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Photographs - Collections - 1-1091 501-550 - #00506

Title: Martha Wetmore

Dates: 1896-1933

Collection Number: 00506

Quantity: 24 items

Abstract: Early images of Painted Woods and Bismarck and students of Bismarck High School and Bismarck Hospital School of Nursing.

Provenance: While the provenance of the collection is unknown, Martha Wetmore had been assistant librarian at the State Historical Society for 32 years and likely donated the materials during that time. These photographs separated from MSS 20508 Martha Wetmore Papers.

Copyrights:  Copyrights to materials in this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researcher should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94‑553, Title 17 U.S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection name, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Related Collection: MSS 20508 Martha Wetmore


Martha P. Wetmore
From the Bismarck Tribune, Wednesday November 21, 1962

Mrs. Martha Wetmore, 79, pioneer resident of Burleigh County, died at 12:44 a.m. Wednesday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. C. A. Peterson, 207 First Ave. N.W., Mandan.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Boelter Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. A. Benjamin Dove of Mandan officiating. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery.

Mrs. Wetmore was born May 13, 1883 in Painted Woods Township when Burleigh County was still part of Dakota Territory. Her parents were Mr. and Mrs. S. A. Peterson.

She moved to Bismarck with her parents as a child and received her education here later attending business college in Duluth, Minn. She was married to Bert D. Wetmore in 1903 at Mount Iron, Minn., and they lived in Minneapolis and Colorado for several years before returning to North Dakota in 1908.

They made home at Painted Woods Township until 1922 when they moved to Bismarck. Before the 1930s Mrs. Wetmore was not only a farmer’s wife and mother of several youngsters, but served as school clerk and postmistress at Painted Woods.

When the family moved to Bismarck, she became a librarian at the Bismarck Public Library and in 1930 became assistant librarian at the State Historical Library, a position which she held for 32 years until her retirement in March of this year.

Widowed in 1936, she was also preceded in death by her parents, one son and two sisters. Survivors include three daughters, Mrs. J. M. (Ruth Ann) Harper of Arlington, Va., Mrs. George K. (Julia) Strun of Fargo, and Mrs. C. A. (Elizabeth) Peterson of Mandan; one sister, Mrs. Susie Clark of Oakland, Calif., 7 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Wetmore was a member of the Pioneer Daughters and the Burleigh County Pioneers Association.

S. A. Peterson Family
From Wilton Diamond Jubilee 1899-1974

Sven A. Peterson, known as “S.A.”, pioneer Painted Woods postmaster and storekeeper was born in Smolen, Sweden, and came to the U.S. in 1868 when he was 16. After working in Duluth and St. Paul, he came with Oliver Peterson, Gust W. Johnson and John Satterlund to the Painted Woods area in the spring of 1878. The next year S. A. established the store and post office. Mrs. Linda Slaughter, Burleigh County pioneer and author, called Painted Woods “the oldest settled point in the county, a halfway mail station between Forts Rice and Stevenson.” On January 20, 1880, S. A. married Augusta Johnson, also a native of Smolen, at the Episcopal Church in Bismarck, Dakota Territory. Their first home at Painted Woods was a log house with a sod roof. The Petersons prospered, and built a large frame six-bedroom house. It was the scene of many neighborhood gatherings. There were four children: Selma, the first white child born in Painted Woods (April 13, 1881), married Albert Besancon; Martha married Bert D. Wetmore; Elvira married Clark R. Crawford; and Susannah married Sam Clark. A son, Frederick, died as an infant and was buried at Painted Woods. In 1914 Martha Wetmore became the postmistress, succeeding her father. The office was discontinued in 1920. S. A. Peterson died in 1916 and his wife in 1934.


00506-01              Hohenhaus Farm
00506-02              Market Day Scene, Bismarck N.D. ca. 1910 postcard printed in Germany. Published by Hoskins’ Stationery Co.
00506-03              Painted Woods Store on the S. A. Peterson Farm. Photographer: L. D. Judkins, Bismarck, D.T.
00506-04              Burleigh County Courthouse, Bismarck N.D. ca. 1919 postcard
00506-05              Officers’ Quarters, Fort Lincoln, Bismarck, N.Dak.
00506-07              Selma A. Peterson, Ritchville N.D. portrait. Photographer: W. H. DeGraff, Bismarck, N.D.
00506-08              Pioneer picnic at the S. A. Peterson home, store, and post office July 15, 1908   
00506-09              Police Chief Chris Martinson and young boy dressed in Indian costume. Photographer: Rembrandt Studio, Bismarck, N.D.
00506-10              Bismarck High School Pupils September 21, 1896: L to R Front Row: Martha Peterson, Selma Peterson, Nellie Bartron, Pluma Robidou, Narcissa Mandigo, Georgia Burt, Elinor Logan, Edna Winchester, Ara Waggoner, Mabel Deitrich, Myrtle Falkenstein, Merta Yegen, Dora Yegen --L to R second-third row: Frank Hughes, George Fortune, Nellie Livermore, Essie Brown, Mariam Bentley, May Challoner, Clara Stevens, Maggie Cunningham, Gertie Gilbert, Emma Johnson, Mabel Wilton, Merle Wade, Lois Griffin, Rose McHugh, Mame Bogue, Cora King, Ellis, Anna McGowan, Ralph Gray --L to R Back Row: Edna Boucher, Florence Gage, Willie Pattee, Lila Shortridge, John Peterson, Hannah Johnson, Max Kupitz, Will Hughes, Cecil Taylor, Hugh Scott, Albert Marcellus, Milan Ward --Back of Anna McGowan can be seen the ear of George Will
00506-11              Group outside a wood schoolhouse
00506-12              Group in front of Bismarck High School
00506-13              Mrs. Bert D. (Martha) Wetmore 1933
00506-14              Mr. and Mrs. Arthur B. Danstrom, Painted Woods N.D.
00506-16              Group of eight people, sitting in a field by a large home
00506-17              William Meiers and woman. Photographer: A. E. Boyce, Bismarck N.D.
00506-18              Group outside a wood schoolhouse
00506-19              Pioneer picnic at the G. W. Johnson farm home, Painted Woods N.D. 1907. Farm wives who came here before 1880: Top row: Mrs. John A. Johnson, Mrs. Isaac Fairman, Mrs. L. A. Larson, Mrs. Robert Webber, Mrs. Joe Brown, Bottom Row: Mrs. Peter Holm, Mrs. S. A. Peterson, Mrs. L. A. Carlson, Mrs. M. G. Hagen, Mrs. Austin Logan, Mrs. G. W. Johnson, Mrs. William Brown
00506-20              Students in front of Bismarck High School. Photographer: Kenning 1905
00506-21              First graduating class, Bismarck Hospital School of Nursing, Bismarck N.D. 1912
00506-22              August and Matilda Olston. Photographer: L. D. Judkins, Bismarck D.T.
00506-24              Selma Peterson Besancon, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. A. Peterson, first white child born in Painted Woods Township, born 1881

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