"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Balmer, James W. superintendent of the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation and of the Indian School there, was born in Baraga County, Michigan, Jan. 18, 1879. He attended grade and high school at Duluth, Minn., and also took four years of commercial education there. In 1899 he entered the employ of the Government as stenographer, at Pheonix, Ariz., 14 months later he was promoted to be chief clerk on the San Carlos Reservation, in Arizona, where a new school had just been opened, with 216 pupils. The tribe on this reservation were full blooded Apaches, or "Blanket Indians," as they were called. In 1904 Mr. BALMER was transferred to Washington, D.C., as clerk in the office of the general superintendent on Indian schools, but on Feb. 1, 1905, he was transferred back to field work as principal and chief clerk at the Mount Pleasant Industrial School at Mount Pleasant, Mich., in which capacities he remained for 13 years. He was then transferred to his present position on the Lac du Flambeau reservation. Here he has made a notable success in carrying forward the progress of the school and reservation. The duties of his office demand administrative ability of the highest degree, and he can well be proud of the achievements he has accomplished in this important humanitarian work. Details relating to the school and reservation will be found in the historical portion of this volume. Mr. BALMER belongs to the Knights of Pythias, and is a Royal Arch Mason. He was married at Highland, Kansas, Dec. 27, 1909, to Ruth Hart IRWIN, who was a teacher in the school at San Carlos, Ariz., when she and Mr. BALMER first became acquainted. Mr. and Mrs. BALMER have three children: Ruth L., born Jan. 12, 1911; Elbert I., born June 15, 1914; and Helen E., born July 2, 1919. Ruth L. is now a student at Northland Academy, Ashland, Wis., and the two younger children are at home.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 434-435; History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others; H.C. Cooper Jr. & Co, 1924

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