Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


Highly honored with the fullest confidence and highest esteem of his fellow citizens, Howard V. Trafton, the efficient and popular sheriff of Santa Cruz county, finds it much easier to discharge his duty, to maintain law and order, and to promote those conditions making so materially and unmistakably for residential desirability in a locality. A native of the Golden state, all his life familiar with California conditions, Mr. Trafton was born June 11, 1871, the son of George A. and Mallisa (Marthis) Trafton. The father was a sturdy pioneer who crossed the great plains in early '54, when it was still a matter of hardship to make the journey. The mother came with her parents to this state. They were married in 1858 at Sacramento, and are both living in comfort and the enjoyment of life today at Watsonville. For a while the father was a merchant, dealing in general merchandise, and after that he handled feed and later still he was in business with his son, William. In October, 1924, he was ninety years of age and had been married sixty-six years, while his wife had reached her eightieth year.

Howard V. Trafton, in the enjoyment of an attractive home such as made a vast difference to a boy in those days, attended the public schools of Watsonville, and at the age of sixteen went to work on a ranch. Later he learned the trade of a stationary engineer, at Watsonville, and this he followed for thirteen years. At the same time he was connected with the Watsonville fire department as an engineer for eight years, and then, in April, 1902, he was elected chief of police. The following November, he was elected sheriff of Santa Cruz county, and now he is serving his sixth term of four years each. He is a Native Son of the Golden West.

In November, 1898, Mr. Trafton was married to Miss Rose Valdez, a member of an old pioneer family and the granddaughter of a pioneer, John Price, who came to California in 1834, and their union has been blessed with two sons: Frank, who is connected with the express company and was in the United States navy, on the Atlantic, during the World war; and Chester, who is with the Southern Pacific Company in San Francisco. One grandchild gives pleasure to all.

Sheriff Trafton belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is a Knight Templar Mason. As might be surmised concerning one of his physical vigor, he is fond of outdoor life, and that means that he is appreciative of all the natural attractions of the shire in which he lives and moves, and eager to.advance Santa Cruz county to the day when it shall come to its own.

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.