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1865

HUISMAN, FREESE, GEERDES

Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 1/30/2015 at 15:56:34

Huisman Family On Way Here When Lee Surrendered

The coming Easter marks the 70th year that J. B. Huisman has lived in Grundy county. The Huisman family came here from Forreston, Ill., a few days before Easter, 1865.

That was the spring that the four years' Civil war came to a close. In fact, the war ended while the family were on their way to Grundy county. There was a big celebration on at Independence when the Huisman emigrant family came through there and they learned that they were celebrating the end of the Civil war. It was much the same kind of demonstration as many of us remember having taken place in nearly every town in this county the day after the Armistice was signed bringing to a close the World war.

The Huisman family made the trip from Illnois to Grundy county in a covered wagon and they used oxen for power. The trip took them two weeks. Now the same trip can be made in four hours with an ordinary car. The Freese family who located on a farm in the north part of the county came with the Huismans on this trip. They had a horse-drawn wagon, but they frequently got stuck and the oxen had to pull them out.

Easter that year, Mr. Huisman remembers, also came late in the month of April, but a few days after this section of the state was covered with six inches of snow.

Mr. Huisman was 7 years old when he came to Grundy county. His family bought a farm two miles north of the present site of the town of Wellsburg. At that time, said Mr. Huisman, there was but one house between Grundy Center and the Huisman farm. This house was on the Marble place a mile south of Holland. The nearest railroad at that time was Cedar Falls and it was a two days trip there and back to get supplies. A few years later the railroad was extended on to Ackley and that became the trading center for the few settlers in this locality. The town of Wellsburg wasn't started until the Rock Island railroad reached here, which was 14 years after the Huisman family came here.

There are only three survivors of this emigrant train of 70 years ago. All the members of the Freese family are dead. Those of the Huismans surviving aside from J. B. are his sister, Mrs. Walbaum, who lives in Oklahoma, and his brother, Harm, who resides at Bridgewater, South Dakota.

The Geerdes family came here from Forreston, Ill., in the fall of the year 1865. The Huisman and the Geerdes are the two oldest families living in this section of the county.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 18 April 1935, pg 4


 

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