Mr. Roy C. DeFrance

by

Mike Olson

 

Mr. Roy C. DeFrance was born in rural Pennsylvania in 1875.He was born into a family of eleven. He had five brothers and three sisters.His mother and father were both immigrants from France. They came to thiscountry in 1851. He only lived with his parents until the age of three.Then he left his rural home and moved to Arkansas where he stayed with hisuncle. This is where he became interested in printing of newspapers. Hehelped his uncle do small jobs in the newspaper shop until he was eleven,and then he began to help set type which was a very big job that took lotsof patience. Mr. DeFrance liked to work on farms, but he liked to work inhis uncle's print shop more than anything else.

At the age of nineteen, Mr. DeFrance left Arkansas andworked wherever he could get a little work. He met Miss Eva Sheldon whomhe courted for a few months and later married. They lived in the Red RiverValley for a few years and then moved back down to Arkansas. In 1906, theymoved back to the Red River Valley where he has lived ever since that time.Mr. and Mrs. DeFrance raised a family of three sons and five daughters.

He established a print shop in St. Vincent, Minnesota in1907. He printed a weekly paper known as the St. Vincent New Era.

Later, in 1929, the DeFrance family made another move.It was just across the Red River to Pembina, North Dakota. Here he continuedto print the paper. The title of the paper was changed to Pembina New Erawhich it is still called. Mr. DeFrance's wife passed away in 1960 but Mr.DeFrance and his daughter kept the business in operation until October 1965.This was the oldest hand set paper in North Dakota.

The paper is now being printed at Fordville, North Dakota.Before the paper was moved, it took five days to set the type and one dayto run off eight hundred copies. The news is still collected at the oldprint shop by Mr. DeFrance's daughter, Ione. Mr. DeFrance, now ninety-fiveyears of age, is unable to be at the shop very often but says it is stillhis favorite place.

Mr. DeFrance regrets that he did not get more schoolingwhen he was a youngster. Mr. DeFrance only attended school for a few yearsin Minnesota. It was too late in his life to go on.

He hopes that his daughter will continue to collect thenews after he passes on.


Kitson County Enterprise Obituary, March 17,1999

Ione DeFrance

Ione L. DeFrance, 84, Pembina, died Monday, March 8, 1999at Kittson County Nursing Home, Hallock.

Ione Laura DeFrance was born Dec. 4, 1914 at St. Vincent,the daughter of Roy C. and Eva (Sheldon) DeFrance.

She graduated from the Pembina High School in 1933. Sheworked in St. Vincent and the "New Era," then "Pembina NewEra." She also worked as librarian at the Pembina Library.

She enjoyed playing the piano, and played the organ atchurch. She was a member of the Pembina Pioneer United Methodist Church.

She is survived by two sisters: Gladys Sutherland, Hallockand Marjori Joy Baker, Pembina.

She was preceded in death by her parents, five brothers,Melvin, Ray, Ralph, Norton, Delbert.

Funeral services were Wednesday, march 10, 1999 at thePembina Peioneer United Methodist Church, 2 p.m. with Rev. Linda Baldockofficiating. Burial was in the St. Vincent Cemetery, St. Vincent.

Pallbearers were Charles Hart, Douglas Irving, Vance Nelson,Richard Oakes, Francis O'Hara and Cameron Wilwand.

Jensen-Askew Funeral Home, Cavalier, was in charge of arrangements.1>Jensen-Askew Funeral Home, Cavalier, was in charge of arrangements.