The Journal of San Diego History
October 1957, Volume 3, Number 4
Jerry MacMullen, Editor

HERBERT C. HENSLEYNo greater loss could have been sustained by the San Diego History Center nor the Serra Museum than the death on Aug. 13, 1957, of Herbert C. Hensley, a willing volunteer worker at the museum and a frequent and popular contributor to the Quarterly.

It is fortunate for posterity that he set down his reminiscences of four score years in San Diego County in typescript form. An excellent writer as well as a talented draftsman (many years ago he worked both as a reporter and as an artist on the Evening Tribune) he bad the ability to relate his facts in a readable, entertaining style. The people in his history were not so much empire-builders as the colorful minor characters of the village struggling to become a metropolis. And so his history was largely the history of the walrus-whiskered waiter at the old Commercial Hotel – of Toot Martin – Gramophone Jones of the City Guard and the Pastime Gun Club and the Band of Hope. His mind was crystal-clear until his last brief illness, and his delicately roguish humor continued through the final article which he wrote for the Quarterly; it is printed in this issue.

When the museum staff was short-handed, “Bert” Hensley was always available for friendly and intelligent help. And when the crowds thinned and the pressure of work slackened, he would take his hat, bow from the waist and with a wave of the hand and a cheery “Well! Must be going!” he would briskly stride away, to disappear down the tree-lined path.

-The Staff