Note: From Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, page 37 (Published in 1900)
JOHN DYENS may be truly classed as one of the leading farmers of Kinyon township. He has for some time been numbered among the agriculturists of Cass county, and in prosecuting his farm work is very industrious and progressive in his ideas and is the fortunate owner of an extensive tract of land, on which he conducts general farming. His handsome residence is on section 29, and he has a thoroughly-equipped and improved farm.
Our subject was born in Dufferin county, Ontario, March 29, 1860, and was reared on a farm in his native county and remained there until he reached the age of twenty years. He went to North Dakota the spring of 1881 and worked at farm labor until the spring of 1888, when he rented land in Traill(sic) county, and engaged in farming thereon one year, and in the fall of 1888 purchased six hundred and forty acres of land in Kinyon township, Cass county, section 29, where he has since resided. He and his brother, James W. Dynes, own, in company, fourteen hundred and forty acres of land and are well known as successful men. Mr. Dynes has spared no pains in making his home farm one of comfort and for the family a fine residence has been constructed and the other buildings on the farm are in keeping with this and altogether present a pleasing appearance and evidence the thrift and prosperity attendant upon the owner.
Our subject was married, in Kinyon township, Cass county, June 6, 1888, to Miss Emma Flatt, a daughter of Josiah Flatt, a sketch of whose life appears elsewhere in this volume. Mrs. Dynes was born in Ontario, August 15, 1867. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Dynes, as follows: Rachel Fern and John Elmer. Mr. Dynes is a man of active public spirit and has held numerous school offices in his township and is recognized as a worthy citizen, who is deserving of the highest esteem of his fellows. Mr. Dynes, his wife and family are all members of the Free Methodist church. A fine church building of his denomination is within half a mile of his residence and stands on the Dynes farm, to which the Dynes were and are liberal contributors. In politics he is a Republican.
The following was told by Herb Flatt.
John Dyes was considered the leader of Kinyon township, and a very colorful man for his time. One of the duties he took on was to organize the funerals in the area. When a woman died, the women of the area would be responsible for bathing and dressing the body, while the men would do it for any man that died. He organized Rose Valley Cemetery where Josiah Flatt is buried.
In 1913 he sold the farm to Reinhold Woitzel, the brother of Martha Flatt, Joseph Flatt's wife. He wanted his children to have a college education, and moved the family to Fargo. He bought a house next to North Dakota Agricultural College (now NDSU). He later moved to Medora, North Dakota. There he hit hard times and lost most of his fortune.
In 1925 his son, Elmer, took his own life. John used the insurance money to move from Medora to Roseau, MN, where he again accumulated a substantial wealth. Around 1940 they moved to California, where he died. His son-in-law brought the body back from California. The family is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Fargo.
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