Sunday, January 25, 2009

Warren English (1840-1913) - Congressman; Confederate Soldier

Gravesite of Warren English (Photo: Michael Colbruno)
Warren English from the SF Call, June 18, 1896

[Photo of gravesite by Michael Colbruno]

PLOT 17, LOT 42

Warren Barkley English was born in Charles Town, Virginia. (now West Virginia) on May 1, 1840.

After graduating from Charles Town Academy in June 1861 he joined the Confederate Army serving in Company B, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, Army of
Northern Virginia.

In 1866, he sailed on the steamer Montana to San Francisco and moved to Oakland, California. He attended the California Military Academy. After graduation he accepted a job as Secretary to the Silver Peak and Red Mountain Gold and Silver Mining Company, in Esmeralda County, Nevada.

During a brief return to Oakland, he married the former Clara Norris in 1872 and they had five children: Clara, Warren Jr., Norris, Hancock and Donald. During this time, he worked as a farmer, manufactured borax and co-owned a lumber company.

In 1877 he was elected to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and served four years, before joining the California State Senate.

For many years, his brother William English, was considered one of the most powerful power brokers in the Democratic Party. In 1894, Warren English challenged Democrat Samuel Hilborn for Congress and won the election. However, he lost his bid for reelection in 1896 when Democrats lost 125 seats due to severe economic conditions under President Grover Cleveland. After his loss, he was appointed as the Collector of Customs at the Port of Oakland. His pay was $2,500 a year.

He later got involved in the real estate business in Oakland, California.

In 1905 moved to Sonoma County and became a viticulturalist. He died in Santa Rosa, on January 9, 1913.

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