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R. D. Riekens


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 9/7/2015 at 18:48:05

Wellsburg Man Was 100 Years Old Monday

R. D. Riekens Was Born In Germany 100 Years Ago; Served in the German Navy Twenty Years

R. D. Riekens from Wellsburg was 100 years old Monday. He is the oldest living person in Grundy county. While due to an injury received a few years ago he is unable to walk, his mental faculties are still clear and he can recall the most eventful periods of his long life.

There was open house Monday at the home of the old pioneer who has been permitted to pass the century mark. Friends called to extend congratulations during the day. The Ladies' Aid of the German Reformed church, of which Rev. Landsiedel is pastor and Mr. Rieken is a member, met and surprised him at his home Monday forenoon and presented the aged gentleman with a beautiful bouquet of chrysanthemums, roses and carnations. Several songs were sung and a prayer given. A dinner was given in his honor in the evening at 6:30 with thirty relatives and friends as guests. They included Mr. and Mrs. Jake Riekens and family, and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Riekens and family of Ackley; Mr. and Mrs. Dick Riekens and family, Mr. and Mrs. John Riekens and family, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Toomsen and family, Mr. and Mrs. Louie Riebkes and family, Mr. and Mrs. Dick Beving and family, Rev. and Mrs. Landsiedel and family, besides the daughter, Miss Fannie, all of Wellsburg.

Mr. Riekens, hale and hearty and in the best of spirits, enjoyed the day and talked and visited with all who came to see him. Although not able to hear since an attack of typhoid fever several years ago, and for the past two years unable to walk since a fall on the walk at his home, he is at all times contented and happy and has an exceptionally clear mind with an unusually keen remembrance of faces of people that he has known and met for the past ten years or more.

He was born in Voellenerfehn, East Friesland, Germany, October 17, 1832, and was educated in the schools of Germany. When but 15 he enlisted in the German navy and for 20 years was a sailor, making voyages to all ports of the seven seas. His last sea service was with the "White Star" line of freight carrying sailing ships. He loves to talk of his life as a sailor, recalling the many interesting incidents and experiences that were his during that time.

Mr. Riekens came to America in 1866, settling on a farm near Forreston, Ill., coming to Grundy county two years later. He settled on a farm in German township, which has been the family home for over 60 years. He served as a member of the board of trustees for a number of years. In 1871 he was married to Elke Oltmans, who passed away ten years later. The daughter Fannie, who has been with her father constantly since that time, was then three years old. Two sons, Dirk and Jake, are farming the home farm in German township and John, who is a retired farmer, is now making his home in Wellsburg.

Mr. Riekens and daughter moved to Wellsburg in the spring of 1915 where they have since made their home, and have a host of friends and relatives who wish for him many more years of happiness.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 20 October 1932, pg 12


Grundy Biographies maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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