Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


Robert S. Tait is the popular superintendent of the Santa Cruz Water Works and also chief of the fire department and his public record has at all times measured up to high standards of efficient service. A native of California, he was born November 6, 1863, in Calaveras county, not far from the scenes made memorable by both Mark Twain and Bret Harte. His parents were J. A. and Mary (Sullivan) Tait, the former a native of New York state, and the later a native of Ireland who was reared in New York. J. A. Tait, fought in the Mexican War in 1846, and on coming to California three years later he mined for a while in Calaveras county and in 1869 removed to Santa Cruz. There he became associated with the F. A. Hihn Company as manager of its water system and later he established a hardware and plumbing business. He was ever honored for his rugged honesty, and his willingness at all times to do anyone a good turn.

Robert Tait attended the public schools of Santa Cruz and was afterward a student in the Chestnutwoods Business College at Santa Cruz. His first job was in the powder mill, and later, for six years, he was associated with his father in the hardware and plumbing business. When old enough to accept the responsibility, he was made manager of the water system of the F. A. Hihn Company, which post he held for ten years and then, for four years, or from 1904 to 1909, he was city electrician.

Since 1909 Mr. Tait has been superintendent of the waterworks, and his administration of that responsible office is satisfactory to all. He joined the old volunteer fire department in 1884 and since 1899 he has been chief of the department.

Mr. Tait was married to Miss Margaret Peterson, a native of Santa Cruz and their union has been blessed with five children; Mary Louise, Harry V., Margaret, Robert S., Jr., and Josephene. Mr. Tait is a Knight of Columbus, and he belongs to the Native Sons of the Golden West, the Foresters and the Maccabees.

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.