First Name: Oliver

Middle Name: Howe

Last Name: Saunders

Saunders Sister: Father

Date of Birth: 2/1844          Place of Birth: Boston, MA

Married to: Alice

Date of Marriage:    Place of Marriage:

Marriage terminated on:           Reason:

Children: Florence Irene Date of Birth:          6/10/1867

Children: Alice Mary Date of Birth: 5/2/1869

Children: Grace Philinda          Date of Birth:          11/18/1871      

Children: William Oliver Date of Birth: 8/23/1873

Children: Myrtle Annette          Date of Birth:           5/13/1875

Children: Oliver Allen Date of Birth: 122/11/1876

Children: Hattie Estella Date of Birth: 6/17/1878

Children: John Ernest Date of Birth: 11/25/1879

Children: Lillian May Date of Birth: 11/25/1879

Children: Millicent Elizabeth          Date of Birth:           3/12/1881

Children: Bertha Alice           Date of Birth:           6/28/1883

Children: Mary Elise            Date of Birth:           11/16/1887      

Children: Olive Lulu             Date of Birth:           10/26/1888                

Branch of Service: US Army          Dates: 1861-1865

Date of Death: 12/1913

Education: Grammar School:

                    Jr. High or Middle:

                    High School:




Occupation: Logger, Insurance & Securities


Hobbies and Interests:



My personal history: Fern’s Memories of her Grandfather.

As far as I know he was born in Boston, Mass.  He was the eldest of six children. His father was killed in a small boat accident under a railroad trestle when Oliver was twelve years old. It was necessary for him to work and help his mother support the family.

A job was found on a farm helping an elderly couple who were kind to him. After working six months, the kind people loaned him a team of oxen and ox cart to travel the eight miles home to see his mother. The cart was filled with wood and a milk cow was tied behind.  His mother was in great need of a cow. The trip nearly became a disaster when the oxen became very thirsty and they approached a stream of water.  Oliver was unable to control them and he thought the cart would be turned over and ruined, however it remained right side up.  The homecoming was a most joyous occasion for all after the six months separation.

Oliver was a Northerner and just sixteen when the Civil War broke out and he volunteered for the duration. When he was lined up for the first battle and he saw his best buddy fall at his side he hoped he would be the next to fall. One night after arriving at the place of battle, the soldiers spent the night digging a trench with their tin cups. The commander arrived drunk the next morning and ordered them out of the trenches to fight. There were around 200 troops.  At the end of the day Oliver was one of 18 able to rally around the Flag. The officer was stripped of his brass and dishonorably discharged.

There were swamps to cross on foot with mud and water to the armpits, also gear to carry.  The food consisted largely of hard tack and a very thin bean soup. One soldier found a whole bean in his soup.  The soldier carried it on a spoon followed by the company band and buried I outside the camp.  When the war ended Oliver had lost the hearing in one ear from a shell bursting close by and the loss on one index finger.

When Oliver was in his early twenties he got a young lady to do up his shirts for him.  When the mother felt they were paying too much attention to each other she told her daughter when Olive came for his shirts to tell him she would no longer be able to do them for him. She was only fifteen and too young to be serious with the young man. As it happened, mother wasn’t at home when he came.  They talked it over and decided to elope on the horse he was riding. When mother came and they were gone she decided to stop them, but arrived at the Judges too late. The marriage was a good and stable until the end when death parted them forty-five years later. They were devoted to each other.

Fourteen children were born to Oliver and Alice.  Only seven daughters survived early childhood, our Mothers, Flora, Grace, Myrtle, Millicent, Bertha, Elsie and Olive.

One of Grandpa’s last acts just a few weeks before he passed away speaks eloquently of the kind of man he was, even though he was almost 70 years old.  He had lost Alice two years before and he was an old man. The next door lady had a drunken husband and several teen-aged daughters besides a younger boy.  It was the Vintage Festival time, and most folks enjoyed the evenings of celebrations in the little town.  Grandpa felt it not safe for them to walk to town or come home in the dark at 11:00 at night, so he would hitch up the horse to the old surrey and take them to town, come home and unhitch the horse and put him in the barn, go to bed and get up at eleven, hitch the horse again, go to town and bring them home.  The celebration lasted about a week.

Our Grandfather had a beautiful sweet bass voice. That beautiful voice still rings in my ears.  He loved to sing.

The last time Grandma was at our house was when my sister Grace was born.  As we five children gathered around her knees she asked us if we would like to see her big penny. Of course we were all eager as she took a $20.00 gold piece from her purse.  The first one I had ever seen, and I think the last.  Our Grandparents were small people, but stood very tall in our estimation.

Grandpa became ill the night before Thanksgiving, 1913.  He was not able to leave his bed to eat Thanksgiving dinner with us, but asked that Aunt Millie save him a little of the gravy.  A young man nurse from the St. Helena Sanitarium was hired to come and care for him until he passed away in December.  He had worked hard all during his life and was well deserving of his rest which he welcomed.  He had been very lonely since Grandma’s passing.  His funeral was held in the St. Helena S.D.A Church.  Grandma was not quite sixty and Grandpa not quite seventy at the time of their passing.


Additional history, unknown author. Grandpa lived in Baker Island MA and worked as a light keeper. After their boy Willie died in the well, they left. Mostly, Grandpa was a butcher, but he also farmed.

One night during a blizzard, he was coming home and the wolves were at his heels. He turned over the sled and stayed under it until morning. Grandpa brother was the Band Master for President Lincoln’s band. The band was famous in MA. A niece played in the Boston Sympathy.

Grandpa was 16 when he joined the Civil War. He had the 4th finger blown off; it is all that happened to him. Grandpa brother was a prisoner for a long time. Grandpa and Grandma came to California in 1902, they first lived at “Barrow Station” is St. Helena, CA. My Father and Mother were married in Santa Rosa, CA.

Lottie Seymour didn’t come to California. Grandma Webber is buried in St. Helena cemetery. Grandpa Allen is buried in Imola cemetery, Napa, CA. Grandpa Webber died in Moose Lake, Minn.