Simeon E. Bemis, 1839-1896
Posted By: Emmet County IAGenWeb Coordinator (email)
Date: 7/28/2006 at 10:26:31
Another Old Soldier Gone
Simeon E. Bemis Passes Peacefully Away, Sunday, Dec. 22nd.
Simeon E. Bemis was born Nov. 3d, 1839 at Malone, Franklin County, N.Y., and died in Estherville, Iowa, Dec. 22nd, 1896--aged fifty-seven years, one month and nineteen days. He was one of a family of twelve children, of whom three brothers and one sister survive. Simeon grew to manhood on the farm, attended district schools, and later took a course at Malone Academy.
September 28th, 1861, he enlisted in Company I. 16th Regiment, N. Y. Infantry, and served two years. He was in the army of the Potomac, and was in several of the severest battles of the war. After the battle of Antietam, he was removed to the hospital at Hagerstown, Maryland, where he was discharged for disability as unfit for further service. On returning home he spent a few days and came west in 1863. He engaged in business for about three years at High Forest and at East Chain Lakes, in Minn. In 1866 he came to Estherville, where he has since resided and continued in the mercantile business until a few months ago
He was married in 1866 to Miss Elizabeth Watkins of his native town. The fruit of this marriage has been seven children, all of whom are living and present in the house, except one, Claud, the second child and first son, who died at two years of age. One of the very sad features of the last sickness of this affectionate father, is the fact that owing to other dangerous sickness in the house his own daughters that would gladly have been at his bedside to minister to his wants, and alleviate suffering, were denied this privilege.
Mr. Bemis was richly blessed in his family. He lived in and for his family. This home has been build at the expense of much time and money for himself and family. It seems sad that he was permitted to enjoy for only a few months with them what had cost him so much thought and labor. But he passed away with a good hope of a "house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
Mr. Bemis has always been identified with the civic interests and societies of Estherville. In the past he was a prominent member of the Good Templar's lodge, and was honored with the highest offices in her gift. He has been actively connected with educational work, as a member and president of the school board. If rightly informed, he was a constituent and honored member of the Masonic Lodge, having charge of, and participating in those funeral services. He was also a constituent, and always an active honored member of M. A. Vandenburg G.A.R. post. He was its first commander and has been chosen and held the office for seven full terms. He has always been elected to, and filled some important office since the organization of the Post. According to the petition of the ritual, which he has repeated as Chaplin, he has been "transferred to the Grand Army Above, where God is the Supreme Commander." The religious life of Bro. Bemis, began about the time he attained his majority. When converted, he united with the Baptist Church of Malone, N. Y., where she who became the wife of his youth and whole life, was also a member. On entering the army he did not leave his religion at home nor "Hide his talent in a napkin." He was one of the very few young men that aided in keeping up a daily prayer meeting during his army life. He fought as a soldier of the Captain of his salvation as well as in the army of the Union. On last Sunday afternoon, when it became necessary for him, in view of the operation that was to be performed with the hope of saving his life, to be separated from his family, and the wife of over thirty years came to his bed-side to kiss the husband good-bye, he quietly remarked, "Good-bye; you go out into the kitchen and get the children together and you and Bro. Bevan pray while the operation is being performed." When his strength began to fail so fast during his last hours, and his wife spoke to him about the possibility of his end being near, he replied, "It is all right." He hoped that he would survive the disease and the operation, but the Heavenly Father willed otherwise.
In his own words, "It is all right." The funeral services were attended at his residence on Wednesday, Dec. 23, at 2 o'clock p.m. by the Masonic Lodge, the Grand Army Post, the Woman's Relief Corps, and a large concourse of sympathizing friends.
Contributed by: Steve Dahlstrom. Source: The Estherville Democrat, Estherville, Iowa, December 30, 1896.
Emmet Obituaries maintained by LaVern Velau.
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