Clay Needham, long a leading citizen of this locality, and nationally known as one of the outstanding opponents of the liquor traffic, passed away at his home on the ranch two miles south of Newhall on Friday morning, February 21, 1936, aged 84 years.
The funeral services were held Monday at 1:30 P.M. at the "Wee Kirk o' the Heather" in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, a large concourse of friends being present to pay their last respects to the deceased. Rev. Herbert E. Hayes, pastor of the Newhall Community Presbyterian Church, assisted by Rev. G.N. Wadsworth, was in charge of the services.
The soft strains of the chapel organ played the favorite hymns of Mr. Needham, the chimes making a tender setting for the solemn occasion. A soloist sang "Nearer My God To Thee" and "Lead Thou Me On" and Rev. Hayes gave the beautiful 23rd Psalm, and other appropriate scripture readings, concluding with the brief obituary of the deceased. Rev. Wadsworth spoke of the life work of Mr. Needham in his church, and in the fight against liquor, dramatically describing his last speech in the General Assembly in Cincinnati, when he attended that body as a delegate.
Henry Clay Needham was born in 1851 at Elizabethtown, Kentucky, where his father operated a mill for many years. Young Henry assisted in operating the mill, until he became of age, when he went to Kansas and engaged in the coal and lumber business, though with his father he had been in a fight in hid old Kentucky home to keep the town dry. In Kansas he was the author of the famous dry law, which was put into effect under Governor St. John, who was also and advocate of temperance, and gave the help of his office in the struggle.
Mr. Needham came to California 47 years ago and went into the lumber business in Newhall, afterward establishing the water system, and maintaining it until he sold it to Mr. Perkins in 1920. He sold his lumber yard later and devoted himself to developing his oil property on the home ranch. He was a close friend of the principal owner of the Newhall Ranch and managed that property in this section for a number of years.
He maintained a beautiful home in Los Angeles, but spent most of his time on the ranch here. He was an active member of the Newhall Church for many years, being one of the charter members in 1891 when the church was organized and incorporated and continuing his activities until age compelled him to remain quietly at home, tho he retained his place as an elder in the church until his death.
Mr. Needham's fight against liquor never included any enmity of the men whom he compelled to stop selling. He would file complaints, get men convicted — and then on promise to stop, would often pay the fine, insisting that he wanted the business stopped.
He served as county supervisor at an early day.
He leaves his widow, Mrs. Lillie F. Needham of Los Angeles, two daughters, Mrs. Nellie M. Miller, of Los Angeles, Mrs. Pearl Segerstrom of Sonora, and three sons, Russell and Nell of Los Angeles and Lieut. H.P. Needham of San Diego of the Marine Corps.
We desire to express our most sincere appreciation and heartfelt thanks for the many courtesies of sympathy and the beautiful floral tributes sent in memory of our dearly beloved husband and father.
Lillie F. Needham,
Russell E. Needham,
Nell C. Needham,
Lieut. H.P. Needham.
©1936 The Signal.