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Joseph Zumwalt

Birthplace: Boone County, Kentucky, United States
Death: July 23, 1892 (92)
California, United States
Place of Burial: Sacramento, Sacramento County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Jacob Fite Zumwalt and Nancy Ann Zumwalt
Husband of Mary Zumwalt
Father of Emily West; Nancy Ann Bailey; Mary Ann Eib; Jacob Willard Zumwalt; James C Zumwalt and 3 others
Brother of Daniel Zumwalt; Mary Ann Kirkpatrick; Eleanor Troxel and Elizabeth Long

Managed by: Private User
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About Joseph Zumwalt

Joseph was born on the 15th of July, 1800, in Boone County,Kentucky Joseph Zumwalt Died in Anderson on 23 July, 1892 at the age of 92. He and his wife Mary were both originally buried in lot 169, Old Helvetia Cemetery, Sacramento.

At about the age of 49, he, his wife and 8 of their 11 surviving children decided to leave their farm in Illinois and head for California. The wagon train went by way of Bowling Green, Missouri, where Zumwalt and a partner, C.W. Wright, stopped at the local newspaper office to inquire about the road to California. In that office, they picked up copies of the ritual of an amusing organization called "E clampsus Vitus" (Written by Ephraim Bee) Zumwalt and Wright each bought a copy and put it in their trunks. Zumwalt and his family reached the "diggins" on September 5, 1849. He is credited with bringing the organization to California.

A couple of attempts were made to start chapters and failed, but the first chapter, ECV Lodge No.1001, was started at Mokelumne Hill in September 1851. The organization, essentially a philanthropic and humorous order, was basically a spoof on the more formal fraternal organization present at the time such as the Masons and the Odd Fellows. The organization spread quickly through out the camps and chapters sprang up.

E Clampus Vitus, along with its happy-go-lucky nature was also know for the good things it did for widows, orphans and the down on their luck miners. Almost all of this was done quietly and with out any reservations. The organization was very popular and reports are that you better join the Clampers or others would not do any business with you or have much to do with you.

The New Helvetia Cemetery was an unendowed cemetery and was maintained by the City of Sacramento. In the 1920's the City wanted a park in that area and had all of the monument type of headstones removed. Those of the flat type were then installed so they could mow the grass easier. In the 1950's the City decided that they needed a Junior High School in that area and decided to close the cemetery all together. They sent notices to the relatives they could find but of course being as old as it was, over 4000 bodies were not claimed.

All of the bodies were then dug up and reburied in a mass grave at the East Lawn Cemetery. Hardly any records were kept of who is in that mass grave. The mass grave site is about 150 feet square. There is a small monument giving very limited information.

As far as is known Joseph, Mary and their daughter Adelphia are not there. The Archivist for the City of Sacramento was able to find a letter from Mrs. Joseph Oscar Zumwalt, Joe's daughter-in-law requesting information about relocating the bodies. Note: No further record is available as to if or where the bodies were relocated. Help from the contributors to this site would be appreciated.

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Joseph Zumwalt's Timeline

July 15, 1800
Boone County, Kentucky, United States
December 1, 1822
Adams County, Adams County, Ohio, United States
January 31, 1824
Adams County, Adams County, Ohio, United States
July 23, 1824
Will County, Illinois, United States
October 26, 1828
Adams County, Adams County, Ohio, United States
December 6, 1830
West Union, Adams County, Ohio, United States
April 11, 1833
Will County, Illinois, United States
March 10, 1835
Will County, Illinois, United States
March 30, 1841
Adams County, Adams County, Ohio, United States