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HEMPEN, John 1838-1933


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 9/15/2015 at 12:15:13

John Hempen, Old Resident of Stout, Dies Saturday

John Hempen, oldest resident of the town of Stout, died at his home Saturday forenoon from infirmities due to old age. He was sick but a short time. He was past 94 years of age.

Funeral services were held at the Christian Reformed church at Stout Wednesday afternoon and there was a very large attendance. The services were conducted by the local pastor, Rev. W. Heyenga. Burial was in the local cemetery.

Mr. Hempen was born in Emden, Germany. He was married there 65 years ago and his wife survives him. Mr. Hempen spent the early part of his life as a sailor and while engaged in this work he visited all of the prominent seaports of the world. In 1883 he and his family came to this country and made their home here continuously. For many years they resided on a farm in Beaver township. During the past thirty years they made their home in Stout. Mr. Hempen was the first mayor of the town of Stout and he served in that capacity continuously until a few years ago. For many years he had the distinction of being the oldest mayor in Iowa.

Mr. and Mrs. Hempen are the parents of nine children, two of whom died in childhood. The children who are alive and their homes are: Herman Hempen, Stout; Geo. Hempen, Hudson; Mrs. Johanna Redenius, Long Beach, Calif.; Mrs. Hempe Meyer, Rushmore, Minn.; Mrs. Herman Volberding, Dike; Mrs. C. A. Hessenius, Stout; Mrs. Henry Konken, Stout.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 28 December 1933, pg 1


Obituary of John Hempen

John Hempen was born in Emden, Ostfriesland, Germany, on Oct. 18, 1838, and died in Stout, Iowa, on Dec. 23, 1933, at the age of 95 years, 2 months and 5 days.

While a young man in Germany he took up the life of a sailor. He made many trips from England to the Black Sea, to Montreal and Quebec, to India, Shanghai, and around the east coast of Africa. In 1863 he came to new York and went into the navy. He was drafted on the gunboat Magnolia belonging to the Eastern Gulf Squadron Florida, of which the chief commander was Admiral Farragut. In 1865 he returned to Europe where he remained for five years. During that time he attended a European navigation school and spent his time in home ships.

On January 4, 1868, he was married to Anna Oltmans. He continued his work as a sailor until 1883 when he with his family came to America and settled in Grundy county. In 1907 he moved to Stout where he lived until his death.

Mr. Hempen was a member of the Reformed church in Stout. For 17 years he was mayor of Stout, and also served as secretary to the school board for a number of terms. Being exceptionally strong and healthy, he was able to serve his community until a few years ago. Until recently he was able to be out-of-doors and around the house. He retained his keen interest in national and European affairs until the last. His memory was remarkable, and even during his final illness he related events of earlier years.

Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Hempen, two of whom died in childhood. Those living are Herman of Stout; Mrs. Johanna Redenius, Long Beach, Calif.; Mrs. Hempe Meyer, Rushmore, Minn.; Mrs. Herman Volberding, Dike; George, Hudson; Mrs. C. A. Hessenius and Mrs. Henry Konken, both of Stout. His aged widow also survives him, and 23 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at Stout on Wednesday, Dec. 28, in the Reformed church with Rev. Heyenga as the officiating minister. The text for the sermon was Psalm 124, verse 7, which had been requested by the deceased. Remains were laid to rest in the Stout cemetery. Six grandsons were casket bearers: John Redenius, John and Harold Hempen, John and Edward Volberding, and Ubbie Reiter.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 11 January 1934, pg 4


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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