail the prisoners lost their self-possession, but refused to make any statement beyond the fact that they were innocent.

C.E. Lindsay was engaged as attorney for the defense. When Mr. Lindsay was Principal of the Branciforte School, Joe Techara and Manuel Amaya were among the pupils.

Under Sheriff Mullen and Constable Patton did good work in so quietly finding the prisoners. Amaya was found in bed at his home on Water St. and Techara was discovered in bed at his home on Cayuga St. Both admitted they had been in Loucks' saloon Saturday evening, but denied having assaulted Loucks. They pretended to be ignorant of Loucks having been shot.

The officers brought the prisoners into the presence of the wounded man. Lying on his side and suffering intense pain, he pointed an accusing finger at Amaya, saying feeble voice: "That's the man that did the shooting." Then he slowly pointed the finger at Techara saying: "That's the man, who said "Shoot, and shoot to kill." Both men said. "You are mistaken Mr. Loucks."

"I'm not mistaken," firmly replied the accuser. Techara and Amaya did not seem to flinch a muscle as the words fastening guilt upon them were uttered.

Some say that Loucks had $300 in a leather pouch, which he carried. It is more reasonable to suppose that the sum was not more than $100. The larger part of the coin had been received for back pension, his pension having been increased. Loucks used to expose the money when making change. Last Friday, it is said, Techara had a five dollar piece changed at the saloon. When Loucks poured out the glittering gold and silver from the pouch to make the change.

All evidences point to the fact that robbery was the motive for the dastardly crime. It was no secret that Loucks had money. That fact was known to patrons of the saloon. It is known that he did not have an enemy, so revenge could not possibly have been the reason for the commission of the crime. It was to obtain possession of the coin from all appearances, that prompted the two men to cold bloody assault the unsuspecting victim first with a pick handle and then fire two shots into his body. Seeing the consequences of their crime they ran away probably thinking that the old soldier would die and the accusing finger never be pointed at them. Fortunately the old soldier, who had fought on many a battlefield, was discovered in time to be taken home and necessary attendance given him.

On Monday afternoon Justice Craghill obtained a deposition from Loucks, as the latter was growing worse, and his end was looked for. When Loucks made the deposition the chance for his recovery was only one in five hundred.

Loucks said that about 10:30 Saturday evening the prisoners entered his saloon. Techara and Loucks, at the formers invitation, sat down to a game of Pedro. Amaya appeared to be nervous, pacing back and forth. When two games had been played Pat Morrissey entered the saloon, had a drink with Techara and left. The game was resumed. While the fifth game was being played Amaya came in and seated himself on a lounge behind Loucks, and n a few moments he got up and struck Loucks on the head with a pick handle. Loucks was dazed, but the assailant continued striking the helpless man on the head. Finally he got to his feet and the men started to run, and when near the front entrance Amaya pulled his pistol and fired. Techara exclaimed, "Kill him; kill him! Don't let him get away! Shoot to kill"

Two shots were fired each taking effect. Loucks grabbed an ice box, and in falling pulled the box with him. The men fired two more shots, but without effect. Loucks crawled to the door to call for help. Wm Trevethan responded to the cries by going to the wounded man's assistance. He placed him on a lounge and went after help.

Loucks was carried to his home on the opposite side of the street from the saloon. It was found that one bullet had entered Loucks left arm, passed through and under the skin of the breast then entered the stomach near the navel, passed down and lodged close to the hip. There were three severe scalp wounds on the head and one under the chin made by the club.

Techara used to drive a bakery wagon, and Amaya was employed in stables as a buggy washer.

Sam Villa was placed in jail Sunday because he claimed to know about the case. Afterward he denied statements he had made.

Four physicians were in attendance on the wounded man. In the evening he was pronounced beyond recovery.

On Sunday morning the prisoners were held in $5,000 bail each charged with an assault with intent to commit murder.


Loucks died at 7:25 o'clock Monday evening. Coroner Morgan will hold an autopsy today. A charge of murder will be preferred against Amaya and Techara.

Loucks had resided in this county for nearly twenty five years. During the civil war he was a member of Co. I Ninth Kansas Cavalry. He was a member of Wallace-Reynolds Post G.A.R. Deceased was a Past Commander of Wallace Post. He leaves a widow (Sarah A).

Santa Cruz Surf (February 14, 1900)

Funeral of Garrett D. Loucks

The funeral of Garrett D. Loucks, the victim of the murder was held this afternoon from Scott and Heard's undertaking parlors and was largely attended. The Arion Singing Society, of which he was a member, rendered several selections. Rev. J.B. Orr was the officiating clergyman. The casket was enfolded with the national flag and covered with floral tributes. The funeral procession was a long one. The members of Wallace-Reynolds Post G.A.R. and of the Arion Singing society were in line and preceded the hearse. The pall bearers were selected from the these two societies.

At the cemetery a firing squad from the Naval Reserves fired a volley over the grave.

Editorial Notes from Robert L. Nelson

Records from the Kansas State Historical Society

Manuel Amaya was found guilty of second degree murder and was sentenced to Life imprisonment at San Quentin. He was released on Jan 13, 1917. Joseph Techara was sentenced to life imprisonment at Folsom, and was discharged on Sept. 20, 1914. He was killed wagon accident in San Francisco in Sept. 1915.

Garret D. Loucks enlisted as a private from Fort Scott in Co. L. Ninth Kansas volunteer cavalry on March 28, 1864. He was mustered in a promoted to corporal the same day, March 28. On August 19, 1864 he was promoted to sergeant and was mustered out on July 17, 1865 at DeVall's Bluff Arkansas.

National Archives and Records Administration Research, October 2003

Following the Civil War Garrett Loucks moved to Texas in 1867 and remained there until 1879. On November 22, 1879 he married Sarah Medberry who had been previously married and divorced from a Tom Medberry on October 7, 1867.

On December 12, 1894 Garrett Loucks applied for a veterans pensions in Santa Cruz. This was one of approximately 10 application requests, which were submitted and rejected before approval was ultimately granted. He was described as being 5’10 1/2” in height, weighing 204 lbs of a dark complexion, dark hair and dark eyes. His occupation was described at various times as being a barber, plumber, laborer and farmer. His claim for pension indicate that he was kicked by a horse in July 1865 which helped to bring about the Rheumatism he claimed to suffer and which caused him to periodically use a cane. He was also suffering from bad eye sight. The numerous pension request were usually authenticated by fellow members of the WR Wallace Post GAR.

Sometime after the death of Garrett Loucks, Sarah moved to Seattle to be near a son by her previous marriage, and died on Feb 1, 1917.

Phil Reader Notes

Manuel Amaya was found guilty of second degree murder and was sentenced to Life imprisonment at San Quentin. He was released on Jan 13, 1917. Joseph Techara was sentenced to life imprisonment at Folsom, and was discharged on Sept. 20, 1914. He was killed wagon accident in San Francisco in Sept. 1915.

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