The subject of this sketch, D.M. Bourne, is a native of Massachusetts, born in South Dartmouth, a village on Buzzard's bay, in 1847. His father was an old sea captain of New Bedford, Massachusetts, and spent twenty-eight years of his life on the briny deep; went on ship as cabin boy and worked himself up to captain. At the time of the gold excitement of 1849, he, with twenty-five others fitted up a vessel of which he was captain and sailed to California; sold their ship and engaged in mining. In 1851, he emigrated to Wisconsin and settled on a farm in Calumet county, where he died in 1885.
D.M. Bourne's mother was born on the island of Nantucket, and she was a lineal descendant of John Smith, who came on the Mayflower. Her father was a seafaring man and operated a mackerel and cod fishing vessel. His fishing vessel was captured and taken by the British in the war of 1812. They selected his vessel from among many others because it was new, and took it in tow. The sailors pursued the British and when close upon them the British set fire to the vessel and turned it loose. Mr. Bourne's mother died in Wisconsin. Our subject is one of nine children, six of whom are living. Mr. Bourne was married in 1875, and in the autumn of 1876 emigrated to Kansas and bought the relinquishment of the Benjamin Billingsly homestead, the farm where he now lives, which is one of the best in the county. He left Wisconsin with nine hundred dollars; paid six hundred dollars for the claim and two hundred dollars for a team. He now has a half section of land in Meredith and Lyon townships and one hundred and sixty acres of land near El Reno, Oklahoma. His Kansas farm is in a high state of improvement; an imposing residence of nine rooms; in 1898, he built a commodious barn. His chief industry has been raising wheat.
Mrs. Bourne, before her marriage was Amelia Spencer, of Calumet county, Wisconsin, where she was a teacher for several years. She is a daughter of Richard Spencer, one of the early settlers of Calumet county who came from Ireland to Wisconsin when he was nineteen years of age, and where he died in 1883, at the age of sixty-five years. Her mother was Sarth Thurston, a sister of C.W. Thurston of Delphos. She died November 14, 1883 at the age of fifty years.
To Mr. and Mrs. Bourne seven children have been born, all of whom are highly intellectual and educated. Their sons are manly boys of good habits, Leona, is the wife of H.E. Conway, a farmer and nurseryman of El Reno county, Oklahoma. They are the parents of two children, Bessie, aged three, and Walter, aged two years. Mrs. Conway was a Cloud county teacher for several years. Harry, interested with his father on the farm, graduated in 1901, from the Manhattan Agricultural College. Bessie, now in her fourth year at the Agricultural College of Manhattan where she is taking a general course. Richard, in his third year at Manhattan, is talented in music and drawing. He is local editor of the Student's Herald, a weekly paper issued for and by the students of the College. Gordon is also a student in his first year at the same institution. Bertie and Essie, aged nine and three years, respectively. The boys work at home during the summer months putting in wheat, etc. and in the autumn return to Manhattan.
On the 10th of June, 1879, the Bourne residence was torn down by a cyclone. Mrs. Bourne was alone with the children. The roof was taken off and a wagon load or more of rock from the gable end of the house came crashing down on a bed where three of the children were sleeping. All escaped with slight bruises, but the house was drenched from the rain and almost every dish was broken. This came at a time when their financial circumstances made the loss very seriously felt.
In 1893, Mr. Bourne purchased the Frank Wilson stock of goods at Cool. He was there four years and during the panic; people could not pay their bills and he returned to his farm considerably crippled financially and has made what he now has practically since returning. He owns and operates with his eldest son, a threshing machine. He is also somewhat of a chicken fancier and his Buff Plymouth Rocks took first premium at Delphos and Beloit. Judge Rhodes who awarded the prizes, remarked they would take the premium any where in the state.
Mr. Bourne is a Populist in politics; takes an active interest in public affairs and for several years has been a member of the school board of District No. 63. At the last election he was supplanted by Mrs. Bourne. He is a member of the order of Odd Fellows and Knights and Ladies of Security of Delphos.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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