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Maxfield C., and Frances R. Lewis

Maxfield C. Lewis was born in 1886 in Fargo, North Dakota, to E. W. Lewis and Mattie Brown Lewis. His mother was the first graduate of Willmar High School in a class of only one in 1883. He lived the first 10 years of his life in Duluth. The family moved to Willmar about 1896. Max Lewis graduated from Willmar High School in 1905.

After attending Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, for one year, he transferred to the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University, where he studied mechanical engineering. He met Frances Reeves of Minneapolis at Carleton, and they were married in 1912.

Automobiles were just coming into vogue, and Max had one of the first elegant cars. He was mechanically inclined and taught many of the early residents how to drive. Peter Bonde, sheriff at the time, often hired Max when he needed a fast car and a good driver to chase law violators.

For a number of years he was in the automobile business with H. B. Handy in Willmar under the firm name of Handy-Lewis Motor Company. They handled Reo, Mitchell, and Overland autos and for many years had a Chevrolet-Cadillac agency. One of Willmar's pioneer garage businesses, they were also local agents for Pure Oil Company products. After going out of the automotive business, they continued to operate the service station, which was named the "monkey station" because they kept a pen of pet monkeys on the site.

Max Lewis was one of the incorporators and served on the board of trustees of the Green Lake Country Club when it was formed in 1917. He became friends with another golfer, D. N. Tallman, who was said to have taken up the game in about 1922. Max loved Green Lake and owned a fine Century inboard speedboat. He also loved children and, to the obvious dismay of Green Lake Bible Camp management, liked nothing better than to take the kids out for a spin in his boat. His personal Fourth of July fireworks display competed at times with that of the Spicer village merchants.

Max Lewis died in November 1950, following an illness which began about a month earlier, when a boat in which he was riding capsized in Green Lake. He had been exposed to the cold water for about three hours before being rescued.