Colonel Jesse Beech Fuller, who is serving as United States pension agent at San Francisco, was born on the 16th of May, 1841, being a native of Cold Water, Branch county, Michigan. He is a son of Esbond Gillette and Elizabeth (Beech) Fuller. The Fuller family is of English descent and was founded in America by Samuel Fuller, who crossed the Atlantic in the historic Mayflower. He settled first in Connecticut, and subsequently representatives of the name removed to Vermont. They bore an active part in events which framed the early history of America and were also participants in the Revolutionary war. Edward Fuller was the twenty-first signer of the government compact which was made on board the Mayflower. Abraham Fuller, a granduncle of Esbond Gillette Fuller, was a captain of the Revolutionary war. The paternal grandmother of Colonel Fuller was a descendant of the celebrated Ward family, of which Alexis Ward was a member. He became an officer of the Revolutionary war, was captured and was held as a prisoner at Quebec for three years, but at the end of that time succeeded in making his escape and returned to the American lines. John Ward, the grandfather of Mr. Fuller's grandmother, was also a Revolutionary soldier and valiantly adied in establishing independence, and after the close of hostilities was pensioned in recognition of the services which he rendered to his country; his death occurred in the year 1831. Milton H. Fulle, the grandfather of Colonel J. B. Fuller, was a cpation in the war of 1812.
Esbond Gillette Fuller was a native of Vermont and a lawyer by profession. He came to California in 1878 and practiced law in Marysville, this state, where his remaining days were passed, his death occurring in 1892. He married Miss Elizabeth Beech, a native of New York and also a representative of an old American family that was represented in the colonial wars and also the war of 1812. Mrs. Fuller passed away in Michigan in 1853. In the family were two daughters, both of whom are now deceased.
Jesse Beech Fuller, the only surviving member of the family, acquired his early education in the public schools of his native city and when fourteen years of age went to Vermont. There he became a student in the New Hampton Preparatory Institute at Fairfax, where he remained for a year and a half, after which he entered Hillsdale College at Hillsdale, Michigan. On putting aside his text books he entered upon his business career as a teller in a bank at Cold Water, Michigan, and was thus engaged until after the outbreak of the Civil war in 1861. Prompted by a spirit of patriotism, he then enlisted in the First Michigan Battery of Artillery, afterward the Fourth Michigan Battery, which became Battery D of the First Michigan Regiment of Light Artillery. He served with General Thomas until the close of the war and participated in many important engagements. He was made captain of his battery, was later brevetted lieutenant colonel and was mustered out in September, 1865. The same loyal spirit which had dominated his ancestors was manifest in his own military career, and he made for himself a creditable record as a defender of the Union cause.
Following the close of hostilities, Colonel Fuller went to Chicago and became connected with the American Express Company. In 1869 he arrived in California and after a few years spent in San Francisco went to San Rafael in 1874. There he was agent for the Wells Fargo Company, having charge of their express business at that place until 1878, when he was transferred to Marysville, and acted in that capacity until 1894, when he was appointed bank commissionery, filling the position for four consecutive years. In 1898 he was appointed to the position of United States pension agent at San Francisco and is now acting in the capacity.
In 1862 was celebrated the marriage of Colonel Fuller and Miss Mary Cressy, a native of Michigan and a daughter of Dr. Cressy, of Hillsdale, that state. They became the parents of one child: Mary, who is now the wife of Dr. E. E. Stone, superintendent of the State Insane Asylum at Napa, California. In 1867 Mrs. Fuller died, and in 1873 Colonel Fuller wedded her sister, Carrie A. Cressy. By this union there are two sons and a daughter, John H., who is special agent for the Norwich Union Fire Insurance Association located in San Francisco; Ada Irene, who is living with her parents; and Justin K., who is a student in the public schools of San Francisco.
Colonel Fuller belongs to the Masonic fraternity, in which he has attained high rank. He is a past eminent commander of Marysville Commandery No. 7, K. T.; is past master of Yuba Lodge, F. & A. M.; and past grand patron of the Order of the Eastern Star. He also belongs to the Mystic Shrine. In other fraternal circles he has won distinction and is now a past commander of the Commandery of California of the Military Order of Loyal Legion of the United States; past department commander of the Department of California and Nevada, G. A. R.; is secretary of the Union League Club; and a member of the Bohemian Club. Much of his life has been spent in public service, and whether in military or in civic office he is equally true to his duty and to the trust reposed in him, his course being such as to commend him to the confidence and good will of all with whom he has been associated.
Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II
The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine
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