Martinez Historical Society

Cemetery Tour of Martinez


alleyObed Fosdick Alley

Obed came to California from Nantucket in 1850. After working in the gold fields and spending some months in Martinez, he sent for his wife Phebe who arrived in 1852. Obed started a dairy and dabbled in politics, serving at various times as County Assessor, Tax Collector, and Secretary of the Contra Costa Agricultural Society. Also, he was elected County Treasurer. Phebe, a teacher, talked the Masons into allowing her to use some of their meeting hall space for classrooms. She had first taught school in the kitchen at the Sylvanus Swain home. The Swains were also from Nantucket. Phebe didn’t teach long. She became more of a fundraiser and dabbled in magnetic healing. In 1869, a playground accident killed their son Herman when he was struck by a baseball bat. He was buried here. In 1874, the Alley’s moved to San Francisco and later moved on to San Jose. After their deaths Obed and Phebe were laid to rest with their son. No evidence of any grave marker was found on this plot. The present day marker was placed by the Clampers in recognition of the Alley’s contributions to the community. The Clampers have been very much involved in restorative projects and clean-up of the Cemetery.