Wallace W. Bemis

Wallace W. Bemis

Wallace W. Bemis lives on 145-62. He was born on a farm in Franklin County, New York, in 1861. His father C. A. Bemis, was born at Malone, Franklin County, New York of English descent, who came to America in colonial days. His father was a farmer throughout his life, and an early settler of Wisconsin, settling in Vernon County in 1864. His mother, nee Hulda Greene, was born in upper Canada of Irish-German descent. Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Bemis were married in New York, and had 12 children of which Wallace was the 11th.

Mr. Wallace Bemis was raised on the farm, and assisted with the work there and on account of the ill-health of the father most of the work of the farm was thrown upon the sons. At 21 he started farming for himself and rented the same farm his father conducted previously, and after his father’s death in 1881, the support of the family devolved upon him. He operated the farm about 4 years and in 1887 went to Foster County, North Dakota, and built a claim shanty, and with a team of horses, two colts, a wagon and a plow settled on his land, and lived there alone during the summer of that year, and was joined by his wife and family in the fall of 1887. He raised his first crop in 1888 and 1889 raised wheat and oats, and in 1899 raised 1,000 bushels of grain. He lost his barn by prairie fire in 1894, and in 1895 the house and contents were destroyed by fire caused by a kerosene stove, the loss being about 600 dollars. He now has a farm of about 800 acres with 890 acres under cultivation and the rest of the land in grass and pasture. He has a complete set of good farm buildings (but is lacking a good stable) and all machinery for operating the farm, including a steam threshing outfit, nineteen horsepower compound engine, and began operating the same in 1899. During the first years he hauled grain 22 miles to market, and fuel and supplies about the same distance, and Cooperstown was the nearest town, and many times he has experienced severe storms and fought prairie fires.

He was married in 1883 to Ella Patterson, born in Vernon County, Wisconsin, the daughter of E.O. Patterson, of Irish descent, and was a farmer. She taught school for many years in Wisconsin. They had 8 children: Charlie, Roy, Pearl, Alice, Hazel, Hulda, Russell and Lee are living. All but the two eldest were born in North Dakota.

Bibliography compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota – 1900 – page 1220 condensed.

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