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NEESSEN, Thomas L. 1857-1913


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 3/7/2022 at 17:50:07

An Old Settler Has Passed Away

Tom Neessen Dies In Colfax Twp

Deceased Came to Grundy County Forty Years Ago and at the Time of His Death Had Accumulated 1300 Acres of Grundy Land

One of Grundy county's old settlers, also one of the county's largest land holders, passed to the beyond in the death of Thos. L. Neessen, known to his many friends by the shorter name of Tom, at his home in Colfax township Saturday evening about nine o'clock. Mr. Neessen had been ill for about a year, his trouble being liver and kidney complaint, but his condition had not been serious although he had been confirmed to his bed several months. Both Mr. Neessen and his family, and his friends, had hopes he would be restored to good health for the deceased was but fifty-six years of age, but Saturday a sudden change set in and Mr. Neessen passed away in a few hours.

Mr. Neessen was an example of what a man can do when he has the will and stick-to-it-tiveness, for he came to Grundy county in 1869 with no worldly goods whatever and at his death he owned 1300 acres of some of the best land in Grundy county, and that means some of the best land in all Iowa. It is said that Mr. Neessen had an ambition to leave to each of his ten children a quarter section of Grundy county land and this ambition was almost realized. Had he lived but a few years longer doubtless he would have accomplished his desire.

Mr. Neessen was born in Holtland, Eastfriesland, Germany, Jan. 15, 1857. When a lad of twelve he left Germany with his oldest sister, Mrs. J. C. Doyen who died about a year ago. They came first to Stephenson county, Ill., where they remained about a year when they came to Iowa and settled near Ackley. Mr. Neessen remained there several years and then came to Grundy county, settling in Colfax township 34 years ago on the farm which continued to be his home until his death.

Mr. Neessen was united in marriage to Miss Alberta Janssen in 1878 and to this union six children were born, two of whom died in infancy. This union was broken by the death of Mrs. Neessen and Mr. Neessen again married, the bride being Miss Euka Swieter, and to this second union six children were born, all of whom, together with the mother, survive the death of the father and husband. The surviving children are Heiko, John, Mrs. Sam Classen, Dena, Mrs. Anno Peters, Mrs. Chas. Classen, Minnie, Will, Henry and Tom. Mr. Neessen also is survived by three brothers, Henry, Christ and George.

The funeral service was held this morning at 11 o'clock from the late home followed by a service at the German Lutheran church in Shiloh township. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Hendirks of the German Lutheran church assisted by Rev. J. E. Drake. The funeral service was largely attended as the deceased was widely known and left many warm friends to mourn his loss.

--The Grundy Republican (Grundy Center, Iowa), 3 April 1913, pg 1


Thomas Neessen Answers Last Call

Prominent Grundy County Farmer Answers Call

Tom Neessen Dies Saturday After Year's Sickness

Thomas L. Neessen died at his home in Colfax township at nine o'clock last Saturday evening. For about a year he was a sufferer from liver and kidney trouble and it was this trouble that resulted in his death. Mr. Neessen took to his home late last fall and since that time he did not leave the place. He was confined to his bed for several months and he withstood a great deal of suffering during that time. For several weeks prior to his death the family had but little hope that he would ever recover and the patient himself realized during his last days that the end was near. The family were not prepared for the sudden change in his condition for the worse on Saturday and they were all overcome with grief when the announcement was made at nine in the evening that the beloved husband and father had passed to the home beyond.

Funeral services will be held at the home at eleven o'clock, Thursday and later at the German Lutheran church in Shiloh township. The services were in charge of Rev. Heinrichs and Rev. J. E. Drake assisted him. It is anticipated that oweing to the deceased's prominence in the community in which he lived and the high regard with which he was held by the many who knew him that there will be an unusually large attendance at the funeral. Relatives and many warm friends have been manifesting their sympathy and appreciation of the deceased through a most liberal offering of flowers.

Mr. Neessen's life and accomplishments stand out as a marked example of what the sturdy German farmer can and has done in the development of this county and the success which follows industrious efforts and good management on a Grundy county farm. When Mr. Neessen came to this county a boy of sixteen forty years ago he hadn't capital enough to buy a team of horses. At the time of his death he was one of the most extensive land owners in Grundy county. A year ago he owned over 1300 acres of some of our best land. It was his ambition to be able to own a quarter section for every one of his ten children. Had he retained his former good health this ambition would have been realized within a very short time.

During his younger days Mr. Neessen was an untiring worker. It has been said of him that there was not another man in this neighborhood who could stand the working pace for a day that he set for himself during the busy season on the farm. Combining this willingness and ability to work with good management and good judgement of values it is not surprising that success following in the trail of this combination. After his family of boys grew up and Mr. Neessen began to feel some of the effects of too much hard work he gradually slackened his pace and devoted much of his time in later years to superintending the work on his farms.

Mr. Neessen was one of our most companionable men. In his home he was beloved and respected by the large family of whom he was the recognized guide and leader; in his neighborhood he was known as a man who believed in doing unto others as he would that they should do unto him. Taking a man of this kind from any community leaves the feeling among those who remain that they have each lost a friend. This has been the feeling of those who knew Tom Neessen longest and best.

Thomas L. Neessen was born in Holtland, Eastfriesland 56 years ago the 15th of last January. When only a boy of 12 he and his only and elder sister, the late Mrs. J. C. Doyen, left the family circle in the fatherland and came to this country. For a year they remained in Stephenson county, Ill., and from there came to Ackley. Forty years ago when Tom was 16 he came to Grundy county and for several years served as hired man. His first service in that capacity was for the late George Wells. At the time he became of age Tom had saved enough to make a safe payment on the farm in Colfax township which remained his home for thirty-four years. Mr. Neessen was twice married. His first wife was Miss Alberta Janssen and this union was made in 1878. Six children came to bless this union. Two of these died during infancy. The other four survive the father. Within a year Mr. Neessen was married a second time to Miss Enka Swieter who has been as much a mother to the four children of her adoption as she has been to the six which came as a result of the second marriage. Aside from the wife the surviving children are Heiko, John, (Martha) Mrs. Sam Claassen, Dena, (Rena) Mrs. Anno Peters, (Alice) Mrs. Claas Claassen, Minnie, Will, Henry and Tom.

Mr. Neessen came from a family of six children, of whom five were sons and an only daughter. One brother Albert and the only sister, Mrs. J. C. Doyen preceded him to the land beyond. The surviving brothers are Henry, Christ and George.

--The Grundy Democrat (Grundy Center, Iowa), 3 April 1913, pg 1


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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