Bement Gets Its Name

In June 1854 Joseph and Lewis Bodman returned to the prairie to look over the tracts of land they had purchased. In July the Bodman brothers were ready to get the town started.

In laying out the new town, both Joseph Bodman and L.B. Wing had negotiated with the Great Western Railroad, whose Treasurer was Edward Bement. In their discussions, it was decided to name the town “Bement”. Mr. Bement agreed that since the town would be named after him, the Great Western Railroad would donate a bell for the belfry of the first church built in Bement. However, Mr. Bement fell ill shortly after making the promise and died shortly thereafter. During the Centennial year, the promise was discovered and brought to the attention of the Wabash Railroad.

By the time the Wabash railroad kept Mr. Bement’s 100 – year old promise, the first church in Bement, the Methodist Church, already had a bell. The bell was given instead to the Village of Bement, who then presented it to the Bement Township Library. It now stands in the foyer of the Bement Public District Library and was rededicated there during the Sesquicentennial.

Bement has the distinction of being the only town with that name in the United States.

From Bement Sesquicentennial book - used with permission

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