"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.


Bettis, Frank L. a pioneer of the town of Arbor Vitae, Vilas County, was born at Baraboo, Wis., July 29, 1867, son of Robert and Sarah (COWEN) BETTIS. The parents, natives of New York State, came west in the early 40's and settled near Baraboo, the father subsequently doing freighting from there to points as far north as Wisconsin Rapids for several years. At the outbreak of the Civil War Robert BETTIS enlisted in the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and he served throughout the entire course of the conflict. After being mustered out he settled with his farmily on a farm near Baraboo, and both parents spent the remainder of their lives on this property. They died when Frank L. was very young, and the latter subsequently made his home with a family by the name of Lyndon until he was 13 years old. He then began life on his own account, working on farms near Baraboo for one year and then going to La Crosse, where he spent four years engaged in various occupations, including work on the river drives. In the spring of 1886 he came to Minocqua, and, after earning his living by fishing on the lakes for some time, engaged in boat-building, an occupation which he has since followed off and on all his life. He also worked for various lumber companies during the early period of his residence here. In 1896 he took a homestead of 160 acres in Section 21, town of Arbor Vitae, Vilas County, and this place has ever since been his home. The tract was orginally heavily timbered, and Mr. BETTIS has logged it three different times. His first residence, a log structure, is still standing on the land. On first taking up his home on this property no roads except the old logging trails were available, and he was obliged to cut his way through the trees for many years. The building up of a farm from this jungle was a task before which any but the stoutest heart would quail; Mr. BETTIS, however, possessed all the qualifications of the true pioneer, and his courage led him undaunted through the years of hardship and privation. Toiling early and late, gradually he won his struggle with the wilderness, and today he has a fine agricultural property to repay him for the years of effort. He well merits the respect that is accorded him throughout the community. He was elected clerk of the school board of his district in 1921, and he is looked up to by all as one of the solid, dependable citizens of the community. Mr. BETTIS was married at Minocqua, April 11, 1899, to Emma LINSDAU. Seven children are follows, have been born to Mr. and Mrs. BETTIS: Estella, Harvey, Irma, Viola, Franklin, Joyce, and Jean T. Of these, Estella is now living in Glenellyn, Ill.; Irma is Mrs. Ferdinand MATTKA of the town of Arbor Vitae; and the other children are living at home.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 429 (with picture), History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

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