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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Stockton in San Joaquin County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Soldiers Friend

 
 
The Soldiers Friend Monument image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 8, 2009
1. The Soldiers Friend Monument
Ruel C. Gridley
Inscription.  
Ruel C. Gridley
Born Jan. 23, 1829
Died Nov. 24, 1870

Erected by Rawlins Post No. 23 Grand Army of the Republic and the Citizens of Stockton Sept. 19, 1887 in gratitude for services rendered Union Soldiers during the War of the Rebellion in collecting 275,000 dollars for the Sanitary Commission by selling and reselling a sack of flour.
 
Erected 1887 by Rawlins Post No.23, Grand Army of the Republic and the Citizens of Stockton, September 19, 1887. (Marker Number 801.)
 
Topics and series. This memorial is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the California Historical Landmarks series list.
 
Location. 37° 58.648′ N, 121° 17.185′ W. Marker is in Stockton, California, in San Joaquin County. Memorial can be reached from Cemetery Lane. Marker and monument are located near the Memory Chapel at the Stockton Rural Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Stockton CA 95202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Stockton Developmental Center (approx. 0.9 miles away); Magnolia Historic District
Close-Up of Inscription on Monument image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 8, 2009
2. Close-Up of Inscription on Monument
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(approx. one mile away); Temple Israel Cemetery (approx. one mile away); Stockton Jewish Community Center (approx. one mile away); Weber Primary School (approx. 1.3 miles away); Edward B. Conde Home (approx. 1.3 miles away); Hand Hall (approx. 1.4 miles away); Stockton Vietnam War Memorial (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stockton.
 
Regarding The Soldiers Friend. This site was designated as California Registered Historical Landmark No. 801 on January 7, 1965.
 
Also see . . .  California During the Civil War. From a footnote on the page:
Ruel C. Gridley in April, 1864, was engaged in the grocery business in Austin, Nevada. As the city election came on he bet a sack of flour with Dr. Herrick that the Douglas-Democrat would be elected mayor. Gridley lost the bet. Its conditions were that the loser was to carry the flour from Austin to Clifton, a distance of a mile and a quarter. At the appointed time Mr. Gridley appeared carrying the flour on his shoulder, neatly trimmed with ribbons and flags. A procession was then
Close-Up of Inscription on Monument image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 8, 2009
3. Close-Up of Inscription on Monument
formed of citizens of both parties and preceded by a band of music they marched to Clifton. On arrival the saloon keeper invited the crowd in to take a drink. While in the saloon there was much joking regarding this fifty-pound sack of flour. At last Mr. Gridley said, "This crowd of people have had their fun at my expense: let us see now who will do most for the sick and wounded soldiers. We will put this sack of flour up at auction to be sold for cash, with the understanding that the buyer is to return it, to be sold again for the benefit of the sanitary commission." Ready for any kind of excitement, the proposition was quickly accepted. The chairman of the local commission acted as auctioneer. It was sold and resold for $4,400. then taken to Gold Hill, it was sold for $5,225. Taken to other places the sales were lifeless without the inspiration of Mr. Gridley. This patriot then, leaving his business and paying his own expenses, traveled throughout the Pacific coast and a few of the eastern states, selling the famous sack of flour. Mr. Gridley died in Stanislaus county November 24, 1874, of consumption, the result of overwork and exposure during his travels. He was later buried in the Soldiers' Grand Army plot at Stockton. Rawlins Post erected over his grave a magnificent marble monument and life-size statue
(Submitted on February 9, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.)
The Ruel C. Gridley Monument image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 8, 2009
4. The Ruel C. Gridley Monument
 
 
Close-Up of Statue on Monument image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 8, 2009
5. Close-Up of Statue on Monument
California Registered Historical Landmark No. 801 image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 8, 2009
6. California Registered Historical Landmark No. 801
Plaque mounted on bottom of monument
Ruel C. Gridley image. Click for full size.
California State Library, Calif. History Section
7. Ruel C. Gridley
Ruel Colt Gridley Monument and G.A.R Section at the Stockton Rural Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, February 8, 2009
8. Ruel Colt Gridley Monument and G.A.R Section at the Stockton Rural Cemetery
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 9, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,713 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 9, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.   7. submitted on February 11, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.   8. submitted on February 9, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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May. 11, 2021