John Damon Bodwell (1840-1888)

Son of: Andrew 1804

In 1885 John was issued a patent for DEVICE FOR THE COMBUSTION 0F LIQUID FUEL.

John D. Bodwell Found Dead in a Cottage Near His Home - Oakland

Yesterday forenoon the body of John D. Bodwell, an inventor of a process for using crude petroleum in furnaces, and a trustee and former President, Superintendent and Manager of a company of the Coast, was found lying on a bed in a little house on the premises owned by the company near Shell Mound Station on the Berkeley road, and about half a mile from San Pablo Avenue Station or Klinknerville. The body was lying face downward with a linen handkerchief tied around the head, and a silk handkerchief under the face. A four-ounce vial with a small amount of chloroform was found on a table near by. He had been to San Francisco the day before, as his commutation ticket showed that it had been used, and his wife stated that he started at 11 o'clock in the morning. He was subject to violent headaches, and used chloroform to relieve the pain. He was also in the habit of going into the little room where he was found when he was troubled with headaches. Nothing was found on the body indicating self-destruction, and his friends are averse to believing that he committed suicide. A post-mortem examination was held by Dr. D. P. Hogshead of Klinkerville, and the brain, heart and all other organs of the body found in perfect condition with the exception of the lungs, which showed congestion, due to chloroform poisoning. Coroner Frouk, under whose direction the post-mortem was held, will hold an inquest on Monday afternoon. The deceased had recently had a number of lawsuits with other members of the company over property at Shell Mound, which is valued at $16,000. He was a carpenter by trade, and was to have commenced work at his trade, after a lapse of years, at Berkley, on Monday. He leaves a widow and a son 16 years of age, who has just graduated from the San Francisco High School. He was a member of the Excelsior Lodge, F. And A. M.; Ophir Lodge, No. 171, and Unity Encampment, No. 126, I. O O. F.; Saxon Lodge, No. 2258, Knights of Honor; San Francisco. The funeral will probably take place on Tuesday, under the auspices of the Odd Fellows. He was at one time a member of the San Francisco police force and resigned to devote his attention to the process he had patented. San Francisco Morning Call Newspaper, July 29, 1888, p. 7.

An Inquest Held on the Body of John D. Bodwell

An inquest was held on the body of John Damon Bodwell, deceased, at his late residence, near Shell Mound Park, at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon by Coroner Fronk. The testimony showed that there was no cause for the deceased to commit suicide, as he had about settled all his litigious troubles over the property of the Pacific Coast Stove Manufacturing Company, of which he was President, and, that instead of being down cast, he was elated over the fact that everything had been finally settled. The jury rendered a verdict that the deceased came to his death from the inhalation of chloroform, and that his death was accidental. The funeral will take place at 1 o'clock today under the auspices of Ophir Lodge, No. 171, I. O. O. F. San Francisco Morning Call Newspaper, July 31, 1888, p. 2.

In the Fall of 1866 John Damon Bodwell was living in Virginia City, Nevada Virginia City Territorial Newspaper.

The Nevada Directory for 1868-69 lists J.D. Bodwell, carpenter,  living at A & Divide, Virginia, Nevada. 






ca. 1840

28 Jul 1888

ca. 1870

Martha Jane (?)

Stanstead, Que

Oakland, Ca

San Francisco, Ca


Child of John and Martha (?) Bodwell



Birth Date

Birth Place

Death Date

Death Place


Samuel Proctor

22 Nov 1871

Virginia City, Nv

28 Aug 1934

Fresno, Ca

In May 1892 a Samuel P. Bodwell graduated from Oakland High School. (Source: Oakland HS Year Book 1894)

Source: Nevada State Journal 1870-1900


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