Career of Mr. James M. Bebee of East Dorset as Viewed by a Fellow Townsman of Life-long Acquaintance. – Mr. Bebee an Extensive and Prosperous Agriculturalist.
James Martindale Bebee, town representative of Dorset pictured on page one, was born in East Dorset on July 7, 1857, and consequently was on September 2, 1902, the day of his election, aged 45 years one month and 26 days. As he was to reside in Dorset he chose a democrat—a natural born politician and farmer—the now Hon. William Henry Bebee of North Dorset, for his father and Mrs. William Henry Bebee (nee Angeline Tryon) for his mother.
To his father probably belongs the distinction of holding more town offices land longer than any other man in the town of Dorset. At every March meeting for many and many a year it was “Henry Bebee” for one or more offices and now, at the trembling age of 80, he still holds the office of town grand juror and the county office of justice of the peace. He was Dorset’s town representative in 1868 and 1872, has been nominated for the highest county offices times too numerous to mention, and perhaps would have been governor of Vermont had his party been able to elect. “Blood tells,” and his son, James, “drinks the same stream and views the same scene, And runs the same course his father has run.”
Lister two years and constable and collector of taxes first in 1897 and ever since, and now town representative, he has made an auspicious beginning—and, apparently Dorset isn’t sick of him yet.
Mr. Bebee was educated in our village school and Burr and Burton Seminary at Manchester, remaining in the former until he was quite proficient in the solid branches, so called, and in the use of x and y, and in the latter one year; after this he taught district school three winter terms.
A dutiful son, he assisted his father on the farm until he attained his majority, and continued to work for him till the spring of 1890, when he bought the farm and stock. The farm consisted of 245 acres, a part of which had been the family home for some 65 years. The Quilter farm of 100 acres was added last spring, and our representative now farms a farm of 345 acres—one of the largest and most productive farms in our narrow vale, and having on it good buildings, and enough of them, two thousand sugar maples, 38 cows, a few young cattle and six horses. It will keep more stock, however.
Level headed and sensible, our representative got married—married Miss Cornelia Eunice Hollister, daughter of E. B. Hollister, Esq., of Manchester Center, and didn’t make any mistake. They have two bright, good-looking little boys, to transmit the Bebee name and blood, and a little girl, assumably still better looking—the writer has never seen her.
The subject of this sketch is five feet eleven inches tall, of good weight, easy going, without the fuss and fret that often life; is a blond without style or outside smartness; dresses well where he ought, with apparently no thought of the wherewithal he is clothed, and doesn’t “turn up his nose at poorer people in plainer clothes”. With him nobody’s and somebody’s hand is “well shaken when taken,” but he breaks no bones in either to show his good fellowship and kindness—wouldn’t were he shaking hands with the Grand Mufti of Turkey.
Bebee can think, is a man of good morals, never sowed any “wild oats’” and doesn’t imbibe. He voted up on the Winooski, probably, as Dorset voted—for the Hon. Percival W. Clement for governor—and will vote for local option, straight, and against referendum or noisy town meeting legislation for the commonwealth of Vermont.
E. M. TORREY.