Santa Cruz County History - People

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

McCREARY, EDWARD D (1847-1923)

Santa Cruz Sentinel (January 12, 1923)

Headstone of Edward D. McCreary
Edward D. McCreary
IOOF Cemetery in Santa Cruz

Rev. E.D. McCreary D.D. a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal church, known not only throughout this state where he held leading pastorates, but also throughout the nation.

Dr. McCreary was a figure in Methodism of the country and the growth of the church started in this city under his pastorage. He not only was strong as a sermonizer but he had executive ability and was a wonderful organizer.

When he came to Santa Cruz in the late eighties the Methodist were worshipping on Mission here at the corner of Green and Mission street. The church was organized in Santa Cruz in the late forties when the church was build Mission hill was the residential section. His preaching drew crowded congregations and a strong constituent and with him as leader they moved from Mission hill and in 1890 purchased the church building occupied by the congregation is on Church street, when that had been erected their present parsonage. The church was made over and during the pastorate of D. McCreary adjoining property was purchased and the present parsonage was erected.

Seeing a field for usefulness on the East side Dr. McCreary soon had a thriving Sunday school started. It met in Lohmann's building. He soon had a building completed for the mission and under his leadership the Pennsylvania [illegible] Methodist church was erected.

Dr. McCreary was a powerful preacher of the gospel and was forceful in presenting what he believed was right. There never has been a more ardent temperate advocate than Dr. McCreary and he was always tolerant in all causes for civic righteousness.

Dr. McCreary was so popular with his people that he was returned to the First church for a second pastorate, and later his last pastorate before he was super [illegible] was with the East Side church.

He was prominent in the Masonic fraternity when here and had reached the 32d degree and was a Knight Templar.

Being a veteran of the Civil war he was a member of Wallace-Reynolds post G.A.R. and was an intense patriot and in pulpit and platform he was ever ready with a stirring patriotic message.

Dr. McCreary was always a pastor who worked will with his fellow ministers and was a leader in union efforts. He came to Santa Cruz from a San Francisco church and went from here to Central church Stockton, one of the first churches in northern California. His [illegible] church and spiritual qualities and executive abilities were recognized by his church so that he was a presiding elder.

In all his labors his wife, a beautiful character was a helpmeet and few could grace the parsonage as Mrs. McCreary. Her passing was a heavy blow to her husband. He has been feeble in the later years and his home has been with his son TG McCreary, cashier at the First National Bank.

Two other sons survive; Joseph of Santa Cruz, and Paul of Berkeley.

The deceased was 78 years of age and a native of Pennsylvania.

The funeral will take place on Saturday afternoon at 3 o'clock from the parlors of Wessendorf and Sons.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (January 14, 1923)

The funeral services over the late Dr. E.D. McCreary, the prominent Methodist clergyman, was held yesterday afternoon from Wessendorf and Son's undertaking parlors. The friends included many of the old time parishioners, and the Masons attended in a body.

Many lovely flowers had been sent by friends and covered the casket. Dr. I.B. Bristol, pastor of the First Methodist church, conducted the church service and in is remarks gave a short sketch of the work of Dr. McCreary as a minister of the church and eulogized the faithful work.

The old church hymns, Rock of Ages, and Nearer My God to Thee, were sung by Mrs. Olive Carmean.

Following the church service came the Masonic ritual, conducted by the worthy master, John Crowe. The burial was at the Odd Fellows cemetery, where the Masonic service was given.

The pallbearers were all members of the Masonic order and were E.J. Harran, E.C. Rittenhouse, Caleb Brand, William Izant, George Cardiff and John Severio.

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