Husband: Samuel L. DeMouth (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11)
Born: 12 Mar 1874 in Christy, Clark, WI (12)
Married: 27 Nov 1902 in Pioneer Farm, Greenwood, WI (49 50 51)
Died: 18 Mar 1939 in Portland, Oregon (13)
Father: Jacob Demouth
Mother: Cordelia Elirt Martindale
Spouses: unknown
Wife: Elzora Maude Pierce (15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22)
Born: 10 May 1880 in Greenwood, WI
Died: 05 Nov 1934 in Portland, Oregon (23 24)
Father: Frank Orlando Pierce
Mother: Sarah Jane Todhunter
01 (F): Musa Irene DeMouth (25 26 27 28 29 30 31)
Born: 29 Oct 1903 in Christy, WI
Died: 07 Oct 1979 in Seattle, WA
02 (F): Thelma Ellen DeMouth (32 33 34 35 36)
Born: 10 Mar 1911 in Christy, Clark, WI
Died: 29 Oct 1952 in Lexington, Middlesex, MA (37 38)
Spouses: Forrest Elbert Zimmerman
03 (M): Lester Jacob DeMouth (39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48)
Born: 18 Dec 1913 in Quinion, Billings, North Dakota
Died: 24 Oct 1944 in Bashi Straits, South China Sea
Additional Information

Samuel L. DeMouth:

Cause of Death: Cerebral Hemorrhage

Buried: 21 Mar 1939, Lincoln Memorial Park, Portland Oregon 14


January 24, 2006

Dear Children,

Tonight I will tell you about my other grandfather, Samuel DeMouth.

Samuel L. DeMouth
12 Mar 1874 - 18 Mar 1939

Sam DeMouth came into the world on March 12 of 1874 in Christie, Clark County, Wisconsin. He joined his brothers John and Don and his sister Eva. After Sam came Sharlet and Lucinda. But Lucinda only lived to the age of two. The family moved from Calumet County, WI. to the farm at Christie in Clark County shortly before Sam was born. We don't know too much about his early years except that life was a struggle for pioneer families in northern Wisconsin during the late 19th century. In order to farm they first had to clear the land of the thick virgin forest without motorized tools or Home Depot. Once they succeeded in that they had to grow or produce almost everything they would use throughout the year. Sam's life was very like that described in the Laura Ingalls Wilder book, Little House in the Big Woods. In fact Laura was growing up not far away at the same time. Winters were cold and long and hard. The year of 1884 when Sam turned 10 there was an especially harsh winter due to the explosion of the volcano Krakatoa on the other side of the world in Indonesia.

When Sam was about 20 he joined the army, following in the footsteps of his older brother, John. Apparently Sam looked pretty sharp in his army uniform. Here is an article that appeared in The Clark Republican and Press March 12, 1896
"Samuel DeMouth arrived in this city Saturday, from Fort Snelling, Minnesota, where he is at present located as a member of Co. F. 3rd regiment, U. S. army. He has a furlough of twenty days, which time he will spend with his parents in Christie. His bright U. S. A. uniform attracted much attention."

About 1898 two things happened. Sam got married and then he got sent to the Philippine Islands for the Spanish American War with the rank of sergeant.

According to Sam's cousin, Erma Schaper, Sam's first wife's name was Jeanette. Sam is in the 1900 US census as a soldier in the Philippines. That census form says he is married and has been for two years. I have a photo which looks like it must be a wedding photo of them. They were divorced before 1902.

Do you have any idea when the Spanish American War was or why it happened? Here's a quick explanation. In the late 1800's both Cuba and the Philippines were under the control of Spain. Between 1895 and 1898 people in both countries were fighting for independence. Many Americans were sympathetic to the plight of the Cubans because Cuba is close to us. In 1898 the US battleship Maine exploded in the Havana Harbor. Nobody knows for sure why it exploded, but it caused the deaths of 266 US sailors, so the US declared war on Spain. The war lasted only about a year and was easily won by the United States. It marked the beginning of our country's rise to world power.

But, why did we fight Spain in the Philippines as well as Cuba? It was really a fluke that the US attacked Spain in the Philippines. Teddy Roosevelt sent a telegram to Hong Kong for Commodore George Dewey, head of the US fleet of 10 brand new steel warships, saying that if the US went to war with Spain, Dewey should immediately take his ships and attack the Spanish in Manilla Harbor. Roosevelt wasn't president. He was an assistant secretary of the Navy. He did this on a day when his boss was out of the office. Roosevelt did not have the authority to give such an order. When Dewey got the order he said to himself, "Hmm...There's something fishy here," and he sent a cable to President McKinley asking if he should take this action. President McKinley, who had just read a book about the importance of sea power, surprised everyone by saying, "Yes." So when the US invaded Cuba, Dewey sailed into Manilla Harbor, totally surprising the Spanish and everyone else, and defeated their fleet without the loss of one US sailor. (However, 400 Spanish lives were lost.) Then the army sent soldiers over to secure the prize Dewey had won. Sam DeMouth was one of them.

Isn't it funny? Both Sam and his only son, Lester, were engaged in the US military involvement with The Philippine Islands. Sam was with the army in the Philippines at the beginning of US control in 1898. Lester was in the Philippines with the Marines when the US lost that control to Japan in 1942.

Sam and Elzora Maud Pierce (called Zoey) were married on the Pioneer Farm in Greenwood, Wisconsin on November 27, 1902. They married in spite of her parents objections, probably because of the divorce. Eleven months later their first child, Musa Irene, arrived.

Much of the rest of this story is based on tales told to me by my Aunt Musa. Aunt Musa claimed her dad wasn't much of a man for hard work and to him, the grass was always greener on the far side of the hill. There may be a lot of truth to that opinion. Aunt Musa certainly knew him better that I did as he died before I was born. In his defense, many farmers had a hard time making a living in the early 20th century. And many were lured west with the promise of instant riches.

In 1905 Sam's father died, leaving the farm in the hands of his three sons. Almost immediately the farm was in financial trouble. In 1906 Sam, his wife, and small daughter went west, all the way to Hood River country in Oregon. There Zoey got a job as a cook in a logging camp and Sam joined his brother John in California, supposedly looking for work. Instead of a job, John and Sam got involved in a land scheme. Sam wrote home to his mother asking her to mortgage the farm and send him the money for a logging operation. When Aunt Musa told the story she never mentioned her Uncle John. However, I have found a record of land patents issued to both John and Sam and their wives as well in 1905-1906 in the Mt. Diablo Meridian, Siskiyou County, of California. Cordelia got the money as requested, against the advice of her other children. The brothers used the money to buy the land. Unfortunately there was no way to harvest the lumber. There were no roads, no rails, no rivers nearby. So the investment was a failure, and because of the debt, the family eventually lost their farm, their home, and their livelihood.

The 1910 census indicates the farm is mortgaged. They must have hung on for a few more years because my mother, Thelma Ellen DeMouth, was born on the DeMouth farm at Christie on March 10, 1911. By then Sam's father, Jacob, had died. Sam's brother Don had died. His sister Eva had grown up, married, had a child and died. His sister Lottie was long gone and married, and his brother John was established in California. Only Sam's young family and mother, Cordelia, were left. They sold the farm and by the time the next baby came, Lester Jacob on the 18th of December in 1913, the family had moved to Quinion, North Dakota. Cordelia's another story.

And isn't it interesting to think about the rise and fall of wealth in this family. Our immigrant ancestor and his son, Jacob and Frederick Demouth, amassed a fortune in land. The next Demouth, Adam, preserved the fortune. The next Demouth, Jacob (b. 1763) lost the fortune. The next two Demouths in our line, John and Jacob, spent their lives building up new farms in Wisconsin. Jacob's son, Samuel, lost the new farm in Wisconsin. Isn't it a good thing there are more important things in life than wealth?

Anyone who has ever traveled across the northern US plains might well ask, "Why North Dakota?" It's a desolate part of our country. So much so that on old maps the area of land including eastern Montana and western North Dakota used to be referred to as "The Great American Desert." During the Civil War Congress had enacted "The Homestead Law." This law said that anyone who was a US citizen or intended to become one could claim 160 acres of open public land for free. All he had to do was to settle on and cultivate the homestead for five years. West of the Mississippi was full of open federal lands and people came by the droves, but not too many to North Dakota until after the railroads arrived in the 1880's and the native American Indians were controlled. Two things happened in the early 1900s that brought many homesteaders to western North Dakota and eastern Montana. The railroads needed people to ride and send goods on their trains and to man the stations along the way. The railroad owners began a great advertising campaign praising the wonders of dry farming on the prairies. The second thing was the railroad owners lobbied Congress to expand the homestead act so a farmer could get 320 acres instead of just 160. Congress obliged. But most years the land was just too dry for farming. Adding to problems was a popular method of planting that removed the sod and pulverized the topsoil so that when the first dry year came not only did crops fail, the topsoil blew away as well. So Sam DeMouth and his family were only one of many thousands of families who lost everything trying to farm in North Dakota in the early 1900's.

One interesting aspect to their time in North Dakota is, they did not go alone. Zoey's parents, Frank and Martha Pierce, and her half-sister and half-brother, Winnie and Roy Pierce, and her adopted half-brother, Iner Pierce (originally Iner Bredison), all went with them. Why did they leave Wisconsin? Perhaps some future researcher will be able to unravel that mystery. But not everyone who went to the dry prairie failed. Winnie Pierce married a man named William Braden. They were among those who stayed and survived in North Dakota.

My mother and Aunt Musa both talked about Winnie and Roy and life on the prairie. I wish I had listened better. I remember that one of them told about how to deal with prairie fires. She said if you should find yourself on the prairie with a prairie fire coming at you the thing to do is not to run away from it. You can't run that fast. Instead, face the fire and run right through it. Prairie fires are very shallow and once you're through, you're perfectly safe. Read in Thelma's Story about Sam and the cow.

The letter Aunt Musa wrote to me late in her life tells more of their prairie experience.
"Our childhood (days) after we left Wisconsin were not happy ones. They were filled with so many fears when we were living in North Dakota; the fear of prairie fires, of rattlesnakes, and the fear of lack of necessities for living. I doubt if your mother ever told you of the winter we almost starved to death." Homesteading on the prairie was probably not the ideal life for a man who "Didn't like hard work."

The two photos I have of the homes of Sam and of his father-in-law, Frank Pierce, give another clue to what life was like for the DeMouth family in North Dakota.

We know the DeMouths were in North Dakota as late as 1918 because Zoey was the postmaster at Quinion from 1916 until 1918 when the post passed to her father, Frank Pierce. By the 1920 census the family has moved on to Montana where they bought a hotel in the town of Ballantine in Yellowstone County. Sam listed his occupation on the census form as "hotel proprietor." Zoey was the cook and manager. They made a living there until one day when the hotel burned to the ground. (Read about that in the Musa DeMouth Story.)

Like many refugees from the dry plains, when their luck ran out (if they ever had any), the DeMouth family decided to head for the west coast where they had relatives in Portland. They had no money for train fare so they worked their way across country picking fruit. They would pick enough to pay their way to the next train stop, then get off and pick some more. (There's more about their journey to Portland in Thelma's Story.) I don't know exactly when they arrived in Portland. My guess is mid-1920's.

The 1930 census shows them living in a part of Portland called Maplewood. Sam was working as a house painter and they had a boarder. In the early 30's Zoey took a job in the Libby canning factory. She was at work when she died in 1934. After that Lester joined the Marines, Musa graduated from Reed College and took a job in Pocatello, Idaho, and Thelma went to live with the family of her intended, Forrest Zimmerman. Sam didn't want to stay all by himself so he went to live with his brother John's daughter, Almeda, down in California.

Letter from Sam to Thelma mid to late 1930s. "Gilroy, Cal Sept 29 (no year)
Dear Daughter,
I guess you have been wondering why I did not write you. So I will drop you a line to let you know I am well. Did not know just where to send it. I suppose Musa told you I had been down to see Lester. He looks fine and weighs most 200 lbs. Got a letter from him today. Said he had been firing the 6 inch gun. The crew he is in made the highest score in the fleet. Would like to know how you are getting along. I have had a lot of work this summer, but not working this week. I may be up there in the near future.The folks here are all well. Almeda would like one of your wedding pictures.
Was sorry to hear about Jack. I received a letter from him the other day. Wish I could help him but don't know what I could do. How is the Bonneville Dam coming?
All for this time
from Dad"

But at the time of his death, March 18, 1939, he once again lived in Portland at 4632 SE 76th St. He died of a massive stroke.

I never knew my Grandpa DeMouth. My view of him has always been colored by Aunt Musa's tales and comments. He had a hard life, probably from boyhood onward. In that respect he was no different from other folks in his generation. Life was hard and there was no social security or welfare. The chances he did have he blew, losing the lovely Wisconsin farm being the big one. On the positive side, he stuck it out. He didn't abandon his family, the second one anyway. Also in his favor, my father said that the DeMouths were a happy bunch. Whenever he went to their house there was much laughing and singing. I think anyone who could laugh and sing after living through all the grief that Sam lived through deserves some credit. Don't you?

Here is how you're related to Sam DeMouth. Sam married Zoey Pierce and had Thelma DeMouth. Thelma married Forrest Zimmerman and had Dianne Zimmerman. Dianne married Paul Stevens and had Dawne Stevens. Dawne married Jason Pamplin and had . . . Sarah, Hannah, Timmy, and Becky! Hooray for Sam DeMouth!

Love, Granny

Elzora Maude Pierce:


Letter from Dianne Z. Stevens to her Grandchildren:

1301 Reetz Road
Madison, WI 53711-2645
March 10, 2002

Dear Sarah, Hannah, and Tim,

Have you ever heard of a story called “Little Women?” Ask your Mommy or Daddy to rent the movie for you because I think you’re old enough to see it. It is a very famous story written by a woman named Louisa May Alcott about 150 years ago.
She wrote about what life was like growing up in her family of four little girls. They did a lot of play acting and had wonderful adventures. And they loved each other very much even though they were sort of poor. If you can see the movie of that famous story you will understand better the story I am about to tell you of one of your great-great-grandmothers. She was my grandmother, Elzora Maud Pierce. But I never knew her because she died long before I was born.

Elzora Maud was always called Zoey by her family. Zoey was born on a farm in central Wisconsin in Clark County. They called it “Pioneer Farm” because it had been hacked out of the wilderness by her grandfather, Warren Pierce, and his sons, one of whom was her father Frank Orlando Pierce. Her father’s ancestors had come to the United States way back in the 1600’s when we were still colonies. They were related to President Franklin Pierce and also President George W. Bush, but that’s another story. Her mother’s name was Sarah Jane Todhunter. Sarah’s family had come to Wisconsin from England, a place called Watermillock in Cumberland County, shortly before Sarah was born.

So here are Frank and Sarah up in the wilds of Wisconsin in the 1870’s. First they had a daughter, Mabel Ethel (1878), and then Zoey was born in 1880. In 1882 they had another daughter, Jessie Irene. But two years later in 1884 something very sad happened. Sarah had another baby that lived only a day. A year and a half later Sarah died, leaving Frank with three tiny girls and a farm to care for all by himself. Frank soon married again, a woman named Martha Greeley. Martha already had a daughter named Gladys. So now there were four little girls growing up together:
Mable, Zoey, Jessie, and Gladys, and they were very happy.

And, my! How they could play! On cold Wisconsin winter evenings Martha would read to them and their favorite story was - Guess What? Little Women! Their favorite game to play was to pretend they were the four sisters in the story. Each of them chose one of the characters and they always took that part in their playing and even when they weren’t playing they still thought of themselves as that character. I’m not 100% sure of this, but I believe that Zoey played the part of Jo. I think this because Zoey always loved books and reading and when she had her own children she taught them to love books too.

One very sad part of the story: in the book “Little Women” the character Beth catches Sarlet Fever and dies. In the Pierce family little Jessie played Beth and she died when she was only 16 years old. Jessie's middle name was Irene. The girls always wanted to remember their dear sister so they promised one another that when each of them had a daughter, they would give her the middle name of Irene. Mabel grew up and had Bessie Irene. Zoey grew up and had Musa Irene. Gladys never had children. However, Frank and Martha had another daughter, Winifred, and she grew up and named her first daughter Jessie Irene. That tradition has been carried on in our line of the family through Dianne Irene, and Hannah Irene.

When Zoey grew up she fell in love with a handsome young man who had just returned from the Spanish American War, named Samuel DeMouth. He had been married before and that may be why Zoey’s family did not want her to marry him, but they finally gave in and on November 27, 1902 they were married at the Pioneer Farm.
I still have one of their wedding invitations.

It is a very good thing they did get married because otherwise you and I wouldn’t be here today (or your Mommy either.) But Zoey did have a hard life after she married Sam. In 1906 or 07 Sam and Zoe and 3 yr old Musa moved to Hood River Oregon where Zoey cooked for a logging camp while Sam "looked" for work. She would tie Musa to a tree in the kitchen yard to keep her from wandering off while she cooked.

After a year when Sam still had not found work the young family returned to the farm in Christy where their second child, Thelma was born in 1911. Shortly thereafter the farm was completely bankrupt, so the family left Wisconsin to try homesteading in North Dakota. Their third child, Lester, was born there in 1913 at a place called Quinion that no longer exists.

The next time I write I will tell you about my mother’s girlhood and I don’t want to spoil it by telling you all the details of Zoey’s life after she married Sam. But I will tell you this: Zoey was a WONDERFUL cook and for a good part of her life she helped earn the money to support her family by her cooking. She cooked for the logging camp and another time she cooked for a hotel in Montana. Your mommy probably inherited being such a good cook from her great grandmother, Zoey.

Zoey earned the family's living other ways too. When they lived in North Dakota she was the post mistress of the Quinion post office for two years, 1916 to 1918, before they moved on to Montana. Zoey was still helping to support the family when she died at the age of 54 in Portland, Oregon of a heart attack. At that time she was working at the Libby canning factory. I'm not sure about this, but I think I remember Aunt Musa telling that her mother dropped dead of the heart attack while she was at work. Ask your Mommy to buy a can of Libby peaches someday and you will know what your great great grandmother helped to produce while working at the canning factory.

So that is the story of your great-great-grandmother who loved reading and cooking and grew up playing “Little Women” with her sisters. Zoey and Sam had a daughter named Thelma, Thelma married Forrest Zimmerman and had a daughter named Dianne. Dianne married Paul Stevens and had a daughter named Dawne. Dawne married Jason Pamplin and had --- guess who? You guys! Sarah, Hannah, Timothy, and now, pretty soon, Rebecca. I hope you will save this story so you can tell it to Becky some day.

Love, Granny

(01) Musa Irene DeMouth:


Musa Irene DeMouth
1903 - 1979

Dear Children,

Tonight I'm going to tell you about my one and only aunt. One thing for sure you can say about Aunt Musa, she had a LOT of spirit. That I received a letter from her three days after she died is a fitting testament. She had a wonderful life.

Musa Irene was the first child born to Samuel and Elzora Maud DeMouth in Christie, Wisconsin on the family farm. While Elzora (Zoey) had been growing up with her three sisters, they agreed that each of them would give their first daughter the middle name of Irene. But where on earth did the name "Musa" come from? It was from a book Zoey had read, but which one? I recall something about "The Forty Days of Musa Dagh," but that book didn't come out until the 1930's. As a small child she accompanied her parents to the west coast where they searched for some golden opportunity they never found. Musa's mother was a tremendous cook and got a job cooking for a logging camp in Oregon. There was no daycare. Musa, always active and mischievous, had a habit of wandering off which was a dangerous habit for a small child in a logging camp. So Zoey tied Musa to a tree in the yard while she cooked and watched her through the window.

Grandma Zoey shared her love of books with her children. She read Joan of Arc to Musa when she was quite small. Musa had a favorite doll given to her by her Uncle Don. One day shortly after the reading of Joan of Arc Zoey looked out the kitchen window to see the doll being burned at the stake by a very intent Musa.

Uncle Don DeMouth was a favorite with Musa. Even in her old age she spoke with great sorrow of his untimely death from mouth cancer.

Sometime between the birth of Musa's sister, Thelma, in 1911, and her brother, Lester, in 1913, the family left Wisconsin to try homesteading in Billings County, North Dakota. Zoey's dad, Frank Pierce, and his family went with them. Homesteading proved to be a very difficult sort of existence. Shortly before she died, Aunt Musa wrote her recollection of those years on the prairie.

"Our childhood (days) after we left Wisconsin were not happy ones. They were filled with so many fears when we were living in North Dakota; the fear of prairie fires, of rattlesnakes, and the fear of lack of necessities for living. I doubt if your mother ever told you of the winter we almost starved to death. I know she didn't like to talk about it. She was very young but she remembered it all too vividly. "

In North Dakota Musa continued the antics that had earned her the reputation as a wild child. She was told to stay away from a horse that was kept nearby. So at the first opportunity she got up onto the horse to see what would happen. Zoey looked out the window just in time to see Musa flying through the air. For the rest of her life she carried a scar on her foot from that event.

Another tale Aunt Musa told about the days in North Dakota was about laundry day. The women would gather outside and boil great kettles of hot water over a fire and add their homemade lye soap. One day several little girls were playing too near the kettle of lye soap and one of them fell in! She survived but carried the scars the rest of her life. It was Winnie's little daughter, Vera. She was probably two or three years old.

After several years in North Dakota, probably about 1918, because that's when Zoey gave up the job of postmistress of Quinion, the family moved to Ballantine, Montana, where they operated a small hotel, with Zoey once again earning the family's living as hotel cook and manager. How long they stayed there is uncertain. Their stay came to an abrupt end one afternoon when the hotel caught on fire. And where was Musa while the hotel burned? Why up on the roof, yelling "FIRE" for all she was worth. Somehow she was rescued. No one thought the wild child would live to grow up. She not only grew up, she outlived everyone else in the family by many many years.

Sometime during the 1920's the family migrated on to Portland, Oregon. Here Musa got a job as domestic help in the home of a dentist. He had an extensive library and encouraged Musa to borrow and read his books, which she did with relish. He and his wife also encouraged her to continue her education. While living on the prairie, Musa had gone to school only through the 8th grade. By the time she got to Portland she was a big woman in her early twenties. But with this doctor's encouragement she started out as a freshmen in high school with all the little fourteen year olds. There must have been some difficult moments for her, but she did it. She graduated from Lincoln High School in 1930 at the age of 26 and then went on to Reed College. There she immensely enjoyed the drama productions and got a degree in economics in June of 1935.

This story about Aunt Musa comes from Helen Moore, a family friend from the Reed days.
"Musa was a fan of the Marx Brothers. She and several friends went daily to see them when the Marx Brothers were at a local theater. At one point in the show, Groucho pretends to be a seal and acts and barks like one. Musa and her friends decided they'd meet in the front row of the balcony and each would bring a fresh fish and throw it to Groucho when he impersonates a seal. Musa arrived with her fish but none of the others showed up. Nothing daunted, she stood up and threw the fish at the appropriate time. It landed with a plop in front of Groucho. He looked up and said, 'I'm glad I didn't ask for an elephant.'"

I have a very old newspaper clipping telling of Musa's role in a 1936 Portland Civic Theatre production of The Mad Hopes. She is hailed as playing the humorous English dowager. Musa continued her interest in drama throughout her life by introducing her niece and nephew to live theater, taking in Shakespeare whenever possible, staging skits at the Service Center, and through storytelling. She was marvelous at Tajar Tales, and I'll never forget my two favorite Christmas stories she told, Why the Chimes Rang and The Other Wise Man.

After graduation from Reed College Musa worked for the Travelers Aid for awhile . Then she began her life-long career with the YWCA. She served in Pocatello, Idaho, in Salt Lake City, in Billings, Montana, and in Highland Park, Illinois. In Highland Park her title was Executive Director. I'm not sure about the other places. In 1969 she moved to a retirement home in Seattle, Washington, Hilltop House, where she remained very active teaching bridge, giving book reviews, going on trips, sewing doll clothes for the Salvation Army until the very day of her death.

Aunt Musa felt her childhood was one of deprivation. She wrote, "I never was able to enjoy myself until I grew up and left home," and then did she ever make up for lost time! Enjoy herself, and life, she did! Whatever was going on, Aunt Musa was apt to be at the center of it. During her career with the YWCA she led horseback treks for young girls up into the mountains. She taught bridge lessons and square dancing. She gave book reviews and wrote stories. During her early years at the YWCA in Highland Park she ran a servicemen's center that was open every weekend. It catered to the young men stationed at Fort Sheridan Army Base and Great Lakes Naval Base. The center operated in the basement of the local VFW Hall. Local young women served as Junior hostesses and local service organizations served food. The young people played pool, ping pong, and bridge, and danced. Sometimes they square danced. Sometimes they danced to popular tunes played on a record player. Sometimes a live band would play. The old piano in the corner would provide an anchor for the band or a chance for some lonely virtuoso to reengage his musical talents. There were strict rules about what could and could not happen on the premises and "Miss D" as she was called was very strict in enforcing them, but they all loved her. I believe she kept in touch with some service center alums until the day she died.

Musa was ever a devoted family member, both to her birth family in her younger years, and to her sister's family in later years. In Portland she worked hard at encouraging her younger sister and brother to go to school as she had. The effort paid with Thelma but not with Lester. The thirties were Depression years and times were tough. Whatever Musa had she gladly shared with her family. The story of the evening gown is a famous one in our family. In 1932 Thelma was invited to attend a ball with the dashingly handsome, Forrest Zimmerman. She thought she could not go because she had nothing to wear. Musa came through like a fairy godmother spending her last cent to send her sister to the ball. Aunt Musa also bought her the canopy bed. Our mother liked canopy beds and clipped pictures of them out of magazines. She read me The Secret Garden three times and I swear she liked that book because of the illustration of Mary discovering Collin inside his canopy bed. About a year before Thelma died, Musa managed to get enough cash together to buy her a canopy bed. My how our mother loved it, though she never was able to have a canopy for it. She died in that bed. Heather has it now.

When my brother and I were small we were delighted when Aunt Musa came to visit which she did once or twice a year whether she could afford it or not. Would we have fun! It would be off to Boston to ride the swan boats and feed the squirrels and go to movies. Once she took us to four movies in one day! We loved it. I remember twice when her enthusiasm for going and seeing and doing almost got us into trouble. The first time she and I came into New York City and had a lay over before our next plane left for Boston. Auntie Moo figured if you were a kid with any time at all in New York you had to go to the top of the Empire State building, which was the tallest building in the world at that time. And since she was the biggest kid around we had to go and off we went! Did we get back in time for the airplane ride to Boston? No we did not! We had to go on a very slow train and I'm surprised she was able to pay for it. Another time we were up in Seattle visiting Cousin Bessie. Aunt Musa somehow lost track of time and when we should have been getting on the plane to go home we were on our way out to Whidbey Island to visit Winnie's daughter, Jessie. I knew what day it was and where we were supposed to be but I never said a word because by missing the plane we were able to get in on a family outing to Mt. Rainier which turned out to be the high point of the trip. Auntie Moo was also just as happy we had missed the plane.

When our mother died in 1952 Aunt Musa took us all under her wing. No matter the difficulties, it was what was needed to be done, and Aunt Musa would take care of her family. At that point we were all the family she had left. I shared Aunt Musa's bedroom at the YWCA. Our dad could only find a room to rent at first, so he lived there. And what to do with 13 year old Jon? Aunt Musa didn't ask, she went ahead and set him up in the TV room at the Y. He just had to be sure to stay out when all the little girls were using it to change into their dancing costumes after school. When the Y board heard about the arrangement they were not pleased. I could stay but Jon had to go. Soon Jon and Dad were moved into a tiny apartment a mile down the street. None of us had a car. Every evening Auntie Moo and I would traipse down St. John's Ave. bringing supper. I don't know how she did it, doing her job at the Y which called for many weekend and evening hours, and trying to hold this little bedraggled family together, but she did it and at the time we didn't even appreciate that it was difficult for her.

I keep thinking of all the things I learned from Aunt Musa. I learned to swim, and square dance, and play bridge. I learned to enjoy theater and concerts and to do skits and read books. The library was next door to the Y and she insisted that I take out books and read them. She saw to it that I got lessons. When I came to her I was playing the violin so she had me continue even though there was no school program and continuing meant private lessons. What I thought I really wanted to do was play the piano, so when the Servicemen's Center closed down, she saw to it that I got the piano and had lessons. I still have that piano. Besides these concrete things there are many ways Aunt Musa impacted my life and made me the person that I am. One of the biggest ways was in exposing me to all the different kinds of people in the world. At the Y there was a Golden Circle Club for the elderly. There was the Frienship Club for women who did domestic work for the wealthy families along the North Shore. Many of these women were of foreign birth. There was the Dunbar Club made up of mostly Negro people who worked in the area. Every day was "Take Your Daughter (in this case niece) to Work Day." Whatever Aunt Musa did, I did it too. I learned to sing all the songs with the old folks; I learned to do rosemalling with the Friendship Club; I helped to cook and serve for the Dunbar Club. I learned to play pool with the soldiers and sailors. I learned that the Y was for everyone without regard to race or creed or color and so I expected the whole world to be. Because of Musa DeMouth I learned very early to relate to and respect and enjoy many different kinds of people.

Another gift from Aunt Musa was sharing in her zest for life. I trully believe Auntie Moo enjoyed everyday of her life, every single one - even the ones in North Dakota. The letter she wrote to me on the day she died says she was going down to play bridge that night. She did, and that's where she died of a massive heart attack. I think that's how she would have wanted it. And I got the letter three days later.

Aunt Musa was our own Auntie Mame. Perhaps she tried to make it up to us that she was the only relative we had. I bet she would have been the same if we'd had a hundred aunts and uncles. She was my mother's sister, so she was my aunt. She was a great aunt to your mom, and she would be your great great aunt. She never had her own children to remember her, but she treated us as well as she would have her own. So I hope you will help remember Auntie Moo, Musa Irene DeMouth. And some day I will discover where her mother got her strange name.


(03) Lester Jacob DeMouth:


15 March 2004

Dear Sarah, Hannah, Timmy, and Becky

Today I am writing to you about my only uncle and I never even met him.

Lester Jacob DeMouth
18 December 1913 - 24 October 1944

Lester was the third child of Samuel and Elzora Pierce DeMouth joining his two older sisters, Musa, aged 10, and Thelma, aged 2. He was born on the 18th of December in 1913 in a place called Quinion, Billings County, North Dakota. It took me a while to find Quinion because it isn't on any map any more. Here's what I found out about Quinion from a very nice lady in North Dakota named Patrice Hartman.

Quinion was located in Billings County 29 miles NNE of Medora. Mrs. Bert Townend was tired of traveling 15 miles to a place called Fairfield every time she wanted to pick up mail or send a letter. So about 1910 she circulated a petition to have a post office. There was no town where Mrs. Fairfield lived, only a few poor farms and ranches. To have a post office you at least needed a name so she picked Quinion because back in 1885 a man named H.C. Quinion had lived there. He had come from Vermont and built a ranch called the Q-Bar Ranch on Magpie Creek north of a town called Fryburg. He had 600 to 700 horses. Mrs. Townsend was the first post mistress of Quinion and held that position until the building burned down. Elzora De Mouth, that's Lester's mother, was the post mistress from 1916 'til 1918. Women could not yet vote in the USA but apparently they could be trusted for an important job like post mistress. 1918 is probably when Lester's family moved to Montana. After that Lester's grandfather, Frank O. Pierce took over as post master of Quinion until 1923. That's probably when he moved on to Oregon. And at that point the post office closed and Quinion disappeared and anyone who lived there had to go to Fairfield to get their mail.

Now you might think this isn't very important and why am I going on and on about where Lester was born. It is important because it tells us where this family settled in North Dakota after they left the beautiful green state of Wisconsin. Ask your mommy to help you find on a map where Quinion was. Now North Dakota may be a fine state in many ways, but it was not and is not beautifully green like Wisconsin. Many settlers were lured out to the Dakotas with the offer of free land if they put up a house and lived there for a while. And this is what happened to Lester's family. Sometime between when Thelma was born in March of 1911 and when Lester was born, the DeMouth family came pioneering in North Dakota. It wasn't just Sam and his wife and kids either. His father-in-law, Frank Pierce, also came with his wife and children, Winnie and Roy, who were in their 20's and married, and Iner, their adopted son who was a young teenager. I have a picture of the whole gang and also a picture of the DeMouth's home and the Pierce's home. But until Patrice sent me the information about Quinion, I had no idea where in the large state of North Dakota they lived.

I mentioned that North Dakota is not green. Rainfall varies from year to year from just barely enough to grow a crop to almost nothing. The DeMouths along with many other pioneers had a hard time making a living even with free land. I wrote a little bit about life on the North Dakota prairie in the story for Lester's sister Thelma. So here, let's just repeat. Life was very hard. That's undoubtedly why Lester's mom took the job as post mistress. It was something she could do to keep her children fed.

I don't remember many stories about Lester as a child but this one. Lester was very very shy. Out on the prairie they could go months without seeing anyone outside their family. One day a stranger lady came to call on Lester's mother. Lester could hear them talking in the kitchen. He was terrified. All of a sudden he came tearing through the kitchen and out the door fast as a streak of lightning. The only problem was he hadn't taken time to open the door. He broke through it screen, wood, and everything.

By the year 1920, probably by 1918, the DeMouths had given up on homesteading and moved to a little town in Montana called Ballantine. There they purchased an old building which they turned into a hotel. Lester's mom was the cook. After a few years the hotel burned down and the family moved on to Portland, Oregon. The children had gone to school through 8th grade in North Dakota and Montana but they couldn't go to high school because there wasn't one anywhere near them. Musa and Thelma went to high school after they got to Oregon. Musa tried and tried to get Lester to go but it was no use. Lester was busy getting over his shyness and discovering the joys of big city life. He was into wild living and drinking. Aunt Musa always said if Lester hadn't died in the war he would have ended up as an alcoholic bum. I refuse to believe it, but it gives you an idea what he was like after the family got to Portland.

Lester's mother died suddenly in 1934 and Lester joined the marines the following year. We know a little bit about his years in the marines before World War II from letters he wrote to Thelma. One letter tells about being aboard the ship that was searching for the downed flier Amelia Earhart. Several letters tell about being stationed in China. Lester was with a group known as the China Marines, because they went straight from a long stretch of duty in Shanghai, China to the war in the Pacific, instead of getting to go home as they had planned. You can read Lester's letters by clicking on the notes after his name, up above. Because of the internet I have been fortunate to receive letters from several men who served with Lester and remembered him. One of them was Arthur W. Jones of Del City, Oklahoma. This is what he wrote to me, 7 May 2004:
"DeMouth and I made several liberties together in Shanghai. He was a good Marine and was liked by the Marines. . . .
"We left Shanghai on the same boat to Olongopo, P.I. Was at Olongopo when we were bombed for the first time.
"We were ordered to Bataan on the 29th day of December. We were ordered to Corregidor for beach defense and after landing laid down for a few minutes rest at Middlesides Barracks when Corregidor was bombed for the first time for 3 hrs. and 15 mins. Wave after wave came over.
"Back in Shanghai we were together on guard duty at an oil company on the Yanztze river for a week with other guard members.
"After Corregidor fell we moved from there to a hell camp in Cabanatum Prison Camp. We were together there until groups of us were shipped out to work details. After that I lost contact with DeMouth. . . . Arthur (Art) W. Jones"
J. E. Dupont from Plaquemine, Louisiana, also had guard duty with Lester in Shanghai. He wrote:
"I do know that he was well liked by the other Marines and that he performed his duty well. As I recall he was rather quiet and mild mannered." Mr. Dupont also sent a copy of a newsletter from the Shanghai days with this note about Lester:
"DeMouth heard from two gals in the states the last mail and it was quite comical. One of the girls (Betty) wanted him to write more because it was hard to love him when she got no word from him, and the other girl (Betty's friend) wrote to assure him that Betty was madly in love with him. Anyway, they both wished him a speedy return. Looks as though he may have something there." Since I first wrote this I have discovered who Betty was. She was Ruby Elizabeth, called "Bette" Hicks, the daughter of Lester's cousin, Verna Demouth Hicks.
And this came from Ms/Sgt Herman E. Smith:
"I was well acquainted with Lester. We served in the same squad in Shanghai, China for about one year. Then in November of 1941 we were pulled out of Shanghai to the Philippines on Subic Bay. We arrived there seven days before the war began. We were at Olongopo when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. We left Olongopo and went down through Bataan to Marivales across the bay from Corregidor. On Christmas night 1941 we were taken to Corregidor for beach defense. When we arrived on Corregidor we were split up and sent to different companies. I remained with F Co. and Lester was sent to I Co. 3rd Bat. That was the last time I ever saw him"

Spain had lost control of the Philippines to the United States in the Spanish American War, so American troops were in the Philippines guarding the islands and doing routine kinds of things before WWII. It's interesting to think about the fact that Lester's father, Sam DeMouth, was in the Philippines during the Spanish American War that won control of the Philippines for America, and his son, Lester, was there in World War II when the islands were taken from America. So Lester and his buddies were there in Corregidor right after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and the United States officially joined theWorld War II. Lester and the other marines did not have very good weapons. They were left over from World War I and as often as not they didn't work at all. And they ran out of food. But they kept fighting and defending the island for months and months with no hope of resupply or rescue. It was horrible. Finally on May 7, 1942 they surrendered. And Lester and all the others were taken prisoner by the Japanese. The Philippine Islands were no longer an American Territory. They now belonged to the Imperial Empire of Japan.

Lester lived for two years and 5 months in Japanese POW camps. That is where they kept the prisoners of war. The prisoners were used for slave labor by the Japanese. They were treated cruelly and fed very poorly. What they ate was rice, rice with weevils, a little rice, never enough rice. Ocassionally it was cooked with a kind of tough grass that tasted horrible. Those who wanted to stay alive forced themselves to eat what little there was and they gradually became living skeletons as they lost weight from lack of food.

In 1944 the Japanese began to transfer prisoners from the various POW camps in the Philippines to POW camps in Japan in what are called the "Hell ships." Here is a description of what happened written by William Bowen, a man I know whose father was with Uncle Lester on board the Arisan Maru.
"A draft of prisoners was assembled at Old Bilibid Prison starting in late September 1944 for transport to Japan to work as forced labor. Many of the men came from the Cabanatuan Prison Camp. The draft of approximately 1800 boarded the Arisan Maru and departed Manila on October 10, 1944. The ship sailed south to the vicinity of Palawan Island and laid over until 19 October. One reason advanced for the move South and the layover was to avoid US air and naval action. The Arisan returned to Manila on the 19th, took on supplies on the 20th and left in a convoy around midnight headed for Takao, Formosa. The 6886 ton Arisan Maru was sunk in the Bashi Straits, South China Sea, Latitude 20 o 46' N, Longitude 118 o 18' E, on October 24, 1944 at about 5:00 PM. Naval records indicate that the USS Shark II (SS 314) attacked a Japanese freighter in the late afternoon of October 24, 1944. The USS Shark was lost with all 87 hands in that same action and is believed to have torpedoed the Arisan. The Arisan carried no markings or flag indicating that it was carrying Allied prisoners. It was hit aft of midships causing the ship to split open with the rear section sinking downward into the sea. A torpedo is thought to have hit in number three hold where Japanese troops and civilians were located. The Japanese quickly evacuated the ship and were picked up by their destroyer escorts. Before leaving the Japanese guards cut rope ladders into the prisoner holds but these were restored by the prisoners and the survivors agree that almost all prisoners were able to get off the ship. Many scavenged whatever food and water they could before leaving the ship. At first, many prisoners swam toward the Japanese destroyers hoping for rescue. They were pushed and beaten away with poles. The men climbed on whatever wreckage they could find to stay afloat for rescue."
I doubt very much if Uncle Lester could even swim. A few men, 9 of the 1800, did survive and came back from the war to tell their story. But Uncle Lester's bones rest at the bottom of the South China Sea.

Lester was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, American Defense Service Medal with Base Clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal. These are in the possession of my brother, Jon Zimmerman.

So this is the story of my Uncle Lester. He was strong and good. He was a poor boy from the American prairie who became an adult in Oregon during the Great Depression. He didn't have many opportunities in life so he joined the Marines. He never would marry and raise a family. Instead, he suffered unspeakable horrors in the battle of Corregidor, in Japanese prison camps, and in death aboard the Arisan Maru. He died to keep America and the world free from the Japanese empire. In this he won. Please never forget your Uncle Lester. Lester Jacob DeMouth is an American hero.


Marriage Notes

---------ELZORA PIERCE/SAMUEL L. DEMOUTH MARRIAGE The home of Mr. and Mrs. F.O. Pierce, at Pioneer Farm southeast of town (Greenwood, Clark County), was a scene of harmony and festivity Thanksgiving evening, when their daughter Elzora Maude was united in holy wedlock to Samuel L. DeMouth of Christie, Rev. W. E. Kloster pronouncing the marriage vows in the presence of 125 people. At eight o clock the bridal party formed at the head of the stairs and to the sound of appropriate strains from the organ below proceeded downstairs, led by the minister, to the parlor where the party took their position under a floral bell, which was connected with al parts of the room by festoons arranged in tasty order. Here the bride was given away by the father, on whose arm she had been supported. Attending her were the Misses Alma Austin and Lottie DeMouth, as bridesmaids. The groom was attended by Messrs. Clarence Edmonds and Clifford Nutting. After the marriage vows had been solemnized Mr. and Mrs. DeMouth received congratulations until supper was announced, the first table serving the bridal party and their nearest relatives and a few others. To say that it was a bounteous repast would put it in mild terms, for there was everything tempting in the way of viands, that would make even a Thanksgiving turkey envious. The bride was the recipient of a valuable assortment of wedding presents sent by relatives and friends from Loyal, Neillsville, Christie and Greenwood. Mrs. DeMouth was born on the farm on which she was married and has grown to womanhood here, though she has worked in Loyal, Greenwood and Neillsville for the past few years. Her acquaintance is large and all speak most highly of her as a lady and an accomplished housewife. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob DeMouth of Christie and now owns the farm on which he was born, where they have already set up housekeeping. For five years he served in the regular army, two years of the time being spent in the Philippines, from which he returned about two years ago, upon his discharge from service. That long life and true happiness may attend these new voyagers on the matrimonial bark is the wish of their many friends, the Gleaner included. SOURCE: GREENWOOD GLEANER 01/31/1902

  1. Census, Federal - 1920 - Yellowstone Co, Montana, school district 24, ED#181, sheet 9A, Ancestry p.17.

    Line 11 Dwelling #4 Household #4

    Dimouth, Samuel L. Head Owns Mort. 46 m WI NJ Ver Occ: Hotel Proprietor
    Elzora M. wife 34 m WI WI WI None
    Musa I. dau 16 s WI WI WI None
    Thelma E. dau 8 WI WI WI None
    Lester J. son 6 ND WI WI None
    Baker, Fred S. Boarder M W 27 s IL MN IN Auto Mechanic
    Shreevam, Peter J. Boarder M W 50 wd MA VT NY Surgeon

  2. Census, Federal - 1900 - Philippine Islands, Daet, Ancestry p. 1 of 5.
    (30 Jun 1900)
  3. Census, Federal - 1880 - Clark Co., WI, town of Weston. ED 174, Ancestry p 1 of 11.
    (1 Jun 1880)

    1880 Federal Census--Weston, Clark, WI
    Jacob Demouth age 45, b. NJ, Farmer, Father b. NJ
    Wife: Cordealia age 36, b. VT, Parents b. VT
    Son: Don A. 17, b. WI
    Dau: Eva 16, b. WI
    Son: John 12, b. WI, Student
    Son: Samuel 6, b. WI, Student
    Dau: Sharlet 3, b. WI
    Dau: Lucindah 1, b. WI

  4. Census, Federal - 1910 - Clark Co, WI, Weston, ED # 40, sheet 3A (Ancestry p. 5 of 17).
    (26 Apr 1910)
  5. Census, Federal - 1930 - Multnomah Co, Oregon, Maplewood, precinct 525, ED # 263, sheet 3A (Ancestry p. 5 of 18).
    (7 Apr 1930)

    Line 42 West Ave. dwelling # 77 Household # 77

    Demouth, Samuel L. head rents $20/mo age 56 M age 28 WI NJ VT occ: Painter of bldgs Vet Phil
    Elzora M wife 49 22 WI WI WI none
    Musa I dau 26 s WI WI WI maid - in school
    Thelma E dau 19 s WI WI WI none - in school
    Lester J son 16 s WI WI WI none - not in school
    Simons, John H boarder 49 s WI Eng Eng lumber grader

  6. Rootsweb (, Siskiyou Co., CA - Index to Federal Land Records California Land Patents Database.

    MD 0430N 0070W 004 4925 1906/06/26 DEMOUTH ELZORA M MD 0440N 0080W 008 4851 1905/10/13 DEMOUTH JOHN C MD 0440N 0080W 008 4898 1906/02/05 DEMOUTH LILLIAN D MD 0440N 0100W 008 4957 1906/10/29 DEMOUTH SAMUEL

  7. Jonathan Raban, Bad Land, an American Romance (Pantheon Books, New York, 1996).
  8. World War I Draft Registration, Roll # 1819447; order # 623B reg # C - 33 - 1 27.
    (12 Sep 1918)

    Samuel L. DeMouth
    Permanent home address: Quinion, Billings, North Dakota
    age: 44 DOB: March 12, 1874
    white native-born farmer at address: Quinion, Billings, North Dakota
    nearest relative: Elzora M. DeMouth
    at adress: Ballantine, Yellowstone, Montana
    height: tall build: medium eyes: blue hair: gray

  9. US Dept of the Interior - Bureau of Land Management - General Land Office Records (, Land Patent.

    Note: An Italic entry denotes data that has not been indexed against the land patent document, and has no image.
    Image Accession NamesSorted Ascending Date Doc # State

    CACAAA 020276 PatenteeDEMOUTH, SAMUEL 10/29/1906 4957 CA

    Meridian Twp - Rng Aliquots Sec. # County

    Mount Diablo 044N - 010W N½NW¼ 8 Siskiyou
    044N - 010W SW¼NW¼ 8 Siskiyou

  10. Pierce, Ben (<>), email.
    (8 Aug 2013)

    The Q-Bar was where Dad worked during his horse roundup days, someplace between 1916-1919 As far as I know it was a ranch though, probably a large one for that time and place. Lester's family was likely working there at the time he was born, since dad said there were lots of riders working there, as well as other ranch help.

  11. Clark Co., WI Internet Library, ALHN & AHGP website (, News: Christie (03 Nov 1911).
    (14 Aug 2013)

    Sam Demouth sawed wood for Willis Armitage on Wednesday of last week.

  12. DeMouth Family Bible.

    [DeMouth Bible gives birth date as 12 Mar 1874.
    WWI Draft registration card gives birth as 12 Mar 1874.
    Death certificate gives birth as April 1871.]

  13. DeMouth, Samuel - Death Certificate (certified copy).
  14. Ibid.
  15. DeMouth Family Bible.
  16. Stevens, Dianne Z., DeMouth Family History.
  17. Census, Federal - 1900 - Clark, WI, Eaton twsp.
    (15/16 Jun 1900)

    1900 United States Federal Census
    Name: Frank O Pierce Age: 45 Birth Date: Oct 1854 Birthplace: Wisconsin
    Race: White Gender: Male Relationship to head-of-house: Head
    Father's Birthplace: Vermont Mother's Birthplace: New York
    Spouse's name: Martha E Pierce Marriage Year: 1887 Years Married: 13
    Home in 1900: Eaton, Clark, Wisconsin [Greenwood, Clark, Wisconsin]
    Frank O Pierce 45 WI-VT-NY Oct 1854 m. 13 yrs Farmer
    Martha E Pierce 43 WI-ME-ME Jun 1856 m. 13 yrs 3 of 4 children living
    Elzora M Pierce 20 WI-WI-WI May 1880 Servant
    Royal A Pierce 12 WI-WI-WI Mar 1888 at school
    Winnifred E Pierce 10 WI-WI-WI Apr 1890 at school
    Edna F Pierce 5 WI-WI-WI Jul 1894

  18. Census, Federal - 1920 - Yellowstone Co, Montana, school district 24, ED#181, sheet 9A, Ancestry p.17.

    Line 11 Dwelling #4 Household #4

    Dimouth, Samuel L. Head Owns Mort. 46 m WI NJ Ver Occ: Hotel Proprietor
    Elzora M. wife 34 m WI WI WI None
    Musa I. dau 16 s WI WI WI None
    Thelma E. dau 8 WI WI WI None
    Lester J. son 6 ND WI WI None
    Baker, Fred S. Boarder M W 27 s IL MN IN Auto Mechanic
    Shreevam, Peter J. Boarder M W 50 wd MA VT NY Surgeon

  19. Place names of North Dakota.
  20. Census, Federal - 1910 - Clark Co, WI, Weston, ED # 40, sheet 3A (Ancestry p. 5 of 17).
  21. Census, Federal - 1930 - Multnomah Co, Oregon, Maplewood, precinct 525, ED # 263, sheet 3A (Ancestry p. 5 of 18).

    Line 42 West Ave. dwelling # 77 Household # 77

    Demouth, Samuel L. head rents $20/mo age 56 M age 28 WI NJ VT occ: Painter of bldgs Vet Phil
    Elzora M wife 49 22 WI WI WI none
    Musa I dau 26 s WI WI WI maid - in school
    Thelma E dau 19 s WI WI WI none - in school
    Lester J son 16 s WI WI WI none - not in school
    Simons, John H boarder 49 s WI Eng Eng lumber grader

  22. Census, Federal - 1880 - Clark Co, WI, town of Eaton.

    1880 United States Federal Census
    Name: Frank Pierce Age: 25 Estimated birth year: abt 1855 Birthplace: Wisconsin
    Relation to Head of Household: Self (Head) Spouse's name: Sarah Pierce
    Father's birthplace: Vermont Mother's birthplace: New York
    Occupation: Farmer Marital Status: Married Race: White Gender: Male
    Home in 1880: Eaton, Clark, Wisconsin
    Frank Pierce 25 WI-VT-NY Farmer
    Sarah Pierce 25 WI-England-Eng
    E. Mabel Pierce 1 WI-WI-WI
    E. Ella Pierce 1m WI-WI-WI b. May

  23. DeMouth Family Bible.
  24. Clark County Genweb site (
    (27 Dec 1934)

    Obit: Demouth, Elzora (? – 1934)
    Posted By: Crystal Wendt > Date: Thursday, 9 June 2005, at 4:43 p.m.
    Surname: Demouth, Pierce
    Source: Neillsville Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 27 Dec. 1934
    Demouth, Mrs. Sam **‘Elzora’(?- 5 Nov. 1934)
    Word was received at the Press office that Mrs. Sam Demouth died at her home in Maywood, near Portland, Ore., November 5, 1934.
    Mrs. Demouth, before her marriage was Miss Zoe Pierce, and was quite well known here. Her childhood home was in the town of Easton.
    **Taken for the Oregon death index 1903 – 1998; Death County: Multnomah.

  25. Moore, Helen, DeMouth, Musa - fish story.
  26. Census, Federal - 1920 - Yellowstone Co, Montana, school district 24, ED#181, sheet 9A, Ancestry p.17.

    Line 11 Dwelling #4 Household #4

    Dimouth, Samuel L. Head Owns Mort. 46 m WI NJ Ver Occ: Hotel Proprietor
    Elzora M. wife 34 m WI WI WI None
    Musa I. dau 16 s WI WI WI None
    Thelma E. dau 8 WI WI WI None
    Lester J. son 6 ND WI WI None
    Baker, Fred S. Boarder M W 27 s IL MN IN Auto Mechanic
    Shreevam, Peter J. Boarder M W 50 wd MA VT NY Surgeon

  27., Messageboards

    Lincoln High School, Portland, OR, Class of 1930
    Author: Dalice Fadden Date: 9 Mar 2003 12:28 AM GMT

    Taken from The Cardinal, Lincoln High School, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, Class of 1930 Seniors: Irving Albert, G. Martin Allen Jr., Julius Bergstrom, Edmund F. Beuter, Frances W. Booth, Edward L. Brown, Edward F. Burpee, Edwin Cohen, Henry Cohn, Charles K. Cummings, Dorothy A. Cunningham, Dorothy E. Dahl, H. Hollis Daniel, Musa I. DeMouth, Herbert A. Doty, Hilda A. Fries, Jean E. Gaddis, Marjorie K. Gray, Bonifacio Jacob, Austin Jennings, Celia Kaplan, Villard C. Kiel, Edna A. Kinney, Dorothy Kramer, Remington Low, Waite Lukesh, Evelyn Mathiesen, Leslie McLennan, Oscar Melzer, Marguerite Miller, John Morehouse, Stanley Moy, Philip Mulder, Frances Nemiro, Lawrence Newell, Evelyn Palmquist, Clifford Paulson, Charlotte Pearson, Chester Pearson, Esther K. Raz, Melchior Raz, Grant H. Ridley, Guido M. Rizzo, Mark Rosumny, Joseph Saslavsky, Dorothy Schaffner, Beulah Schobert, Mary Stamp, Louise Stein, Robert L. Swain, Kathryn Swoboda, Russell S. Taylor, Helen Thomson, Molly Lou Thompson, Audrey Williams, Louis Wachsmuth, Edna M. Whitmer, Evelyn Winchell

  28. Census, Federal - 1910 - Clark Co, WI, Weston, ED # 40, sheet 3A (Ancestry p. 5 of 17).
  29. Census, Federal - 1930 - Multnomah Co, Oregon, Maplewood, precinct 525, ED # 263, sheet 3A (Ancestry p. 5 of 18).

    Line 42 West Ave. dwelling # 77 Household # 77

    Demouth, Samuel L. head rents $20/mo age 56 M age 28 WI NJ VT occ: Painter of bldgs Vet Phil
    Elzora M wife 49 22 WI WI WI none
    Musa I dau 26 s WI WI WI maid - in school
    Thelma E dau 19 s WI WI WI none - in school
    Lester J son 16 s WI WI WI none - not in school
    Simons, John H boarder 49 s WI Eng Eng lumber grader

  30. Young Women's Christian Association (<> ).
  31. Ibid.
  32. Census, Federal - 1920 - Yellowstone Co, Montana, school district 24, ED#181, sheet 9A, Ancestry p.17.

    Line 11 Dwelling #4 Household #4

    Dimouth, Samuel L. Head Owns Mort. 46 m WI NJ Ver Occ: Hotel Proprietor
    Elzora M. wife 34 m WI WI WI None
    Musa I. dau 16 s WI WI WI None
    Thelma E. dau 8 WI WI WI None
    Lester J. son 6 ND WI WI None
    Baker, Fred S. Boarder M W 27 s IL MN IN Auto Mechanic
    Shreevam, Peter J. Boarder M W 50 wd MA VT NY Surgeon

  33. Census, Federal - 1930 - Multnomah Co, Oregon, Maplewood, precinct 525, ED # 263, sheet 3A (Ancestry p. 5 of 18).

    Line 42 West Ave. dwelling # 77 Household # 77

    Demouth, Samuel L. head rents $20/mo age 56 M age 28 WI NJ VT occ: Painter of bldgs Vet Phil
    Elzora M wife 49 22 WI WI WI none
    Musa I dau 26 s WI WI WI maid - in school
    Thelma E dau 19 s WI WI WI none - in school
    Lester J son 16 s WI WI WI none - not in school
    Simons, John H boarder 49 s WI Eng Eng lumber grader

  34., High Scool yearbook 1927.

    U.S. School Yearbooks about Thelma Demouth
    Name: Thelma Demouth
    Estimated Birth Year: abt 1911
    Age: 16
    School: High School of Commerce
    School Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
    Year: 1927
    Yearbook Title: Ledger

    [Thelma is mentioned as member of Glee Club]

  35. Ibid., School Yearbooks - Cardinal 1930.

    U.S. School Yearbooks about Thelma De Mouth
    Name: Thelma De Mouth
    Estimated Birth Year: abt 1914
    Age: 16
    School: Lincoln High School
    School Location: Portland, Oregon
    Year: 1930
    Yearbook Title: Cardinal 1930

    Ideal Girl must have - smile of Thelma DeMouth

  36. Ibid., School Yearbooks - Commerce high school 1927.

    U.S. School Yearbooks about Thelma de Mouth
    Name: Thelma de Mouth
    Estimated Birth Year: abt 1911
    Age: 16
    School: Commerce High School
    School Location: Portland, Oregon
    Year: 1927 - p 41

    mentions Thelma doing artwork for the Yearbook, the Ledger
    see p. 17

  37. Zimmerman, Thelma, death certificate, DeMouth.
  38. Obituary.
  39. Video "The Arisan Maru".
  40. US Marine Corps certificate given to Musa DeMouth on 8/17/1948.
  41. Census, Federal - 1920 - Yellowstone Co, Montana, school district 24, ED#181, sheet 9A, Ancestry p.17.
  42. Lester J. DeMouth Letters as a US Marine.
  43. Bill Bowen, The Arisan Maru Tragedy.
  44. Walla Walla (Shanghai, China), Vol. XIII, number 36.
    (15 Feb 1941)

    DeMouth heard from two gals in the states the last mail and it was quite comical. One of the girls (Betty) wanted him to write more because it was hard to love him when she got no word from him, and the other girl (Betty's friend) wrote to assure him that Betty was madly in love with him. Anyway, they both wished him a speedy return. Looks as though he may have something there.

    [This article was sent to me by a buddy of Lester's from Co. F in Shanghai, Joseph E Dupont, Jr. Walla Walla was a weekly magazine of the Fourth Marines in Shanghai. He says Walla Walla in Chinese means, "Talk Talk." The betty mentioed turns out to be Ruby Elizabeth Luth, daughter of Lester's first cousin, Verna Pearl Luth.]

  45. Census, Federal - 1930 - Multnomah Co, Oregon, Maplewood, precinct 525, ED # 263, sheet 3A (Ancestry p. 5 of 18).

    Line 42 West Ave. dwelling # 77 Household # 77

    Demouth, Samuel L. head rents $20/mo age 56 M age 28 WI NJ VT occ: Painter of bldgs Vet Phil
    Elzora M wife 49 22 WI WI WI none
    Musa I dau 26 s WI WI WI maid - in school
    Thelma E dau 19 s WI WI WI none - in school
    Lester J son 16 s WI WI WI none - not in school
    Simons, John H boarder 49 s WI Eng Eng lumber grader

  46. M Celius (<>), email 7 Feb 2010.

    "In the story you wrote about Lester. the woman Betty is my mom...she was named after Ruby Demouth...her name was Ruby Elizabeth and went by Bette"

  47. Clark Co., WI Internet Library, ALHN & AHGP website (

    Bio: Demouth, Samuel (birth of son - 1913)

    Poster: Ann Stevens


    Surnames: Demouth

    -------- Source: Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) Jan 1, 1914

    -------- Demouth, Samuel (birth of son - 14 Dec 1913)

    Born to Samuel Demouth and wife at Quinion, N.D., a son Dec. 14th. Mr. and Mrs. Demouth will be remembered by many around here.

  48. Pierce, Ben (<>), email.
    (6 Aug 2013)

    Quinion was in Billings County. It was a rural post office that was established Feb. 25, 1910 with Lydia B. Townsend as postmaster. Her suggested name of O-Y Ranch was rejected by postal officials, who then accepted the name QUINION, honoring H. Chris Quinion, a native of VT who came there in 1885 and started the Q-Bar Ranch on Magpie Creek north of Fryburg. It was located in SE1/4 of Sec. 13, twenty-nine miles NNE of Medora near the McKenzie County line until 1911 when it moved one mile west to SE-1/4 of Section 14, the home of the new postmaster Florence M. Mason. Elizora M. Desmouth became the postmaster in 1916, holding this position until 1918 when the post offfice moved one mile to the NE to the SW-1/4 of Section 12, the home of the new postmaster Frank O. Pierce. It closed July 14, 1923 with mail to Fairfield, ND.

    Taken from North Dakota Place Names by Douglas A. Wick.

  49. DeMouth Family Bible.
  50. Pierce-DeMouth wedding invitation.
  51. Clark Co., WI - Marriages before 1905, Vol. 2, p. 383.
Surnames | Index

Revised: February 19, 2018