James McCoy (1821- )

James McCoy (1821- )

A native of County Antrim, Ireland, James McCoy was born August 12, 1821. Came to America in 1842, and in 1849 became a member of Magruder's Battery, and accompanied it to San Diego. He was stationed at San Luis Rey, with a small squad, for over two years, and had some experience in Indian warfare. In 1859 he was elected county assessor and in 1861 sheriff. To the latter office he was re-elected five times and served until 1871, when he became state senator. He was a city trustee for fourteen years and took an active part in the public movements of his day.

In 1868, he married Winifred Kearny who survived him. She is now Mrs. F. D. Murtha. They had no children.

Mr. McCoy was a man of strong personality. He had his friends, also some bitter enemies. While city trustee he was deeply involved, with Charles P. Taggart and others, in the tide lands speculation, over which a political controversy raged. The "tide landers" won at the polls, but the courts finally decided that the city had no title to the tide lands. Mr. McCoy was a man of considerable ability and a stanch friend of Old Town.

[from William Ellsworth Smythe's History of San Diego, 1907, pages 269-272]

The Silvas/Mc Coy house in Old Town was reconstructed in 1999.