New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Dakota Datebook: William Lemke, Prairie Rebel

 

August 12, 2019



August 13, 2019 — Today is the birthday of William Lemke, who was born to German parents in Minnesota in 1878. As one of nine children, Lemke’s boyhood was spent in the Big Coulee area of Towner County. His aggressive father had already acquired 2,700 acres when he died of a stroke when he was outbid on a piece of land he wanted.

William lost an eye in a childhood accident and was described as shy but eager for knowledge. His big jaw, rough skin, and rumpled clothing gave him a tough exterior. This, coupled with fierce determination, led historian Edward Blackorby to label him a “prai...



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