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Whatcom County
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Bice, Gerald Roy; M. D.

    Dr. Gerald Roy Bice, physician and surgeon, who is well known in medical circles of northwestern Washington, has been engaged in practice at Ferndale for sixteen years, and his fellow citizens have honored him with offices of trust and responsibility. He was born December 23, 1874, in Paris, Iowa, and is a son of Isaac and Mary C. (Brannaman) Bice, the latter of whom is deceased. The father followed the occupation of farming for many years, and he has reached the eighty-sixth milestone on life's journey.

    After the completion of his high school course Dr. Bice attended Cornell College of Iowa and later entered the State University, from which he received the M. D. degree in 1903. He began his professional career in Kansas, in which he spent four years, and in 1907 went to Germany for postgraduate work. He also attended clinics in Chicago and in 1908 came to Washington. In 1909 he opened an office in Ferndale, and his broad scientific knowledge and skill in checking the progress of disease have brought him extensive practice. He is devoted to his patients and inspires respect and confidence in those to whom he ministers.

    On November 18, 1903, Dr. Bice was united in marriage to Florence Newell, a native of Paris, Iowa, and a student of Cornell College, Iowa, and they are parents of three children, namely: Forrest, who is taking a pre-medical course at the University of Washington; Florence, who is attending high school at Ferndale; and Alden, who is also attending school. Mrs. Bice is a lineal descendant of John Alden and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Bellingham chapter, and of the Order of the Eastern Star.

    Dr. Bice is identified with the Woodmen of the World and in Masonry has taken the thirty-second degree. While his interest centers in his profession, he has also found time for participation in public affairs and was for some time a member of the common council of Ferndale. He was afterward called to the mayoralty and served in that capacity for two terms, wisely administering the affairs of the municipality. He has been vice president of the Whatcom County Medical Society and is also a member of the Washington State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. A student and a worker, Dr. Bice has steadily progressed in his profession and his worth to the community is uniformly conceded.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 466

Biehle, Paul F.

    By a life consistent in motive and action and because of his many commendable personal qualities, Paul F. Biehle, of Nooksack township, has earned the sincere regard of all who know him. He comes from an ancestry that distinguished itself in this country's service, and in his own career he has exemplified the essential elements of good citizenship, standing at all times for all that is best in community life. Mr. Biehle is a native of Nebraska, born on the 28th of April, 1888, and is a son of C. W. and Minnie (Provitz) Biehle, the father a native of Wisconsin and the mother of Nebraska. The subject's grandfathers on both sides were veterans of the Civil war, having fought with the Union forces, and later both took up homesteads in Stanton county, Nebraska, of which locality they were pioneers. His paternal grandparents both died in that state. C. W. Biehle went to Nebraska in 1863, when but eleven years of age, and lived there until 1891, when he came to Washington, settling on thirty-four acres of land which he bought near Strandell, about one mile south of Everson, in Nooksack township. The land was covered with timber and brush, but he went to work clearing it and in the course of time created a good farm, on which he lived until March, 1921, when he retired and moved to a small farm in Everson. To him and his wife were born five children, namely: Arthur, Mrs. Ella Provitz, Paul F., Hugo, deceased, and Otto. An adopted son, Johnnie, died July 30, 1924. Otto Biehle enlisted for service in the World war in September, 1917, and was sent overseas in the following month, serving there until May, 1919, as a member of the Twentieth Engineer Corps.

    Paul F. Biehle received his education in the Roeder school, near Everson, and from that time until his marriage he assisted on the home farm and also worked on neighboring farms. In 1921 he bought one hundred and twenty acres of land, two and a half miles northeast of Nooksack, only a few acres of which had been cleared. He devoted himself indefatigably to the clearing of the tract and the completion of desired improvements and has now a well improved and up-to-date ranch. He is devoting himself very largely to dairying and the chicken business, from both of which he derives a very satisfactory income. In 1924 he built a chicken house, twenty by fifty feet in size, and the following year erected another house, twenty by one hundred and ten feet in size. He keeps about twelve hundred laying hens and nineteen head of cattle, besides two good draft horses. He has thirty-five acres of cleared land under cultivation, the remainder being devoted to pasture and timber. His main field crops are hay, grain and peas, which he uses largely as feed for his stock.

    On May 30, 1917, Mr. Biehle was married to Miss Eileen Willard, who was born in Jefferson county, Iowa, a daughter of George R. and Phoebe (Bickford) Willard, the former a native of Port Henry, New York, and the latter of Jefferson county, Iowa. The father was a cattle man, riding the ranges of Montana for fifteen years. He came to Washington in 1900 and bought five acres of land near Everson, where he is now living. To him and his wife were born seven children, namely: Eileen, Frances, Herbert, deceased, Agnes, Albert, Nelia Josephine, deceased, and Orville. Mr. and Mrs. Biehle are the parents of two children: Margaret, born January 9, 1920; and George William, born February 18, 1922. Mr. Biehle is a member of Everson Camp No. 435, Woodmen of the World, and he and his wife are members of Everson Lodge No. 522, Neighbors of Woodcraft. Mr. Biehle's well directed efforts in the practical affairs of life, his capable management of his business interests and his sound judgment have brought him well deserved prosperity, and his life demonstrates what may be accomplished by a man of ambition and energy who is not afraid to work. He has supported every measure for the advancement of the best interests of the community and his genial and friendly disposition has gained for him the esteem and regard of all who have come in contact with him.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 274-275

Bierlink, Henry

    Among the successful agriculturists and poultrymen of Whatcom county, whose efforts and influence have contributed to the material upbuilding and improvement of their respective communities, Henry Bierlink, of Delta township, occupies a conspicuous place. In his career he has exemplified the truth of the statement that the greatest results in life are often attained by simple means and the exercise of the ordinary qualities of common sense and perseverance, and today no man in his locality has to a greater degree the esteem and regard of his fellow citizens. Mr. Bierlink was born in Ottawa county, Michigan, on the 28th of November, 1882, and is a son of Fred and Johanna (Kaptein) Bierlink, both of whom were born in Germany. The parents came to the United States in May, 1881, locating in Ottawa county, Michigan, where the father bought forty acres of land and rented forty acres, and to the cultivation of this he devoted his attention until 1898. He then came to Lynden, Washington, and bought twenty acres three and a half miles northwest of Lynden. He cleared this land of brush and timber, and in 1900 bought forty acres more, which also was encumbered with fallen timber and brush. Clearing this, he created a splendid farm, on which he lived until his death, May 28, 1907. His widow is still living. They became the parents of four children, Henry, Gerrit, deceased; John; and Anna, who died in infancy.

    Henry Bierlink secured his education in the public schools of Michigan and Washington and remained at home until his marriage. In 1909 he and two of his brothers bought forty acres of land about four miles northwest of Lynden and in 1910 they added thirty acres more across the road from the first purchase. The land was densely covered with logs and brush, but they cleared this all off and farmed the land together until 1914, when they divided the property. Henry Bierlink is now owner of sixty acres of splendid land, a part of which is devoted to the raising of hay and grain, the remainder being in pasture. He keeps sixteen Jersey cows, some of which are pure bred, and a pure bred registered bull, besides ten head of young stock. He has also gone extensively into chicken raising and has built a good chicken house. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association. He has just completed the building of  a nice, commodious barn and one of the finest modern homes in the township, and he and his family are very comfortably situated. They are members of the First Christian Reformed church in Lynden, to which they give generous support.

    On August 15, 1912, Mr. Bierlink was married to Miss Johanna C. Meenderinck, who was born in North Dakota, a daughter of Bernard and Nancy (Van Mersberger) Meenderinck, natives of Holland. Her father was a farmer in his native land until 1880, when he came to the United States and located in North Dakota, where he operated a farm until 1905, when he came to Whatcom county and bought thirty-five acres of land near Lynden. After operating that place for about nine years, he retired and moved to Lynden, where he spent his remaining years, his death occurring July 16, 1925. He was not long survived by his wife, who passed away September 16, 1925. Of their nine children, five are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Bierlink have three children: Johanna K., born July 1, 1915; Nella H., born May 11, 1917; and Bertha Ann, born October 26, 1921. Mr. Bierlink takes a commendable interest in local public affairs, giving his support to all measures for the advancement of the community and has long been considered one of the most influential and enterprising men of his district. Because of his success, his high character and his friendly manner, he has attained a high place in the esteem and confidence of his neighbors and fellow citizens.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 787-788

Bilodeau, J. P.

    Dr. J. P. Bilodeau, physician and surgeon, is well equipped for the exacting duties of his profession and is therefore a valuable addition to Bellingham's medical fraternity. A native of Canada, he was born in Westminster, British Columbia, April 12, 1885, and is a son of P. O. and Ellen (Murphy) Bilodeau, the former a retired merchant.

    The public schools of Canada afforded J. P. Bilodeau his early educational advantages, and he afterward attended Columbia University at Portland, Oregon. He prepared for his profession in McGill University at Montreal, Canada, from which he was graduated in 1913 with the M. D. and C. M. degrees, and for two years he was in interne of the Royal Victoria Hospital. For a year he was connected with the Montreal Maternity Hospital in a similar capacity and then joined the Fifth General Hospital Corps of the Canadian army, with which he went to Saloniki, Greece, spending two years in that country. He was identified with St. Paul's Hospital at Vancouver, British Columbia, for three years and for some time was engaged in general practice in that city. He came to Whatcom county in May, 1924, and for two years was a member of the Bellingham Clinic. He specializes in obstetrical cases, and a large clientele is indicative of the confidence reposed in his professional knowledge and skill. He has opened offices for himself in the new Herald building.

    In 1917 Dr. Bilodeau married Miss Maude Walker, a native of England, and since coming to Bellingham they have adopted a daughter, Betsey Ann. The doctor is a Catholic in religious faith and belongs to the Alpha Kappa Kappa fraternity. He is a member of the Whatcom County and Washington State Medical Societies and the American Medical Association. His interest centers in his profession and through untiring effort and deep study he is constantly enhancing his ability. He finds his recreation in golf.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, by Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 562

Bingham, Harry Oscar

    Harry Oscar Bingham, who was the proprietor of a modernly equipped undertaking establishment at Bellingham for many years, had attained the age of fifty-six when he departed this life on the 19th of May, 1922. He was born at Sugargrove, Warren county, Pennsylvania, in 1866, his parents being natives of the Keystone state and representatives of families which had long been established on American soil.

    Mr. Bingham spent the first thirteen years of his life in Pennsylvania and then removed to Ohio, in which state he continued his education and also worked ina crockery store. At the age of twenty he made his way westward to Colorado, where he remained on a cattle ranch until 1890, when he came to Washington. He secured employment as a railroad fireman and received successive promotions until eventually he was made engineer, serving for eighteen years, during which period he resided in the eastern part of the state. Subsequently Mr. Bingham returned east as far as Chicago, Illinois, where he studied undertaking and embalming, and he then again came to Washington, taking up his permanent abode at Bellingham. Here he purchased the old Maulsby undertaking establishment, which is the oldest in Bellingham and one of the earliest in the northwest. He opened up-to-date and handsomely equipped parlors and during the remainder of his life continued in business as a funeral director of Bellingham. His efficient, unobtrusive service in the scientific care of the dead brought him an extensive patronage and gained him an enviable and well merited reputation.

    In 1891, at Colfax, Washington, Mr. Bingham was united in marriage to Etta Hinds, who was born at Elyria, Ohio, in 1866, and there received her early education. She continued her studies in Oberlin College of Ohio, specializing in literary and physical culture courses, and following her graduation from that institution she went to the Indian Territory with missionaries, there teaching the red men for three years. Then she joined her brother and her father, who had taken up homestead claims in Kansas, and for several years underwent the experiences of life on the frontier. She returned to Indian Territory in 1887 and was residing there when Oklahoma was admitted to statehood. Afterward she removed to Colfax, Washington, where she taught in the public schools until the year of her marriage. Since that time Mrs. Bingham has followed her profession at intervals as a substitute teacher. By her marriage she became the mother of two children: Vernal De Villa, born at Colfax, Washington, in 1892, who wedded Olga Ottestadt and has two children; and Clifton Loyle, who was born in 1910, at Bellingham, where he is attending school.

    Mr. Bingham gave his political allegiance to the republican party, while his religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Congregational church, to which his widow also belongs. Mrs. Bingham likewise exercises her right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party, and she is identified with the Eastern Star and the P. E.O. Her late husband was a worthy exemplar of the teachings and purposes of the Masonic fraternity and belonged to the Mystic Shrine, having been likewise a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and several other fraternal organizations. In the death of Harry O. Bingham Bellingham sustained the loss of a highly esteemed and representative citizen.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 390-393

Birney, Homer J.

    Dr. Homer J. Birney, a highly esteemed member of Ferndale's medical fraternity, has back of him many years of professional experience and enjoys the distinction of being the oldest practicing physician in Whatcom county. He was born at Cadiz, Ohio, in 1855. His parents, Hamilton and Rachel (McKee) Birney, migrated to Illinois in 1878, settling on a farm, which the father converted into an attractive and desirable property, supplied with many modern improvements.

    In preparation for a professional career Dr. Birney entered Rush Medical College of Chicago and was graduated with the class of 1882. He opened an office at Heyworth, Illinois, in 1882 and there spent eight years. In 1890 he located in Whatcom, Washington, which was then a pioneer district, and his was the first buggy brought to the county. For twenty-seven years he followed his profession in Whatcom and his scientific knowledge and superior skill brought him patients from a wide area. Throughout life Dr. Birney has been a constant and untiring student, ever seeking a higher field of usefulness, and his learning has been broadened by postgraduate work in Chicago, in Johns Hopkins University at Baltimore, Maryland, and also in the medical centers of Europe. He remained abroad for a year and since 1917 has practiced in Ferndale, owning a farm near the town. While a general practitioner, he has done much surgical work and performed the first Caesarean operation in the county.

    In 1883 Dr. Birney married Miss Mae Kelley, of Normal, Illinois, and their union was severed by her death in 1916. She had become the mother of one child, Ethel L., who is now the wife of Fred E. Laube, of Bellingham. On the 4th of July, 1922, the Doctor married Miss Sophia Richards, whose family have lived in Ferndale for many years. She is very prominent socially.

    Dr. Birney takes the interest of a good citizen in public affairs and for two terms was a member of the Whatcom school board. He is a Royal Arch Mason and is also connected with the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He served two terms as president of the Whatcom County Medical Society and is also a member of the Washington State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. Dr. Birney is a distinguished exponent of his profession, and his affable manner, cheerful disposition and kind heart have won for him strong and enduring friendship.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 542

Bittermann, Valentine

    The name of Valentine Bittermann of Delta township, does not need to be introduced to the readers of this chronicle, for it has been intertwined with the history of his locality for more than thirty-five years. The splendid success which has come to his is directly traceable to the salient points in his character. With a mind capable of planning, he combined a will strong enough to execute his well formulated purposes, and his great energy, keen discrimination and untiring perseverance have resulted in the accumulation of a handsome property, which places him among the substantial citizens of his section of the county. A native of Germany, his birth occurred November 20, 1858, and he is a son of Wendel and Catherine (Bosche) Bittermann, the former of whom was a lifelong farmer in Germany, where he and his wife spent their lives, both being now deceased. They were the parents of six sons: Fred, William, Peter, Valentine, Michael and George, none of whom excepting the subject of this sketch ever left their homeland.

    Valentine Bittermann received a good education in the public schools of the fatherland and his early years were spent on his father's farm, besides which he also learned the trade of a butcher. In 1883 he emigrated to the United States, locating first in Iowa, where he obtained work on a railroad, which occupation he followed for about three months. He then went to Wisconsin, where for five years he was employed in sawmills. In October, 1889, Mr. Bittermann came to Whatcom county and in the spring of the following year bought forty acres of timber and brush land in Delta township. He at once built a small house and then undertook the prodigious task of clearing the land. In 1913 he bought forty acres adjoining his place, and he thus now owns eighty acres of splendid land, forty acres of which are cleared and in cultivation. In 1902 the modest house which he first built was replaced by a larger and more comfortable and attractive one, and in the following year he erected a commodious and well arranged barn, and a chicken house more recently. He keeps five good Jersey cows, three horses and about two hundred laying hens. His main field crops are hay and grain, for which the land is well adapted, and he now has one of the best farms in his section. He does thoroughly and well whatever he undertakes, so that his reputation as an enterprising and successful farmer has been well earned. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association.

    Mr. Bittermann was married June 2, 1885, to Miss Anna Marie Defren, who was born in Germany, a daughter of Philip and Katrina (Bibinger) Defren, who were the parents of six children: Elizabeth; Jacob, who lives in Washington; Louise, deceased; Anna Marie, Mrs. Bittermann; Wilhelm and Julia. To Mr. and Mrs. Bittermann have been born two children, namely: Mrs. Louise Lowry, who is the mother of a son, Wilfred, born December 26, 1918; and William, who was married to Mrs. Alice Benson, who was a widow with three children, Vernon, Clyde and Artus. Mr. Bittermann can tell many interesting accounts of events and conditions in the early days of this locality. He states that at one time he hired an ox team in Blaine, which place he left at one o'clock in the afternoon for his farm, arriving there at nine o'clock that night, thus requiring eight hours to travel seven miles, such was the almost impassable conditions of the roads. Ever since coming here he has been a persistent and effective advocate of good roads, believing them second in importance to nothing else in the improvement and welfare of a community. He is deeply interested in everything pertaining to the prosperity of his locality and is numbered among the pubic-spirited men of the county. Mrs. Bittermann is also prominently connected with civic and social affairs of her community and is deservedly popular in the circles in which she moves. Mr. Bittermann is socially inclined, easily makes acquaintances and has a host of warm friends who hold him in high esteem because of his genuine worth as a man and a citizen.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 911-912

Bixby, Frank W.

    Frank W. Bixby, one of the foremost lawyers of Whatcom county, is practicing in Bellingham and has also figured prominently in public affairs. He was born October 11, 1868, and is a native of St. Croix county, Wisconsin. His father, Augustus Bixby, was born in Vermont and devoted his life to the occupation of farming. He married Melinda Thompson, who was a native of Scotland and came to the United States with her father, who settled in Connecticut.

    After the completion of his high school course Frank W. Bixby attended the State Normal College at River Falls, Wisconsin, and then was engaged in teaching for four years. He proved an able educator and was made superintendent of the schools of St. Croix county, acting as editor of The Superintendent while filling the position. He was a successful journalist and for eight years published a weekly paper which enjoyed a large circulation. In 1900 Mr. Bixby went to Montana and purchased a cattle ranch, which he operated for a year. He then became a law student at the University of Washington and was graduated with the class of 1903. He began the practice of law in Seattle but in 1904 moved to Lynden, Washington, in which he maintained an office for seven years. He served as city attorney and in 1910 was selected for higher honors, becoming prosecuting attorney of Whatcom county. He filled that office for four years, coming to Bellingham soon after the passage of the prohibition law, and made a notable record as a public prosecutor, securing conviction in ninety-five per cent of the cases with which he was connected. Mr. Bixby is regarded as a wise counselor and an able advocate who never fails to impress his audience with the justice of the cause he pleads. He is well versed in the principles of jurisprudence and his arguments are marked by strength of logic, aptness of illustration and masterful eloquence. He does much public speaking and is widely known as an orator. He is now associated in practice with H. S. Nightingale and theirs is considered one of the strongest legal combinations in this part of the state. They have a large and important clientele and conform their practice to the highest ethical standards of the profession.

    In 1895 Mr. Bixby married Miss Zuba Jacobs, of St. Croix county, Wisconsin, and four children have been born to them. Earl J., the eldest, is an instructor in a dental college and has a wife and two children. Vernon Charles enlisted in 1917, soon after the entrance of the United States into the World war, and saw much hard service in France. He became ill and died soon after the armistice. The others are Florence M., who was graduated from Pullman College and is now engaged in teaching; and Miriam L., a senior in the Bellingham Normal School.

    Mr. Bixby is a man of varied talents and his activities have touched life at many points. He was one of the first men in this section to embark in the poultry industry and developed a large chicken ranch. He has made a close study of the science of agriculture and is the owner of a productive farm of two hundred and ten acres, situated north of Lynden, but is now renting the property. He has a predilection for politics and has served on the Whatcom county republican central committee. He joined the progressive faction in 1912 and was one of the stanch followers of Theodore Roosevelt, whom he greatly admired. He is a Knight Templar Mason and Shriner and has been master of his lodge. He is very active in fraternal affairs and has held all of the offices in the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is also connected with the Yeomen, the Loyal Order of Moose, the Woodmen of the World, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. Mr. Bixby turns to golf for relaxation and is one of the popular members of the Bellingham Country Club. He is an ex-president of the Northwestern Wisconsin Teachers Association, the Wisconsin State Association of County Superintendents and the Washington State Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and is now serving as president of the Whatcom County Bar Association. Mr. Bixby is  a distinguished representative of his profession and has been honored with many high offices, faithfully discharging every trust reposed in him.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 395-396



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