Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Rev. John James De Pree

Rev. John James De Pree, a well known and highly respected resident of Denison, has been pastor of the First Presbyterian church here since 1907.

His birth occurred at Spring Lake, Michigan, on the 29th of February, 1876, his parents being Rev. James and Johanna (Bolks ) De Pree, natives of the Netherlands. His paternal grandfather was John De Pree, also a native of the Netherlands, who was a carpenter by trade. He emigrated to the United States in 1847, settling at Zeeland, Michigan, where he worked at carpentering. He acted as an elder during the entire period of his residence there and has given to the church two sons and six grandsons and granddaughters as ministers and missionaries. His demise occurred when he had attained the age of eighty-one years, while his wife was about seventy-five when called to her final rest. They had seven children who grew to maturity, namely: Dena, Peter, Dirk, Lena, John, James and Jane.

Rev. Seine Bolks, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was likewise a native of the Netherlands and in his youth was employed as a shepherd. He came to the United States in 1849, settling in Michigan and living principally in the vicinity of Holland, that state. He was the pioneer preacher there, being the first pastor at Overisel, Michigan, while subsequently he had charges in Chicago, South Chicago and Milwaukee. He was also the first pastor of the Dutch Reformed church in Sioux county, Iowa, at Orange City, where he passed away at the age of eighty-two years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Gertrude Brower and was likewise born in the Netherlands, was sixty-seven years old at the time of her demise. They were the parents of four children who reached mature years, namely: Albert, Garrett, Johanna and Simon.

Rev. James De Pree, the father of the gentleman whose name introduces this review, was reared as a farm boy in Michigan and later taught school in order to defray the expenses of an advanced education. He graduated from Hope College of Holland, Michigan, in 1867 and in 1870 completed the course in the Western Theological Seminary at that place. First he served as pastor in the Spring Lake Dutch Reformed church and then removed to Sioux Center, Iowa, where he preached in the Dutch Reformed church for exactly thirty years. At the present time he is pastor of the Dutch Reformed church at North Yakima, Washington.

Unto him and his wife were born the following children: Lena, now the wife of G. Boeyink, of Sioux Center, Iowa; Dr. Seine de Pree, of Sioux Center; John James, of this review; Gertrude, the wife of Henry Evenhuis, of North Yakima, Washington; Neal, who is a resident of Sioux Center; and Albert, living in N orth Yakima, Washington.

Rev. John James De Pree, who was a little lad of four years when taken by his parents to Sioux county, Iowa, grew to manhood in Sioux Center and obtained his early education in the country schools. He completed the course in the Northwestern Classical Academy at Orange City, Iowa, in 1895, graduated from Hope College of Holland, Michigan, with the class of 1899 and in 1903 finished his studies in Princeton Seminary. His first pastorate was at Alta, Iowa, where he remained from 1903 until 1907, which year witnessed his arrival in Denison. For the past four years he has been pastor of the First Presbyterian church here and his labors have proven a potent element in the moral development of the community.

On the 9th of September, 1903, Rev. De Pree was joined in wedlock to Miss Marie K. Boer, a native of Albany, New York, and a daughter of Rev. H. K. and Mary (Kroon) Boer, the former a native of the Netherlands and the latter of Michigan. They are now residents of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and are the parents of four daughters who grew to maturity: Jeanette, Antoinette, Marie and Charlotte. Rev. De Pree and his wife have two sons, Donald and Wilbur Henry.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.