Moon Lim Lee
July 21, 1903 –
November 8, 1986
Moon Lee was a lifelong resident of Weaverville. His father and grandfather came to Trinity Co. in the 1860s seeking gold. Moon was one of 7 children, he was born in the back room of his fathers store in Weaverville. As a young man he liked cars and fast driving, learned to fly and was one of the first pilots in the County.
In 1967, then Governor Ronald Regan appointed Moon Lee to the California Highway Commission. This and his diligent community service activities made him one of the most prominent Chinese Americans in the state.
Some of the many organizations Moon was involved with were the Weaverville Volunteer Fire Department, (serving as Assistant Chief for many years), member of the Northern California Intercounty, and of the Weaverville, Chamber of Commerce, a founding member of Rotary Club of Weaverville, charter co-chairman of the Weaverville Joss House Association, founding member of the Highway 299 Association, founding trustee of the Trinity County Historical Society. He also belonged to the Chinese Historical Society, Humboldt County Historical Society, Native Sons of the Golden West, Weaverville-Douglas City Park and Recreation Board, Salvation Army, and Boy Scout Council. He served as president of many of these organizations.
Moon Lee was a charter member and the second Noble Grand Humbug of Trinitarianus Chapter No. 62 E CLAMPUS VITUS.
Moon Lim Lee, truly a GUM SHAN HOK (guest of the Golden Mountain).
James P. (Jim) Beckworth
April 26, 1798 –
October 26, 1866
Born to Sir Jennings Beckworth & a Mulatto slave woman, in the vicinity of Fredericksburg, VA. Joining a young nation moving ever westward, Jim traveled, hunted, and trapped with most of the well known mountain men and fur traders of the time. He lived with, traded, stole horses, and fought for and against, both whites and Indians.
As an Indian warrior he distinguishes himself, becomes a member of the council, and a war chief. Over the years he takes many Indian wives.
Beckworth arrived in California in the early 1840s, fights with the Californians against the Mexicans, steals a big herd of their horses and returns to New Mexico. Becomes a dispatch carrier for the U. S. Army, in the war with Mexico. Returning at the end of the decade, Jim works at a trading post, helps run an inn, prospects for gold, and discovers the lowest pass over the Sierra. He soon opens and leads immigrants over Beckworth Pass, and establishes a hotel and a trading-post. After dictationg his lifes story, heads back East to more adventures, and to die among the Crow.
Paint her up, Bonner! Paint her up!
A member of Californias IRISH First Family who brought the first wagons over the Sierra in 1844. John and his Brother Daniel began prospecting near Hangtown immediately after the 1848 Discovery of Gold at Coloma. With other members of Captain Charles Webers Stockton Mining Company, they worked South until early Fall when they hit Rich Diggins on Murphys Flat.
John remained through 1849 trading food, blankets, and supplies for gold with the local Indians generally on a pound for pound basis with great success! at least some reportedly because of his marriage to the daughter of the Chief. Historians record that when John left the mines in December He took out 17 Hides (pouches) of gold, all that six mules could haul from the camp. —AND—He had more gold than any other man in California.
At San Jose in 1850 he married Virginia Reed, a heroine of the Donner Party. He engaged in numerous business ventures and finally supported his sizeable family on his salary as Sheriff, Recorder, and Treasurer of Santa Clara County. Bancroft says, he engaged in mining with great success — except in keeping his gold.
JBorn in Nebraska; a graduate of The Biltmore Forest School of North Carolina, Swift was a Forest Engineer, Logger, and Lumber Manufacturer, and in coming to California added State Senator, and NOBLE GRAND HUMBUG to his achievements. Mr. Berry represented the 9th District (Amador & El Dorado Counties) from 1953 to 1959, and was Humbug of James Marshall #49 E Clampus Vitus in 1953. He was concerned with Highway Development, Water Problems, Fish & Game, Agriculture, Mining, and the Preservation of Natural Resources, and Historical Areas of the Mother Lode Country. Swift belonged to many organizations, including, The American Legion, VFW, Society of Americam Foresters, The Elks, Kit Carson Mountain Men and E Clampus Vitus.
Swift Berry a man for the time; his, ours and that yet to come.
V. L.”Van” Van der Hoof
April 19, 1904 –
March 10, 1964
Active in the revival of E Clampus Vitus Capitulus Redivivus, Van served as Grand Noble Recorder for Yerba Buena Chapter No. 1. He was a friend and associate of Charles Camp and a speaker at one of the Clamper meetings at Berlin-Ichtyosaur State Park of Nevada.
Well known as a workhorse for ECV, and humorist, he was also recognized as an author of many scientific papers, a popular professor, a research petroleum geologist, and a physicist with a Ph. D in vertebrate paleontology. Van collected and reconditioned old books and manuscripts of these fields as a labor of love.
Born in Byron, and dying in Santa Barbara he spent all of his life in California. Van der Hoofs last position was as Director of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. As a student, teacher, author, family man, Clamper and all other endeavors : “Van was at the top of the list.
L. Burr Belden
1898 – 1977
Although Burr Belden was born and raised in New York, many of his were already in California, some even as early as pre ’49. Burr left Colgate University to join the U.S. Marines during WWI. After the war, Burr migrated to Southern California where he completed his college education. It was during this period that Burr’s never ending involvement in the study and promotion of Southwest history began.
This interest led to Burr Belden becoming a founding and charter member of the Westerners Corral, the County Historical Society, the County Museum Association, all of San Bernadino, the Death Valley ’49ers and the Billy Holcomb Chapter of E Clampus Vitus, where he was the first Noble Grand Humbug. He was also responsible for a multitude of historical publications, including Holcomb Valley Gold Discovery (Billy Holcomb’s own story) published on the occaision of the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Billy Holcomb Chapter.
William Gordon Huff
February 3, 1903 –
December 13, 1993
Born in Fresno, and always proud of it, he was the son of Tom E. Huff a noted Chisolm Trail driver. The family moved to Oakland in 1918, where Bill went on to win scholarships to Berkeley, San Francisco, and New York Art Academics. He was soon commissioned to do a diorama commemorating a Revolutionary War battle at the Vermont Bennington Tower, and then returned west with Doris, his bride. In 1934 in Fairfield Calif. he did the massive bronze statue of Chief Solano, and many other works of art in the states including some on Treasure Island for the 1939 1940 Golden Gate Exposition, and was taken in to ECV there. Dr. Charles Camps Ichthyosaurus find in Nevada was depicted life size (64 feet) by Bill at the park near Berlin. Bill Huff created and sustained THE WALL OF COMPARATIVE OVATIONS on the Old Timers Museum in Murphys.
The Clamproctors named Bill Perpetual Clampsculptor and Clampatriarch of Grand Council, two titles he carried to the Golden Hills.
Edbar B. Jessup
March 29, 1892 –
May 11, 1961
Born in Monterey County, California, Edgar went on to become a very successful business man. He served as president, manager or director of various Companies. He also held positions and was active in numerous civic, business, political, and fraternal organizations.
A fun loving historian, financier, and industrialist Edgar Jessup was very active in the resurrection of E Clampus Vitus. In 1937 he became the sixth Nobel Grand Humbug of Yerba Buena Chapter No.1. A cofounder of the Grand Council he held the office of President from August 20, 1955, to May 25, 1957, and then from that date until his death , as the first Sublime Noble grand Humbug.
Be assured if Jessup was involved in a Clamper affair, it would in some way associate to California History and good fun.
1819 – 1889
Born in Sacco, Maine, he traveled much of the East as a printer. Published the N. Y. Messenger and later the Prophet, organs of the Mormon Church. He was sent from New York to San Francisco in 1846 aboard the Brooklyn as a Church Elder and Leader of a group of Pilgrims. Very active in San Francisco, preaching on Sundays, buying city lots and politicking the rest of the time. January 9, 1847 he published the California Star, the first newspaper in California. Due to the tremendous profit from his store in Sacramento, his mining operation at Mormon Island and the value of his property during the gold rush he was the richest man in California.
He purchased the Calistoga Estate in 1869, establishing a distillery there and nearly lost his life after being shot eight times in a quarrel over a mill. It was all down hill from there.
George Ezra Dane
1904 – 1941
George Ezra Dane, an attorney, was the author of Ghost Town, a collection of first and second hand stories about life during the Gold Rush and later in the town of Columbia on Californias Mother Lode. His book includes an entire chapter about the ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, whence it came and how it spread; and how it took charge of the Communitys Morals and what it did to a sucker. Dane, a lover of California History, along with Carl Wheat, Leon Whitsell and several of their friends started meeting in San Francisco, in 1930, to talk about a historical curiosity about which they had read. They continued to meet periodically after that to enjoy its amusing aspects and in 1931, at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco, they formally revived ECV as Yerba Buena Redivivus No. 1.