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RIEKENS, Riekent D. 1832-1934


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 1/21/2017 at 18:04:53

Grundy's Oldest Man Is Dead At Wellsburg At 102

Was A Sailor In An Early Day; Resided In Grundy County Past 66 Years

R. D. Riekens, the oldest person in Grundy county, died at his home in Wellsburg last Thursday. He would have been 102 years old if he had lived until the 17th of this month. He had been in fairly good health up to a short time before his death. He suffered an injury a few years ago, since which time he was unable to walk. He had also lost his hearing during his later years. Mr. Riekens was not only the oldest person living in the county at the time of his death, but he is believed to have exceeded the age of any other person who ever resided in the county.

Funeral services were held at the home Monday afternoon and later at the Reformed church with the local pastor, Rev. Wm. Landsiedel, in charge. Burial was by the side of the wife in St. Peter's Evangelical church cemetery in German township. Six grandsons of Mr. Riekens were pallbearers.

Was a Sailor 20 Years
Mr. Riekens 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 loved 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 his daughter moved from the farm to Wellsburg in 1915 and resided there continually up to the time of his death. During the latter years of his long life when he was confined to his home he enjoyed the companionship of members of his family and his many old friends. His memory remained clear up to the latter part of his long life and he could recall many incidents that happened in his boyhood.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 11 October 1934, pg 1


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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