MUILENBURG, JACOB AND AALTJE (VANDER MEER)
Jacob Muilenburg was born in St. Louis, Mo. on June 12, 1849 and moved to Pella, Iowa, with his parents in 1850. At the age of twenty he came with a group of prospectors to Sioux County in 1869: Jacob's parents Huibert and Klazina (VerSteeg) Muilenburg and their family came from Pella to Orange City, Iowa, by wagon the following summer. The Muilenburg family were among the early group who were instrumental in setting up the Dutch Colony in Orange City.
Jacob Muilenburg married Aaltje Vander Meer on December 27, 1871, she was born November 7, 1857 at Pella, Iowa, the daughter of Dirk Vander Meer and Cornelia Vanden Bosch. Her parents also were among the first settlers of the Dutch Colony at Orange City, Aaltje was eighteen years old at the time. As told in a newspaper article on the event of her death, "She was truly an American Pioneer Mother, her parents brought her to a new frontier in Sioux County, Iowa, she in turn led the establishment of first settlers in South Dakota".
Jacob and Aaltje attended the First Reformed Church in Orange City as young people with their separate families, and after their marriage until 1882 when according to church records they left for Harrison, South Dakota.
The family started farming in 1871 near Orange City. In 1882 they moved to Harrison, South Dakota and after suffering the many disappointments of crop failure there, they moved back after thirteen years. They then settled on a farm near Newkirk, Iowa. They lived there 21 years and retired in Sioux Center in 1916. From 1904 until their deaths they were members of the First Reformed Church in Sioux Center.
Jacob Muilenburg family: front L-R: Aaltje (Mrs. Jacob Muilenburg), Alan, Harvey, (behind)
The following reminiscent occurrences are remembered by two grandchildren of the Muilenburg's. Alice Muilenburg Schutt remembers when her grandmother was an elderly woman and had developed a heart condition and usually retired early in the evening. One evening after a visit from son, Asa Muilenburg's family, Alice was getting in the car when she discovered that she had forgotten her mittens, as she entered the house she saw her grandmother drinking a glass of wine which the doctor had prescribed for medication. Both of her grandparents were so upset that Alice had seen this, that Alice was set down for the longest temperance lecture she ever had. Alice said she remembered that lesson learned as a child and passed it on to her children. Alice's brother, Everett Muilenburg, recalls that one day he was waiting at his Grandfather Muilenburg's home for his father Asa to pick him up after school. Grandfather Muilenburg asked Everett to sit with him under an apple tree. (His grandfather was very proud of his apple trees and liked to share the apples, but in his own way. He was a stern man who impressed young minds.) Everett happened to look up in the tree and saw a little boy sitting in the top of the tree. After visiting several minutes with Everett, Grandfather Muilenburg called for the little boy to come down. After the shaking little boy came down, Grandfather Muilenburg sat him down in the chair and told him there was a box of apples nailed to a tree by the side walk. The little boy could have as many as he liked. If he had to have one from the top of the tree Grandfather Muilenburg would get it for him. The little boy never climbed a tree again.
Jacob Muilenburg died August 13, 1935 and his wife Aaltje died September 24, 1930. Quoting from her obituary in the newspaper, "What a thrilling book the life of Jacob and Aaltje would fill. A book alive with the brave struggle against stubborn nature. There would be chapters on back breaking toil, loneliness and disease, death and sorrow. Then there would be chapters with the hope of reward and the joy of conquest. All the lines in the book would be devout with a faith in the love of God. The last chapter would tell of patience in suffering the ills of old age for which a life time had schooled them for. And the last line of the book would tell of a hope and assurance of eternal reward." They were the parents of thirteen children, ten of whom survived to adulthood.
Huibert Muilenburg was born January 4, 1873 and died August 28, 1889.
Cornelia Muilenburg was born December 4, 1874 and died May 12, 1876.
Dirk Muilenburg born October 15, 1876 and married Rena Stachouse and their family was from Hurley, South Dakota.
Cornelia Muilenburg was born June 1, 1879 and she married S.A. Kalsbeek and their family was from Rock Rapids, Iowa.
Klazina "Clara" Muilenburg was born October 22, 1880, married John Boeyink and their family was from Sioux Center. Their children were Henry who married Bess Vander Ploeg, Alede (Mrs. Don Jurriens) Sylvia (Mrs. Clarence Van Wachel) and Dorothy.
Agnes Muilenburg was born August 14, 1882, married Ralph Boeyink and their family was from Sioux Center. Their family is described further under Ralph Boeyink in this book.
Asa Muilenburg was born May 2, 1886 and married Jennie Vermeer. Their family was from Sioux Center. Their family is described further under Asa Muilenburg in this book.
Huibertha Muilenburg was born October 17, 1890 and died April 7, 1891.
Huibert Muilenburg was born February 29, 1892 and he married Cora De Mots. Their family was from Orange City, Iowa. Children were: Elwin, Nolan and Everly.
Allan Muilenburg was born August 25, 1895 and he married Jena Gotz. They were from Sioux Center, and had no children.
Harvey Muilenburg was born August 17, 1899 and he married Winnie Juffer. They were from Sioux Center, their one daughter, Eleanor, married and moved to California.
By Alice Schutt and Wilma J. Vande Berg
Source: Sioux Center Iowa 1991 Centennial Book--Family Contributor, Mary Haverhals
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