Sioux County, Iowa


Link to BIO board post for Eggink, Henry (Photo)


Henry K. Eggink was born in the Netherlands in 1873. In 1885, at the age of twelve, he with his parents and three younger children came to the United States via a cargo ship crowded in the grimey hold. Their passage was made possible with money sent by an uncle who already lived in the United States. All wore wooden shoes because they had no others. In fact, they owned little more than the shoes and clothes they wore. The family settled in Alton, IA and Henry was immediately "farmed out" for board and room and the right to attend school in the winter months, unless he was needed for work, which was almost always. As a result he received no formal education beyond the "Fourth Reader."

His parents passed away within two years after coming to America and at the age of fourteen Henry was shouldered with the responsibility of supporting not only himself but also trying to provide for the younger family members.

Henry Eggink moved to the Sioux Center area in 1894 continuing to work as a farm hand but hoping he might in time find other kind of employment. An opening did occur at an elevator owned by Dick Vander Berg. Henry applied and was accepted. He at first found the job difficult to handle due to the fact that his new employee was unable to read the scale on which the grain was weighed. Even less was he able to do the calculations relating to the figures, as adding, subtracting, dividing, and etc. But rather than dismissing their new employee, Mr. and Mrs. Vander Berg with love and tenderness took him under their care, even providing lodging in their home.

By applying himself Henry soon learned arithmetic and spelling and in due time he became the elevator's chief "keeper of the records," a position he held until 1900. That year he purchased the Cargill Elevator in Sioux Center from George and August Hillmer and for several years (until 1907) he operated the business. He then sold the elevator to Epke Vander Berg and with a friend, Neal De Pree, bought out the implement business of Albert Slobe. For eight years they were the local dealers for John Deere and International implements.

Daughters of Henry K. and Angelena Eggink.
L-R: Johanna "Hanny" (Mrs. Julius De Wit),
Christina "Steinie" Eggink, and Mabel (Mrs.
Clarence Vande Brake)

In 1915 Mr. Eggink sold his interest in the implement business to Neal De Pree and W. J. Bruins and went into the real estate business, a profession in which he remained active until his death. During several of these years he also served as Field Supervisor for insurance company farms. At one time he managed 54 farms which included doing the renting, selling of crops, and etc. Also, for 51 years he was a director of the local First National Bank. He was a resident of the Sioux Center community for 70 years.

It was while he worked for Mr. Dick Vander Berg in the elevator that Mr. Eggink married Angelena Boeyink. She was born in Alto, Wisconsin, in 1879 but as a young girl came with her parents, brothers and sisters to farm in the rural Sioux Center area. The entire Boeyink family continued to reside in the northwest Iowa area and were all active in the area's business and social life. Descendants continue to be thus active.

To Henry and Angelena Eggink five children were born, all of whom were educated in the Sioux Center Schools.

Clarence, now deceased, was engaged in the automobile business on the west coast. Upon retirement he and his wife, the former Lillian Benson, settled in Rancho Bernardo, CA, where they resided until his death.

Henry G. and Lucille Eggink

Henry G. Eggink was educated at Central College, the University Iowa, Western Theological Seminary and the Graduate School of Theology at Berkeley, CA. He taught in the Sioux Center Public High School eight years, served as pastor of the Alton and Hospers Presbyterian Churches for nine years, and was Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Buena Vista College for 21 years. Upon retirement from the college at 65 years of age, he with his wife, the former Lucille Fenn who had also taught in the Sioux Center Schools for five years, carried on Interim Ministries in the Jefferson, IA Presbyterian Church and the Auburn, IA Presbyterian Church. Since 1981 they have retired more fully and reside in Sioux Center.

Christina Eggink will be remembered by many as a telephone operator in the local Mutual Telephone Company. After a few years of employment there, she moved to San Diego, CA, and was employed by the Bank of America, first as a teller and later in the loan department. Illness made retirement necessary and she is now a resident in the Senior Haven, Canby, MN.

Johanna "Hanny" Eggink married Julius De Wit of Sioux Center. They lived for years in Binghamton, NY and in Rochester, MN where "Jul" was in management positions for Sears Stores. Later they purchased the Coast to Coast Store in Canby, MN, which store they operated until retirement a few years ago. They continue to reside in Canby. They have a son Leon Joe and a daughter, Audrey, who live in Edina, MN, and Park Rapids, MN, respectively.

Mabel Eggink will be remembered as a longtime bookkeeper in the local Cooperative Gas and Oil Company. After marriage to Clarence L. Vande Brake, whom she earlier had met while both were students at Northwestern College, they established residence in Portland, OR, where "Van" was employed by the government in the sale of grains abroad. They have one son, Bruce, who lives in Brush Prairie, W A.

Rev. Henry G. Eggink

Source: Sioux Center Iowa 1991 Centennial Book--Family Contributor, Mary Haverhals


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