Commodore Bertholf was born in New York City on 7 April 1866. He entered the Revenue Cutter Service as a cadet on 14 September 1885. He graduated and was appointed a third lieutenant on 12 June 1889. He served through all grades of the Service, on ships stationed along various parts of the coast of the United States and Alaska.
His most noted service had been in connection with Alaska. In 1897 he led the relief party which made the famous overland trip in mid-winter to Point Barrow. Congress voted him a gold medal for this relief of over two hundred American whalers in danger of starving when their vessels were crushed in the ice. In the winter of 1901, Bertholf made a trip across northern Siberia by sledge at the request of the Bureau of Education. The purpose of this mission was the purchase of a reindeer herd to be used by the Inuits of northern Alaska.
He was appointed Captain Commandant of the United States Revenue Cutter Service on 19 June 1911 and re-appointed to the same office in January 1915 when President Wilson joined the Revenue Cutter Service with the Life-Saving Service to form the U.S. Coast Guard. He served as one of the American delegates to the International Conference on Safety at Sea held in London in 1912. In addition to his duties as Captain Commandant of the Coast Guard, Bertholf also served as chairman of the Interdepartmental Board on International Ice Observation and Patrol in the North Atlantic and of the Board on Anchorage and Movements of Vessels.
During the First World War Captain Commandant Bertholf held the temporary rank of Commodore. Upon his retirement as Commandant of the Coast Guard on 30 June 1919, he became one of the vice presidents of the American Bureau of Shipping and was a most active, influential, and important factor in the affairs of that institution. He also made quite an extensive European tour to expand this American organization in foreign fields. He died at his residence at Bretton Hall Hotel in New York City on 11 November 1921.
Commodore Bertholf was laid to rest with full military honors in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery. He is buried next to his nephew, Charles Mariner Bertholf, Captain, United States Navy, and his nephew's son, Charles Mariner Bertholf, Jr., Captain, United States Marine Corps. His brother, Wallace Bertholf, Captain, United States Navy, is also buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Comodore Ellsworth Price Bertholf
was born on 9 April 1866 at New York City, New York County, New York. He was the son of John Jay Bertholf
and Annie Frances Price
. Comodore Ellsworth Price Bertholf married Emilie Woodruff Inness
on 6 December 1902 at California.
Department of the Treasury
United States of America
August 15, 1904.
First Lieutenant E. P. Bertholf,
United States Revenue Cutter Service.
It affords me great pleasure to forward to you herewith the Gold Medal recommended by President William McKinley, and ordered by the unanimous vote of the Congress of the United States in recognition of your heroic services as one of the three officers of the Revenue Cutter Service who composed the Overland Expedition to Point Barrow, Arctic Ocean, for the relief of imperiled whalers.
The conditions with confronted you throughout that four months' march beginning the 16th day of December, 1897, were full of difficulty, discouragement and ever present danger, but you and your gallant comrades, Lieutenant D. H. Jarvis and Surgeon Samuel J. Call, prosecuted your journey and fulfilled your mission undaunted and undeterred.
The estimation and appreciation in which your great services were and are held, cannot be better expressed than in the language of President McKinley in his Special Message to Congress, under the date of January 17, 1899, wherein he said:
"The hardships and perils encountered by the members of the overland expedition in their great journey through the almost uninhabited region, a barren waste of ice and snow, facing death itself every day for nearly four months, over a route never before traveled by white men, with no refuge but at the end of the journey, carrying relief and cheer to 275 distressed citizens of our country, all make another glorious page in the history of American seamen. They reflect by their heroic and gallant struggles the highest credit upon themselves and the Government which they faithfully served. I commend this heroic crew to the grateful consideration of Congress and the American people.
The year just closed has been fruitful of noble achievements in the field of war, and, while I have commended to your consideration the names of heroes who have shed lustre upon the American name in valorous contests and battles by land and sea, it is no less my pleasure to invite your attention to a victory of peace, the results of which cannot well be magnified, and the dauntless courage of the men engaged stamps them as true heroes whose services cannot pass unrecognized."
Upon the brilliant and successful consummation of your perilous mission I congratulate you and the Service in which you were even then distinguished officers, and I congratulate the country that produces such men. Future seekers for the record of heroic Americans will surely note with pleasure what was done by Lieutenant Jarvis, Lieutenant Bertholf and Surgeon Call, within nineteen degrees of the North Pole, in the winter of 1897.
(signed) L. M. Shaw,
Comodore Ellsworth Price Bertholf was shown in the census on 23 April 1910 as an officer, U. S. Revenue Service.
Comodore Ellsworth Price Bertholf and Emilie Woodruff Inness
appeared on the census of 23 April 1910 at Oakland, Alameda County, California; she has 1 child, 1 living
Emillie's second marriage. Comodore Ellsworth Price Bertholf died on 11 November 1921 at New York City, New York County, New York, at age 55.
For Immediate Release
Treasury Department, Nov. 14, 1921.
Death of Captain Commandant E. P. Bertholf,
U.S. Coast Guard, Retired.
On November 11, 1921, Captain Commandant Ellsworth P. Bertholf, U.S. Coast Guard, Retired, Commandant of the Coast Guard from June, 1911, to June 30, 1919, died at his residence at Bretton Hall Hotel, New York City, in his 55th year. His life had been full of activity and endeavor in governmental and marine affairs and his death was a severe shock to his host of friends in all walks of life. He was active and energetic until about ten days before his death.
Commodore Bertholf was born in New York City, April 7, 1866. He entered the Revenue-Cutter Service as a cadet on September 14, 1885; graduated and was appointed a third lieutenant on June 12, 1889. He has served through all grades of the Service, on ships stationed along various parts of the coast of the United States and Alaska. His most noted services have been in connection with Alaska. In 1897 he was a member of the relief party which in mid-winter made the famous over-land trip to Point Barrow, the northernmost point of the American continent for the relief of over two hundred American whalers whose vessels had been crushed in the ice and who were reported to be in danger of starvation. For the heroism displayed on this occasion Congress voted him a gold medal.
In the winter of 1901, the then Lieutenant Bertholf made, at the request of the Bureau of Education, a trip across northern Siberia by sledge for the purpose of purchasing a new herd of reindeer for use of the natives in Northern Alaska.
He was appointed captain commandant of the United States Revenue-Cutter Service on June 19, 1911, and reappointed to the same office in January, 1916 (then the Coast Guard), by President Wilson. He served as one of the American delegates to the International Conference on Safety at Sea, held in London in 1912. Under Commodore Bertholf's administration and largely due to his efforts, the Coast Guard was created in 1915 by the combination of the then existing Life-Saving Service and Revenue-Cutter Service. In addition to his duties as captain commandant of the Coast Guard, Commodore Bertholf also served as chairman of the Inter-Departmental Board on International Ice Observation and Patrol in the North Atlantic, and of the Board on Anchorage and Movements of Vessels.
During the World War Captain Commandant Bertholf held the temporary rank of Commodore. Upon his retirement as Commandant of the Coast Guard, he become one of the vice presidents of the American Bureau of Shipping and was a most active, influential, and important factor in the affairs of that institution, and made quite an extensive European tour for the upbuilding of this American organization in foreign fields.
Private funeral services were held at St. Matthews Episcopal Church, 84th Street and Central Park West, New York City, at 3 p.m., Sunday, November 13th, and interment made in Arlington National Cemetery at 2 p.m., Monday, November 14, 1921, with full military honors, and with the ranking officers on duty at Coast Guard Headquarters serving as pall bearers. He is survived by a widow and a married daughter, Mrs. Bernard Smyth of Orange, New Jersey.
On 14 November 1921. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia.