Sioux County, Iowa


Ellen Van Roekel


Ellen Lorene Van Roekel was born on November 30, 1928 on a farm four miles west and one-half mile south of Sioux Center, to Henry C. and Allie (Vander Ploeg) Van Roekel, being the youngest of twelve children.

Growing up on the farm was lots of fun. We made our own fun by making playhouses in the grove, making lots of mud pies, playing in the hay mow, swinging on sack swings, and playing with small farm animals. We had to help feed the chickens and pick up cobs and wood for the kitchen cook stove. After supper we would make a large pan full of popcorn and sit outside on the lawn to eat it, watching and waiting for the first star to appear.

I attended eight years of elementary school in two different country schools. There were between 20 and 30 students in the one room school houses, with all eight grades and one teacher, and everyone received a good education. We had to go to the Sioux County Court House to get our 8th grade diploma. After this I had four years of high school at the Sioux Center Public High School, graduating in 1946.

In 1945 I moved to the town of Sioux Center with my parents and worked in a grocery store and in a furniture store. Then in 1948 I went to California to work and lived there with my sister. But California was not for me, and after six months I came back home to Sioux Center, and started working as a secretary at the Te Paske Law Office where I worked for 37 years. Over the years I took a number of vacation trips, usually by car, bus or train tours to different scenic parts of the United States and Canada. At present I am doing some part-time work at an insurance agency, and still have time to do some of the things I enjoy doing.

by Ellen Van Roekel

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


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