Zachary Taylor Wilcox

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Crown Prince of the Whiskerinos

Zachery & John Wilcox
Zachary Wilcox and his brother John Faxon Wilcox.
Private collection with permission from Larry Nicodemus, submitted by Carolyn Mirich.

Excerpts of "Crown Prince of the Whiskerinos" with permission of author, Carolyn Mirich.

"The mysterious end of the story may be a good place to start in this tale of whiskery wonder. There was a very real, truly legal, and very bewhiskered will. The fateful words to transfer custody of the whiskers were signed by Zachary Taylor Wilcox, at the age of 76. The will, which was legally signed and witnessed, was prepared by Arthur H. McCurdy, attorney and fellow Whiskerino, of Sacramento, California.

'I, ZACK WILCOX, of Carson City, Nevada, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, and not acting under duress, menace, fraud or undue influence of the Whiskers Club of Camp '49, a corporation of Sacramento City, California, or of any person whomsoever, nor of any kind whatsoever, and the Grand Jury of the Whiskerinos having returned its verdict that I have the second longest beard of any person in the whole world, to-wit: fourteen feet, and said verdict having been approved by the Chief Whiskerino of the Golden West, from whose decision there is no known appeal, his jurisdiction being extra-territorial, and wishing to assist in and encourage the spreading to the epidemic which raged in and around the Golden West in the year 1849, which under microscopic examination, shows a peculiar fungus growth on the cultural tubes, which after incubation develops into an odd, hairy-like growth and which eventually develops into a luxuriant growth of whiskers, and having grown whiskers for a period of nigh unto forty-nine years, and wishing at this time to bequeath my whiskers to the Whiskers Club of Camp '49, a corporation of Sacramento City, California, and wishing to bequeath none other of my worldly goods under this will, do make, publish and declare this my last will and testament for the bequeathing of said whiskers, ...'

Nearly 80 years after Zachary's death, there is still a cloud of mystery that lingers. To this day, only part of Zack can be accounted for." --- the part that is buried at Lone Mountain Cemetery, minus the beard of course.

"He wasn't always in possession of something worthy of intense interest and which would ultimately lead him to becoming a Crown Prince. Before all the pomp and circumstance, he was a simple farmer in Vermont."

During the Civil War, "Zachary was mustered in as a private in the 1st Vermont Cavalry Company F on September 22, 1864, joining his brother John.

Zachary was discharged June 21, 1865, with distinguished service. When he was mustered out, Zack said he wished to retain one Remington Revolver, a belt, and Spencer Carbine. For these he was charged $33.33. After the war, Zack and his brother George served in the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.). They remained active members of G.A.R. Custer Corps No. 15 in Carson City, serving their country until the end of their days."

Grand Army of the Republic
Grand Army of the Republic, Custer Corps No. 15, Carson City, Nevada
Private collection with permission from Laurien E. Riehl, submitted by Carolyn Mirich.

Top Row, Left to Right: J. Beckstead (Mexican American War), George Meyers, Horace F. Bartine, George Wilcox , Zachary Wilcox. Seated Left to Right: John McCullough, Jason C. Burlingame,
Governor D. S. Dickerson (Spanish American War), C. A. Braslin (sic). Photo taken May 30, 1910.

"When Zack was thirty years old, he joined Andrew and George near Chico to try his hand at mining. The three brothers were together again. Not laden with gold, Zack and George's family made their way to Carson City. George found work as a carpenter and, along with his wife Ella, raised three children. Andrew, after the death of his wife Eliza in 1885 and his remarriage to Ruth Handy, also moved to Carson City. Why Carson City? We may never know, but whatever the reason Carson City was where the three Wilcox brothers put down roots.

Zack continued to do a great deal of prospecting but the practical Zack purchased a home and spent his days doing concrete work. He made a comfortable living, supplemented by his Civil War pension of $72.00 per month. The brick and concrete laid by Zack throughout Carson City undoubtedly still contain tiny threadlike outgrowths which fell from the now famous whiskers."

We are priviledged to have Mr. Zachary Taylor Wilcox interred at Lone Mountain Cemetery.


A short newsreel of the King and Crown Prince of the Whiskerinos, survives to this day.
It is titled The End of the Chase.
The free film is available for download at For the
Film ID on the form, enter 996.12; and for the Title, enter The End of the Chase.
Leave the rest of the form blank.


"Crown Prince of the Whiskerinos" by Carolyn Mirich, is a facinating tale of a very unique character in the history of Carson City. Her book is available at major online bookstores.