Bullis Joseph

THE JOSEPH BULLIS FAMILY

by Omro Bullis

The Bullis family arrived in the Elk Point area where they homesteaded just east of where the bridge now is, back in 1909. There were Joseph Bullis, 67; his wife, Mary Ester Bullis, 58; and their two sons, Earl A., about 29 years; and Omro, 19.

They came to Vermilion in 1910 to make the final lap of the journey. The elder Bullis' had come by train, while their two sons travelled by chartered box-car, loaded with household effects, cattle, horses, chickens, their old pet gander, "Old Whitey", and last, but not least, their old dog, Ring. They also brought a supply of lumber, farm machinery, and a good supply of cured ham, bacon, corned beef, and candles. They knew they would be a long way from town, and thought these might be difficult to get. Thirty years or so earlier, the elder Bullis' had pioneered on an Iowa farm, and were preparing well for this venture, as their daughter Beulah wrote many years later. Beulah and her husband and two little girls made the long trip with them, thinking they might like to settle in the area, too, but decided to return to Washington State.

After making the long, slow trip with horses and wagons and a buggy from Vermilion to Elk Point, they settled in a little log cabin abandoned by some earlier settler, until a new house could be built. But fields had to be plowed, and grain planted, and the homestead put into production, so the new house wasn't built for another three years. But the women folk knew the priorities well, so proceeded to make the little log cabin as comfortable and homey as possible.

A few days after their arrival, they heard there was to be a 4th of July picnic, and Mother Bullis said, "We'll go." So she proceeded to make the picnic lunch, and they went to the picnic where they met many people, many of whom remained life-long friends. The crop that first fall was fairly good. The 110-acre crop the next fall was very good.

Earl A. Bullis married in 1917, and his son, Earl Jr., was born in 1922. They remained on the original homestead until his retirement. He died in 1972, and his wife in 1976.

Omro had bought a farm ten miles down river. He married in 1942, and has two children, James Ernest and Constance Mary. The family lived on the farm till 1966, when they moved to Islay and then to Lloydminster. In 1973, Omro and his wife moved to Innisfree to stay with their daughter and her husband for a few months, before buying a little home where they now live