top of page

"In 1975, my father handed me a folder and said, "You might find we have some interesting relatives." But since I was a middle-aged man of 40, busy working and raising a family, Dad's opinion stirred little interest on my part. So the folder was placed in the "Retirement" file drawer and promptly forgotten. But in the early 1980s, wife Liv and I gathered our two young children into our 1971 VW Camper and headed for Canaan, New York, where Dad said we would find the "Holy Grail of Warners." And that it was, with a cemetery full of "cousins" and three homesteads preserved. We found displays of the Warner family in the former Presbyterian Church, now the Canaan Historical Society. "


Patricia Barry and Philip Warner tell the story of Captain William Warner whose military career spans the years 1831 when he entered West Point Military Academy to his untimely death in 1849 near what are today named the Warner Mountains in northeast California.


Captain Warner was a military surveyor in the Army Corp of Topographical Engineers, and served in many assignments across the United States in the 1830s and 1840s. He began his career in Maine, surveying and establishing the US-Canada border there. He next served in Florida in the Seminole Wars, and then was part of the Trail of Tears American Indian relocation campaign. He was posted to the Southwest during the Mexican War, and then to California where he fought in the battle of San Pasqua during the California rebellion from Mexico.


In 1849 he surveyed northeast California to find a railroad route into California from the East. He met his untimely death when attacked by a band of American Indians near what is today the corner of the California-­Nevada-Oregon border.


His story is one of a very brave and courageous American soldier and reveals the history of an amazing time in American and California History.


In Search of Captain Warner by Pat Barry

SKU: 0021
  • Philip Warner was raised in the small farming town of Webster, New York. He accepted a scholarship from Oberlin College, but in 1953 he chose to enlist in the Army. Because he studied chemistry at Oberlin, the Army trained him to be a cook and shipped him off to Fort Bragg to serve the 525 Military Intelligence Detachment. In 1955, he was appointed to the United States Military Academy's Prep School at Stewart Air Force Base, Newburgh, New York. There he received a "competitor, regular" appointment to West Point and entered in July, 1956.


    Upon fulfilling his three year Army enlistment, he accepted an appointment by Rochester Products Division to the General Motors Institute (now Kettering University, Flint, Michigan.) In 1960, he graduated with a BIE/Production Management degree and served Rochester Products Division in the field of "factory computer-operations" for 30 years. He retired in 1987 at age 53.


    The original author, Patricia Barry, lived in Alturas, California, and has since passed away.

bottom of page