Forreston Octogenarian Enjoys Motoring and Walking
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 10/5/2011 at 13:48:46
Forreston Octogenarian Enjoys Motoring and Walking; Knew Covered Wagon Life!
Albert H. Meester, just 80 years old last Thursday, came down town to the post office for his daily mail. He was met by a fellow townsman who remarked that his friend was dressed more than usual and wore a new tie.
"Is this your birthday?" he was greeted. "You have guessed it!" replied the octogenarian, and what is more, don't you see all the flags out today; well, that's because it's my birthday." Of course, he knew very well that it was "Columbus" day, too.
This casual conversation at the post office depicts in a way the youthful spirit which Mr. Meester betrays at his advanced age. The writer of this brief sketch of his eventful life met him a little later and heard him tell his own story.
"Eighty years ago today, I was born in Pawsum, Eastfriesland, German," he said, "and seventy years ago the same date I was on the road somewhere between here and Dubuque with a caravan of four covered wagons, trekking to Grundy, Ia. At Dubuque we were able to cross the Mississippi river by means of a ferry. It was Sunday, so we rested along the way in that hilly country. There were sixteen people in our party; we had twenty-five head of cattle with us, grazing along the right of way. Several good fresh cows furnished us with all the fresh milk we could drink and softened our bread which had become somewhat hard."
"We settled down south of Parkersburg, Ia, building upon virgin prairie. You see, I was just ten years old then and had been a weakling up until this time; so much so that I had to be carried on and off the boat only a few years before when we crossed the ocean."
"Our settlement in Iowa was visited by an epidemic of diptheria which took two of my three brothers who, with our father, had migrated from Germany in the late sixties. Father also died several years later leaving only my brother, John, and me in the country of our choice. My mother died when I was only three years old; I do not even remember her."
"Brother John followed the urge with many others to go westward and he took up a claim in Dakota near the town of Lennox which was built later. Death also claimed my last brother not many years since, leaving me the only member of the family. I decided to take up my brother's claim and had my residence there ten years."
"At this time a new settlement was in the making in Lyon county, Iowa. I joined some of my distant relatives along the state line in Minnesota."
"It was here where my wife and I raised our family and enjoyed years of happy home life. We became charter members of the then organized Ebenezer Presbyterian church on the state line six miles north of the city of Rock Rapids."
"I had also been a charter member of the Turner County, Dakota, Presbyterian church." (Both of these churches are still in a flourishing condition.)
The story above was told by Mr. Meester himself at his home in Forreston to his present wife and mutual friend for many years, now their guest. He was not aware of the fact that this story should appear in print. However, we decided that it was too good to remain a secret within the walls of a happy home.
Mr. Meester is enjoying good health in spite of his years and walks down town in Forreston several times each day. He still enjoys driving his automobile and several months ago, he visited relatives at Ellsworth, Minn.
Submitted by Betty Heronimus Eilts
(moved from misc - cc)
Grundy Documents maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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