Sunday, May 1, 2011

Backward Glance - Fredrick James Bemiss

Freddie Bemiss was born March 9, 1879, in Union City, Erie County, Pennsylvania, the oldest son of William Silas and Olive Orrel (Webster) Bemiss. His parents moved their family to Gove County, Kansas in 1883.

In Gove City, on March 18, 1905, Freddie was married to Maud May Morgan, whose family had moved to Gove County in 1893. On their marriage certificate, his name is recorded as Fred J. Bemiss. Freddie and Maud had nine children: five sons first, then four daughters. My grandmother, Luella Mae, was their eldest daughter. All of the children were born in Gove County.

When Fred registered for the draft during World War I, he recorded and signed his name as 'Fredrick James Bemiss.' I suppose he would know his full name best!

Mostly, Fred spent his life farming in, or around, the Grinnell, Gove County, Kansas, area. In 1925, he and his family were found in Blakely, Geary County, Kansas, on a farm; but, in 1927, when his mother died, they were living in Oakley, Logan County. By the 1930 census, they were again living outside Grinnell, on a farm. Eventually, Freddie and Maud moved into a small house in Grinnell. Freddie had a shoe repair shop there.

The story is told that he owned the pool hall in Grinnell. When felt skirts became popular, his youngest daughter, Edna, was a teenager. According to the story, the only girls in town with felt skirts were the banker's daughter and Edna. Grandma Bemiss had taken the felt off of a pool table to make Edna's skirt!

Grandpa Bemiss was beloved by his family and friends. He died at the age of 83 in the Logan County Hospital in Oakley, Kansas. He is buried next to Maud in the Grinnell Cemetery.

1 comment:

  1. My cousin,Luetta and I bottom R picture jumped out of the outhouse to trick Grandpa into a picture taken with us in our bathing suits. He grew up in an era when women barely showed their ankles certainly not their whole leg. "blush"