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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1018~




It is eminently proper that attention be called to the achievements of Benjamin Shephard Bemis, one of Windsor township's most successful agriculturists, and that due credit be accorded to his worth as an enterprising citizen. He was born at Windham, Vermont, April 12, 1861, the son of Shephard Benjamin and Mary (Lewis) Bemis, both natives of Vermont, each, like the families from which they came, being sterling New Englanders. Their son, Benjamin Shephard, grew up on the farm and when nineteen years of age, desiring to get away from a rough, rocky country, he came to Fayette county, Iowa, locating near West Union. He worked for George Blent for a period of six years, saved his money and was enabled to buy the farm which he now owns, paying only nine dollars and fifty cents per acre for land which is now worth a handsome figure; this land was formerly owned by his employer. His farm consists of two hundred acres and lies two miles southeast of Hawkeye. He rented his land out and on September 23, 1888, he moved to the place, which he has since occupied continuously, paying fifty dollars per acre for the last forty acres he purchased. His farm is intersected by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad, two miles southeast of Hawkeye. He has one of the finest farms in this locality and very successfully carries on general farming and dairying, also devotes considerable attention to cattle feeding, two or three car loads of cattle at a time, buying large numbers of cattle to feed or sell at a time. He breeds some excellent stock, most of which is high grade in every respect, and, well understanding the "ins and outs" of the stock business, he is well repaid for his efforts in this direction. He has always been very successful as a general farmer and stockman. Mr. Bemis has erected an attractive and commodious dwelling, recently completed, which is inviting and nicely furnished. He also has a substantial bank-barn, located on a fine knoll from which an excellent view of the country may be had. Everything about his place indicates good management and good taste. Mr. Bemis is a Republican politically, but he does not find time to devote any special attention to political matters, though he is deeply interested in whatever tends to promote the general interests of his county and state, whether political or otherwise. 

Mr. Bemis was married on September 23, 1888, in Westfield township, this county, to Jane Smith, daughter of Chauncy and Susan (Bishop) Smith, the father of Vermont and the mother a native of Kentucky, and a highly respected and influential family, who came to Fayette county, locating in Westfield township before the Civil War, and they both lived here the rest of their lives. Mrs. Jane Bemis was born in Westfield township and there grew to maturity. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Bemis, namely: Luella, living at home, attended the Hawkeye high school; Arthur C. attended the business college at Austin, Minnesota and is now living at home; the other children who form members of the family circle are Edith Maud, Homer Benjamin and Viola. Mr. Bemis enjoys hunting and he is also a devotee of the rod, being both a successful huntsman and fisherman. He has made several trips to Lake Itaska, Minnesota, where much wild game is to be found and where he never fails to get his full share of the game, deer, ducks, ect. He has many fine trophies of the chase to show for his skill as a marksman. He is a stockholder in the Hawkeye Creamery, the success of which is due not a little to his judicious counsel. He has visited his old home in Vermont two or three times since coming here. His brother, Charles, also came to Windsor township two years after Benjamin S. located here, but he is now living in California, having lived here ten years. Several young men have come from Vermont to Fayette county, Iowa, as a result of the successful venture of Mr. Bemis and they have all become well-to-do and prominent citizens. Personally, Mr. Bemis is a very likable man, being jovial, kindhearted and straightforward in his dealings with his fellow men.




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