OLIVER, William M.
Merced Express, February 1, 1908


OLIVER–In Merced, Cal., January 26, 1908, William M. Oliver, a native of Kentucky, aged 84 years and 11 months.
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OLIVER, William Mason
Merced Express, February 1, 1908


William Mason Oliver, a pioneer of ‘49 is dead at the age of 85 years. The aged gentleman died at the home of his son, Oscar Oliver, on Twenty-second street, Sunday morning last. He had been in feeble health for several years and his death was not unexpected. His passing away was simply from old age and general debility and was very peaceful.

The venerable gentleman was prepared for the end and wished to go as he said to friends. "I have outlived usefulness and an only a care to my boys" It was his request that the funeral services be short and no display which was in keeping with his life and carried out by his sons.

William Mason Oliver was born in Henry county, Kentucky, February 6, 1823. At the age of 19 he moved to Iowa, where he was married to Mary J. Walker in 1847. Mr. Oliver and his wife caught the California gold spirit and crossed the plains to this State in the historic year of ‘49. After living for a time in San Francisco, they went to the mines in Calaveras county and cast their fortunes with the gold seekers for a number of years. In 1858 they settled in Wooodbridge, San Joaquin county, where Mr. Oliver engaged in farming until 1883, when he came to Merced to reside. This city has since been his home, where he and his family have always enjoyed the high esteem of the entire community.

Mrs. Oliver passed away seven years ago. Eight sons were the fruits of their marriage of whom seven are living, as follows: Burrell L., of Visalia; William H., of San Francisco; Daniel E., of San Jose; and James M., Oscar M., and Austin W., of Merced. Hiram G. Oliver, the other son, died in Tulare county in 1882.

The funeral took place from the late home of the deceased Monday afternoon. All of the sons were present except one. Rev. C. C. Thompson, pastor of the Bethel M. E. church, officiated. Rev. Thompson, in referring to Mr. Oliver being a pioneer in ‘49, spoke eloquently of the brave manner in which those men blazed the way that we might now enjoy the glories of California. The attendance at the funeral was quite large, notwithstanding the very unfavorable weather. The pall-bearers were A. G. Clough, John S. Swain, W. A. Rucker, Charles Harris, George Yoakum, of Merced, and Charles Perley of Modesto.

Contributed by: Thomas Hilk