MIDDLEBURG , IOWA
By J. Dykstra
This beautiful area has been in the hands of speculators for a long time, and served since the settlement as a prairie land, on which cattle grazed. In 1884, however, there came a change and the land was purchased by farmers. The writer of this article purchased, at the so called Bell 's Lake , a large portion of land to cultivate, this with his numerous family. In 1885 G. J. Leusink came and others followed him, such as J. Meerdink, W. Willemsen, and others, who settled here. Soon an important change came about. Instead of 6 feet tall weeds, one saw tame grass. Prairie land was cultivated and produced: wheat, oats, corn and potatoes. Roads were built and bridges were constructed. Also one felt the need to gather on the Day of Rest. First we met in the school building and sometimes the pastors came to serve us.
Afterwards, in 1885 a congregation and a Sunday school were founded under the leadership of Rev. Buursma.
Mr. Davidson from Hull gave us 5 acres for church and parsonage, and so that same year a church was built, called “Free Grace Church,” and also a house for the custodian and stables for the horses.
In 1886 the Rev. A Zwemer was called and in October he started his ministry. That same year a beautiful parsonage was built.
In 1887 a new stable was built, 24x94 ft.
In 1889 the church was enlarged, as more people settled here. R. De Jong built a small store with a house.
In 1890 we built a post office and this place was called Middleburg. We then received our mail twice a week. De Jong became postmaster. The city bought a cemetery that year too. Two houses were built. A shoemaker settled here.
In 1891 we received the mail three times a week. In Sept. the Rev. A. Zwemer accepted the call from Spring Lake , Mich.
In 1892 we called the Rev. W. J. Duiker from Albany N. Y., and he came to us in March. The congregation then totaled 70 families. A third church stable was built. Also the parsonage was extended. Besides the store was enlarged and a house was built next to the store. And also another house.
In 1893 a blacksmith settled here, and a house was built. The mail was delivered daily, except Sunday.
In 1894 another house was built and a telephone line was constructed between Middleburg and Orange City and other places.
What we want to add here, is that farmland was divided up for the sake of the children. Also schools were built in all towns as required by law.
Middleburg Reformed Church
Middleburg Reformed Church Parsonage