Daniel and Olive Warner had nine children – three sons and six daughters. The youngest son William Henry, was the most illustrious. He graduated from West Point in 1836 , with both his older cousins, Thomas and Henry, it attendance.
Authors Patricia Barry of Alturas, California and Philip Warner, distant cousin of Captain Warner, detail the life of Captain William Henry Warner in their book, “In Search of Capt. Warner.” It was published by ANCHR at the U of CA, Chico, but is currently out of print.
The book focuses on his military career - spanning 1831, when he entered the US Military Academy, West Point, to his untimely death in 1849 near what is today named the Warner Mountains/Wilderness in North-East California/South-Central Oregon. In 1838, artillery officer Warner was assigned to the first group of Army Topographical Engineers, to help map the “vast wildernesses” that became the United States of America. His many assignments during the 1830s and 1840s included: establishing the Northeastern US-Canadian border; Native American relocation in Central Florida and Georgia to Oklahoma; harbor improvements in the Great Lakes Region; assignment with General Stephen Kearny’s “Army of the West” as they trekked from Ft. Leavenworth, KS, to San Diego, CA, and his resulting involvement in the Battle of San Pasqual (after which he was promoted to Brevet Captain for “gallant and meritorious services in California”); association with western artist John Mix Stanley, who helped draw his maps; and association with subordinate/business partner Lt. William Tecumseh Sherman of Civil War fame.
In 1849, Captain Warner applied for a leave of absence to pursue business opportunities around Sutters Mill, but instead received an order to find a railroad pass through the Sierra Mountains. At the point when he nearly determined there was no such route, he met his untimely death when his small party, decimated by illness, was attacked by a band of Native Americans near what is today the corner of the California-Nevada-Oregon border. Many a locale in Northeastern California and Southern Oregon bear his name. His story is one of an intelligent, brave and courageous American soldier, who died in the service of his young country during an important time in American and California History.