Was born in East Hartford, Connecticut, on the 2nd of September, 1813.  When eighteen years old he moved to the State of New York, thence to the southern States; leaving there for California in 1849, via Panama, on the steamer of the same name, he arrived in San Francisco on November 1, 1849.  He remained in that place during the Winter, and in the following Spring came to Sonora, and was engaged in the clothing and shoe business until the Fall of 1851; then he opened the Eureka Hotel, which stood nearly opposite the present City Hotel, on Washington street.  The Eureka was burned in the great fire of 1852, and Mr. Bemis, in 1855, opened the Plaza Hotel, which property he afterwards purchased.  This hotel was also destroyed by the conflagration of 1861.  Mr. Bemis now moved to Virginia City, where he lived one year, then returning to Sonora he purchased the City Hotel, and to the present writing has been the only proprietor. There he married Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Lindsey, a native of Massa­chusetts.  She died April 16, 1878.

“A History of Tuolumne County, California” B.F. Alley, 1882. Pg. 383.

Submitted by: Nancy Pratt Melton