Joseph Reddeford Walker
1798 – 1876
Pioneer, trailblazer, explorer, and mountain man. First elected sheriff of Independence, Missouri. He engaged in horse and mule trading trips to California, trapped and traded out Fort Bridger, sometimes guided California-bound parties, worked for John Fremont on his second expedition, and then on the first part of his third (when Walker Lake was named in Walker’s honor). Because Walker was the first white man to lead a party of explorers to the brink of Yosemite’s cliffs, he is given a first place in Yosemite History. He led the first wagon train of immigrants into California. Walker warned the Donner Party that they were trying to cross the Sierras too late in the year. They dismissed him as an “ignorant Missouri pike”. At age 65 he led a party of miners into Arizona, capturing the Apache Chief Mangas. U.S. Troops took Mangas from Walker and murdered him. Walker returned to California in 1867, to live out the rest of his life with his nephew, James T. Walker, on his nephew’s Ranch on Mt. Diablo. He is buried in the historical Alhambra Cemetery in Martinez, California.
1819 – 1911
Bidwell was a pioneer, soldier, statesman, politician, prohibitionist and philanthropist. He led one of the first emigrant parties, known as the Bartleson-Bidwell Party, along the Calif. Trail, and was founder of Chico, California. Bidwell discovered gold on the Feather River establishing a productive claim at Bidwell Bar in advance of the California Gold Rush. He was a Major in the Mexican-American War. He served in the Calif. Senate in 1849. In 1860 he was a delegate to the Democratic Party national convention. He was appointed Brigadier General of Calif. Militia in 1863. He was a delegate to the Republican Party national convention in 1864 and was a Republican member of Congress from 1865-1867. In 1875 he ran for Governor of Calif. on the Anti-Monopoly Party ticket. He was Prohibition candidate for Governor in 1880. In 1892 he was the Prohibition Party candidate for President of the United States.
Charles Henry McKiernan
1825 – 1892
Born in London, England, and raised in South Africa, Norton came to San Francisco in 1849 shortly after the discovery of Gold. Joshua Norton became a successful merchant and businessman only to lose everything when he tried to corner the “Rice Market”. He then declared bankruptcy and disappeared only to reappear in 1859 and proclaimed himself, NORTON I, Emperor of the United States! San Francisco immediately accepted and treated him with respect, extended him credit, and due so regal a person, he was admitted free to many events. On January 8, 1880, the Emperor died and a sadness engulfed the city and an enormous funeral was held. Even today, the Emperor is remembered by E Clampus Vitus with hundreds of the ECV members gathering annually to celebrate his memory and place a wreath at his gravesite.
LE ROI EST MORT!!
James W. Marshall
1810 – 1885
Born in Hopewell Township, New Jersey in 1810, he left New Jersey in 1834 and headed west. He reached Sutter’s Fort in 1845 where he met John Sutter, founder of Sutter’s Fort. Sutter hired Marshall to assist with work at the sawmill. The Mexican-American War began in May, 1846. Marshall volunteered and served under Captain John C. Fremont’s California Battalion during the Bear Flag Revolt. In 1847 he began construction on the sawmill in Coloma. In 1848 it was discovered that the tailrace of the mill was too narrow and shallow for the volume of water needed to operate the saw. On January 24, Marshall was examining the results of the previous night’s excavation efforts and noticed some shiny flecks in the channel bed. After some tests it was determined to be gold. And the California gold rush was on. He ended up penniless in a small cabin in Kelsey, Calif. and died on August 10, 1885.
1829 – 1902
Born in Buttenheim, Germany, Strauss left for the United States at the age of 18 to join his brothers who had a wholesale dry goods business in New York. In January 1853, Levi Strauss became an American citizen. Levi was chosen to open a West Coast branch of the dry goods business, arriving in San Francisco in March 1853. He opened Levi Strauss & Co. and imported dry goods from his brothers in New York. In 1872 Jacob Davis, a Reno, Nevada tailor, started making men’s work pants with metal points for strength. Wanting to patent the process, he needed a partner, so he turned to Levi Strauss. On May 20, 1873, Strauss and Davis received a United States patent for using copper rivets to strengthen the pockets of denim work pants. Levi Strauss & Co. began manufacturing Levi’s brand of jeans, using fabric from the Amoskeag Mfg. Co. in Manchester, New Hampshire. He died on September 26, 1902 in San Francisco and was buried in Colma, California.
December 26, 1802 –
Born in Salem, New Jersey to Asa and Rhoda (Cox) Bee he moved with his family to Western Virginia around 1820 settling in what later became Lewisport. There he built his own cabinand blacksmith shop. He later opened an inn, which became known as the Beehive Inn.Bee was married twice: first to Catherine Davis in 1823, and second to Mary Welch. Between them he had 17 children who survived infancy. Ephraim was a self made man having had
only four months of education. He was the first Clerk of the Middle Island Seventh Day Baptist Church, operated the first Blacksmith shop and added a farm, stables, tannery and horseracing track to increase the family income. He speculated in land owning 40,000 acres. Ephraim founded the Order of E Clampus Vitus around 1845 and initiated all prominent people in Richmond and Wheeling, when it became the Capitol of the new State of West Virginia. In 1863 Bee represented Doddridge County in the first state legislature. In 1864-65 he served as the U.S. Postmaster for West Union. He was elected to two later terms in the House of Delegates before his retirement. At age 60, he was Captain of the Doddridge County Militia protecting the area from roving Confederates, horse thieves and outlaws. He is buried at Cabin Run Cemetery with his second wife near where they lived
Leon O. Whitsell
July 10, 1876 – February 25, 1966
Born in Iowa, he was admitted to the Iowa Bar in 1900 and was a Lawyer by trade. He practiced law in Idaho and Colorado until 1910 when he began citrus farming in Orange County, California. He helped found the Orange Rotary in 1921 and was its first vice-president. Elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors (1923-1925) he was also President of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce. Governor Richardson appointed him to the California Railroad Commission (1925-1938). He was a member of the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, Grand Master of the Masons of California (1938-1939) and author of books on Freemasonry and historical monographs. His hobby was the study of California History. He was enlisted by Carl Wheat (along with George Ezra Dane) to let the light of E Clampus Vitus once again shine out over the world. Together they founded a new chapter, Yerba Buena Lodge Number 1, Capitulus Redividus in the 1930s and the modern era of E Clampus Vitus was born. He is buried in Woodlawn Memorial Park, Colma, California.
March 27, 1940 – January 13, 2016
ECV 4 LIFE
Growing up in Graniteville, California, Joel was destined for ECV. In 1962, he saw the light with Major William Downie Chapter 1849 (reputedly joining without a Sponsor making himthe only known ClampBastard). In 1977 he became NGH #4 of Mt. Charlie No.1850, Clampatriarch, XNGH, PXP, Clamper of the Year (1998), Dumbellican COO (2000). Sensing there was more to Clamping, he created the revered position of Dead Salmon with the highly ritualistic and symbolic ceremony of the Dead Salmon Dance. He honored many who attained this pinnacle of Clamping. He continued to serve as The Clampatriarch, performing those duties from memory in many a HOCO. Wearing his signature top hat, countless PBCs trembled before his piercing gaze and ritual puff of cigar smoke before passing The Staff of Relief. Famous for his Hurricanes, a proud owner of a classic Stanley auto, he also loved Player Pianos amassing a collection of 4000 rolls. He became the Clamper he was in large part because of the help and willing support of his Widder, Francis who has been named Widder of the Year. Both now rest in The Golden Hills.
Feb. 20, 1928 – Nov. 28, 2016
Eugene Geno Fambrini was born and raised in San Francisco. He joined ECV 1 in 1967 and has been an active member of ECV ever since. Geno was a founding member of ECV 13 and NGH in 1980. In 1979 Geno started the annual issuance of the Murphys Pin to benefit the Old Timers Museum in Murphys, CA. In 1980 Geno started Emperor Nortons Brigade Annual Crab Feed in Colma, CA. Geno was a member of the Dumbellican Brotherhood, T.R.A.S.H. Leader in 1995, Proctor for Grand Council and in 1996-1997 was Sublime Noble Grand Humbug of all Clamperdom. He was known for his iconic pith helmet and hand held Stop Sign which stated STOP – MERGING DRINKERS. Geno was a member of the Intl Brotherhood of Teamsters Union Local 85, National Rifle Assoc. Hunter and Safety Instructor, Boy Scout leader, Calif. Historical Society, San Mateo Historical Assoc., Death Valley 49ers, Sheriff of The Westerners, San Francisco Corral, SS Jeremiah O’Brien Liberty Ship Memorial, Gene Autry Museum, Dublin Historical Preservation Assoc. and an energetic member of many other groups. Geno knew that wherever there were 4 Clampers there was also a fifth. Geno was a Clampers Clamper.