James “Jim” Dewar

James “Jim” Dewar

Lachute, Laurentides Region, Quebec, Canada
Death 2 Mar 1902 (aged 54)
Staples, Todd County, Minnesota, USA
Burial Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA
Plot Block 11, Lot 51, Center
Memorial ID 89016839 · View Source
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Arrived in Brainerd in 1871.

Saloon Keeper

Brother of Peter Dewar.

•See William A. Ferris.
•See George D. Labar.
•See John Bubar.
•See Nicholas Heller.
•See Clara Dressen.
•See William A. Fleming.
•See Adam Bellmuth.

      James Dewar is lying helpless at the Leland House with inflammatory rheumatism. (Brainerd Tribune, 05 July 1879, p. 4, c. 1)

      A fire at Fargo Wednesday night destroyed three buildings, one of which was owned by James Dewar of this city. James says with an insurance of $1,000 on a building worth $2,000, he cannot realize just how much he has made by the transaction. We can figure it exactly when the insurance is paid. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 January 1880, p. 1, c. 3)

      The Editor of the TRIBUNE was driven out to Gull River on Wednesday last in one of Mertz’s comfortable rigs accompanied by Mr. Mertz himself, James Dewar and G. G. Hartley, of this city, and was shown by Mr. Chase of the enterprising firm of Chase, Pillsbury & Co. over their magnificent saw mill, sash, door and blind factory, dry-house, store, office, hotel etc., and the new town of nearly three hundred inhabitants which has sprung up around them, all built, within the past year, where less than a year ago we drove over the ground and not a board or a stick of timber was to be seen and not a bush or even a blade of grass had been disturbed. We have not the space this week to do the subject the justice it demands, but shall next week give our readers a detailed account of what we saw. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 July 1880, p. 4, c. 2)

1881 Census, Chatham, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada; District 96, Sub-District C, Division 1, page 44, family 191:
Dewar, Jane, age 60; b. 1821, Scotland
Dewar, Peter, age 40; b. 1841, Quebec
Dewar, James, age 33; b. 1848, Quebec
Dewar, Donald, age 23; b. 1858, Quebec

      At the regular meeting of the Brainerd City band, April 12th, at their room at the court house James Dewar was duly appointed as Drum Major of the band. We think it a good selection and hereafter the band can show a good solid front. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 April 1885, p. 3, c. 2)

      Jas. Dewar has purchased the saloon fixtures, etc., of the Gem, formerly occupied by Tom Sanborn and is having the place fitted up. (Braijnerd Dispatch, 09 April 1886, p. 3, c. 3)

      Geo. Ames came near meeting with a serious accident on Monday. His horse being frightened by the cars overturned the buggy and threw him out on his head. He was stunned for a moment, but a little cold water brought him out all right. Jim Dewar was in the buggy but he saw what was coming and jumped. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 May 1886, p. 4, c. 3)

               Best the State Affords.

      The Brainerd City Band is one of the best known interior musical organizations in the state, and is composed of the following members. Prof. Dresskell, (leader), Frank Thorpe, M. Graham, P. Mertz, Joseph Kiebler, S. S. Huntley, Julius Kiebler, Art Wilson, O. Tilquist, C. Thompson, J. Osborn, J. W. Porter, W. A. Nichols, Wm. Bartsch, George Hastings, Geo. Ames, A. L. Nutting, F. L. Mattison, L. D. Mattison and James Dewar, the jolly and proficient drum major.—Duluth News. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 August 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

1880 census for Brainerd, family #55:
Dewar, James, 33, boarder, single, Saloon Keeper, b. Canada, f/m b. Scotland/Canada.

1885 MN census for Brainerd, family #602 (Villard Hotel written in family number column under the 602):
Dewar, James, 39, b. Canada

1895 MN census for Brainerd Ward 1:
Dewar, James, 48, b. Quebec, res. state & enum dist 24y 6m, Saloon Keeper

1900 census for Brainerd Ward 1:
Dewar, James, head, 53, b. May 1841 Canada, f/m b. Scotland/Canada, single, imm. 1873, Saloon Keeper

      On Sunday a kodak artist caught two very good pictures at Gull Lake, one of James Dewar laying in a straw stack asleep and another of J. A. Van Dyck who is taking his afternoon nap on a cot. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 August 1901, p. 8, c. 5)

                  JAMES DEWAR
                                    DROPS DEAD.

          His Sudden Taking Off While En-
                route to Hot Springs, Ark.,
                      Startles Brainerd.


          His Name Is Coupled With Early
       Growth of the City and Its History.

      James Dewar is dead. This bit of shocking information was flashed over the wires last night shortly after 2 o'clock from Staples. The news of the death was received in this city with mingling regret and sorrow and many a tear was shed in silence by those who had known him best through the thirty or more years residence in the city.
      Mr. Dewar with others started last night for Hot Springs, Ark. There were in the party beside Mr. Dewar, Fred Farrar, Dr. Fredericks [sic], C. C. Kyle, Dr. Hemstead and J. A. Van Dyck [sic]. They had reached Staples leaving Brainerd at 11:45 and started to prepare for the journey to the Twin cities. They had left the train but a short time when "Jim," as he is familiarly known to all who knew him, complained of having a bad headache. J. A. Van Dyck [sic] who was always with him told him to go to the sleeper and procure a berth for himself and another for him. Mr. Van Dyck [sic] said that he would go over and get some sandwiches. He went over town to get the sandwiches and Mr. Dewar went to the sleeper. On arriving at the sleeper he asked the porter for the berths and after selecting them and telling the porter to get them ready at once went and sat down. The porter in a few minutes came in and told Dewar that the berths were ready. Mr. Dewar arose but felt faint and in a few seconds cried out, "For God's sake take me out of here" and without warning fell head first to the ground and expired in a few minutes.
      A message was sent at once to Mr. Van Dyck [sic], who had, after purchasing the sandwiches, gone over to call on Mike Cullen. When returning to the car, the messenger came rushing in and said, "Your friend is dead." Mr. Van Dyck [sic] threw down his sandwiches and hurried back only to find that the information was too true.
      Arrangements were made to ship the remains back to Brainerd on the first train, and Mr. Van Dyck [sic] accompanied them to this city. They were removed to the undertaking parlors of Losey & Dean, where they are being prepared for burial.
      When morning commenced to break and pedestrians began to walk the streets, espying the insignia of death on the door of Mr. Dewar's place of business they would stand aghast for a few minutes and would then wonder. A premonition would creep over them that "Jim" Dewar was dead, and they would hasten to verify the facts. The entire city seemed to be interested, and this morning all the old-timers wore a gloomy face. Brainerd without its "Jim" Dewar will feel lost for a long time. He has been here for more than thirty years, watched its start and its growth, been here to share in the misfortunes of the city, lived through the hard times and knew nearly every person in the county. All knew "Jim" and to know him was to know honesty and manliness in its truest form.
      The deceased was considered by all who ever knew him as being one of the most upright and square men who ever lived in the city. It is generally customary to laud the merits of people after they are dead, but in the case of "Jim" Dewar he was always given the just praise that he honestly merited. Honest to a fault almost he won the hearts of everyone. The one great principle in his life seemed to be, "to do unto others as you would that they would do unto you," and this principle was firmly fixed as a standard throughout his earthly career. James Dewar was a man who had met with misfortune in one way and another but always had the manliness to meet his obligations face to face and never faltered. One instance is told of him that a Minneapolis firm with whom he had some dealings and to whom he had become indebted wrote him at Christmas time one year and sent back a note held against Mr. Dewar for $300, marked paid. They wrote Mr. Dewar a letter telling him that they would ask him to accept that as their Christmas present, so much did they value his integrity and manliness. It is told that Mr. Dewar immediately sat down and wrote a courteous letter to the firm returning the note and stating that he would not consider the same paid until he had remitted the money, which he afterward did. This is but one illustration of the character of the man. His life was filled with just such instances.
      The early history of Brainerd would not be complete without a frequent reference to the name of James Dewar. He was among those who lived in Brainerd in her most rugged days and was affiliated with many of the organization which go to make up the history of the city. He was one of the first aldermen of the city and had to do with Brainerd's early organization. He was also one of the first members of the Brainerd fire department and helped to organize the department. A few years ago Mr. Dewar and N. McFadden, also deceased were elected life or honorary members of the state firemen's association which was an honor. Mr. Dewar also organized the first Brainerd band and up the time of his death he was greatly interested in band organization in this city. He was still the official drum major of the Brainerd band, a position that he has held for years.
      When Mr. Dewar first came to the city he was a mere lad, coming here after a trying experience traveling through the state of Minnesota driving stage teams and doing odd jobs. His first business in Brainerd was a dealer in liquors, and after being successful in this line some years afterward formed a partnership with Hartley Bros., the firm being known as Hartley Bros. & Dewar. They had a large grocery store and also did considerable logging in this country. After leaving this first business Mr. Dewar engaged in the liquor business on Sixth street, where he has been ever since.
      Mr. Dewar was a member of the Masonic, A. O. U. W. [Ancient Order of United Workmen], K. P. [Knights of Pythias] and Odd Fellows lodges in this city, and it is more than likely that these organizations will have charge of the funeral arrangements.
      James Dewar was born in July 1848, not far from Lachute, in the province of Quebec, so that he was going on his fifty-fifth year. He has several sisters and brothers living in that vicinity and they have been notified. He left home when fifteen years of age. His father died many years ago and his mother's death occurred seven years ago.
      Deceased was a very reticent man and he seldom ever confided in any one. There are one or two in the city who have been told by him something of his past history.
      Mr. Dewar made all preparations for death. He purchased a lot in Evergreen cemetery and stated that it was his wish that he be buried there. Yesterday afternoon and last evening before going away he was in the best of spirits, and as late as eleven o'clock last night laughed and told stories to a number of friends who gathered to bid him good bye. He complained some of a headache before he got on the train here, but nothing was thought of this.
      The first person to reach him after he fell in the sleeper was Dr. Babcock, of Wadena, who happened to be in the train. Death was instantaneous and apoplexy was the cause of the sudden ending.
      The party who were en route to Hot Springs were dumbfounded over the sudden turn of affairs. It has not been decided when the funeral will be held, as those in charge are waiting to hear from the dead man's relatives. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 March 1902, p. 3, c. 1) [Contributed by John Van Essen]

                LAST SAD RITES
                              ARE SOLEMNIZED

             All that is Mortal of the Late
                 James Dewar Placed in
                        Resting Place.

                 A VERY LARGE FUNERAL

      Services Conducted under Auspices
            Of Masonic Lodge, Rev. G. H.
                      Davis Officiating.

      One of the largest funerals in the history of the city of Brainerd was the one which was held this afternoon when the last sad rites over the remains of the late James Dewar were solemnized. For two days the remains have been lying in state in the Masonic temple and during that time it is estimated that no less than five hundred people passed in and out to view the remains. The death of this man seems to have struck a tender spot in the hearts of the people of this city as no man could have been honored more than he since his death. There was that fraternal solicitude about the arrangements for the funeral, that personal interest taken by some of his closest admirers and that silent respect of the entire community that speaks volumes in a breath, which all goes to show that after all wealth and fame in this cruel world could for naught as compared with a life with a full measure of honesty and truth. Such was the life of James Dewar, and in his death there is a lesson which if learned means much, a religion which if kept discounts all the creeds that are preached every day.
      This afternoon at the hour of the funeral hundreds of people clamored for admission to the Masonic hall to join in the last solemn services. All the civic and fraternal societies in the city turned out in a body and as the remains were borne to their last resting place it was an imposing sight.
      The services were held in the Masonic hall at 2:30 o'clock, the Masonic burial ritual being used. Rev. George H. Davis, of Mankato, officiated at the service and delivered a masterly address. The Aeolian quartette furnished music for the occasion. The procession moved about 3:30 o'clock and it was the longest ever seen in this city. The A. O. U. W. [Ancient Order of United Workmen], the I. O. O. F., the K. P.'s [Knights of Pythias] and Masons were all in line, and this column, headed by the consolidated bands of the city, marched down Sixth street headed toward the cemetery.
      The following acted as pallbearers: H. Spalding, George Ames, N. B. Chase, John Frater, J. N. Nevers and S. F. Alderman.
      The floral contributions were the most elegant that have ever been seen in Brainerd, and were a fitting tribute to the man. The Odd Fellows had a beautiful three link design made of white and red carnations. Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Sanborn and the employees of the City Hotel have a beautiful bouquet of white roses with large palm leaves. Hon. A. F. Ferris sent up from St. Paul a large cluster of beautiful white lilies. Mr. and Mrs. George W. Ames contributed a pillow of beautiful white roses and carnations. G. W. Chadborne [sic] and F. B. Johnson contributed a bouquet of red carnations and Aurora Lodge, No. 100, had a beautiful design in varied colored carnations of a square and compass. Little Norman Johnson, son of P. M. Johnson, did not forget his old friend and placed on the bier a bouquet of beautiful carnations. White Cross Lodge, K. O., contributed a large design of a triangle of different kinds of flowers. One of the most beautiful tokens was from the First National Bank, a mammoth cluster of red American beauties. The Brainerd band contributed a large design of a harp made of carnations white and red. The Retail Liquor dealers' Association contributed a beautiful pillow, as did also the Brainerd fire department, both heavily laden with red and white carnations. A large bouquet of white roses were received from E. M. Conrad, of St. Paul.
      The Grand Encampment, I. O. O. F., sent a large wreath of flowers. The cross and crown in appropriate colors of carnations was the offering from Ascalon Commandry, K. T. [Knights Templar]. A keystone design of carnations and roses was from Brainerd Chapter, R. A. M. [Royal Arch Masons], and the anchor and shield in roses was a particularly handsome token from the A. O. U. W. lodge.
      Interment took place in Evergreen cemetery. Until Donald Dewar, a brother of the deceased arrived from Lachute, Canada, it was not decided positively where deceased would be buried but it was his wish that it be in Evergreen cemetery where he had some time ago purchased a lot for the purpose. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 March 1902, p. 3, c. 1) [Contributed by John Van Essen]

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  • Created by: A. Nelson
  • Added: 23 Apr 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 89016839
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James “Jim” Dewar (Jul 1847–2 Mar 1902), Find A Grave Memorial no. 89016839, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by A. Nelson (contributor 47143984) .