U.S. Navy Capt. Ziba Wells Reynolds, was born in Pennsylvania in January 1868, the son and grandson of Civil War veterans. Reynolds attended the U.S. Naval Academy with the Class of 1890 but was medically dis-enrolled after an outbreak of typhoid fever. He would finish his degree at George Washington University, and would re-enter the Navy as an Ensign in the Pay Corps, which was renamed the Supply Corps in 1919.
In 1893, Reynolds received orders to the USS Thetis, a three-masted sailing ship, which routinely conducted survey work along the coast of Baja California. He would regularly attend balls and social activities at the new Hotel del Coronado. In August 1895, Reynolds married Ruth Isabella “Belle” Stewart of San Diego at Saint Paul Episcopal Church and established a family connection to Coronado that would continue for six generations, stretching more than 125 years, and counting.
During the Spanish-American War, Reynolds was onboard USS Charleston (C-2). His ship sailed into the harbor at Agana, Guam, and without firing a shot, captured the island. The Charleston then sailed to join Adm. George Dewey’s fleet in Manila Bay. For his actions during the war, he was awarded the Spanish Campaign Medal and Dewey Medal. While serving as the head of the Navy Pay Office at San Francisco he survived the great earthquake of 1906. After serving as the Fleet Paymaster of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Reynolds was transferred to Washington, D.C., to work as a Purchasing Officer in the Navy’s Pay Office. His final assignment was as General Inspector of the Pay Corps, where he became extremely ill with pancreatic cancer. He moved his office to the top floor of the Naval Hospital at Constitution Avenue and 23rd Street to be able to continue working; and there he did work until his death in April 1917.
After his death, his widow and three children, Capt. Stewart Shirley Reynolds, U.S. Navy retired, Ruth Reynolds Murray and Eleanor Reynolds Ring Storrs, returned to Coronado. In addition to their three children, their seven grandchildren would all call Coronado home. Eventually 16 great-grandchildren, numerous great-great grandchildren, and even great-great-great grandchildren would also become Coronado residents.