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Francis Lorenzo Bidwell (1843-1928)


Posted By: jane austin (email)
Date: 3/8/2018 at 18:27:56

F. L. Bidwell Was 85 Years of Age
Had Been a Resident of This Community 48 Years

The Sutherland community was shocked to learn, Wednesday evening of last week, that F. L. Bidwell, a prominent stock feeder of pioneer duys, and a Veteran of the Civil War, had answered the last great roll call and had departed on his last great march He had been ill only a few days, and died suddenly, after it was thought he was out of immediate danger. His demise was directly due to heart trouble, and was so unexpected that members of his family were not with him during his lust minutes. Widely known as he was, his death will be felt as a distinct loss not only to this community, but to the county and this section of the state as well.

A residence of 48 years within the county, his extensive livestock operations, his membership in fraternal societies, his connections with various business enterprises, his service in official positions in his township, and his readiness to join in all he considered for the good of the community, and his participation in the War of the Rebellion, combined to bring him many friends, who revered and respected him. He was ever indulgent to his children, and took great pride in their accomplishments. He was a staunch friend and accommodating neighbor.

Funeral services were held from the Methodist church, Saturday afternoon, at 2-00 o'clock, Rev Thos Batho being in charge. The burial ceremonies of the American Legion and the Odd Fellows were used. Burial was in Waterman cemetery.

In respect to Mr. Bidwell. all of the local stores closed during the services on Saturday.

Francis Lorenzo Bidwell was born April 27, 1843, in Chautauqua county. New York, the son of Daniel B and Marie Z. (Howland) Bidwell, and died at his home in Sutherland, Iowa, on June 27, 1928, at the age of 85 years and 2 months.

He was the last of seven children. At the age of eleven years he came west with his parents to Grant county, Wisconsin. Early in 1862 at the age of 19, he enlisted as a private in Company C, 25th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and served throughout the Civil War being mustered out of service June 7th. 1865. During his enlistment he served in quelling Indian uprisings in Minnesota and was engaged on the skirmish lines in the battle of Lookout Mountain, Chancellorsville, Chickamanga and other actions in the campaign around Chatanooga, and participated in Sherman's march to the sea. Altogether, his company marched 7,000 miles and visited 15 states.

Returning to Wisconsin after the war, he settled on a tract of 320 acres, which he owned, but becoming dissatisfied with conditions there, he came to O'Brien county in 1880, settling on a farm in Liberty township. He improved this tract, and became an extensive breeder of livestock. Later he added holdings in Clay county, until he owned at one time 640 acres altogether

He also served at various times as vice president of the O'Brien County Fair association, was a shareholder in the Farmers Elevator Company, and filled terms as clerk, assessor township trustee, road supervisor and school director in Liberty township. He was a member of the G A R. and Independent Order of Odd Fellows

About thirteen years ago Mr. Bidwell built the home in which he died, and moved to town to spend his declining years.

He had been thrice married, first to Margaret Britchett [sic Pritchett]in 1867. After her demise in 1902. he was married to Martha [Keller]Banks of New York state. She died in 1912, and in 1917, he was united in marriage to Julia Keeler, [sister of Martha] who passed away in 1924.

To the first union, seven children were born. They are, in order of birth Mrs. Ora Eaton, deceased, Francis Eli, who died after accidentally shooting himself, Olive M Hockert, Sutherland. Oscar S., Union, Montana, Delbert, who was drowned, Everett E., Sioux City, and Lester O., Sutherland. There were no children by subsequent marriages.

In addition there remain to mourn him, twelve grandchildren. and eighteen great grandchildren ns well as many other relatives and a large number of friends.

Sutherland (Iowa) Courier, 5 Jul 1928, p1


Obrien Obituaries maintained by Kris Meyer.
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