Saturday, May 30, 2009

Photos of Your Gr-gr-gr-grandparents

I was extremely fortunate this week to have been contacted by Clifford Laureno, a McKoy family member and researcher, who is likely to be invaluable in fleshing out McKoy family lore. The following photos are from a pair of lovely memorials he created for yr gr-gr-gr-grandparents, Hubbard and Betsey McCoy:

Hubbard Wilson McKoy
He was the youngest son of Robert and Anna (Wilson) McKoy of Scotland and Wales. He married Betsey Ann Newhall July 25, 1841 in Kirby, Caledonia Co., Vt. and had 5 children. Gaudencio Hubbard McKoy, Lillian Betsey McKoy, Sierra Nevada McKoy, Annie Lettice McKoy, and Norma Cecelia McKoy.

After Hubbard and Betsey were married, they lived in Kirby, Vermont for a few years and then moved to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where he prepared to go to California in April of 1850. Leaving his wife and two children behind.

He arrived in Placerville, (then called Hangtown) California on Sunday, August 4, 1850. The next day he headed for Georgetown where he set up his first business adventure of Blacksmithing. He was involved in many business adventures over the years in and around Georgetown, Lumbering, Mining, Road building, owned a Boarding House, Bakery and a Hotel called The Nevada House. He rented the Old Sutter Mill at Pilot Creek in the spring of 1853 and ran it for three months. "That was the last it was ever run." (He said)

In June of 1852 Betsey Ann and her two children, Gaudencio and Lillian, arrived in California, via the Panama Canal to join him. They lived at Mt. Gregory, Eldorado Co., Calif. and had three more children, Sierra Nevada, Annie Lettice, and Norma Cecelia, before moving to Felton, Santa Cruz Co., Calif. in 1868, which was just being "laid out" by Edward Stanley on the west side of the San Lorenzo River.

Felton was the first Valley town and the McKoy's were among the first settlers. They owned lot No. 1 on the corner of Highway 9 and Bonniedune Rd., built the Central Hotel which burned down in Oct. of 1888. He replaced it with the "Grand Central Hotel," opening May 25, 1889. Over the years "Mac" as he was sometimes called, was very involved in community projects and owned and operated a Steam Mill, Shingle Mill, and was part owner and president of the Union Mill and Lumber Company in Santa Cruz and San Jose. He was the Postmaster of Felton in 1870 thru 1878. He ran an Express business hauling the mail for free to and from Felton and Santa Cruz. He "sawed" all the lumber for the narrow gauge Railroad which opened Oct. 9, 1875 and ran from Felton to Santa Cruz. He was in the general merchandise and Lumber business with his then son-in-law, Thomas Benton Hubbard, plus many more "adventures."

The McKoy's celebrated their 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary in Felton on Saturday the 25th of July 1891 at their Hotel in Felton with all their family and friends in attendance. The Santa Cruz Surf Newspaper of July 27, 1891 gives a "grand" account of this party.

Betsey Ann Newhall
She was the daughter of Merritt and Lettice (Newton) Newhall, of Leominster and Northborough, Worcester Co., Mass. The 3rd oldest of 9 children. She married Hubbard Wilson McKoy 25, 1841 in Kirby, Caledonia Co., Vt. and had 5 children. Gaudencio Hubbard McKoy, Lillian Betsey McKoy, Sierra Nevada McKoy, Annie Lettice McKoy, and Norma Cecelia McKoy.

She was very active and involved in her community through out her life. She was a member of the "Ladies Aid Society" in Felton. Was elected President in Aug. of 1891, and her daughter Norma was elected Treasurer and daughter Lillian a member of the Aid Committee.

Obituary from the Santa Cruz Evening News, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 1910 - McKoy - In this city, September 26, 1910, Betsy Newhall McKoy, beloved mother of G. H. McKoy of Sacramento, Lillian B. Hayes of Felton, "Sarah" (Sierra) N. Hubbard of San Jose and "Norman" (Norma) C. West of Oakland, a native of Vermont, aged 88 years.

The funeral of deceased will take place from Wessendorf & Staffler's undertaking parlors tomorrow (Wednesday), at 12:00 P. M., thence to Felton, where services will be held at the First Presbyterian church at 2:30 o'clock. Friends and acquaintances are invited to attend.

[Actually, after her husband's death, Betsey Ann made her home with her daughter, Mrs. Sierra Nevada Hubbard in San Jose, until her death and while on a visit to her sister Laura (Newhall) Works home at 56 Plymouth St., in Santa Cruz. Betsey is said to have been "active, hale and hearty till the last." A "wonderful woman, possessed of a remarkable memory, her narrations of early events of pioneer days in California were very interesting." She died just three days short of her eighty-eighth birthday. The cause of death was listed simply as "Sudden death due to old age." She was buried with her husband in the "Old" Felton Cemetery on Sept. 28, 1910.]

"About her picture: I was told back in January of 1982, when I was given her picture by a great-granddaughter that "Betsey Newhall McKoy was not as stern and forbidding looking as she appears. Rather she was very kind and affectionate of all of her grandchildren and each thought she liked them best."