Search billions of records on

Home Civil War Index



California Genealogy and History Archives

Civil War Veterans


CLIPPERTON, WILLIAM H (1836-1881) SALINAS IOOF (Salinas Daily Index December 8, 1881) 
Death of W.H. Clipperton About half past ten o’clock on Wednesday night of last week the people of Monterey were started by the sad news that Col. W.H. Clipperton, editor of the Californian, had just been found dead on the street, close to the sidewalk, at the south side of Laporte’s new building. He was lying on his face with both hands tightly clasped over his heart. Drs. Keating and Heintz and acting Coroner Lambert were immediately summoned. They found life extinct, deceased having apparently been dead about half an hour. A coroner’s inquest was held the next morning, and a verdict returned that the cause of Col. Clipperton’s death was heart disease. The deceased had been feeling quite unwell for a couple of weeks previous to his death, frequently complaining of a severe pain in the region of his heart. he seemed to be feeling better, however, on Wednesday, the 30th ult, and went about his business as usual. In the evening he called at Dr. Keating’s drug store and had quite a long social chat with the doctor. He lighted his pipe and left the drug store about half past nine o’clock, saying that he was going to bed, and remarking to Dr. Keating, as he went out, that, if he felt the pain coming back, he would come down to the drug store and get the doctor to do something for him. It is supposed that he went directly to his room, in Mrs. Leese’s building, and lighted his lamp, placing it and some papers on a stand at his bedside, in order to read some before going to sleep; and that, the pain returning, he immediately started for the drug store, a couple of blocks distant, falling dead by the way as above narrated. The Good Templars of Monterey took charge of the body and placed it in a handsome casket. Word was sent to friends in Salinas who went over and brought the remains back here for burial. We copy from last Saturday’s California, which comes to us in mourning, the following sketch of the life and mention of the funeral of its dead editor.

Col. W. H. Clipperton was a native of England and forty three years of age at the time of his death. His mother and sister are living in Australia, and Capt. Clipperton, a brother of his, is British Counsul at Philadelphia. Another brother resides in Liverpool England. He has a son nineteen years of age, in Canada, who is studying law and teaching and teaching school. His wife, from whom he was divorced only a year or two ago, was Belle Douglas, an actress well known throughout the Pacific Coast States and Territories, fifteen or eighteen years ago. [Belle Douglas was his second wife. His first wife, the mother of the son above alluded to, resides in Canada at the present time...Ed Index]. Col Clipperton participated in the Crimean war, but in what capacity we do not know. He came to the United States and was a Captain in the 1st Michigan Cavalry in the late civil war. He was subsequently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and was Judge Advocate of the District of Columbia in 1864, we think. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, belonging to some Post in San Francisco, the name of which we have as yet been unable to learn. After the war he resigned his commission and came to the Pacific coast, having, at various times since been engaged in journalism in California, Nevada and neighboring territories. He came to Salinas about five years ago and was there admitted to practice law in the County and District Courts He had editorial charge of the Salinas Index while Senator Hill was at Sacramento last winter, and has been running the Californian since last June. The deceased left no property of any value, being one the class who spent their money as fast as they make it. Having expressed a desire to be buried n Salinas, in case he should die, the funeral took place over there at 11 o’clock this forenoon under the auspices of the Good Templars and Salinas Engine Company No. 1. He was a member in good standing of the former order when he died, and belonged to the fire company when he lived in Salinas. The funeral services were held in the M.E. Church before the body was taken to the cemetery. Rev. AK Crawford preaching the sermon. His Good Templar regalia was deposited in the grave with him. there was no mother, no sister, no wife, no child, nor relative of any sort, to weep over him, but kind hears and willing hands performed the last sad rights and placed wreaths and bouquets of flowers upon his coffin and grave. Col. Clipperton had a heart in him as tender as a woman and was kind and generous to a fault. Death has rung down the curtain upon his life. Humanity from its great Faustian of sympathy, can well spare him a tear. Let the grave swallow up his faults who of us have them not? and let only his virtue be remembered.

clipperton-william-h-grave.jpg (82153 bytes)


Researched and Compiled by : 
Timothy P. Reese, PCC of Salinas , CA. & Robert L. Nelson ,PCC. of Santa Cruz.CA. 
Both members of the “Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War”. 
Department of California & Pacific. Camp Abraham Lincoln # 10. 
The Reese-Nelson CWV-MC Data Base