VanEk, Andrew, 1863-1946
VANEK, NIEWENHOF, NIEUWENHOF
Posted By: Lydia Lucas, volunteer (email)
Date: 9/7/2012 at 07:51:25
The Van Ek Family
Mr. Andrew Van Ek was born in Friesland on December 19, 1863. At the age of 18 he decided to go to South America or Africa but was not allowed to do so. Instead he went to the United States. He arrived in the States with no knowledge of the English language and spent 2-1/2 years in Michigan where he worked on the farm and went to school part time. In the spring of 1885 Mr. Van Ek went to Orange City, Iowa. This town was chosen because he had studied about it in school while still in Holland. Orange City was a great disappointment because of its very small size.
In 1887 Mr. Van Ek married Miss Marie Niewenhof [i.e., Nieuwenhof]. They had a family of six children, two now deceased and four living. Those living are Mrs. J. W. Van Steenwyk of Sioux Center, Miss Gertrude Van Ek of Denver, Clarence Van Ek of Mound, Minn., and Dr. Jacob Van Ek of Boulder, Colo.
Mr. Van Ek worked as a carpenter with his father-in-law. They worked on the Orange City Public school building and the first Academy building. In 1889 Mr. Van Ek became a United States citizen. The same year, in partnership with R. De Young, he established the first Middleburg store. Five years later the Van Ek's moved to Sioux Center where Mr. Van Ek, a baker by trade, established the first bakery and lunch room in town. Later it was enlarged and included a soda fountain, ice cream parlor and grocery store. Mr. Van Ek built two other buildings now occupied by Van Allen and In't Veld's hardware and the Verrips market. In 1917 Mr. Van Ek retired. He traveled a great deal and returned to Holland five times. In 1928 he left Sioux Center and now lives in the Holland home in Sheldon. Mrs. Van Ek passed away in the year of 1931.
Source: Sioux Center News, July 31, 1941.
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An obituary of Andrew Van Ek is posted on the Obits section of the Sioux County Genweb site.
His entry in the Sioux County Cemetery Index gives his wife's name as Catharina.
Sioux Biographies maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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