Shelby County, Indiana
Joseph M. Fleming
Joseph M. Fleming, an orchardist with large interests and marked business ability, as manifest in the success which has come to him, was born in Traer, Iowa, June 2, 1874, a son of John W. and Jane E. (Fleming) Fleming, both of whom were natives of Belleville, Pennsylvania, and became pioneer settlers of Iowa. The father was a cabinet maker by trade and also followed farming, and both he and his wife passed away in the Hawkeye state.
Joseph M. Fleming acquired a public school education, which was supplemented by study in the Iowa State College at Ames, Iowa, but upon the death of his father he relinquished his textbooks and returned home to take charge of the farm. He
had attended college together with four sons of Hon. James Wilson. ex-secretary
of agriculture. For eight years Joseph M. Fleming continued to cultivate and
further develop the home farm and at one time had over a thousand head of hogs
upon the place, his attention being largely devoted to the feeding and fattening
of hogs and cattle. In 1903 he went to Pueblo, Colorado, where he worked for the
Colorado Fuel & Iron Company, having charge of the woodworking department of the
Steel Wheel & Wagon Works. He has always been actuated by a progressive spirit
and while upon the farm in Iowa he installed the first gas engine to he used upon a farm in that part of the state. In 1904 he removed to California, where he worked at the carpenter's trade for a year and then returned to the old home in Iowa, where he continued for another year. Later he traveled upon the road through Nevada and Utah and in September, 1906, he came to Grandview, Washington, opening the first store of the town and erecting the second building. He was engaged in merchandising there for seven years, at the end of which time he disposed of his commercial interests and bought ten acres in orchards near Grandview and later added seven more. He has also built and sold two residences in Grandview and has platted and sold the first addition to the town, doing this in September, 1908. He and his brother developed and sold twenty acres of orchard land which had been planted to cherries and other fruit. His business activities have ever been of a character that have contributed largely to the development and progress of the region in which he makes his home. He has upon his ranch a packing house thoroughly equipped to take care of the fruit and also a fine residence. He brought lumber by team from Sunnyside for the first store built in Grandview and hauled merchandise by team from Mabton. All freight was brought by wagon from Sunnyside and from Mabton for a year. A birdseye view of Grandview taken in 1906 shows Mr. Fleming's store, the bank of A. H. Hawn and the postoffice building, and from the founding of the town, Mr. Fleming has been closely associated with its prowess and development.
On the 5th of June, 1906, Mr. Fleming was married to Miss Ethel E. Morse, a native of Iowa and a daughter of C. O. and Nancy (Eggleston) Morse. The children of this marriage are: Ralph, who was the first child born at Grandview, his natal day being in March, 1907; Isabel and Lester.
Mr. Fleming is a Mason and assisted in organizing Grandview Lodge No. 191, A. F. & A. M. He likewise belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being a member of the first class that was initiated here. He became a charter member of the Eastern Star and he was one of the organizers of the first Commercial Club of Grandview. His political endorsement is given to the republican party and his religious faith is indicated in his membership in the Presbyterian church. He has been very active in establishing and promoting the church and school interests of the district and stands for all that is worth while along educational and moral lines. In fact his entire career has been one of benefit to the community in which he lives and he is justly accounted one of the foremost citizens of his section.
The History of the Yakima Valley, Washington, Comprising Yakima, Kittitas and
Benton Counties, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1919, Volume II, page 297.
Contributed by Arliss Hoskins
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