LEAVES FROM THE PAST: FORT MILLER

by

June English



 
HOME

FRESNO COUNTY

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There are burials in Mountain View that have been moved several times since these early pioneers were laid to rest over a century ago, and that is why it is sometimes difficult to find the final resting place of these settlers.


Walking through Mountain View is like checking the Fresno County census and each grave with an early date brings to mind the part that person played in the history of Fresno County. Perhaps a telling of some of these stories will aid our readers in their research and it will certainly tell a story to us who can only learn by what we research and record.




Hart - McKenzie

There stands in the old Catholic section of the Mountain View Cemetery a large, dark gray monument. Before it are seven smaller monuments. They are all roughly finished except the identification surface. This granite is similar to that in the region of Lake Millerton and it may have been brought here from the old Hart-McKenzie Ranch. The front of the largest monument has been carved with a large diagonal cross with the name "Hart" inscribed across it. In the upper right-hand corner is an elaborately carved "H". In the center of the plot is the grave of Anne Hart, 1827 to 1910. To the right of her is the grave of her first husband, James McKenzie, 1830 to 1863 (historical records say 1864). To her left is the monument of her second husband, Charles Augustus Hart, 1820 to 1903. Within the plot also lies James and Anne McKenzie's daughter, Mary Jane, 1855 to 1935 and her husband John C. Hoxie, 1848 to 1918. Truman G. Hart, 1866 to 1927, and his wife Augusta, 1871 to 1956, lie at the feet of Truman's parents, Charles and Anne Brennan McKenzie Hart.


Within this plot lie the remains of three people whose courage and activities helped form this county. Two very brave men and a remarkable woman, one of the first American women in this region.


James McKenzie was born of Scotch-Irish parentage in County Sligo, Ireland, in the year 1830. His father, Alexander McKenzie, was a large landholder, wealthy and educated. The family had been in County Sligo for several generations. James came to New York in 1848, a young man of 18 and in 1853 he joined the U. S. Army. The practice of young foreigners in joining the Army was not unusual, especially when duty on the western frontier was indicated. His regiment arrived in San Francisco after a journey across the Isthmus of Panama in 1854; thence to Benicia, the military headquarters of California, and then to Fort Miller on the San Joaquin River.


Anne Brennan was also born in County Sligo, Ireland on November 7, 1826. She came to visit her sister in New York in 1848. She and young James were married in New York in 1854 and they traveled with the regiment to California. They lived at the fort and she and Mrs. Hugh Carroll were the only two white women there.


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