Theodore Sterling West – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

Theodore Sterling West, Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army.  24th Wisconsin Volunteer Infnatry.  He died on August 15, 1889 and was buried with full military honors in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemetery.

Theodore S. West Waukesha, Wisconsin


WASHINGTON, August 16, 1889 – General Theodore S. West, one of the proprietors of the Langham Hotel in Washington, died suddenly yesterday morning at Asbury Park, New Jersey.  On July 6 last General West and Sterling Ruffin, a well-known clerk in the Treasury Department, who comes from North Carolina, had a quarrel over a board bill and Ruffin struck West in the face with an umbrella, breaking his nose.  Ruffin then hit General West and, after knocking him down, jumped on him.  The quarrel was renewed later in the day and West was so badly punished that he was not able to get around since.  No arrests were made at the time, but when the police this afternoon learned of General West’s death, Ruffin was taken from the Treasury Department and locked up.

A few months ago he married Miss Charlotte Crocker, a daughter of General M. M. Crocker of Iowa.

He was born in Philadelphia and educated at the University of Waukesha, Wisconsin.  He was Colonel of the Fifth Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteers, and was captured and sent to Libby Prison.  General Hobart and Governor Creary of Michigan were in prison with him and they planned and executed their escape.  He served under Generals Rosecrans and Belknap.  He rose to the rank of Brigadier General.  At the close of the war he ran a ranch in the South and subsequently went to California.

Six months ago he and Colonel C. C. Lefler became proprietors of the Hotel Langham, Washington, D.C.

A special train takes the body to Washington today. Charles K. Hall Post Number 41, G.A.R. will act as guard of honor.  Generals Rosecrans and Belknap will meet the body in Washington.  The interment will be in the military cemetery at Arlington with military honors.

ASBURY PARK, New Jersey, August 16, 1889 – The body of General Theodore Sterling West, who died at the Coleman House yesterday morning, was taken to Washington today on a special car.  General West’s death was undoubtedly caused by Bight’s Disease of the kidneys.  He had suffered from that ailment over six years.

Dr. J. D. Osborne, a prominent physician of Newark, New Jersey, and Dr. Henry Mitchell, President of the Asbury Park Board of Health, attended General West here.  R. Osborne, who was present at the General’s death, granted a death certificate.  He says General West had Bright’s disease in a chronic form.  He died in uremic convulsions.

Dr. Osborne says that the assault by Treasury Clerk Ruffin had nothing to do with General West’s death.

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