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Clinton Joseph Bemis (1852-1930) was born and raised in the Daysville area. After the death of his wife, Ida A. Hardesty, daughter of Daniel and Abigail Ferguson Hardesty, he moved to Denver, Colorado for an asthma condition and died there in February, 1930.

He resided most of his life on the old homestead and served as Nashua Township Supervisor a number of years. He always was a Democrat.

From the History of Ogle County, IL - 1909:

Clinton Bemis, for nearly all of his mature life one of the most favorably known farmers of Nashua Township, Ogle County, IL, prominent in public affairs and associated by paternal relationship with the development of his locality from the pioneer period of its history, was born on the farm where he now lives, April 2, 1852, a son of Stephen and Mary Elizabeth (Early) Bemis, natives respectively of Massachusetts and Ohio. Stephen Bemis had been previously married, while a resident of the Old Bay State, and in 1837, came west to Illinois with the father of John V. Farwell, the widely known merchant of Chicago, his first wife being a sister of the elder Farwell. Stephen Bemis settled on a farm near that of Mr. Farwell (now owned by Hon. Frank O. Lowden), and then acquired a tract of government land at the regular purchase price of $1.25 per acre. His occupation was that of a chair-maker, and he made many of the chairs used by his neighbors. He built a frame dwelling on the site of the present Bemis residence, and about 1850 erected a brick house, which was later partly torn down for rebuilding sot that, virtually, the subject of this sketch still occupies the house where he was born. The father died in the old brick residence, his attention having been devoted to farming and chair-making from the period of his arrival in the county until he became too feeble to work. At the time of his decease he was eighty-six years old. His wife having died years before, he was married, in Nashua Township to Mary E. (Early) Neville, who had come to Ogle County with her mother, then Mrs. Stewart. The decease of the second wife took place several years before that of Mr. Bemis. The offspring of the first marriage was three children, namely: Stephen, of St. Louis, who left Ogle County when a young man; Judson, of Boston, who went away about the same time as his brother; and Mary, of Sycamore, IL, wife of Nate Latin. Mrs. Neville had one son, William Neville (now deceased), who was a lad when she married Stephen Bemis. The issue of the second marriage of Stephen Bemis was as follows: Henry, of Oregon; Cassius, who enlisted during the Civil War, in the Fourteenth Regiment, IL Volunteer Cavalry, was reported missing after a battle and never returned; George, a farmer now living in Oregon; Clinton; and John, a resident of Rockford. Stephen Bemis was formerly an active member of the Baptist Church, but late in life, became a believer in the Second Advent doctrine.

Clinton Bemis bought out the interests of the other heirs in the paternal estate, and except during two years spent in Kansas has always lived on the old homestead. His farm is the original 120 acres acquired by his father, all bottom land, and on it he is engaged in general farming. In early manhood he learned the trade of a carpenter, but preferred agricultural pursuits.

On January 26, 1875, Clinton Bemis was married to Ida Hardesty, a daughter of Daniel Hardesty, one of the early settlers of Lafayette Township, Ogle County, where she was born. Her parents came from Ohio to that township in 1842, and there Mr. Hardesty died, since which time his widow has made her home with Mrs. Bemis. Seven children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Bemis, namely: Olive (Mrs. Clarence Hepfer), of Taylor Township; William; Nellie; Hattie Alice (Mrs. James Hay), of Nashua Township; Early, a merchant of Rockford, IL; Joseph: Alwilda, a student in the Oregon High School. Joseph and Nellie are at home.

Politically, Mr. Bemis is a Democrat, and has served the public in township offices for eighteen years, although his township is strongly Republican. He was Assessor six years, and his service as Supervisor covered a period of twelve years. While he was incumbent of the latter office, the county farm was enlarged repeatedly.

Submitted by Sue Cramer

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