Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


Recognizing the duties and obligations as well as the privileges of citizenship, Charles B. Lewis enlists his talents as readily for the public weal as for his own success and his work as a surveyor has been of inestimable value to Watsonville and the Pajaro valley. His public service has been of a most important character and he is now acting as supervisor for the fourth supervisoral district of Santa Cruz county, of which office he has been the incumbent for a period of seven years.

Mr. Lewis was born April 8, 1872, in Blue Earth, Minnesota, and his parents were J. J. and Margaret (Wilde) Lewis. The father was a native of Pennsylvania and in 1850 came to California by way of the Isthmus of Panama, locating in San Jose, California, where he engaged in surveying for a time. He then returned to the east but in 1876 decided to make his permanent home in the Golden state and came with his family to the Pajaro valley. They resided for a few years in the Corralitos district and then moved to Watsonville, where the father successfully followed his profession, that of surveyor, contributing materially toward the development of the city.

Charles B. Lewis received his education in the Corralitos school district and at the early age of fifteen years began working in lumber camps of the redwood section of Santa Cruz county. He filled the position of saw filer and was engaged in logging and all branches of the lumber industry, with which he became thoroughly familiar. In 1897 he decided to follow in the professional footsteps of his father, under whom he acquired a comprehensive knowledge of the work of surveying, and in 1899 received his certificate. For over a quarter of a century Mr. Lewis has followed this vocation with ever increasing success, and recognition of his superior ability led to his selection for the position of city engineer, which he filled for twelve years, laying out many of Watsonville's streets and subdivisions. In 1918 he was called to his present office, to which he was reelected in 1923, and enjoys the distinction of being the first man elected supervisor for the fourth district of Santa Cruz county without opposition. He has made an exceptionally fine record, discharging his duties with marked thoroughness and efficiency, and the worth of his work is uniformly conceded. He is a strong champion of the good roads movement and under his regime the highways in this county have become the best in the state. He has paved practically the entire valley, thus making possible its present prosperity and high state of development. Mr. Lewis is also a member of the city council, in which he is serving for the second term. He has seen the transformation of Watsonville from a village with cow paths and dirt roads to a thriving city with fine streets and all modern improvements. He rejoices in what has been accomplished, and his achievements constitute an important chapter in the history of this district. In 1898 Mr. Lewis married Miss Annie M. Miland, now deceased, and they became the parents of four children, two of whom are deceased. Those living are Edna M. and Frank B.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.