Frank S. DeMers

Minnesota Historical Society DeMers Civil War Photo1
Minnesota Historical Society DeMers Civil War Photo2

Frank S. DeMers, Age 23, Mustered in Dec. 17, 1864, Promoted Adjutant June 21, 1865, The Fourth Minnesota Regiment, Company K.  Discharged with Regiment, July 19, 1865.

The (State Bank of Fisher) bank was first organized as a private bank, in 1879, by Hugh Thompson and Frank DeMers.  (Compendium of History and Biography of Polk County, Minnesota, Page 137)

H. Thompson, of the firm of (Frank S.) DeMers & (Hugh) Thompson, of Fisher’s Landing, Polk county, came down yesterday and reports having just finished threshing upon their farm near the above named place.  They had exactly 212 acres in wheat, which yielded an average of thirty-four bushels to the acre, and grades from the threshing machine strictly No. 1.  The variety is the Scotch Fife and, as indicated by the yield and grade, is a splendid article.  So well pleased are the lucky proprietors that they have forwarded 5,000 bushels of this wheat to St. Paul, and it is now on deposit at the upper elevator, where it can be inspected and sold for seed grain.  Fine samples of the same wheat will also be placed on exhibition at the State fair.  The yield is believed to be the best thus far reported.  (Saint Paul Daily Globe, August 31, 1879, Page 1)

Frank DeMers, Esq., an old-time St. Paulite, but now residing at Fishers Landing, is visiting friends in St. Paul.  (Saint Paul Daily Globe, April 24, 1880, Page 4)

Delegate to the 1880 Minnesota Democratic convention from Polk County (Saint Paul Daily Globe, May 21, 1880, Page 1)

Mr. F. (Frank S.) DeMers of Fisher’s Landing, one of the bonanza farmers of the Red river valley, is in the city (Saint Paul Daily Globe, August 5, 1882, Page 1)

Frank DeMers, Esq., of Fisher’s Landing, in the Red River valley, is in the city.  Mr. DeMers has 700 acres in wheat, 200 of which is already in stock.  He says he never saw better wheat as to quality and he in entirely content with the quantity.  (Saint Paul Daily Globe, August 23, 1882, Page 1)

Delegate to the 1883 Minnesota Democratic convention from Polk County (Saint Paul Daily Globe, August 2, 1883, Page 4)

1885 Minnesota census showed he was 43, Born in New York

Appointed Receiver of Public Money at Fargo, North Dakota by President Cleveland (Saint Paul Daily Globe, March 29, 1887, Page 1)

FRANK S. DEMERS, Special to the Globe, FARGO, Dak., March 28. – The nomination of Frank S. DeMers, of Minnesota, to the receivership of the Fargo land office, to succeed Col. Geary, whose time has expired, gives satisfaction, aside from the disappointment that some prominent resident of the territory was not selected.  Mr. DeMers is not, however, a stranger in Dakota.  He is one of the early pioneers of the lower Red river valley, and is known to many of the older settlers.  He is said to be a very capable and popular gentleman.  He is expected in Fargo about April 1, but will not enter upon his duties till about the 15th.  Mr. DeMers was born in Buffalo, N. Y., came to St. Paul in 1856, was a member of the Fourth Minnesota veterans, and returned adjutant of the regiment.  From 1865, the close of the war, to 1872 he was steamboating on the Mississippi for Commodore Davidson.  In 1872 Mr. DeMers went up to the Red river and took charge of the Red River Transportation company’s steamers for Commodore Kittson, running between Fargo and Winnipeg, and there continued til 1879, since which time he has been farming in Polk county.  DeMers was endorsed for the position by all the leading Democrats of Minnesota and Dakota.  (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Tuesday Morning, March 29, 1887, Volume IX, Number 88, Page 1)

Receiver of Public Money Frank S. DeMers, at Fargo – I have just heard of my appointment.  When I was a boy I used to carry a route for the Buffalo Courier.  My father did not know I was doing it until one New Year’s day I asked him if he wasn’t going to give the carrier-boy a quarter.  He said he was, and handed it to me, telling me to give it to him.  I put the quarter in my pocket, and when he investigated he found out what I was doing.  I used to get $8 a month for the work.  (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Tuesday Morning, March 29, 1887, Volume IX, Number 88, Page 2)

FISHER, Minn., June 18. – The cyclone of the 16th (June) came from the southwest and northwest.  The loss of dwellings, barn and grain is estimated at $20,000.  L. C. McKnight, M. W. Montgomery, Stephen Furlong, Thomas Irwin, C. M. Webster, Charles Widenhoffer, Mike Flaiske, (Frank S.) DeMers & (Hugh) Thompson, farmers, are the heaviest losers.  Mrs. Flaiske and son, thirteen years old, and Mrs. Charles Henderson and George Anderson were killed, the two latter on the Kristone (Keystone) farm in section 21.  Six persons on the Kristone (Keystone) farm were badly injured, and fifteen other persons on farms were injured, some fatally.  The storm was two miles in width.  It began here at 3 p. m. and lasted one and a half hours.  There was a great destruction of timber along the Red Lake river and much damage to buildings.  The telegraph lines in all directions are badly wrecked.  (Saint Paul Daily Globe, June 19, 1887, Page 1)

Reunion of Fourth Minnesota Veterans (26 years since mustered in)…Adjt. Frank DeMers, Fargo, Dak. (Saint Paul Daily Globe, September 18, 1887, Page 2)

F. S. DeMers, receiver public moneys fiscal year 1890 (Accounts of Treasurer of United States)

FARGO, N. D., May 19. – F. S. DeMers, receiver of the United States land office in this city, was taken to the Jamestown insane asylum this morning for treatment.  The strange actions of Mr. DeMers were first noticed while attending the opera Saturday evening, and he was taken home by friends.  Investigations to-day developed evidences that his mind has not been right for some days.  (Saint Paul Daily Globe, May 20, 1890, Page 1)

DIED.  DEMERS – At Grand Forks, N. D., March 21, 1893, Frank DeMers Jr., aged twenty-three years.  Notice of funeral hereafter.  (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Wednesday Morning, March 22, 1893, Volume XV, Number 81, Page 8).

DEATH OF FRANK DEMERS (JR).  A Bright Young Life a Victim of Apoplexy.  Frank DeMers is dead, was the startling news that spread rapidly through the city yesterday noon (March 21, 1893).  The report could scarcely be credited at first, for only the evening before Mr. DeMers was apparently the very picture of health and busy as usual at his duties as agent of the Great Northern express company.  Yesterday morning Mr. DeMers’ mother arrived from St. Paul, having come unannounced with the intention of giving her son a pleasant surprise and visiting him for a few days.  Arriving about 10 o’clock she went directly to the express office, expecting to find him there, but he had not yet made his appearance and Capt. John Huet, with whom she was acquainted, remarked that Frank had complained of a slight headache when he left the office the evening before and was probably sleeping later than usual.  At Mrs. DeMers’ request, Capt. Huet accompanied her to Mr. DeMers room in the Iddings block.  He rapped at the door of his room several times, but receiving no response, Capt. Huet effected an entrance through a door leading from an adjoining room.  He found Mr. DeMers lying on the bed breathing heavily as though as in deep slumber.  He was unable to arouse him and leaving Mrs. DeMers with him hastened for Dr. Wheeler, who responded at once to the summons.  All effort to revive him, however, was fruitless, and he died within half an hour after the physician arrived.  The cause of death was undoubtedly apoplexy.  The deceased was a son of Capt. DeMers, a prominent pioneer settler, and from whom DeMers avenue in the city was named.  Capt. DeMers has been for a number of years a patient at the state insane asylum.  The remains were taken to St. Paul last night accompanied by the bereaved mother and interment will take place there today.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Wednesday Morning, March 22, 1893, Volume 12, Number 122, Page 3)

“The biggest crop I ever heard of raised in the Red river valley in Minnesota or Dakota was raised at Fisher’s Landing by Frank DeMers.  I will tell you.  I know him very well.  He was agent for our steamboat line in the old days, and I took the liberty of advising him, as I always do.  I think I am conceited – may be.  I do not mean to be – but it does come on to me when I see things going wrong.  I want to see things right.  I told Frank he was not cultivating his land as he should.  At that time we were surveying the land over to Grand Forks, preparatory to building from Fisher’s to Grand Forks, so you will see it is a good many years ago.  I had the engineer measure off ten acres, and I asked Frank to cultivate that ten acres.  To harrow it six times; not three, or four, but six times, and when he was ready to thresh it we would have the engineer come and see to the yield – to the measurement.  Now the whole field which he had in, sixty or seventy acres, yielded between twenty and twenty-four bushels to the acre, but the ten acres that he harrowed six times measured from the machine forty-seven bushels and ten pounds, and that is the biggest crop you ever had in the valley.”  (James J. Hill to a Crookston Agricultural Convention, The Saint Paul Globe, Thursday, October 30, 1902, Volume XXV, Number 303, Page 3)

DeMers Avenue was named for Frank DeMers who was for a time living at Fisher’s Landing in charge of the Red River Transportation Co. (Grand Forks Herald, Friday, April 22, 1938, Volume 57, Number 148, Page 148)
Died April 13, 1894 in Jamestown, North Dakota (age 54)

Fargo Republican:  Word was received this morning from Jamestown that Frank S. DeMers, formerly register of the Fargo land office, died at the asylum in that city last night.  His death was not unexpected, as he had grown gradually weaker of late.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Tuesday Morning, April 17, 1894, Volume 13, Number 144, Page 2)

Jamestown Alert:  Capt. F. S. DeMers, receiver of the land office at Fargo under Cleveland’s former administration, died at the hospital in this city early yesterday morning.  Mr. DeMers had been an inmate of the asylum as a patient three or four years, and while he was not violent his case was considered hopeless from the first.  His death resulted from convulsions caused by a general breaking down of his system.  In response to a telegram notifying his wife, who resides in Minneapolis, that his time on earth was apparently near the end she came up arriving yesterday morning, but too late to see her husband alive, as he had passed away a few hours before.  His remains were taken to Minneapolis on the train yesterday evening.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Tuesday Morning, April 17, 1894, Volume 13, Number 144, Page 2)


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