TIDBALL, THOMAS T. (1826 - 1913)

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Santa Cruz the Early Years, Leon Rowland
Portrait of T. T. Tidball

Captain Tidball of Company K

Captain of the infantry company raised in Santa Cruz county for service in the Civil war was T.T. Tidball of Soquel, who lived back of the site of the present apple dryer. Other Soquel men in either the infantry company or the cavalry company which was recruited a year earlier were George Washington Giles, Asa Glover, William Hie, Frank Howard, Jerome Love, Luther White, John Cummings. (p. 71)

Annals of Santa Cruz, Leon Rowland

Thomas T. Tidball was one of the first vice presidents of the Union club started May 8, 1861.

Began recruiting an infantry (became Captain) unit in the fall of 1861 and by November he had 36 men enrolled and word was sent to Governor Downey. It was sworn in as Company K 5th California Infantry, November 22, 1861. They stayed on the California Texas border fighting against Apaches.

"15 enlisted men of Company K composed of the expedition sent under command of Captain T.T. Tidball against Apache Indians in Canon di Arivaype, Arizona Territory. The expedition left Tucson May 2 at dusk, made five successive night marches, built no fires, hid during the day. It surprised and attached the Apache rancheria in Canon de Arivaype on the morning of the 7th. Killed 47 Indians, took 10 prisoners, captured 66 head of stock with the loss of one man, a citizen of Arizona. Returned to Tucson on the 11th, having marched 180 miles in five days."

In the fall of 1864, the regiment marched from Fort Bowie to Las Cruces to be mustered out. Captain Tidball returned to Santa Cruz where his war record won him immediate election as country clerk and appointments in 1867 to fill a vacancy as assessor. He moved to Jolon and died January 28, 1913 near Monterey.

Santa Cruz Riptide and Evergreen Cemetery Records

Was born near Allegheny City, Pa., on Oct. 2 1826. As a resident of Ohio he first learned the hatter's trade under his father, and then he turned to printing. At the outbreak of the Mexican War he enlisted with Co. A, 3rd Ohio inf., where he served for 14 months. Travelling overland with one friend for California, they met up with a party at Independence Mo., that contracted to bring them across for $75. At the Platte he and his friend purchased a ferry for $50 and operated it for a week during which they cleared $150. With this welcome addition to their finances they caught up with their friends and proceeded to San Bernardino. Going on to LA they caught a boat for SF and made a living chopping wood for a time before trying their luck in the placers with little success. As a rancher near Sacramento he had high hopes of becoming wealthy. He went east to buy cattle, but was taken sick and did not get back for three years. The second trip was made by water in 1857 and he settled in Soquel as the editor of a paper (perhaps with Judge Skirm). He was elected public Administrator in 1858, and appointed vice assessor when Wm. Henderson resigned. He was a candidate for county clerk in 1859 and for assessor 1861 being a vice president of the Union [party] the latter year. When the shot was fired at Charleston he organized what became Co. K 5th Calif. Inf. , and became its Captain. The unit became part of the California Column which was sent to Arizona to protect the southern routes overland from potential rebel assaults. Tidball and Company K were engaged in fighting Apaches for which he was cited by the Arizona legislature. The company was mustered out in the fall of ‘64 and returned to Santa Cruz and in the fall of 1865. Thomas Tidball was elected country clerk and was granted a home site by the town council in 1866. By 1867 he possessed of a large taxable income, and was a Union party leader. In 1868 he became a part owner Santa Cruz Times, and also became collector of revenue at SF. He never again called this city 'home.' Tidball lived for the most part in Jolon in later years where he was still listed as living in 1902. His wife was an Indiana lady nee Helen M. Hill. They were the parents of three, only one of whom survived to become the mother of four of her own.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (December 7, 1887)

San Francisco Dec. 6th- T.T. Tidball of Jolon, Monterey County, has been arrested for falsely certifying the signature of John D. Hall, who has been indicted by the federal grand jury for complicity in the Benson Surveys. Judge ___ set the case this morning for Dec. 19th, and stated that if John A. Benson who is now absent from this city did not appear that the bond would be forfeited.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (December 10, 1887)

Capt. T.T. Tidball, arrested "for falsely certifying to the signature of John D. Hall, who has been indicted by the Federal Grand Jury," was a prominent resident of this city many years ago. He was Captain of the second military company organized in Santa Cruz, and went forth to fight during the Rebellion, but saw no fighting beyond a light brush or two with the Indians. The Captain returned to Santa Cruz and was elected County Clerk, but when it came to a re-election he was defeated by H.H. Hobbs, who's majority was 48. Tidball and one Halley were elected by the Santa Cruz Republicans, with the understanding that they should vote for Gen Bidwell for Governor at the Republican Convention. They did not do so, but for his opponent, Geo. G. Gorham, the leader of the San Francisco boys. The nomination of Gorham cost the Republican party the State for the campaign. Capt. Tidball soon got a Federal office, his headquarters San Jose. His office was that of Revenue Collector for a large district, and a very responsible and remunerative office it was. Among his deputies was this same Halley, a Pacific Ocean House clerk under Bromley. To the best of our recollection Halley was located in Alameda Co., left the State without giving his principal notice, there being a shortage in his accounts of some $30,000, which amount, through allowances made by the government, was reduced to some $19,000, which amount was made good by E.L. Williams and his associate Bondsmen. The books kept by Capt. Tidball were straight and clean, but he dropped out of office and moved to Monterey county, where he still resides, and it is likely that when his present trouble is sifted to the bottom it will be found that his offense is more apparent then real.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (February 1, 1913) [Additional Newspaper]

Capt. T.T. Tidball No More

Captain T.T. Tidball passed away quietly at his home in New Monterey Tuesday forenoon.

He was for a number of years United States Collector of Internal Revenue, and for several years county clerk in Santa Cruz.

The day he died he was about the streets and apparently in good health.

He was born in Ohio something over 86 years ago.

As a young man he was one of the first volunteers to enlist for the war with Mexico, in which war he served with distinction. At the outbreak of the great Civil War he was located at Santa Cruz. He at once proceeded to organize a volunteer company and set out for the front.

For many years he farmed in the Jolon country, also keeping a store there. He still has large holding in that section. While there he was the real old country squire and justice of the peace. The last few years he has spent in well earned retirement in Monterey, although during a part of his stay there he was justice of the peace.

He is survived by his wife and four grandchildren, the children of John Hall of this city, his daughter, Mrs. Hall having preceded Captain Tidball to the grave by a couple of years. He is also survived by two brothers. They were here last fall and the three old men had a real old time family reunion- Monterey American.

Captain Tidball settled in Soquel about 50 years ago. He was a printer and in 1865 worked on the Sentinel, just after he returned from the war. he was elected clerk of this county, which position he held for two years. If we recollect correctly his wife had been a school teacher as was his daughter in Monterey Co. several years later.

The Captain was a man of few words, but great distinction. - Monterey American.

Unidentified Monterey Newspaper (January 30, 1913) [Monterey Library Microfilm Files]

Masonic Funeral Notice

Wardens and Brothers of Monterey Lodge No. 217 F&AM are hereby notified to assemble in Masonic Hall on Thursday January 30th at 1:30 PM sharp for the purpose of attending the funeral of our deceased brother Theodore Thomas Tidball.

The funeral cortege will start from Roberts Undertaking parlor at 2 o’clock. Masonic Services at Cemetery.

Santa Cruz Surf (February 1, 1913)

Funeral of Late Capt. Tidball

The funeral of the late Captain Theodore Thomas Tidball took place at 2 o'clock this afternoon from the undertaking parlors of Edward Roberts under the auspices of Monterey Lodge, No. 217, F.&A.M. The Grand Army veterans attended the funeral also. A large number of friends of the late pioneer assembled to pay the last tribute of respect and numerous beautiful flora offerings were contributed by sorrowing friends.- Monterey American.

Editorial Notes from Robert L. Nelson

Encinal Cemetery in Monterey lists Tidball as being buried in lot 30 space 3.

Date of Birth: 1826-10-02

Date of Death: 1913-01-02

County: Monterey

Cemetery/City of Burial: Pacific Grove

Plot: Encinal L30S3

Mortuary: ER

Spouse: Hill_ Helen M.

Occupation: Admin/CntyClrk

Last City: (CA Monterey 13)

Native of: OH

Enlisted: 1861/11/22

Discharged: 1864/11/30

Military Unit: CA_ 5 Inf_ Co K

Rank: Cap

Military Notes: E-S.Crz_ M/O-LsCrcs_NM

GAR#: B6

Available records used to obtain information:
Cemetery records
Santa Cruz County death records
Military records
Santa Cruz and Monterey newspapers
Voter Records

CW Reference: Orton's CMiWR

Creator: Nelson, Robert L.
Source: Old Soldier: the story of the Grand Army of the Republic in Santa Cruz County. Santa Cruz, CA: The Museum of Art & History, c2004.
Date: Undated
Coverage: Santa Cruz (County)
Rights: Reproduced by permission of Robert L. Nelson.
Identifier: OS-0988


Nelson, Robert L. “TIDBALL, THOMAS T. (1826 - 1913).” Old Soldier: the story of the Grand Army of the Republic in Santa Cruz County. Santa Cruz, CA: The Museum of Art & History, c2004. SCPL Local History. https://history.santacruzpl.org/omeka/items/show/133964. Accessed 25 May 2019.