Ben and Margaret (Harms) Goldhorn

Submitted by Sherrilyn Klaassen

Ben Goldhorn, son of John and Harmina (Smidt) Goldhorn, was born in Bunde, Germany on September 15, 1863, and passed away on November 25, 1957 (which was his 71st wedding anniversary) attaining the age of 94 years, 2 months, and 10 days.  At the age of 18, he came to America and worked at Grundy County Iowa around Grundy Center, Iowa.  His parents and family came to America one year later and all settled in Grundy County.

On November 25, 1886, Ben Goldhorn was united in marriage to Margaret Harms.  Margaret was the oldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Harms. Margaret was born at Rockford, Illinois, on November 14, 1867 and passed away on March 15, 1963, at the age of 95 years, 4 months and 1 day.   She was a charter member of the Hope Reformed Church, George, Iowa, and a member of the Ladies Aid Society.

Ben and Margaret moved to Lyon County Iowa in the spring of 1888.  Four years later, in 1892, they moved to their farm, two miles west, and mile north of George, Iowa.  They lived there until their deaths.

Ben and Margaret Goldhorn had 11 children: John, Trena, Minnie, Wesley, Margaret, Christine, Anna, Harm, Eilert, twins—Martha and Marie, and an adopted nephew, Alvin.

Ben was always active in community affairs until a few years before his death.  He was a charter member and one of the signers of the Articles of Incorporation of the Farmers Elevator Co. of George, Iowa in 1906.  He was a very active member of the Hope Reformed Church of George, Iowa of which he was a charter member.  He served as Elder from1911 to 1950.  A period of 39 years.  He taught Sunday School until he was well into his eighties.

John and Harmina (Minnie) Goldhorn were born in Germany.  Harmina was born in 1836.  John and Harmina came to George, Iowa after their oldest son Ben had come. Leaving Germany, the family first settled around Grundy Center, Iowa.  The father, John, died in the United States shortly after they came here.  Later Harmina and her family came to Lyon County (around George, Iowa) where her son Ben already had a home.

John and Harmina Goldhorn’s children:

  1. Ben (married Margaret, or Maggie, Harms)
  2. Dora (Mrs. Joseph Roth)
  3. Eilert (married three times—Katie Peters, _________?, and Mable Hofftezer)
  4. Christine (Mrs. John Bauman)
  5. Nan (married Millie Schlocom)
  6. John (married Gepka Saathoff)
  7. Frank (married Carrie Willemssen)


Margaret (Harms) Goldhorn
Family History

Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Harms, Sr. lived first in Illinois, then moved to Grundy Count, near Parkersburg, Iowa, where they farmed for several years.  In 1887, they year after their son Wesley had come here to break prairie, they moved to a farm a mile east of George, Iowa.  This farm consisted of a section of land at that time.

Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Harms, Sr. children:

  1. George (married Carrie Adingast)
  2. Joe (married Louella Eberline)
  3. Ernest (married Mary Wibben)
  4. Earl (married Tena Hilbrands)
  5. William (married Helen Hilbrands)
  6. Henry (married Lena Renken)
  7. Harm (married Carrie Hilbrands)
  8. Wesley, Jr. (known as Bos) (married Swantje Eilders)
  9. Margaret (Mrs. Ben Goldhorn)
  10. Hilke (a foster daughter) (Mrs. Theodorus Garrels)
  11. Anna (Mrs. Harm Korfe)

The foster daughter was born Hilke Heren.  She came to live with the Harms at the age of eight when her parents died.  All three of the Hilbrands girls who married Wesley’s sons were daughters of Abram Hilbrands.

A son John, was killed by lightning as a young man.


Memories of LESK

We usually went to Opa and Oma Goldhorn’s house on Sunday afternoons where we could play with our cousins.  There was a long sidewalk from the house to the barn, and this is where the cars would line up. When we got there, we would have to sit on Grandpa’s lap and give him a kiss, even as we got older. He always had a moustache and smoked cigars.  We usually got a dish of candy, which was passed around to all the children.

Opa and Oma always had a big garden, and sometimes two gardens.  They had a big apple orchard, and a bit strawberry patch.  The fruit and produce from these gardens and orchard were shared with the children.

As Opa and Oma got older, their children took turns cleaning their house each week, with everyone coming for the annual spring-cleaning.  Sometimes I would go with my mother when it was her turn to clean house. I would dust or something, and when I was through, Opa would go into the bedroom and come out with some coins for me.

Each birthday we would get a silver dollar.  Some of the older cousins remember getting a piece of dress goods.  Some of the older cousins got a mantel clock when they got married.  When I got married, we got a nice dinner set.

Oma still went to the barn to milk the cows and take care of the chickens until she was quite old.  Her eyesight became quite bad, but she still crocheted and knitted until she couldn’t do it any more.  I still have some pillowcases and doilies she crocheted for me, and a pair of mittens she knitted for me.  I also have a quilt that Oma made for me.

 Dad and I were in Opa’s Adult Sunday School Class.

When we were through with our Catechism class for the year, we would have to sit up front in church facing the congregation and being asked questions by our teachers.  If there were any who couldn’t remember the answers, Opa would try to help them.

I will always remember Opa sitting in the front pew in church.  His and Oma’s deep faith in God has helped me with my faith.

Ben Goldhorn born September 15, 1863 and died November 25, 1957
      Married November 25, 1886
      Margaret Harms born November 14, 1867 and died March 15, 1963

Ben and Margaret (Harms) Goldhorn’s children:

  1. John Eilers - born April 28, 1887 and died June 8, 1945
          Married February 22, 1911
          Fannie Heeren born September 9, 1890
  2. Trena - born September 13, 1888 and died June 18, 1974
          Married June 1, 1910
          Dick Siebrands born August 10, 1885 and died May 26, 1970
  3. Minnie Christine - born August 5, 1890 and died May 29, 1990
          Married October 23, 1911
          William Siebrands born December 17, 1889 and died February 28, 1973
  4. Wesley - born October 14, 1892 and died April 25, 1921
          Married January 4, 1917
          Fannie Pals born December 12, 1898 and died January 6, 2004
  5. Margaret Bernidine - born December 2, 1894 and died April 1, 1943
          Married June 2, 1921
          Henry Willemssen born April 24, 1896 and died February 24, 1981
  6. Christine Jeanette - born March 11, 1897 and died January 14, 1991
          Married September 11, 1919
          Henry W. Bruns born November 29, 1896 and died October 7, 1984
  7. Anna - born February 6, 1899 and died December 8, 1974
          Married August 11, 1931
          Earl M. Lewark born November 24, 1886 and died November 22, 1958
  8. Harm - born July 19, 1901 and died November 18, 1974
          Married February 14, 1924
          Minnie Jansen born December 21, 1901 and died February 26, 1997
  9. Eilert - born September 25, 1903 and died February 14, 1998
          Married June 4, 1927
          Anna Jansen born September 5, 1905 and died March 28, 1996
  10. Martha - born August 9, 1906 and died September 10,1906
  11. Marie - born August 9, 1906 and died September 3, 1906
  12. Alvin Eilert - born November 28, 1914 and died April 11, 2003
          Married June 22, 1938
          Vera Willemssen born December 24, 1913 and died
          Rev. Alvin was a nephew, the son of Ben’s brother Eilert, who lived with the Ben and Margaret Goldhorns from the time he was an infant because his mother had died.


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