Guide to the Trotts Family Collection (1840s – 1940s) – History

View the full guide to this collection

William Harry Trotts (Trutz, Trots, Truc)(1848-1926), a native of Tabor, Bohemia, and his wife Mary Catherine (Mamie) Bernstein (1868-1943) were early residents of Felton, where they purchased Rancho Zayante land from F.A. Hihn in 1890.  William was a farmer, and a cooper at the Felton Kilns on Cooper Street, working for the H.T. Holmes Lime Company.  They had five children: George Tabor (1899-1960), Helen Maude (1888-1958), William Victor (1897-1964), Harry Milton (1890-1922), and May Belle (1892-1986).  Their son William Victor, known as “Victor” or “Vic” graduated from Santa Cruz High School in 1915, and from UC Davis in 1917 with a degree in agriculture, and spent five months in Camp Kearney as a sergeant in the US Army.  He and his brother George spent some time in the spring of 1919 travelling in Arizona, laying pipe in the Morenci mines and exploring other job opportunities in the post-war economy.  Victor was an avid hunter and baseball player, playing as a young man with the Henry Cowell baseball team, the Lime Burners, in the early 1900s Santa Cruz City League.  In 1924 he married Santa cruz High School classmate Ruth Marie Adams (1898-1986) and worked with George Ley, who founded the Santa Cruz Lumber Company and was married to Victor’s sister, May Belle.

Ruth Marie (Adams) Trotts (1898-1986) was the granddaughter of Rev. Phelps R. Adams (1844-1932), ordained Congregational minister, Civil War Veteran, and California State Assemblyman for Santa Cruz County, who moved with his wife Agnes Hommon (1846-1933) and children to 80 acres in Bonny Doon from Galesburg, Knox County, Illinois in 1887.  By 1905 Rev Adams had established a Congregational Church in the Bonny Doon school house, the second school to be built on land donated to the community by Ormond D. Jenne.  Rev. Adams occasionally exchanged pulpits with Rev. Taylor at the First Presbyterian Church in Felton.  The Adams’ children were Arthur, Blanche, Everett, and Grace.  Blanche and Grace attended the first Bonny Doon school house built on land donated by Ormond Jenne, known as Ocean View School.

In 1891 Everett W. Adams (1869-1938) married Emma Jenne (1872-1920), daughter of Ormond Dutton Jenne (1826-1901) and Emily (Sawyer) Jenne (1828-1893), whose family had moved to Bonny Doon from Massachusetts in 1882 when she was ten years old.  The Jenne family built a home at the intersection of Pine Flat Road and Smith Grade, and Emma attended Bonny Doon School.  She and Everett had four children: Amy (1895-1976), Glenn (1896- n.d.), Ruth, and Phelps Ray (1904-1921), who were born in Bonny Doon and raised in Santa Cruz in the house at 404 High Street that the family built in 1902 on land gifted to Emma by her father when she married.  In 1901, before becoming an employee of the Santa Cruz US Post Office, Everett attended Chestnutwood’s Business College in downtown Santa Cruz and boarded at the old adobe on the corner of Goss and Branchiforte, known as either the Winchester ot the Lorenzana Adobe.  He was a dedicated member of the I.O.O.F., and a passionate sportsman.  Around 1918 he purchased 120 acres for hunting and raising cattle in the Last Chance area near Swanton from Minor Caldwell.

Victor and Ruth Trotts moved from Felton to Santa Cruz around 1940, where they lived in Ruth’s family home at 404 High Street.  Their children were Marilyn Emma (Trotts) Hoedemaker (1926-1933), Patricia Beth (Trotts) Jones (1928-2003), and William Everett Trotts (1930- n.d.).