March is National Women’s History Month, and Patch is teaming up with the Gilroy Historical Society and the Gilroy Museum to bring some amazing local women to the forefront. Throughout the month, we’ll look at women from all walks of life who made a difference despite of the oppression facing them.
Today, we’re featuring Caroline Amelia Brooks Osborne Hoxett, 1840-1927, who helped form the Rebekah Children's Services center in Gilroy and made several contributions—that remain around Gilroy to this day—to the city through donations.
Caroline was very active in the Rebekahs and other civic organizations. As state president of the Rebekahs, she was instrumental in choosing the location for the children’s home and donating both land and money to build the 1898 building and then its replacement building in 1921.
Caroline was born in Ohio and came to California via Panama in 1858 with her first husband.
After her husband’s death, she remarried, settling down with Thomas Hoxett who was a baker in Placerville. The pair had a daughter named Ada and the family moved to Gilroy in 1868 and built the Italianate Victorian home at 338 Fifth Street.
Caroline became a rich widow after her husband died in the 1880s and left her with $40,000, which she used to build the homeless shelter for children, and continued to make good use of her money through donations. She bought and donated the tennis court on Fifth and Church streets for Gilroy’s new library in 1910, and also purchased the clock for the old city hall in 1912.
She died at her Fifth Street home in 1927, leaving it to the Gilroy Women’s Civic Club.
Are you Patched in? Get the FREE Patch newsletter each morning. Register here.