Fred Garfield Lewis

Fred Garfield Lewis was born April 14, 1880, to Joseph and Mary Hopkins Lewis.  He was of Quaker faith by birthright and a member of the Hecksite branch of the Friends Society at Pennville, Indiana.

At the age of 14 he emigrated to Elmwood, Nebraska.  The following year he went to Aneta, North Dakota and then to Binford the year that the railroad came through.

His first job was with the Burgess Grain Company.  From then on the jobs were many and varied.  During those days there was not a shortage of jobs, but of laborers.

Isabelle Reid was born May 22, 1885, at Sanborn, North Dakota to Andrew and Christine Reid.  Her mother died when the family of four children was very young so they made their home with their Grandmother Elizabeth Davidson and an Aunt Lizzie and Uncle Hi Mauer.  They moved from Sanborn to Cooperstown and later to Binford.

Lewis married Miss Reid in the dining room of the hotel owned and operated by the Maurers.  To this union two children were born: 

1.     Howard and

2.     Edna.

He operated a meat market, which just recently was tom down, where they found some of his bookkeeping accounts.  He was also in partnership operating a livery stable.  People would hire him to taxi them around the country with his rig.

Dr. Truscott and his little black bag, used this means of reaching farm homes, if the case was a stubborn one the men would spend most of the night there.

Lewis was well known as an auctioneer.  The farm sales were most often held in the early spring or late fall when the weather was chilly.  As a result he would have a good case of Quincy.  His family still has the gunnysacks of tin cups, which he took along to sales.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Lewis played on ball teams.  There were three or four ladies teams in the area.  The families of both teams were very loyal and had loud cheering Sections.  Mrs. Lewis was a pitcher.

A band was organized.  Anyone with musical talent took part.  The first band suits were red and white.  It was an added attraction to all events and they were very generous with their concerts.

Lewis rented the Red Willow Lake farm from T. L. Cowen, now owned by Vernice and Bill Haines.

This venture included operating the boathouse, where ice cream, pop, candy, etc. were sold.

Every morning during the summer months, the merchandise was wheeled down from the farm by wheelbarrows and returned to the farm again in the evening.  The pop was chilled with the ice from the icehouse.  The ice cream was made up at the farm at the well house, which had a cement floor.  And engine was used to turn the freezers.  About every three days the tubs had to be repacked with ice.  There were good and also bad comments about the ice cream, but it was the only place you could buy it at the lake, so the trade was excellent.

It was during this time that the state provided us with 20 pairs of squirrels to feed and care for.  They were kept in a wire enclosure for about a month and then released.  The Lewis' never tried to tame them for their own good.  They were an added attraction to the resort, as their families still are today.

An organization, the Binford Realty Company of which Lewis was a member dealt with facts about new towns and the surrounding country.  A booklet for those interested in mercantile, agricultural and social advancement was written.  Red Willow Lake was quoted in this book as being the prettiest lake in the county and a place for pleasure, parties and picnics.

Listings of early farms, their acreages and bargains from $12.00 to $48.00 per acre.  Also making the statement that crop failures were unknown.

Lewis was Postmaster at Binford, and his wife, his assistant.  They were also very active in Red Cross work and all the other local organizations.  Politically they were Republican.

The Lewis family purchased the Adrian farm about a mile and a half east from the lake.  Later they moved into Binford where they spent their last years.

Mrs. Lewis died in the Mercy hospital in Valley City on June 29, 1946 and Lewis passed away at the Griggs County hospital in Cooperstown on October 26, 1968.

Source : Griggs County History 1879 - 1976 Page 27

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