Joseph Bell DeRemer Papers, 1887-1986
Primary Creator: DeRemer, Joseph Bell (1871-1944)
Other Creators: DeRemer, Samuel Teel (1894-1967)
Extent: 13.5 Linear Feet
Date Acquired: 03/11/1982. More info below under Accruals.
Joseph Bell DeRemer was born September 14, 1871, in Montana, Warren County, New Jersey, the son of James K. and Nancy (Bell) DeRemer. Joseph Bell DeRemer sprung from a tradition in carpentry and building which his family had practiced for six generations. It was not a coincidence that he too would show talents and skills in this profession that would eventually take him to Grand Forks, North Dakota, where he created for himself an illustrious and prosperous architectural practice.
He was a carpenter from 1886 to 1896 in Warren County and became a master of the trade working with his father and brothers. His skills and talents in carpentry so impressed friends that they encouraged DeRemer to pursue architecture. Interested by the idea, DeRemer enrolled at Columbia University in a special one year course in architecture taught by Professor William R. Ware. In June 1897, DeRemer left the university and returned to Warren County to establish an architectural practice.
It is believed that between his return to Warren county in 1897 and his departure westward in 1902, DeRemer had already completed 78 commissions in New Jersey. His relocation to Grand Forks was an accidental one prompted by an initial resolve to move to the West Coast in order to find better architectural opportunities. But upon arriving in Grand Forks on March 3, 1902, DeRemer was convinced by D.H. Beecher to stay and participate in the town’s growth and booming economy. A little more than several months later, DeRemer secured the commission to build the Oxford House.
By 1904, DeRemer had become such a prominent member of the Grand Forks community that he was featured in the Silver Anniversary Issue of the Grand Forks Herald. In 1906, he joined the town’s influential people by moving to a residential home on Belmont road. By 1912, his buildings were a crowning achievement throughout the state of North Dakota and Northwestern Minnesota.
His Grand Forks buildings, 1902-1912, exhibit classical and renaissance revival detail and proportions. They include the Y.M.C.A., the Clifford Building, the Grand Forks Public Library (all of which have been razed), the Ontario Store (Griffiths), the Corliss Block (Panovitz Store), the Widlund Block, the Masonic Temple, the New Hampshire Apartments, the Elks Lodge, the Central High School Gym, and the addition to the Presbyterian Church. DeRemer residences included his own home at 625 Belmont, the McCoy home at 401 Reeves Drive, and the 1906 remodeling of the Clifford house at 406 Reeves Drive.
In 1912, DeRemer left Grand Forks for Los Angeles, California, to expand upon his architectural vision. However, this move did not sever complete ties with North Dakota, as he designed the North Dakota State Building for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, held in San Francisco, California, in 1915. In November 1917, DeRemer returned to New Jersey and worked with his brothers in a company they operated, the Washington Casket Company.
DeRemer returned to Grand Forks in 1919 and began a partnership with his son, Samuel Teel DeRemer. Their architectural firm designed many Art Deco and Art Modern Buildings during this period, including Whitey's Bar in East Grand Forks, the New Ryan Hotel, the United Lutheran Church, the administration building for the Grand Forks Municipal Airport, the addition to the Grand Forks County Courthouse, and the first California-style bungalow in Grand Forks at 706 Belmont Road.
Joseph Bell DeRemer was the architect for several buildings at the University of North Dakota: the President's House (now Oxford House), Woodworth Hall, Commons Building, Liberal Arts Building, Merrifield Hall, Delta Gamma Sorority, and Sigma Nu Fraternity. DeRemer, along with William F. Kurke, was also the architect for the new North Dakota State Capitol in Bismarck begun in 1932, in addition to many other buildings in various cities in North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.
Joseph Bell DeRemer married Miss Elizabeth Myers on November 11, 1891, in Stewartsville, Warren County, New Jersey. The couple had a daughter, Delores, and a son, Samuel Teel. Joseph Bell DeRemer retired from active practice in 1937 and died in Grand Forks February 16, 1944.
Additional material was donated by:
Joe B. DeRemer, East Grand Forks, Minnesota, on March 25, 1982 (82-967)
Margery McCanna, McCanna, North Dakota, on May 29, 1990 (90-1703)
The Book Fair, Grand Forks, North Dakota (via Al and Alice Thureen, East Grand Forks, Minnesota) on September 15, 1999 (99-2401) and on October 3, 2000 (2001-2508)
Lee Furman, Grand Forks, North Dakota, on June 6, 2000 (2000-2442)
Royce Yeater, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Chicago, Illinois, on May 30, 2002 (2005-2782)
Access Restrictions: Open for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections.
Acquisition Source: Stanley Johnson, UND Art Department
Acquisition Method: Donation; 82-964
Several items were placed in the Special Collections Stacks:
Josiah Allen's Wife. Samantha at the World's Fair. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1893.
-DeRemer gave this book to his wife, Lizzie.
Palmer, Bertha Rachael. Beauty Spots in North Dakota. Boston: Richard Badger, 1928.
-This is DeRemer's personal copy, which was signed by the author. :
American Homes and Gardens: volumes 1-2, 1905-1906
American Homes and Gardens: volume 4, 1907
House and Garden: volumes 8-13, 1905-1908
House and Garden: volumes 13-15, 1908-1909
House and Garden: volumes 16-18, 1909-1910
House and Garden: volumes 19-20, 1911
Indoors and Out: volumes 3-5, 1905-1907
-Each of the volumes was from Joseph DeRemer's personal library
Preferred Citation: (Description of Item). Joseph Bell DeRemer Papers. OGLMC 744, Box #, Folder #. Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.
Finding Aid Revision History: Finding aid added to Archon in July 2015.
Browse by Box:
[Oversize Folder 1-11],
- Photographs 1-75
- Separated and placed in the Photograph File Cabinets.
- Photograph 1: Joseph Bell DeRemer — at work, undated
- Photograph 2: Jo’bel and Joseph Bell DeRemer, 1939
- Photograph 3: Joseph Bell and Elizabeth DeRemer, June 1942
- Photograph 4: Joseph Bell DeRemer — at work, undated
- Photograph 5: Joseph Bell DeRemer and unidentified, undated
- Photograph 6: Joseph Bell DeRemer and his father, James, at the home in Montana, New Jersey, where Joseph was born in 1871
- Photograph 7: House on North 25th Street, by alley of sorority facing University
- Photograph 8: Samuel Teel DeRemer, undated
- Photograph 9: Samuel Teel DeRemer and grandmother, January 1951
- Photograph 10: Joseph Bell DeRemer — at his desk, undated
- Photograph 11: Joseph Bell and wife Elizabeth DeRemer, at the cabin, 1941
- Photograph 12: The DeRemer family, (Joseph and Elizabeth; Samuel Teel DeRemer and family), 1933
- Photograph 13: Joseph Bell DeRemer and Elizabeth
- Photograph 14: Joseph Bell DeRemer's office, undated
- Photograph 15: Towner County Memorial Building (Joseph Bell DeRemer, architect), undated
- Photograph 16: F.W. Mann & Sons, Devils Lake, North Dakota
- Photograph 17: St. Mary's Church and school, Grand Forks, North Dakota
- Photograph 18: Grand Forks Deaconess Hospital, (Samuel Teel DeRemer, architect)
- Photograph 19: United Presbyterian church (1st Presbyterian, 308 S 5th, Grand Forks), undated
- Photograph 20: North Dakota State Building for Panama-Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, California., 1915
- Photograph 21: McCanna Family Home, McCanna, North Dakota
- Photograph 22: United Lutheran Church, Grand Forks
- Photograph 23: United Lutheran Church, Grand Forks
- Photograph 24: United Lutheran Church, Grand Forks
- Photograph 25: United Lutheran Church, Grand Forks
- Photograph 26: United Lutheran Church, Main Auditorium looking toward altar: Grand Forks
- Photograph 27: Cando School
- Photograph 28: Unidentified
- Photograph 29: Unidentified
- Photograph 30: Unidentified
- Photograph 31: Unidentified
- Photograph 32: Architectural drawing: "Low cost dwelling scheme for West lot, Otto J. Eickhof, Crookston, Minnesota" by Sam T. DeRemer
- Photograph 33: Architectural drawing: "Low cost dwelling scheme for East lot, Otto J. Eickhof, Crookston, Minnesota" by Sam T. DeRemer
- Photograph 34: Cando School
- Photograph 35: Compiegne-L'Hotel de Ville
- Photograph 36: Geo H. Olmsted Residence, Grand Forks, North Dakota, Built 1920
- Photograph 37: Grand Forks Deaconess Hospital
- Photograph 38: Joseph Bell DeRemer Residence
- Photograph 39: Joseph Bell DeRemer Residence
- Photograph 40: Joseph Bell DeRemer Residence-Flower Garden
- Photograph 41: Joseph Bell DeRemer Residence-Reception Hall
- Photograph 42: Joseph Bell DeRemer Residence-Dining Room
- Photograph 43: Joseph Bell DeRemer Residence-Living Room
- Photograph 44: Joseph Bell DeRemer Residence
- Photograph 45: Joseph Bell DeRemer Residence
- Photograph 46: Joseph Bell DeRemer Residence-Mrs. DeRemer's Pitcher Collection
- Photograph 47: Ruettell Clothing Company
- Photograph 48: Towner County Memorial
- Photograph 49: Joseph Bell DeRemer Family, 1893
- Photograph 50: Samuel T. DeRemer
- Photograph 51: Delores DeRemer
- Photograph 52: Mrs. Joseph Bell DeRemer
- Photograph 53: Mrs. Joseph DeRemer, Samuel DeRemer, and Delores DeRemer
- Photograph 54: Samuel T. DeRemer, 1898
- Photograph 55: Four DeRemer Generations: Grandma, Mamma, Lizzie, and Delores, 1899
- Photograph 56: Family Group at Aunt Alice's New Village, 1905
- Photograph 57: Samuel T. DeRemer, 1912
- Photograph 58: Mrs. Joseph DeRemer on the day Delores was married, 1915
- Photograph 59: Joseph and Samuel DeRemer on the day Sam came home from war, 1918
- Photograph 60: Joseph DeRemer and C. Turner, 1926
- Photograph 61: Joseph DeRemer
- Photograph 62: Joseph DeRemer in his Office
- Photograph 63: Mr. and Mrs. Joseph DeRemer, taken by Dr. Barr of UND Art Department
- Photograph 64: Unidentified
- Photograph 65: Unidentified
- Photograph 66: Unidentified
- Photograph 67: Unidentified
- Photograph 68: Unidentified
- Photograph 69: Unidentified
- Photograph 70: Unidentified
- Photograph 71: Unidentified
- Photograph 72: Unidentified
- Photograph 73: Joseph Bell DeRemer in his Library, circa 1905
- Photograph 74: R.B. Griffith and Joseph Bell DeRemer
- Photograph 75: Joseph Bell DeRemer Portrait
Browse by Box:
[Oversize Folder 1-11],