"DIED. At his late residence in Happy Valley, on Thursday, 26th inst., at 3 o'clock A. M., Capt. Bezer Simmons, aged 40 years. His friends are invited to attend the funeral service which will take place to-day at 3 o'clock P. M., at his late residence.
Capt. Bezer Simmons was among the earliest adventurers to the North-West coast. Born on the rugged New England shores, amid the peaceful hills of New Hampshire, his ardent and adventurous mind led him when quite a youth to follow in the exciting pursuits of fortune and fame through scenes of the most active and hardy business life.
He sailed from New Bedford in a whaling vessel bound to the Pacific, and from before the mast rapidly mounting to a distinction for efficiency, faithfulness, and energy, he passed successively through grades of command until he stood upon the quarter deck of one of the finest vessels out of the above named port.
The Magnolia with Capt. Simmons in command, arrived in the Pacific ocean and furled her sails along this coast, long before the occupation of California by the Americans.
Returning home in 1846, he became extensively engaged in a commercial business in one of our eastern cities, and on the discovery of gold in this country immediately rejoined his many beloved friends and acquaintances, in this the scene of many wild yet pleasing remembrances.
The house of Simmons, Hutchinson & Co., which, to the hour of disaster, stood side by side with the highest commercial houses in our youthful city, was not spared the crushing blow which fell by the giant arm of insolvency, and at a time when the death sickness of the deceased had fastened its terrible hold upon his feeble frame.
In his illness he is said to have felt the keen anxiety of a sensitive, honorable and just mind coupled with the most poignant regret, and triumphant in the peace of soul of a true Christian, and with a heart's latest beatings breathing good will to men, he has passed away to the inheritance of an immortality; rich in promise during his earthly mission as it will prove we trust abundant in reward.
"Calm in the bosom of thy God,"
"Fair spirit rest thee now !"
Capt. Simmons was accompanied to California on his last visit by a fond young wife, who too, sleeps with the dead, and on the hills of her native land, whither her remains were conveyed from this place by an affectionate husband. That husband, whose death we are now called to deplore, will not be forgotten in the change and turmoil of life in this busy community.
And when those upon whom it will devolve to speak more at length of him than we have essayed to do in this hasty and pausing notice, shall tell of his true Christian worth, then will be recorded, in imperishable characters, the virtues of one who has gone down to the grave beloved and mourned by all who knew him, both in the east and in this the land of his adoption." (Daily Alta California, Vol. 1, No. 239, 27 Sep 1850 p. 2, col. 5)
Tribune of Respect
TO THE LATE CAPT. BEZER SIMMONS, OF VERMONT.
On the occasion of the death of the late Capt. Simmons, a meeting of citizens from Vermont, residing in California, was called to take appropriate steps to express their regard and esteem for the deceased, and to attend his funeral - whereupon the following officers were chosen : John A. Collins, Esq., Chairman ; Jas. O'Grady, Esq., Secretary; Henry L. Dodge, Esq., Marshal.
The Hon. Robert Hopkins and Wm. A. Dana, Esq., were appointed a committee to draft resolutions expressive of the sentiments of the meeting on that occasion. The committee reported the following preamble and resolutions, which were, on motion of Geo. K. Platt, Esq., unanimously adopted :
Whereas, It has pleased an all wise Providence to remove, by death, our esteemed friend and countryman, Captain Bezer Simmons — and there by this dispensation a true philanthropist has been taken from our midst, whose purity of character, high toned morality and wide-spread benevolence endeared him to all who knew him, and eminently fitted him for the high station he occupied in society — therefore.
Resolved, That although we bear the afflictive hand of God without murmuring, yet we feel that in the death of Capt. Bezer Simmons, the community has sustained a loss which cannot be repaired.
Resolved, That our only consolation in this bereavement is, that our present loss is his eternal gain.
Resolved, That as the last tribute of respect which it is now in our power to offer to the memory of the deceased, we deeply sympathize with his afflicted relatives, and ask that in a body we may be permitted with them to accompany his remains to their last long home.
Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting, together with these resolutions and preamble be published, and a copy thereof sent to each of his near relatives.
John A. Collins, Chairman.
James O'Grady, Secretary.
San Francisco, September 27th, 1850.
In accordance with the above resolutions, a large and respectable number of Vermonters attended the funeral services, and were given a place in the procession next to the relatives of the deceased.
The Society of Ancient Californians, of which the deceased was a member, followed in the funeral procession on horseback, as well as many citizens in carriages.
The numbers at the funeral told plainer than words could tell, the regrets of the people.
We cannot but admire the feelings that the Vermonters in this place manifest towards each other. Their attendance on this occasion is an example.
We do not recollect having before seen so large a number of persons at any funeral in this city. The services by the officiating clergyman, both at the house and the grave, were very appropriate." (Daily Alta California, Vol. 1, No. 240, 28 Sep 1850, p. 2)
Laura Billings Simmons
Gravesite Details Stone broken & repaired over death date.