COL. SAMUEL O. GREGORY
"Forest House", Alma, Santa Clara County
SURNAMES: MATSON, St. CLAIR, McCURDY, JOHNSON
was born at La Porte, Indiana, January 20, 1843. His father, Elnathan, was a native of Tompkins County, New York, and his mother a native of New Hampshire. Their ancestors came from England in the seventeenth century. Elnathan removed from New York to La Porte, Indiana, in 1830, and was married in 1842. He made this his home till his death, in 1865, at the age of fifty-six. His wife died at the home of her son Samuel, in 1887, aged seventy-six. There were six children, of whom five lived to be grown.
Samuel O., the subject of this sketch, and the only one now living, graduated at the High School of La Porte, Indiana, when he was seventeen years old, and then entered a Commercial and Collegiate preparatory school, intending to enter Harvard College in 1861; but, the Civil War breaking out, he enlisted on the day Fort Sumter was fired upon, in Company F, Ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, for three months. He reached home after his three months' service, July 31,1861, and the next day re-enlisted as a private in Company C, Twenty-ninth Indiana Infantry, August 27, 1861; was commissioned Second Lieutenant of his company, the regiment being commanded by Col. John F. Miller, late United States Senator for California. December I, 1863, he was mustered in as Captain of Company F, same regiment, and later was transferred back to Company C as their Captain. Upon its reorganization as a veteran regiment, Colonel Miller having been promoted, Captain Gregory was promoted to be Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, upon the unanimous recommendation of the officers, and upon the regiment being filled, was mustered in as Colonel, February 25,1865, at the age of twenty-two, being the youngest colonel commanding a regiment in the Union army. The regiment was attached to the army of the Cumberland. He was mustered out at Indianapolis, Indiana, December 10, 1865, with his command, returning home as Colonel of the regiment in which he first enlisted as a private.
In 1866, with his brother, he went to Louisiana and engaged in raising cotton for one year. He then returned to Indiana and engaged for two years in purchasing lumber in the northern portion of that State and Ohio, and shipping it East. He then returned to La Porte, Indiana, and organized the La Porte Wheel Company and began the manufacture of wagon and agricultural wheels. The works constitute the largest institution of that city at the present time. During the two or three years he was connected with it, he was Secretary, Treasurer, and Financial Manager. His health having become seriously impaired, he spent about three years in teaching, and in 1874 came to California and traveled for a time along the coast. In 1883 he bought his present ranch near Alma, and is the proprietor of the Forest House. He has 110 acres, of which about seventy-five are under cultivation. He has a bearing orchard of fifteen acres, of which 1,200 are French prunes, the rest being divided between plums, pears, and apple trees eight years old, a few being thirty years old.
was married, in 1864, to Eleanor M. Matson, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. On her
father's side she is a great granddaughter of General St. Clair, of
Revolutionary fame. They have had two children, of whom only one, Charles E.
Gregory, is living. Colonel Gregory is a member of George H. Thomas Post, No. 2,
G. A. R., of San Francisco, California. Mrs. Gregory's mother, Eliza A. Matson,
was a daughter of Captain McCurdy, of Baltimore, whose wife was a sister of Hon.
Reverdy Johnson, deceased, of Baltimore, Maryland, once a member of the Supreme
Court of the United States.
Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.