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Mouw, Cornelis and Johanna Margaretha Peters


Posted By: Wilma J. Vande Berg (email)
Date: 9/27/2018 at 07:29:00

The Mouw family came to USA 1869 –Their History To and Fro

History in the Netherlands –
Cornelis Mouw born March 17, 1809 Elspeet Netherlands to Hendrikus Jansen Mouw and Hendrikje Cornelis Brouwer, married Johanna Margaretha Peters on March 14, 1835. He was a farmer. He died November 12, 1869 in Pennsylvania. Johanna Margaretha Peters was born Jan 29, 1813 in Zutphen Gelderland to Peter Peters and Grietje Bilderbeek. They had about 12 children, she died August 21, 1884 in Orange City IA. Family arrived in US July 1869.
Children: List confirmed * by Wilma Vande Berg using www.wiewaswie.nl
*Hendricus born Jan 24, 1836 Elspeet Gelderland died 1871 Iowa
*Grietje born August 3, 1838 died Oct 11, 1838 Ermelo Gelderland
*Peter A. born Dec 11, 1839 Elspeet died 19 Jun 1851 Epe
*Hendrik born Apr 8 , 1842 Putten Gelderland died 1898 came to USA
*Grietje born Apr 27, 1844 Putten Gelderland died Dec 20, 1848 Epe
*Jan born May 11, 1846 Putten Gelderland died 1929 came to USA
*Jannetje born 4 May 1848 Epe, Gelderland died May 17, 1848 Epe,
*Beert ‘Berend’ born Jan 19, 1850 Epe, Gelderland died 1926 came to USA
*Peter Arien born March 17, 1852 Epe Gelderland died 1922 came to USA
*Grietje born Aug 2, 1854 Epe died 1946 came to USA
*Johanna Margaretha born Sep 9, 1856 Epe died 1944 came to USA
*Cornelis born Jan 12, 1860 Epe died March 12, 1860 Epe

Listed in the Sioux County Iowa cemetery index.
Mouw, Johanna Margaretha (Mrs. Cornelis) born Jan 30, 1813 Zutphen Gelderland, Netherlands died 21 Aug 1884 age 71 years 6 months buried in West Lawn Cemetery Orange City IA

Obituary of Johanna Mrs. Cornelis Mouw
The De Volksvriend Aug 27, 1884 (translated from Dutch)
Orange City IA 21 Aug 1884 (her death date)
This evening about 10 o’clock, died at the age of 71 years and more that 6 months, the widow Cs. Mouw, born Peters. The deceased was born in Zutphen Netherlands and lived her youth in Ede Gelderland. After her marriage the couple went to live in Elspeet,Gelderland. The birth place of Mr. Cs. Mouw. Fifteen years ago, the couple moved from the Netherlands and came to America where they settled in Pennsylvania, and where a year later in Archipel where the house father was buried 12 Nov (1869/1870?). More than 13 years ago she arrived in our colony with her children, from whom at present four sons and two daughters survive.
For about six weeks, the deceased became very ill and fell into ill health. In the last days the rumor was that she improved some. Herself, however, she didn’t think she had too many days left. A few weeks ago she said to her son Peter Mouw it was her great consolation, that the Lord such a strayed sheep still has to look up (upon her) and every time she came back to this. This is a great comfort for the children, all with heartfelt love.
She died after a short agony in the arms of her daughter Grietje, the wife of Marinus Rouwenhorst.
We express the family our heartfelt condolences and rejoice that they do not need to stare after their mother, as those who have no hope.

Following is a Transcript of a family story done by Marie Bruins Thomassen entitled

The MOUW FAMILY, 1869 to

Marie (Bruins) Thomassen

Berend Mouw, my maternal Grandfather, was born January 19, 1850 in Epe Gelderland, the fourth child of a family of five boys and two girls. He came to America with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Cornelus Mouw in July 1869.

They were very poor, they had lost all their possessions in the Netherlands. They settled in Pennsylvania for a short time, where the boys worked on the railroad and Great grandfather worked in the coal mines, where he was killed by the lead horse on a loaded coal cart, which reared up on ‘it’s’ hind legs and stumped him to death.

The family then moved to Michigan. They worked in lumber camps, which was rough living. They lived and worked there for a short time and in 1871 came to Sioux County, Iowa, where Great grandmother, Johanna Pieters (Mrs. Cornelus Mouw), settled in Orange City, a wide open frontier town, shortly after the Civil War, where she was the proprietor of an Inn or Tavern and a stable for horses, also a yard, where the settlers could unhitch and tie their teams to the wagon if the stable was full.

I recall my Mother telling that when there were salesmen or guests who spent the night there, she would check the born with horses very late at night before retiring and in times of snow storms had a line leading form the Inn to the barn, so that she might not get lost in the storm, as she once very nearly perished in a blizzard.

In all places of that kind in those days, whiskey, wine and beer were sold. Also coffee and food were served by her daughters. It was not a rough house and although drinks were served, there was no disorder for Great grandmother watched with an eagle eye, she always carried a big stick, and while she was peaceable as long as her guests behaved, she used it when necessary. She wanted everyone to have fun and a good time, but if any became unruly she threw them bodily out of the door.

Corresponding with the time and usages, the use of intoxicants was almost universal. Great grandmother’s Inn had no bar as the other three saloons in town, guests held their drinks in their hand and sat at small tables enjoying their drinks with cookies, in true Dutch fashion. There was much conversation and laughter and everyone felt free and easy. There didn’t seem to be any age limit.

A young fellow inquired of Great grandmother about a friend of his, who had stayed at the Inn, and she replied that he had left, and she did not know where he had gone. When he asked her why he had left, she pretended not to hear, but when he repeated the question, she angrily stumped the floor with her foot and her stick and told him in a loud voice with everyone looking in her direction, that he had body lice and had given them to her hired man. “Then I kicked him out of the house” she said. “I won’t have such swine around here.”

Great grandmother Johanna had a little episode with whiskey and politics. On election days every candidate who stood any show of winning had given orders to the saloon and store keepers to give every voter all the whiskey and beer the wanted to drink and the result was that many of the voters were under the influence of liquor and some were drunk. Almost everyone running for an office had workers at the polls and these workers almost everyone had a big bottle of whiskey on his person and promises to vote for his candidate were sealed with a long draught at the bottle. The same thing was often repeated with the worker for the opposing candidate.

Boys about to cast their first vote were often singled out as victims of the designing political crooks. Under the influence of liquor, a boy would be taken to the poling place, a ticket thrust in his hand, and then marched to the ballot box between two crooked politicians, who saw to it that their ticket was put into the ballot box. While the crooked politicians prided themselves on their crooked operations to win, it disgusted the decent people and laws were soon enacted to change this.

The saloons were made to abide by the regulations or were closed up. Obscene pictures were torn from the walls, pool and card tables were removed and a heavy license fee was enacted. Orange city lost one saloon, which left two saloons and Great grandmother’s tavern. With the tavern the authorities had some problems as that was Great grandmother’s livelihood and she did conduct it in a decent manner. She had much public sympathy, but she too, was required to pay her liquor license fee, but Great grandmother did not heed the summons and carried on her business as she had in the past.

The authorities did not wish to arrest her. Consequently, an elder of the Reformed Church, Mr. Albert Jongewaard was delegated to talk the matter over with Great grandmother. Great grandmother received Elder Jongewaard in a kindly manner and asked him to be seated. She then sat down in her rocking chair facing the Elder, assuming they would have an agreeable theological discussion, for Great grand mother was an avid reader of the Bible and was well versed in holy writ. The Elder after inquiring as to her well being and that of her family and other friendly matters, finally approached the main object of this call, where upon Great grandmother commenced rocking.

The Elder much in earnest and concerned began blinking his eyes and making other uneasy gestures as he extorted the evils resulting from the use of alcoholic beverages, especially among young people. After much expostulation on the subject, Great grandmother stopped rocking, stumped the floor with her foot and stick and said, “Ye Pharisee, scribe and hypocrite, you sit there blinking your eyes and grunt and grown like a sow in heat. Ye hypocrite. Get out of my house or I’ll hit you over the snout with my stick.” The Elder left as quickly as his dignity would allow.

He then reported his experiences with the authorities, who then decided to let the law take its course. An officer was sent to arrest her if she refused to pay the liquor license. Great grandmother felt that since her establishment was run with great discretion there was no need for a liquor license, consequently the officer was prepared to take her to jail. She consented to go on the condition she could take her Bible, dog and feather bed, which was agreed upon. Her desired belongings were loaded on a wagon and taken to jail to which she was committed for thirty days.

Although the officials were in the right, conscience smote the people and the officials, for in spite of her illegal liquor selling, she had her good qualities. She had fed many an honest wayfarer and others who were hungry and in need and had not the money to pay for it. Therefore, when she had been in jail for a week, Jelle Pelmulder, (my husband, John Thomassen’s paternal Great grandfather) the beloved perennial county clerk, whom she as well as everyone else highly respected, was delegated to call on her and get her promise to abide by the law and obtain a liquor license, she then would be permitted to go home.

Great grandfather Pelmulder stepped into the jail, Great grandmother was sitting on her feather bed, with her Bible on her lap and her little dog by her side. When he greeted her, she returned greeting in a friendly manner. When he asked her how she was getting along, she replied that she was studying God’s word while paying her fine. He then told her in his usual friendly but firm manner that while she was in the wrong, the people of Orange City were sorry that she was in jail, and if she promised not to sell liquor without a license she would be returned to her home and family at once. While he was talking she pretended to read her Bible but he noticed tears welling in her eyes which blurred her vision, she took off her glasses to wipe them and while she said nothing, she sighed deeply. He then said to her, “Mrs. Mouw you know that I am your friend, and advise you to give in. The laws have changed and you cannot hope to hold out against the law. Will you promise me that you will quit selling liquor? If you will, then I will call the official and we will go home at once.” In a trembling voice, she replied, “I promise.” Great grandfather Pelmulder then stepped out the door and called the official. Great grandmother with her Bible, dog and feather bed were returned to the Inn where she lived for many years. Her Inn became a veritable mecca for the settlers, who were served a real meal or a cup of delicious coffee with the traditional St. Nicolas or other cookies, for which the Inn was famous.

Great grandmother Johann (Mrs. Cornelus Mouw) died on August 21, 1884 at the age of 71 years and 7 months.

Grandfather Berend Mouw, her son, homesteaded upon their arrival in Sioux County, Iowa in 1871 and broke prairie with a breaking plow and oxen, that same year on the east half of the SE quarter of section six in West Branch Township, which is three miles west of what is now called the old section of Sioux Center. The homesteader then became owner by living on the land, often in a sod house as was the case with Grandfather, cost free.

Five years later on February 4, 1876 at the age of 26 years, Grandfather married Mary Duistermars (for whom I am named). She had come to America with her parents in 1874 at the age of 21 years. Two years later she married Grandfather. License issued Feb 4, 1876, Berend Mouw age 26, Mary Duistermars age 23, recorded in Orange City courthouse by Jelle Pelmulder, Clerk of Circuit Court, Great grandfather of my husband John Thomassen.

Grandmother Mary’s parents came from Terwolde, Gelderland, Netherlands, where Grandmother was born on Nov 11, 1852 and her father was some type of Orchardman or Husbandman. He seemed to know a great deal about grafting trees and etc. as my mother said her father, my grandfather Berend had learned a great deal from him and did have a large orchard when she was a child. I remember he would send us a large barrel of apples in the fall when we lived in Holland Minn.

Grandfather and grandmother settled on the homestead after their marriage in a small shanty. They lived there for sometime, until they built the ‘Grand Old House’ around 1884or 1885, known as the “The Mouw Homestead”. They had twelve children, eight boys and four girls, of which my mother Hendrikie, Hattie, Mouw was the fifth child. One child died in infancy, and was the third to be interred in the Sioux Center cemetery.

As time went on, Grandfather Berend purchased additional land near the homestead until it was a 280 farm. Another half section was purchased a short distance away and they farmed it all for a period of time. He was a breeder of purebred livestock, horses, cattle and hogs. He helped to organize the farmer’s elevator, creamery and lumber yard in Sioux Center.

Grandmother Mouw was a very pious person and I remember my mother, Hattie Mouw Bruins telling me that she and some of her siblings were on their way home from school one day and found beside the road some playing cards where some Gypsies had camped. Grandma Mary, upon seeing them, immediately threw them in the stove, for they were devil cards.

Grandfather Berend, as many Mouws, was found of horses. He had one that showed promise of being a race house. Grandmother Mary was very much opposed to race horses and feared the worst. One day while grandfather Berend was driving the treasured horse into town, grandfather must have lost control and the horse raced into the ditch and broke it’s neck. Grandfather was in utter panic, running home, lost his cap and near hysteria. However, Grandmother Mouw called it an “Act of God”.

Grandfather also liked his schnapps and would come home with having a few too many and would lie down to sleep behind the kitchen stove. Grandmother Mary would tell the children he was not feeling well. However, she was a very good mother and homemaker. During harvest and thrashing, she often baked 24 loaves of bread every day. She was a real pioneer for she spun her own wool and all the wool stockings and mittens were hand knit. My mother told me there was little time for relaxation, as in the evenings they were expected to knit. Grandmother continued to spin her own wool and, did knit stocking and mittens for her grandchildren and great grandchildren of which there were 67 and 43 at the time of her death.

In 1910 Grandfather and Grandmother moved to the town of Sioux Center. They bought and lived in a two story older home just off Highway 75 for the first years of their retirement. A short distance away, in 1917, they built a large two story home on Highway 75. This was a very fine home with an open stairway and finished in the finest oak wood. About this same time Uncle Christian Van Roekel died in August of 1917, his wife who with her two small children, Christine, 7 years and Byron 4 years, lived with them until their marriage. Aunt Jo cared for Grandfather and Grandmother in their declining years until their death, Grandfather at the age of 76 years, on February 8, 1926 of a massive stroke. Grandmother at the age of 85 years, on September 23, 1937. She had Erysipalas and was ill for sometime. Both succumbed in their home on Highway 75, and are buried in the Sioux Center cemetery.


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