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Marion County

Souvenir History of Pella, Iowa [1847-1922]
Pella: Booster Press, [1922]


Dingeman De Haan - page 153 submitted by Dick Barton.

Dingeman De Haan was a son of Jacob De Haan and was born February 21, 1831, at Heerjansdam, Netherland. He came to America with his father in 1849, at the age of seventeen years. He received his education in the common schools in Holland and continued his education in Pella in the English language in Central University of Iowa.

At the age of twenty-four he returned to Holland and in the following year he married Grietje Nugteren and returned to America by way of New Orleans, sailing up the Mississippi river to Keokuk, and from there took the stage to Oskaloosa, where the horses gave out on account of the bad roads and they were obliged to continue their journey on foot to Pella. He was engaged in farming all his life, partly retiring for the last 18 years of his life. He died in the old homestead his father built in 1849 and on May 19, 1909, at the age of 78 years. Mrs. D. De Haan died the year following on December 31, 1910.

They raised a family of seven children, namely: Heiltje, now Mrs. Teunis Verros; Simon; Jacob; Floris; Catherine M., now Mrs. A. Leatart, and Margaret, now Mrs. Simon Douwstra. All of which reside at Pella, Iowa, except Cornelia and Floris, who reside in California.

Jacob De Haan – page 155

Was born January 4, 1803. The place of his birth was Hendrik Ido Ambacht, Netherland. In his native land he was engaged in raising flax and preparing same for the manufacture of linen cloth.

Not being allowed his religious freedom, he turned his thoughts to America, America with his family of four children, namely: Pieternella, later Mrs. Jacob Colyn; Cornelia, later Mrs. P. J. Koelman; Teunis, and Dingeman, the oldest son, Mathew, remaining in Holland, and his wife having died several years previous.

After a long voyage upon the sea they reached America and traveled to Baltimore by train and from there by tug boats on water and stage coach on land, and arrived Pella, the city of refuge, on the 24th day of June, 1849.

Their friends who had settled here two years previous received them with open arms and kindly housed them for a few weeks until he could locate himself a place for a home. He soon purchased a large tract of land adjoining what was then laid out as the town of Pella, on the south side. Later he laid out that part of Pella south of University street and west of East Third street, and known as the De Haan Addition, and containing what is known as the South Pella Square, which he donated to the city for a future park.

After purchasing the land, he immediately made plans for building a substantial home, and his boys, Teunis and Dingeman, then aged seventeen and eighteen years, were set to work hauling sand, brick and lumber with ox teams, the brick being hauled from a yard near what is now Howell Station, and made by the Hollanders, who thoroughly understood the making of brick, and the lumber being hauled from the sawmill. Carpenters and masons were employed and the home was completed the same year.

This homestead, of which we given an illustration, still stands as a landmark after a period of seven-three years, and is still in good repair. The old picket fence shown in the illustration was sawed from native walnut lumber and enclosed a large garden and is still in its original place. The first wall paper brought to Pella was put in this house, and the first single harness made in Pella by Van Stigt was purchased by Jacob De Haan.

Jacob De Haan was a man very highly respected among the early settlers and was one of those men who took a great deal of interest in the welfare of the people of Pella and surrounding country. During his life in Pella he was connected with the First Reformed Church, and served as elder for a number of years and later helped to organize the Third Reformed Church, where he again served as elder until the time of his death, which came on the 20th of November, 1891, at the age of eighty-eight years.

Robert G. Hamilton – page 21

Robert G. Hamilton was born in Bath county, West Virginia, on the 2d day of February, 1824, and came to this county in April, 1843, four years before the coming of the colony from Holland. He learned the carpenter trade in his youth, but after coming to this county he settled about four miles southeast of Pella and engaged in farming until 1855, when he moved to Pella and worked at his trade of contractor and builder until 1872, after which he engaged in the lumber business. Mr. Hamilton was a man of strong religious convictions and during his entire life in this community took a leading part in church work. He was one of the organizers of the Methodist church and a leader in the congregation until the day of his death. No man was ever held in greater esteem by our people, both Americans and Hollanders, than Robert G. Hamilton. We have often heard the story of the valuable assistance he rendered to the leaders of the Holland colony when they came here as strangers, needing the guidance and help of men whose character was above reproach.

George Henckler – page 161

Was born in Weisparde, Germany, and came to Pella in 1853. In connection with E. F. Grafe, he built and operated the Washington Roller Mills, which was one of the first and best equipped mills of that period in Central Iowa. He later engaged in the stove and tinware business here for a number of years. We have been unable to obtain the date of his death.

Mrs. Adriana Maria Hasselman-Van Horsen – page 308

With my parents, Adam Peter Hasselman and Alida Christina Gerdesse Timmermans, and seven brothers and sisters, I came to America in the sailing vessel, the Maastroom, which left the Netherlands early in April, 1847.

As others have already described the voyage up to the arrival in St. Louis, I will begin my narrative at that point. While we left Holland with a family of ten members, there were but nine when we arrived in America. My infant sister, Anna Susanna, died at sea.

In St. Louis we lived for some three months in a large room in a two-story building on River street. Living at that time was very cheap. I well remember that mother would go to the market to buy the material for our dinner, and that twenty-fives cents was sufficient to buy meat, potatoes and vegetables enough for a dinner for nine persons.

While we had no ice cream, cake or pie, we could buy a bucket full of delicious peaches for ten cents. I will never forget the time when father came home with a huge, round object which, when he laid it down on the floor, burst open and exposed to our astonished eyes a deep red interior. We children had seen so many turtles crawling about in St. Louis that when we saw the object with its red interior, we ran away in fear, thinking it was some kind of new and fearsome river beast. But when father cut a generous slice for each of us, we soon concluded that our adopted country produced more luscious fruit than any we had ever enjoyed in the home land. It has already been recorded in the history of that time how the good Christian people of St. Louis vied with each other in open-hearted hospitality toward the strangers within their gates, and how one of their largest church buildings was offered, rent free, for the use of our people during their entire stay in the city.

In harmony with that spirit an American Sunday school teacher called on us the first Sabbath morning of our stay and asked that all the children should come to the school where he taught. Upon learning from father that we were afraid to go far form the house because of the many negroes, none of whom we had ever seen before coming to America, he offered to take us with him and promised to bring us safely back after the services. Not only did he do this, but from that time until we left for Pella, this Godly man came for us every Sabbath morning. This was not only for our spiritual good, but it was a great help to us in mastering the English language.

When the Commission finally sent word that a suitable location for the colony had been secured, our household goods were packed back into the nine large boxes in which they had made the journey from Holland, and in the last part of September we started by steamboat for Keokuk. The trip lasted about twenty-four hours, and the scenes along the mighty Father of Waters made an impression on us that remains to this day.

At Keokuk a fortunate incident occurred that enabled us to start for Pella the next morning after our arrival at Keokuk. Father met a man who had just come from near Pella with two good horse teams and wagons. This man was an American who lived near Pella, and father at once made arrangements with him to take the family back with him. So the next morning we started on the last lap of the long and momentous journey commenced nearly six months before, in our native town of Gouda, Holland. The trip from Keokuk lasted about one week.

Here and there along the way there were small log houses for the accommodation of travelers, but these we often found occupied when we arrived and then we all slept in the covered wagons. To us children this was an adventure that we greatly enjoyed. The weather and roads were fine and I will never forget how thrillingly interesting the way through the new and strange country was to us all. Across miles of prairie studded with beautiful autumn flowers, through seemingly endless stretches of virgin forest, across bridgeless streams, we wended our way toward the “City of Refuge” that was to be our home for many years to come.

Often we children got out to gather the flowers which grew everywhere in wild profusion. We also wanted very much to stop long enough to gather a store of the hickory, hazel and walnuts with which the forests abounded, but except when we were camped for the night, the driver refused to stop very long as he wanted to take advantage of the favorable weather and road conditions.

We arrived at the farm house of Cornelis Den Hartog at noon and found a bountiful dinner awaiting us. On this farm there was a second log cabin only partially completed, which was to be our first home in the new land. We moved in that same day and as father was a carpenter he immediately started in to finish the house.

In the spring father bought a lot in Pella just across the street from the Ben Blommers home, where he built a long shed-like house, where we lived for five years. This was large enough to afford living accommodations for the family and a carpenter shop for father. Owing to its size this house was generally referred to by the early settlers as “Noah’s Ark.”

While we naturally missed many comforts and conveniences to which we had been accustomed in our well ordered home in the Netherlands, I can truly say that none of us ever regretted coming to Pella. On the contrary, we have always felt a deep sense of gratitude to God for having guided us to this goodly land and to the “City of Refuge;” and in the evening of a long life, during which I have seen Pella grow from a crude pioneer village into the beautiful little home city that we all love, I can truly say from a full heart that, in the providence of God, “Our lines were cast in pleasant places.”

Editor’s note. – Mrs. Adriana Maria Hasselman-Van Horsen, to whom we are indebted for the above interesting and vivid account of early history, is living at the goodly age of eighty-four years and nine months, in the city in and near which she has spent the greater part of her long life. We feel assured that all her many friends will join us in the wish that she may yet be spared for many years, to tell us more of the interesting experiences through which she passed in the pioneer days.

Gerrit Van Horsen – page 160

Came to Pella with his parents in 1853. He was married to Miss Adriana Maria Hasselman, on the 28th day of March, 1857.

Cornelis Hospers – page 172

Was born in Pella the 13th day of April, 1851. Here he received his education and as a boy worked with his father on the farm. In 1870 he joined the Holland emigrants to Sioux County, Iowa, and became a leading factor in the upbuilding of that large and flourishing colony. He is still living in Orange City and is at the head of the mercantile establishment started years ago in connection with his brother William and now owned by Cornelis and his son. Like all the sons of John Hospers, Cornelis is a man who takes a deep interest in all matters pertaining to the moral and educational development of the community in which he lives.

J. De Gelder Hospers – page 171

Was born in Hoog Blokland, Holland, the 22d day of September, 1838, and came to Pella with his parents in 1849. They settled on a farm northwest of Pella, where Gelder learned farming and worked for his father until he commenced for himself. He followed this farming until 1911, when he retired to Pella with his family. He was married to Miss Johanna Margaret Wormhoudt on the 28th day of November, 1878. All the children, three sons and three daughters, are still living. Mr. Hospers is an Elder of the First Reformed Church, an office he has filled for years with faithfulness and ability.

John Hospers – page 58

John Hospers, the writer of the diary, was born at Amsterdam on the 30th of August, 1801. He taught school from an early age until he emigrated with his family and scores of other Hollanders to the state of Iowa. In the winter of 1848-49 Mr. Hospers, A. C. Kuyper and J. Maasdam united to act as a committee to promote a second exodus to North America. Kuyper had Rotterdam and vicinity, Maasdam took Utrecht and North Holland, and Hospers had charge of South Holland, North Brabant and Gelderland.

Nickolaas Hospers – page 171

Was born in Hoog Blokland, Holland, on the 4th day of March, 1836, and in the spring of 1849 came to Pella with his parents and lived with them on a farm about three miles northwest of Pella. Later he farmed for himself in the same locality and followed this vocation until he retired to Pella on account of advancing age. In May, 1883, he was married to Pietronella van Leeuwen, who died in July, 1900. To this marriage three daughters were born, who still survive: Henrietta (Mrs. Ed. Cook), Cornelia and Jennette (Mrs. S. Van Vliet).

William Hendrik Hospers – page 171

Born in Hoog Blokland, Holland, August 19, 1844, and came to Pella with his parents in the spring of 1849. Here he lived on the farm with his parents until his majority. He emigrated to Sioux county in 1870, and was prominently connected with the development of that prosperous Holland colony until his death, which occurred about seven years ago. For many years he was engaged in the mercantile business with his brother Cornelis under the firm name of Hospers Brothers.

Albert Van Houwelingen – page 164

Was born in the Netherlands, October 2, 1841. He came to Pella with his parents who settled on a farm near Pella, where Albert lived until his marriage, with Annigje Klein, which occurred on the 14th day of August, 1865. After his marriage he continued to farm, first as a renter near Pella and later on land he brought about seven and a half miles northwest of Pella. He was one of the few men who even in the early days, when land was almost without market value, had the foresight to see that it was sure to grow in value with the inevitable development of the country. The result was that while he started as a renter, when he died at the age of 51, he was one of the largest land owners in the entire Holland colony.

An incident that shows the determined character that marked all his activities in life was that at the age of twelve, he made the trip to Keokuk alone, driving two ox teams the entire distance of 120 miles.

Mr. Van Houwelingen continued actively in the agricultural business until the day of his death, which occurred on the home farm on the 18th day of October, 1892.

Gysbert van Houwelingen – page 170

Born January 2, 1813, at Niewland, Netherlands. His wife, Margie Kappetyn van Houwelingen, was born at Binschap, Netherlands, March 6, 1813. Mr. and Mrs. van Houwelingen came to America on the ship Maastrom in 1847 and arrived in this place in the fall of that year. Mr. van Houwelingen started the first dairy and butcher shop that Pella ever had and conducted the business for the first eight years. In the fall of 1853 they moved onto a farm southwest of town, where they remained until Mr. van Houwelingen died, on November 12, 1874.

Dr. John Gilson Howell - page 70 submitted by Dick Barton.

Dr. John Gilson Howell was born in Clark county, Ohio, May 11, 1808. On October 14th he was united in marriage to Miss Eliza Ann Henkle, she departed this life February 23, 1854. He was a graduate of the Electic Medical College of Cincinnati, Ohio, with the class of 1852. In 1855 he moved from his eastern home and located in Pella, where he remained until the time of his death. He was united in marriage to Margaret Stout Goudie of near Brookville, Ind., on March 2, 1856. She departed this life on December 9, 1892. Dr. Howell remained at the old homestead on Main street until the Great Physician called him home, on March 28, 1902. He was a true and self-sacrificing friend of Central University and did much for the school in its days of hardest struggle. His home was always open to the students and there are many living today who remember pleasant times spent there in their student days, and who found in Dr. Howell a true friend and a wise counsellor. There are two daughters still living: Mrs. Anna Howell Clarkson of Newark, N. J., and Mrs. John Howell Stuart, of Monon, Ind.