Levi Rowland Bear was one of six children born to Washington County, Maryland transplants John M. and Elizabeth Bear, who came to farm in Ogle County in 1845.
Levi eventually moved to Mt. Morris and took up barbering. He played the violin in a small local orchestra and took part in one of the town's fraternal orders.
After his mother's death in 1903, Levi, along with two sisters, Lily and Mary Kate, and a brother, Isaac, moved to Williams County, North Dakota, where among them they laid claim to 460 acres in Missouri Ridge township and Tyrone township. They called it "Four Bear Ranch."
Levi took his own life, perhaps, as the Williams County Farmers Press said, out of despondency. He left his remaining sibling on the ranch, Lily, a note that said in part, "Dear Sister, you will forgive me for this for I am too crazy to live."
His grave is unmarked and, according to Williston's sexton, and its exact location is unknown, as the man then in charge did not keep careful records.
With thanks to Jim Ryen of the Williston, North Dakota Auditor's Office, and to the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
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