- The First Seventy-five Years in the Sanborn Community (1878-1953) -
Community Early Settlers
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Bonner and children were another early family, coming from LaFayette Co., Wis., in 1883. They settled on section 24, where Donald Norton now lives. They brought their household goods, horses, machinery and cattle with them. They lost two cows the first year, a serious loss to these people. They paid $6.00 per acre for one farm, $8.00 for second and $18.00 for the third. They withstood all the hardships of pioneer life. Mrs. C.E. Heinsen of Sanborn, Mrs. Nora Dodson of Waterloo and Thos. Bonner of Chokio, Minn., are the only members left of this family.
The Wm. Woolworth family drove across the country from Hardin Co. in March 1878. They settled on the farm now occupied by a great-grandson, Vern Norton. They hauled the lumber to build the house from Cherokee. They were the grandparents of E.W. Mayne, Mrs. A.W. Parker and W.S. Norton who live here. Robert Taylor, brother-in-law of Wm. Woolworth settled on the farm where Robert Postma now lives. B.W. Norton family came from Maine, a son, D.M. Norton, came March 25, 1885. He taught school, later married Ora Woolworth and settled on the farm now occupied by his son, W.S. Norton. D.M. Norton is one of the early pioneers still living here.
The R.J. Thomas family came in 1884. They lived on the farm Geo. Damman lives on. Then they moved two miles west and a half mile north to a place on the east side of the road and their last home was just north of the D.M. Norton farm, Arthur Thomas is a son of this early family.
The Richard Peakman family came direct from Birmingham, England in 1884 and settled where Sybrand Offringa now lives. This farm is still in the family. Mrs. Walley of Sheldon is a daughter.
W.C. Bohan came from Buchanan Co. in 1882. He settled 2 3/4 miles northwest of Sanborn. His sister, Mary Bohan kept house for him, taught school and clerked in the Wasson store until his marriage in 1888. Three sons and five daughters remain of the Bohan family. Anna, William, Edward Bohan and Alice B. Wilson live here.
Mike Hickey was another early arrival from Buchanan Co. He was employed on the Stocum ranch. Martin Hickey came at the same time as W.C. Bohan and they lived on adjoining 80's. Thos. Hickey, his mother and other members of the family came in 1890. There are four sons left of the Thomas Hickey family, Francis and Lawrence living here.
The Carl Getting family came from Wellsburg, Ia., in March 1883 and settled on the farm northwest of Sanborn now owned by Gerrit Roetman of Sheldon. He paid $10.00 per acre for this farm. Today a daughter, Mrs. Anna Protextor and two sons, Chas. J. Getting and John J. Getting live here. The family first lived on a farm one mile north of the late Chris Miller farm where John Scheerhorn lives today. The Geo. J. Protextor family settled on a farm northwest of Sanborn in 1882. This place belongs to Otto Vander Pol now and Jerold J. Graves is the tenant. His son, John Protextor married Anna Getting and they are the parents of E.L. Protextor.
The L. Wieman family moved into Franklin Twp. in 1898. Mrs. J.J. Getting, a daughter and Henry Wieman, a son, are members of this family living here today.
Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Merchant settled here at the time of their marriage, Dec. 21, 1898 and have lived here continuously. They now live in Sanborn.
The Daniel Hoffa family moved to a farm 1 ½ mile west of Sanborn in February, 1890 where Wm. Bohan now lives. One son, Porter C. Hoffa lives in Sanborn. He served as substitute for Tom Maroney, first rural mail carrier out of Sanborn for several years and became the second mail carrier in November, 1909 upon resignation of Mr. Maroney. Mr. Hoffa retired July 1, 1936.
Mr. and Mrs. John Britton moved from Wayne, Nebr., in 1893 and settled on a farm near Sanborn. Mrs. Britton and A.F. Raymond who settled in Lincoln were sister and brother. F. Willis Petrich and family live on the Britton farm today. The remaining members of this family are Mrs. Harry Porth of Sanborn and Miss Lola Britton of Cedar Falls.
David Mitchell owned the Scace farm at the time the Milwaukee railroad dug the reservoir for Lake Milwaukee. His sons John and Wallace E. lived west of town. John owned the Reitsma farm and the Gerrit De Vries farm and Wallace owned the farm now owned by Addie B. Damman.
D.E. Wells was another pioneer family living where the Flickner farm is now, just north of the cemetery. D.J. Wells lived on the Vander Veen farm. He had a big apple orchard and was a great gardener. The Sanborn Pioneer of Febr. 5, 1886 had this ad “Strawberry plants for sale. D.J. Wells.” Later Mr. Wells built the house where Donald Faas lives now at the west end of 4th street and moved to Sanborn.
Another early family represented here was the Jake Seufferlein family, who came March, 1891 and rented a farm from Wm. Harker, where Dan Alons lives now. The house stood on stilts on the corner. The next fall they bought a farm in Floyd Twp. Mrs. Seufferlein, now 89 years of age, and daughter, Mrs. Chris Leemkuil, reside in Sanborn and a son, Wesley lives at Lake City, Iowa.
Sanborn also has a “Grandma Moses”, Mrs. Freda Moses, who had lived here over 60 years.
Center Township was organized in 1871. Robert Tifft filed on his land and brought his family from St. Paul in 1872. Claudius Tifft, Israel Free, and Peter Ingersoll were other early settlers. The Chas. Hart family settled southeast of Sanborn in 1880. They purchased 80 acres at $18.50 per acre. This is now the Ed Leemkuil farm. A son, Tim Hart, lives at Aberdeen, S.D. and a daughter, Mrs. Albert West lives at Mason City. Albert West operated a lumber yard in Sanborn for a number of years.
Herman Gibbs, who later moved into Sanborn, was a very early settler. His son, Milton B. Gibbs, is the only member of that family still living here.
Thos. and Sophia Kyrk moved near Sanborn in 1885. Mr. Kyrk helped dig the reservoir for Lake Milwaukee, using a team of horses on a slip scrapper which was hard work. Their daughter, Mira, married John Watters in 1891 and lived in Center Twp. Three sons, Elvis, Forrest and Glen Watters are living and the Watter’s farm still belongs to them.
Robert Whalen’s parents moved to Center Twp. in 1885. His father died May 28, 1896 and Mrs. Whalen and children moved to the house on the farm belonging to Jake M. Elgersma and occupied by the Andrew Zonnefeld family in the south part of Sanborn.
The John Bailey family came from Nebraska about 60 years ago and settled in Center Twp. They were the parents of Mrs. Geo. Wright and Hobart Bailey, who own the Bailey farm today. Freddie Jacobs is the tenant now.
Lincoln Twp. had a population of 23 in 1881and increased rapidly. Frank Teabout, of Sanborn, had a farm there in 1874. Mrs. Angie Valleau, his daughter, owned the ranch where Fred and Wm. De Boom live now, for a number of years.
Peter Hickey first settled in Lincoln and later moved to Franklin to the farm now owned by his nephew, Francis Hickey.
Ira Soop was another early settler in Lincoln and Wm. Bonner also had a farm in Lincoln.
C.C. Dean family moved to a 400 acre farm east of Sanborn January, 1894. Their son Howard Dean and family live there now. A daughter, Grace Dean, a retired Army nurse, lives in Sanborn. She served in World War I.
A.F. Raymond came from Cedar Falls in the fall of 1892 and built a set of farm buildings on his farm 2 ½ miles east of Sanborn and his family came in the spring of 1893. R.L. Raymond, a son, lives there today, the original home of the Raymond family in Lincoln Twp. Effie and Mertie Raymond, who taught in the Sanborn Public School in the early 1900's, now live in Cedar Falls. R.L. Raymond has lived on this farm for 61 years.
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Klever settled in Lincoln at the time of their marriage in 1894. They lived on a farm 3 miles south of Melvin. Members of this family living here now are: Martin Klever, Mrs. Hilda Benz and Mrs. Theresa Benz of Melvin.
The Daggett family settled north of Sanborn in 1871. They homesteaded on a farm close to Melvin, ½ mile east of the present Frank Daggett home on Hi-way 59. Their sons, Lyle and William plowed up the land that is now Sanborn. They used oxen and at night they slept under their wagon. They earned 75 cents per day. The Ellis family came in 1872 and homesteaded half mile south of the Frank Daggett farm. Their daughter married Lyle Daggett and were the parents of Mrs. Fred Petrich, Mrs. Cora Petrich and Frank Daggett who still live here.
We are indebted to Mrs. Abbie Morley for interesting history concerning the early farmers of Summit Twp. Abbie Van Buren, one of O’Brien county’s early day school teachers, came here from Cedar county with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ban Buren and her brothers and sisters in 1883. They settled on a farm in Summit, which was bought for $12.50 per acre. Dr. C. Maris owns this farm now and the John C. Hofland family are the tenants. Families living in Summit at that time were Geo. B. Davids, Wallace Aiken, Squire Libby, Frank Woods, Herman Waldsmith, Chas. Burns, Reuben Howell, Philip Brundage, John Archer, Albert Bates, Nathaniel Ballou, Major Watson, the Hayes, Monte Ray, Rodney Wright, Delameter families and Arthur Morley. Many descendants of these early people live in our community now.
Abbie Van Buren married Arthur Morley in 1892. They settled on a farm three miles south and one half mile west of Sanborn. Albert Koepnick lives on this place today and is the owner.
Mrs. Morley taught school in Summit and Franklin Twp. Schools were mostly unfinished buildings, often an empty building on some farm served the purpose. Generally they were located where they could serve the most pupils. Those of her former pupils still living in this area include Dan Toal, Ross Fink, Mrs. Ruby Dummett, Mrs. C.E. Heinsen, Mrs. Marie Harberts, Gus Storm and Emil Storm. Mrs. Morley makes her home with her son, Keith Morley in the south part of Sanborn. She and her sister, Mrs. Flora Estey are the only remaining members of the Van Buren family. Other early pioneers of Summit still living around here are John Brundage of Primghar, Sherman Libby of Sibley and Milton Delameter of Sheldon.
John Grogan came in 1879 and helped with the building of the railroad west of Sanborn. His wife and children came later. They lived in Sheldon for a while and in Franklin Twp. until they purchased a farm in Summit. This place is owned by J.E. Jenison today. Members of the Grogan family living here now are: Mrs. Annie Burns, Mrs. Thos. Joyce and Wm. Grogan.
The Ferdinand Storm family came from Germany in 1879. They spent the first winter in LeMars and the next spring they moved to Summit Twp., where Mr. Storm homesteaded on 80 acres of land just north of where their son, Gus Storm lives today. Other members of this family living here are: Emil Storm and Mrs. Mary Harberts. Mary Storm (now Harberts) and Etta Roberts went to school at the Storm school. The Alfred Roberts family lived on the hill just north of the school. Etta Roberts married Geo. Baldwin and they live at Edgewood, Ia., now. They are the parents of A.G. Baldwin, present manager of the O’Brien Co. Co-op. Creamery and he and Mrs. Baldwin are the partners of Cornco, Inc.
Herman Storm, Ferdinand’s brother moved one mile west and south of the Storm school in 1883. Members of this family still here are: Herman, Bill and Albert. His widow, Mrs. Justine Storm, lives with a daughter, Mrs. Geo. Leemkuil in Sanborn.
We find this item in the Sanborn Pioneer of March 19, 1886: “Mr. Harges, who purchased the Bacon and See farms, arrived this week with three carloads of household goods and a car or two of stock. He has 720 A. of land, one-half improved and well stocked.” Mr. Harges was the father of the late Geo. Harges, Albert Harges, and Mrs. Joe Geister Sr. John Hofman owns part of this land now and his nephew, John B. Hofman, lives there.
Squire Libby, grandfather of Mrs. Geo. Wright, lived where H.R. Saupe lives now. He had three eightys. His son, Ed Libby, lived on what is now the Barrager farm and Jake Van Dyke is the tenant. These people moved from Nebraska.
Nathaniel Ballou, grandfather of David, Pat and Ross Ballou lived south across the road from where Ed Libby was living.
The Ernest E. Wright family moved from Buchanan in 1884. They settled on the farm owned by Dr. Pape and Dick Hofman is the tenant. Geo. Wright is the only member of this family living here.
Mrs. Edith Gallup came here as a small girl with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Patton. She was married to G.C. Gallup in 1896 and has made here home near or in Sanborn for over 60 years.
Another old timer who made his home on a farm, northwest of Sanborn for a good many years is John Green of Sheldon, who celebrated his 92nd birthday in May. His daughter, Mrs. Dick Niewendorp (Ruby) and husband live on the Green farm north of Sanborn. Another daughter, Mrs. Howard Dean (Lenora) lives in Center Township.
George Smith, a veteran blacksmith in Sanborn from 1907 until 1944. He is still active and helps some in his son, Louis’ shop, although he is 84.
Our early settlers came from almost every country in Europe but it was not until about the turn of the century that the people of the Netherlands began to settled around here.
Mr. and Mrs. Henry J. Niewendorp were probably the first Holland family to settle in this community. They moved from Rock Valley to a farm in Floyd Twp. in 1895. The next March (1896) they moved to a farm in Franklin Twp. 3 ½ miles west of Sanborn, on the north side of the road. The John Oldenkamp family live there now, on Hi-way 18. The Niewendorp children were Cornie, Marce, Gertrude, Lizzie, Jake, William, Martha and Henry. Jake and William were born on this farm. The older children attended school in district No. 9, then called the Mitchell school. This family lived on this farm several years. Then Mr. Niewendorp bought a farm in Floyd Twp. from Alfred Biggs at $80.00 per acre. A son, Jake lives on this place at present. Their daughter, Lizzie, married Cornelius Kleinwolterink and lives on the old Wm. Merchant farm one mile south of the school she attended as a girl. One of Mr. and Mrs. Kleinwolterink’s daughters married Ray Vander Broek and they live on a farm about two miles east of her parents. Another daughter married Hessel Dykstra, present Sanborn attorney.
The Dick Niewendorp’s , parents of Dick and Ben Niewendorp, lived on the Kelty farm, now owned by LeRoy Getting. The A. Vander Aarde family, S. Vander Aarde’s parents lived where W. Postma lives now. The Van Veldhuizen family moved northwest of Sanborn in 1905.
Gerrit De Young (father of John De Young of Redlands, Cal., and who owns several farms in this vicinity) moved to the farm, now owned by Henry Van Veldhuizen in 1908. Later they lived on the farm now owned by Francis Hickey. When digging the basement or the Christian Reformed church in 1911 John De Young arrived on the grounds early with a team of horses and a scraper, and removed the first load of dirt to start the excavating.
Mr. and Mrs. Jacob De Vries and their four children moved here from Hospers in 1910 and settled on the farm north of town where their sons live today. Bert Dykstra was living on the Brendle farm at that time.
The M. Drost family moved on to the present Charlie Scace farm in 1912 and to their present home a few years later.
The Andrew Hoeven family moved to Sanborn in 1911, coming from Orange City. Mr. Hoeven engaged in hardware business in the building now occupied by the Snuttjer hardware. Mr. Hoeven sold our to Mr. R.H. Leonard, present owner of the building.
There were four Elgersma brothers who moved into this area from Michigan. William and Jake came in 1913 and Nick and Ray the following year. William moved onto the farm where Mrs. Cora Pertrich is living. Members of this family remaining in this vicinity are Harry W. and Sam of Sanborn and Ray of Sheldon. Jake moved onto the Chas. Burns farm, now owned by Martin Vander Velde and his son Kenneth and family live there now. Peter, John, Ernest J., Mrs. Ed Boone, Mrs. Jake Haagsma, Sr., Mrs. Andringa Sr. are members of this family living here. Another son Harry J. lived here a number of years and now lives in Wisconsin.
Other families moving into this community were Ben Hofman, John Hofman, Andringa, Haagsma, De Gooyer, Ver Hoef, Brower, Bakker, Navis, Kuiper, Zonnfeld, Roetman, Aardema, Grooters, Post.
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