William George Herbert CROSS
Christened: July 8, 1860
Principal Occupation: Manager All America Cable Company, Central America, San Juan del Sur; Owner of Cross Automobile and Bicycle Agency, Managua, Nicaragua
William was the first son of the second marriage of his father John Cross with Anne Maria Russell.
William was born on June 15, 1860 in Charlbury, Oxfordshire when John was curate of Finstock. At the time, Finstock was part of the Parish of Charlbury. At the age of 7, William was sent to boarding school at Magdalene College School in Brackley, Northamptonshire where his uncle Thomas Russell was schoolmaster. In 1870 he transferred to a school in Westward Ho, North Devonshire, where Thomas Russell had taken a new assignment.
He is listed as Pupil of Thomas Russell in the census of 1871. His brother Edgar Henry is also listed in the census.
He left the school in 1873 and spent one year with his parents. He later went to St. Mary Magdalene Choir School in London where he spent 2 years, after which he went to a school in Hampton, Wich. William writes that the time he spent at this school was probably the happiest of his life.
After finishing school, William went to the Eastern Telegraph Company for electrical and telegraphy training. Upon completion he was assigned to the telegraph station in Cornwall. Two weeks later, he was reassigned to Carcavellos, Portugal where he worked for 4 years. On his return to England in 1882, the ship he was traveling on, the SS DUORO, sank on midnight April 1 during a store in the Bay of Biscay. William swam through the night until he was rescued the next day. He also saved the life of an elder man.
A short time after returning to England in 1882, William went to New York where he began to work for the Central and South American Cable Company. He was assigned to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua where the company had recently installed a cable connection from Salina Cruz, México to San Juan del Sur, which would later be extended to Panama and Lima, Peru.
In San Juan del Sur, he met Aurora Zapata Anderson whom he married on that same year. Their first daughter Edith, was born in San Juan del Sur in 1884. William worked as manager of the cable station in San Juan del Sur until 1885 when he resigned and returned to England. During this time, their second child, John was born in 1887.
Soon after the birth of John, William returned to New York on October 2, 1887 where he rejoined the Central and South American Cable Company. In the contract he signed in 1887 he lists 7 Danby Street as his residence in London. This is where John was born.
His new assignment was to the station in Tampico, México, where his third child, Ellen Maude (Nellie) is born on Sunday May 19, 1889. In 1890, William is transferred to Veracruz, México, where they had a child who died at birth. Later, in 1892, their daughter Concepción (Conchita) was born.
Finally, on March 29, 1897 Alice Winifred was born, the last child of this marriage. Three months later, on July 30, 1897, Aurora Zapata dies of Typhoid Fever at the age off 33F7.
Maude Marie, William’s sister, was on her way from England to San Juan del Sur when she received the news of Aurora’s death. Maude, who had been governess in England and France, was on her way to Nicaragua to help William with his children during Aurora’s illness. On her arrival, she found Alice was very sick. She took care of the children by herself as William was very depressed and kept to himself in his room.
Maude remained in Nicaragua until 1907 raising and educating his brother’s children. She also helped in keeping the house in order.
In 1902 or 1903, William married María Cesarea Urcuyo. This marriage produced 8 children:Gladys, Amy, Hubert, Vincent, William, Laura, Herbert and Joseph Wilfred. All of them born in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.
Another of William’s brothers lived in Nicaragua for some time. Hubert Russell Cross was in Nicaragua until his death on January 2, 1904 He is listed in a document titled “Inventario de los bienes pertenecientes a Mr. William G. H. Cross. Junio 12, 1902” (Inventory of Goods belonging to Mr. William G. H. Cross. June 12, 1902) where he is named curator of the assets for the children of William’s first marriage who were all minors at the time. Hubert is buried in the Rivas Cemetery.
In 1916, William retired from the Cable Company. He had built a house next to the Cable offices. All the materials for the house were brought from England. William’s son John, who was working for the Cable Company in Chile, would come to San Juan and would argue with his father that the house was part of their inheritance, and should not be shared with William’s second wife, Cesarea, and their children. William decided to sell the house and he built a new house in front of the beach near the entrance to the port. This house is still owned by the Cross family. During the First World War he was called back into service until 1921, when he retired permanently after 39 years of service.
After retirement, William started a business of import and sale of British Raleigh bicycles. This business grew until what today are MiniCar and Casa Cross managed by the descendants of Joseph Wilfred and Hubert respectively.
William died on September 12, 1948 at the age of 88. He is buried in the Cemetery of Managua. A plaque on his grave reads: “In Memory of My Father in Law. His Life Was Lived In Goodness. Honest, Faithful, Born To Bless, Truest Christian Never Lied, Charity He Beautified. Jack Joinson.”
First Marriage to Aurora Zapata
On his arrival at San Juan del Sur in 1882, William met his first wife, Aurora Zapata Anderson, an 18 year old girl born on July 16, 1864. In this same year they were married. Aurora was daughter of Maria Jesús Zapata and her common law husband Joseph Anderson. Joseph was a merchant from Liverpool, England. Maria Jesús was descendant of Spanish and Indian.
Six children were born out of this marriage:
Second Marriage to María Cesarea Urcuyo
William married Maria Cesarea Urcuyo in 1902 or 1903. María Cesarea was born in Rivas, Nicaragua in 1878. She was the daughter of Vicente Urcuyo and Salvadora Arguello. She had 5 siblings: Alejandro; Clodomiro, who married Amalia Rodríguez; Constantino, who married Elena Gallegos; Ana Amelia, who had a physical handicap; and Laura.
This marriage produced 8 children:
William started writing a letter to his children explaining where he comes from and telling them the story of his family. He titled it "To My Dear Children."
Created by Edgar H. Cross