railroad crosses this township almost diagonally from northeast to
FIRST SETTLERS.--Wauter Van Rooyen, H. Boersma,
K. E. Wiesinga Adam Haag, Evert Hoeven, Math Harens, Jacob Koolbeck, E. J.
G. Bloomdaal, John Selig, John Perlot, Bart Van Zyl, Fred Krause, Peter
Nye, Henry Remade, Joseph Krebs, John Gerst, Gregory Gerst and their
father Peter Gerst, Henry Schnee, Peter Christiany, John Jemming, Harry
Jemming, D. Moes, L. Boeve, John Lugterman, L. Dyk, Peter Roelse, H.
Hofmeyer, J. W. Wiekamp, W. Walzenbach, John Anchstatter, D. J. Klumpert
and several others the writer cannot recall.
FIRST EVENTS.-The first houses were built by Math
Harens and John Perlot in the fall of 1870, the lumber was hauled from
The first child born in the German settlement was
a son of John Perlot, Math Perlot. now a resident of East Orange Township.
Mr. Harnes recalls some of the difficulties of
the trip with the original seventeen men who came with Theo. Gehlen to
Sioux County in the spring of 1870. One of the worst troubles was the
crossing of sloughs and getting stuck, then would come the doubling tip of
teams and the pulling of the stuck team out of the mire. Once a yoke of
oxen laid down in a slough, the men hitched onto it two other yoke which
pulled the rebellions oxen, wagon, and all through. One time one of the
wagons was so deep in the mire that it took five yoke of oxen to pull it
Most of the breaking was done with oxen, two yoke
to a fourteen inch plow.
The time of the arrival of the settlers in Sioux
County in the spring of 1870 was so late that no crops were grown the
first year, some land was broken and preparation made for the next year.
Mr. Harens had bought two cows in Dubuque County for $80.00, but lost them
on the trip. They were found by other parties, so that he got one-half
what he paid for them. He recalls one trip after cows from Floyd Township
when they went down nearly to Cherokee to get the strayed cattle.
Mrs. Gregory Gerst, daughter of the late Henry
Schnee, recalls some of the incidents of pioneer life. For example, during
the winter of 1880-1881 Mr. Schnee provided his family with flour by trips
over the snow to the mill at Sheldon, Iowa, a distance of about fourteen
miles by road, but at that time he went by trails and all of the flour and
all of the ground feed had to be hauled that distance. The winter of 1880
and 1881 was so severe as to make it utterly impossible for a wagon to go
over the trail. The snow was piled up so deep and it kept on snowing every
day or two and the wind piled it up in drifts so that no road could be
made. Mr. Schnee's larder ran low and it was evident that something had to
be done, and finally it got to the point where the mother cut down the
amount of flour to just what would make the bread alone for the family,
but there was no pies or cakes, or any of the dessert dishes we have now
days. The matter finally got so serious that Mr. Schnee had to go for
flour and this is the way he did it. He bolted some barrel staves on a
hand sled and taking the rope in his hands, drew the sled to Sheldon, a
distance of fourteen miles, and procured his flour and then drew it home
the same way. This trip was repeated half a dozen times during the winter
whenever the provisions ran low. This winter the snow came in October and
caught the settlers with the corn in the field, and in a good many cases
with the potatoes in the ground. The potatoes were rooted out but as for
the corn, that was a different job and as the snow got worse and worse,
the settlers would go into the field with hand sleds and draw it out by
that primitive way. Mr. Schnee's corn crop was finally gathered the 4th
day of July following, just in time to celebrate the 4th, which the family
did, the hired hands going to town the same day they finished corn
HOSPERS.-The town of Hospers is located in the
northeast part of Floyd Township. Its present population is between four
and five hundred. The town was laid out in the fall of 1873, after the
completion of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad.
The first house was erected by A. M. Duus and
John Chritiany. In it was the postoffice, with A. M. Duus as first
postmaster. The first store was erected by Bauma and son, who also had the
first lumber and coal for sale in the town. The town was named in honor of
the late Hon. Henry Hospers, the founder of the Sioux County Colony. It
was incorporated Jan. 16, 1891, when the first officers were elected.
Mayor, Jacob Koolbeck; Recorder, J. W. Griggs; Councilmen, C. Draayom, A.
Vos, Homer Folger, T. L. Dyk, .Joseph Kuehle and John Tiemens; Treasurer,
J. H. Nieuwenhuis; Marshall and Street Commissioner, Nicholas Vos;
Assessor, John Seley. The present incumbents are: Mayor, J. H. Niewenhuis;
Recorder, Jacob Koolbeck; Treasurer, J. A. Smith; Marshall, A. lie Vries.
G. Draayom, S. Brink, J. W. Hilbelink, .J. J. De Bruyn, C. P. De Jong and
Peter Marx compose the present members of the council.
Hospers has the name of, and is, the best
business town of its size in Sioux County, and is made so by its
progressive, honest, and up-to-date business men. Those now engaged in
business are as follows:
- AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENTS.-C. Van Zyl,
De Bruin & Alingh.
HARDWARE.-Albert Klein, C. P. De Jong.
GENERAL MERCHANDISE.-H. Van Rooyen, B. J. Klein.
DRUGS.-C. F. Sarset.
CLOTHING.-Tillma & Tillma.
HARNESS.-Muyskins & Aardema.
FURNITURE AND UNDERTAKING.-Henry Hyink.
HARNESS AND SHOES.-Peter Marx.
JEWELER.-Landhuis & Terpstra.
HOTEL.-C. W. Versluis.
CITIZENS BANK.-.1. A. Smith, Cashier.
MEATS.-John Teeslink, Peter Verschoor.
RESTAURANT AND GROCERIES.-Henry Aardema.
BARBER SHOP.-John Landhuis.
BLACKSMITH.-Ed Grotenhuis, Nick Parrot.
SALOON.-C. F. Scheel, Koob & Zeanlenthuis.
HANAFORD PRODUCE CO. CREAM STATION.- G. Talsma, Manager.
LIVERY. -Peter Van der Aarde, Peter Van Heel.
CEMENT BLOCK FACTORY.--Owned by C. Van Zyl and J. J. De Bruin, Albert
LUMBER.-F. M. Slagle & Co., Peter Jungers, Manager.
ST. JOHN'S GRAIN Co.-Robert. Gardner, Manager.
BUTTON ELEVATOR Co.-Joe Klein, Manager.
CREAMERY.-Boterman & Stoever.
LIVE STOCK.-Boterman & Feekes.
LIVE STOCK.-Wm. Walsenbauch.
PHYSICIAN.-Dr. J. J. Galman.
MILLINERY.-Mrs. Wm. Hillebelink.
M. W. A. LODGE. No. 5640.-Robert Gardner, Recorder.
HOSPERS CORNET BAND.-Ole Munson, Leader.
CHURCHES. -Dutch Presbyterian, St. Anthony's, Catholic, First Reformed
and Christian Reformed.
SCHOOLS.-Parochial School, Public School.
HISTORY OF ST.
ANTHONY'S CONGREGATION, HOSPERS,
REV. JOHN H. GELING.
About the year
1871-1872 some Catholic pioneers of whom some are yet living, but most of
whom have gone to reap the reward of their labors, came to Sioux County,
Iowa, and settled near the town of Hospers. To fulfill their religious
duties these good and faithful Catholics went to LeMars to assist mass on
Sundays. A year or so after, friends from Sioux City looked after the
spiritual wants of these people and said mass either in some school house,
or in the scanty homes of the pioneers. About 1880, the good and zealous
Father Meis, then rector of St. Joseph's Church at LeMars, visited the
Catholics around Hospers, who had already gathered money to build a little
frame church and for some years said mass for them on week days and cared
for their spiritual welfare. People from adjacent towns of Alton and
Granville came to this little church to adore their Creator and Redeemer.
Catholic settlers coming in gradually, the first
church proved to be too small and the building of a larger structure was
decided upon. Rev. G. Luehrmann, being then rector of St. Mary's Church at
Alton, attended, like his predecessor, Rev. H. Treg of St. Anthony's
congregation at Hospers, and superintended the new church building.
The Catholic people of Hospers now thought
themselves strong enough to support their own pastor, but priests being
scarce at that time Rev. G. Luehrmann attended St. Anthony's front 1$t5
until 1888. St. Anthony's first resident priest was Father Corbet, who had
charge of it from 1888 to March 1889. Rev. Lynch having served for a few
months, Rev. Eberhard Gahe was appointed rector in the year 1890, under
whose kind supervision the parochial was erected and Sisters of St.
Francis of Milwaukee, were the first religious teachers.
On September 6, 1892, Rev. E. Gahe was called to
another field of labor and Rev. Thomas McCarthey, now chancellor of Sioux
City diocese, succeeded him for a short time, from Oct. 9th, 1892, until
Nov. 30th, 1892. His successor was Rev. B. Schillmueller, from Dec. 15th,
1892, to Nov. 4th, 1895. Under his supervision the Catholic cemetery was
changed to its present location near the church, also a new residence for
the Sisters was erected. Then Rev. P. Trum was appointed rector of St.
Anthony's on the 22nd of November, 1895, and served faithfully until
October 22nd, 1901. Having built a new parsonage, Rev. P. Truro felt his
strength failing and took refuge to a warmer climate, giving room for the
HISTORY OF ST.
ANTHONY'S CONGREGATION, HOSPERS,
Rev. John H.
Geling, in 1902, had the church enlarge 1, newly seated and decorated. In
1905 over three thousand square feet of cement sidewalks were laid on the
property, and in 1907 a new set of beautiful stations were procured
through the liberality or the members of St. Anthony's congregation.
People and priests have worked unitedly, and God has blessed their
efforts, although the number of families does not exceed 75. There is not
one cent of debt on the property. May God, through the intercession of St.
Anthony's continue to shelter the pastor and flunk of St. Anthony's
FIRST REFORMED CHURCH.
By C. VAN ZYL.
meeting held, with a view of organizing a Dutch Reformed Church at
Hospers, Iowa, was held November 11, 1886, at the home of G. Roetman, one
half mile east of Hospers. The committee representing the Classis of Iowa,
were Rev's S. Bolks, A. Buursma, A. Zwemer and Elder Geurink. On December
9th, 1886, this same committee met at the home of L. Roetman, for the
purpose of completing the organization. Fourteen families, numbering
twenty-eight people were enrolled as members at the time of organization,
with sixty nine children.
The first consistory was composed of G. Roetman
and C. Wierks, Elders. A. Vos and H. Wiekamp, deacons. The first regular
consistory meeting was held March 4th, 1887. G. Roetman was the first
representative from this church to the classis. In September, 1887, lots
5-6, block 20, were bought as church property for the sum of $40. The
first shade trees planted on the church lots were donated by G. Roetman in
1888. On July 12th, 1888 it was decided to build a church 30 x 38 feet, 14
feet high, which was built during the summer. At this time, A. Van den
Berg, a theological student, was supplying the pulpit. The church was
dedicated February 14, 1889.
Rev. G. Dangermond was the first ordained
minister of this church, being called by the classis.
The present parsonage was built in 1889, at a
cost of $1,220.56. On Dec. 5, the consistory pledged not to accept any one
to their membership belonging to any secret society.
November 13, 1881, Rev. P. Van der Kam took up
the work as minister and remained until Jan. 15th, 1895.
On May 1, Rev. Duiker was called as minister,
which call was declined on May 31, 1895.
On June 26, a call was extended
to Rev. D. J. to Grotenhuis, which call was accepted; he continued his
work until August 1, 1899,
During the summer of 1896 it was found that the
church building was too small and an addition of twenty feet in length was
built to the church.
December 18, 1895, eight more lots were bought adjoining the church
property at a price of $160.00.
In the spring of 1899 a consistory room was
October 9, 1899, a call was extended to Rev. A.
M. Van Duin which was declined. On January 16, 1900, J. W. Te Selle was
called and labored here until his health demanded a change of climate. In
February 1905, he left the community much regretting his departure.
During the year 1902, the church property was
greatly improved by raising the church building and putting a good
foundation thereunder, also a steeple with bell was provided and a furnace
to take the place of the stoves; new pews and cement sidewalks were also
added to these improvements. In the spring of 1905, Rev. F. Lubbers, and
also Rev. Kuyper were called, both declined the call, and in May, Rev.
Ripma who is now pastor of this church was called.
During the summer of 1907, an addition 28 x 30
was built to the church which was a much needed improvement.
The church has flourished from the beginning and
gives hope of being one of the most successful churches in the county.
HISTORY OF THE FIRST
REFORMED CHURCH OF
NEWKIRK FROM 1882 TO 1907.
In the spring
of 1882, Davidson brothers of Hull, Iowa, donated five acres of land in
the northwest corner of section 7 Floyd Township, to the members of the
Reformed Church living in this vicinity to use for building a church and
parsonage. In the summer of 1882 a church 24 x 36, 14 feet high, was built
on above named land under the management of the consistory of the First
Reformed Church of Orange City, and on the 2d day of October, 1882, the
church people of this community were assembled in the new church to be
organized as a congregation; the committee appointed by the classis of
Illinois to organize this church were Rev. S. Bolks,. emeritus, pastor of
the First Reformed Church of Orange City, and Rev. A. Buursma, pastor of
the First Reformed Church of Orange City and Rev. J. W. Wornshuis, pastor
of the First Reformed Church of Alton (then named East Orange,) Rev. S.
Bolks on account of sickness, being unable to be present at the
organization of the church; Rev. Dr. West, secretary of the Reformed
Church of America for domestic missions, being in this western field of
the Reformed Church, was invited to help organize the church, which the
secretary accepted. At this meeting seventeen families were represented
and the church was organized with 28 members. They then elected out of
their number two elders and two deacons, who were installed on Oct. 15,
1882. Then it was desired to name the church The First....