Buel Alvin Funk

Buel Alvin Funk

Lagrange County, Indiana, USA
Death 6 Oct 1934 (aged 45)
San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, California, USA
Burial Ontario, San Bernardino County, California, USA
Memorial ID 124823619 · View Source
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Buel was born at/near Fish Lake in Eden Twp., LaGrange Co., IN, the son of Hugh McKee Speedy Funk and Martha Jane Pearman. He married Helen Lillian Muir on October 11, 1909 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Co., CA. He died in St. Bernardine's hospital in San Bernardino of injuries sustained in a tragic traffic collision the day before.

Buel and Helen were the parents of four children:
1. Muir Haley Funk
2. Stanley Muir (born Stanley M. Funk)
3. John Muir (born Buel Funk)
4. Walter Muir (born Walter Muir Funk)


The following article/obituary appeared in the "San Bernardino Daily Sun" (San Bernardino, CA) on Sunday, October 7, 1934, page 1, columns 1-2:

Noted Mine Operator Dies, Fourth Victim Of Ludlow Accident
County Fatality List Brought to 103 for Year to Date

The death of Buel Funk, prominent miner and real estate operator of Amboy, at St. Bernardine's hospital in San Bernardino early yesterday brought to four the fatality list of an automobile crash on the National Old trails highway near Ludlow Friday night.

His death raised San Bernardino county's appalling traffic fatality total for 1934 to 103, with nearly three months of the year remaining. The roster of death is the county's largest in history.

Mr. Funk, who is widely known as a real estate operator in Hollywood as well as throughout the Mojave region, succumbed to a crushed chest and fractured skull at 2 a. m. yesterday, about eight hours after his truck had been struck head-on by a speeding coupe three miles west of Ludlow. The occupants of the coupe, Sam Guardamondo, 25 years old, Pueblo, Colo.; his aunt, Mrs. Frances Benefatti, 40, and her son, Charles, 11, both of Los Angeles, burned to death in the wreckage of their flaming automobile.

Coroner R. E. Williams announced last night plans for an inquest are not complete. He is attempting to locate witnesses to the spectacular tragedy, and said the formal inquiry probably will be held Monday. The bodies of Guardamondo and his two companions are at the White & Platt mortuary in Barstow. Funk's body was removed to Stone's mortuary at Upland.

Mr. Funk was the son-in-law of John Muir, famous naturalist. He was born in Indiana 47 years ago, and went to Daggett with his parents in 1906. Hugh S. Funk, his father was a rancher in that region until his death, and Buel was associated with him for a number of years.


After his marriage to Helen Muir, they resided in a large residence built by Mr. Funk and his naturalist father-in-law, located on what is now known as the Van Dyke ranch, near Daggett.

Later Mr. Funk engaged in the real estate business in Hollywood, then returning to the Mojave, where he transformed his large mansion into a sanitorium [sic].

Three years ago he removed to his mining property east of Amboy, known as the Vulcan mine. He had a mill in connection with the mine, and has been successful in development of the property. Mining men throughout the desert regarded him as an expert in matters of mining and milling.

He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Hugh S. Funk, his sister, Eleanor [sic], his widow, and four boys, Muir, Stanley, John and Walter.

Coroner Williams as yet has been able to determine no reason for the accident. The two vehicles collided head-on.

The following obituary appeared in the "San Bernardino Daily Sun" (San Bernardino, CA) on Saturday, October 13, 1934, page 13, column 4:

Mining Circles Lose Member

San Bernardino county mining circle lost a well known member in the death of Buel Alvin Funk, who succumbed recently to injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Mr. Funk became a resident of Daggett in 1907, where he was associated with his late father in the development of water for agricultural purposes. He also became interested in mining at Calico. He was developing the Vulcan mine, which he leased in 1932, at the time of his death.

He was born near Goshen, Ind., May 25, 1889. He was baptized in the Lutheran church.

With his parents he went to Long Beach when a boy and attended the Long Beach high school, from which he graduated. Later he studied law at the University of Southern California law school. He married Helen Muir Oct. 11, 1909. To this union was born four sons, Muir, Stanley, John and Walter.

He left to mourn him his widow, Helen Muir Funk; four sons, Muir, Stanley, John and Walter; his mother, Martha Funk, and a sister, Eleanor [sic] Anderson.

The following announcement appeared in the "Santa Ana Daily Register" (Santa Ana, CA) on Tuesday, October 12, 1909, page 3, column 3:

John Muir's Daughter Weds Artist Funk After Two Years' Courtship

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12.--After a courtship of two years, which began on the desert, Buel A. Funk, cowboy and artist, and Miss Helen Muir, daughter of John Muir, the noted naturalist, author and geologist, were married in Los Angeles yesterday afternoon by Rev. J. Q. A. Henry, in the presence of only the married sister of the bride.
[this announcement ran in many newspapers]

from the National Park Service's website for the John Muir National Historic Site, "Frequently Asked Questions"

Helen [Muir] married Buel Funk; they had four sons:
Walter Muir - deceased
Stanley Muir - deceased
John Muir - deceased
Muir Funk - deceased

Helen and three of her sons changed their name from Funk to Muir in 1940. Muir Funk did not because his first name was Muir and also because he was involved in competition for a job at the time. (Information in a letter from Walter Muir).

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  • Maintained by: Don Ludwig
  • Originally Created by: Lori Lumsden Smith
  • Added: 8 Feb 2014
  • Find a Grave Memorial 124823619
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Buel Alvin Funk (25 May 1889–6 Oct 1934), Find a Grave Memorial no. 124823619, citing Bellevue Memorial Park, Ontario, San Bernardino County, California, USA ; Maintained by Don Ludwig (contributor 48084204) .