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Borgman, Menne 'Jim' 1860-1945 & Berendina Wesselink Family


Posted By: Wilma J. Vande Berg - volunteer (email)
Date: 9/3/2021 at 15:16:27

Borgman, Menne ‘Jim’ 1860 & Berendina Wesselink Family

This story was taken from the Sioux Center Centennial book of 1991 page 254 & 255, and was submitted to the book by Bernice D. Borgman. It was transcribed for this BIOS by Beth De Leeuw and some research notes were added by Wilma J. Vande Berg.

May 22, 1884 Menne Borgman and Berendina Wesselink, both of Sioux Center, were united in marriage. The wedding celebration went on far into the night as heavy rains prevented the guests from going home.

Menne, known from the time he started school as Jim, was born July 15, 1860, in Muscatine, Iowa. When he was three, the family moved to Chicago where they lived until Jim was 21. Jim’s father, Roelof, was a truck farmer outside the city. He and his brother John, at age 14 and 16, had come to America as orphan immigrants in 1849 from the Netherlands, from the Province of Groningen.

Young Jim learned to know Chicago well as he often marketed the farm’s produce there. He remembered the great Chicago fire, as from their farm home they could see the light of the burning city.

In 1881 the Roelof Borgman family came by train to Hull, Iowa as there was no railroad into Sioux Center at that time. The family purchased a 160-acre farm for $75 an acre ¾ miles west of what was later known as the “Old Town Corner.” This farm eventually became the home of the Jim Borgman family, the birthplace of most of the 14 children.

Dena Wesselink was born August 6, 1866 in Aalten, Netherlands in the Province of Gelderland. She was the oldest daughter of Dirk Hendrick Wesselink and Johanna Gezina Lubbers Wesselink. Her family, three children, immigrated to America in 1868. The family came with a company of other members of family and friends, all of whom settled in Greenleafton, Fillmore County, Minn.

After four years several of the families, including the Wesselink’s moved by covered wagon to the prairies of Northwest Iowa. Scouts from the party had previously marked the trail across the vast prairie by putting up at intervals, rough poles topped with huge bunches of prairie grass. They came to Sioux County to the site of what was to become Sioux Center. No settlement existed there then. The nearest town for supplies was LeMars.

Their first home was a sod hut. One cold December night in the second year, the roof of dry prairie grass caught fire and the home was destroyed. They lived in a kindly neighbor’s “summer kitchen” until spring when they built a small frame house.

Tragedy struck the Wesselink family in 1874 when the father and a neighbor were drowned in the Rock River while getting the families’ supply of wood. The only source of wood for fuel was from trees along the rivers. This left a widowed pioneer mother with six children, ranging in ages from 12 years to six months.

Mother Wesselink later married H.J. Wissink, a widower from Greenleafton, Minn. where the Wesselink family had lived before coming to Iowa. Mr. Wissink had four children. Two more sons were born to this union, making a total of 12 children. At an early age the children contributed to the work of the pioneer home and the family successfully homesteaded their land. They endured the devastation of the grasshopper plague, five out of seven years in the 70’s, and many hardships and poverty of pioneer life.

Jim and Dena Borgman established their first home on a small farm, the site of the present Sioux Center Community Hospital. They later exchanged places with the Roelof Borgman family, the farm west of town. Here they farmed until retirement, except for eight years, 1892-1900 when Jim was in the implement business and the livestock business in Sioux Center. In 1902 a large new home was built on the farmland; it is still standing. In 1914 another new home was built on an acreage adjacent to the original farm and that too is still standing.

The Jim Borgman family was a large family, as were most farm families of that era, but it was an unusual family in that there were 13 daughters and only one son, the youngest of the family.

The children were as follows: Rena (Mrs. P.E. Vermeer), Dora (Mrs. G. De Bey), Johanna (Mrs. G. Feekes), Mary (Mrs. H.E. Ten Napel), Alida (Mrs. E.E. Vermeer), Cynthia, Ruth (Mrs. Ruth R. DeBoer), Myna (Mrs. J.A. Poppen), Henrietta (Mrs. G. De Boer), Grayce, Elizabeth, Bernice, Esther (Mrs. J.A. Van Wyk) and Melvin.

Several lived on farms in the Sioux Center Community. Cynthia was a missionary to China, 1923-25; Grayce was a nurse in the Indian Service; Elizabeth was a home economist with the Maytag Company out of Cincinnati, Ohio; Bernice was a professor in colleges and Universities in Iowa, Maine, Texas and Michigan; Esther lived in California and Melvin in Sioux Center, California and Arizona. The only living members of the family, as of 1989, are Myna Poppen, Sioux Center, Elizabeth and Bernice, Bellingham, WA, and Melvin, Sioux Center and Arizona.

The Borgmans had 52 grandchildren of whom 41 are still living. Twenty-five live in Northwest Iowa and 16 live in nine other states.

Submitted to the book by Bernice D. Borgman

RESEARCH NOTES - added by Wilma J. Vande Berg

BIRTH of Menne Borgman July 15, 1860 at Muscatine Iowa. He was born to Roelof Borgman 1830-1907 and Reina Zuidema 1821-1892. The actual record was not found by this researcher, this info came from a family report on ancestry.com

OBITUARY of Menno/Menne Borgman 1860-1945
Mr. Menno Borgman passed away at his home at about 9:30 o'clock Saturday evening, Dec. 8, 1945, after a lingering illness due to old age and complications. He had reached the age of 85 years and four months.
Left to mourn his departure are his children: Rena, Mrs. P. E. Vermeer, of Sioux Center; Dora, Mrs. G. De Bey, of Holland, MI; Johanna, Mrs. Gerrit Feekes, of Carmel; Mary, Mrs. Herman Ten Naple, of Ireton; Alyda, Mrs. E. E. Vermeer, of Sioux Center, Ruth, Mrs. Roy De Boer, of LeMars, Mina, Mrs. Wm. Vander Ploeg, of Sioux Center, Henrietta, Mrs. George De Boer, of Sioux Center, Grace, R.N., at Winnebago, NE; Elizabeth of Des Moines; Bernice, East Lansing, MI; Esther, Mrs. John Van Wyk, of Chico, CA, and Melvin of Sioux Center.
There are also 47 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren. Six of his grandsons have been in the service, James Vermeer, Bernard Vermeer, Marvin De Boer, Louis Ten Naple, Lloyd Vermeer and David Vermeer who lost his life while overseas.
Mr. Borgman was born at Muscatine, Iowa on July 15, 1860. As a young child of three years old he went with his parents to make their home at Chicago, IL, where they lived until he was 21 years of age. At that time they came to Sioux County arriving in Hull by train, as there were no railways in Sioux Center at that time. The family settled on the farm one-half mile west of town
where the Jake Mol family now live. On May 22, 1884, he was united in marriage to Miss Berindena Wesselink and the young couple made their home on the farm two miles west of town where the John Davelaar family now live. Mr. Borgman was engaged in farming until they retired and moved into town nearly 15 years ago, with the exception of a short time in which he was in the implement business.
He was preceded in death by his wife who passed away on Dec. 14, 1942 after they had enjoyed 58 years of married life together. Also preceding him in death was a daughter Cynthia who passed away in the year of 1926 while serving as Missionary in China. He was the only survivor of the Borgman family.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday afternoon, Dec. 13, 1945, at one o'clock at the home and at one-thirty o'clock at the First Reformed Church with Rev. L. A. Brunsting officiating. Burial will take place at the local cemetery and acting as pall bearers will be his six grandsons, Harold Vermeer, Bernard Vermeer, Irwin Vermeer, Edwin Ten Naple, Gerald De Boer, Theran De Boer.
His daughters Mrs. Dora De Bey and daughter Margaret of Holland, MI, Bernice, East Lansing, MI, and Betty of Des Moines all arrived here the early part of the week to attend the funeral services.
Sioux Center News, December 13, 1945

BIRTH RECORD of Berendina Wesselink born to Derk Hendik Wesselink age 24 and Johanna Gesina Lubbert on 5 August 1866 Aalten, Gelderland, Netherlands.

OBITUARY of Berendena Mrs. Menno Borgman 1866-1942
Mrs. M. Borgman passed away at her home early Monday morning, Dec. 14, 1942, after a lingering illness due to diabetes. She had reached the age of 76 years.
Surviving are her aged husband, one son and twelve daughters: (Rena) Mrs. P. E. Vermeer, Sioux Center; (Dora) Mrs. Gerrit De Bey, Sioux Center, (Johanna) Mrs. Gerrit Feekes, Carmel; (Mary) Mrs. Herman E. Ten Naple, Ireton; (Lyda) Mrs. E. E. Vermeer, Sioux Center; (Ruth) Mrs. Roy De Boer, LeMars; (Myna) Mrs. Wm. Vander Ploeg, Hospers; (Henrietta) Mrs. George De Boer, Sioux Center; Grace, Selles, AZ; Elizabeth, Creston, IA; Bernice, Lubbuck, TX; (Esther) Mrs. John Van Wyk, Chino, CA; Melvin, Sioux Center, 48 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.
Also one sister, Mrs. J. W. Mieras of Sioux Center; one brother, Mr. D. J. Wesselink of Hull; two half brothers, Dick H. Wissink of Orange City and Jake Wissink of Beaver Creek, MN; one step brother, M. Wissink at the Sheldon Holland Home.
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 at the First Reformed Church with Rev. L. A. Brunsting officiating. Burial will be made at the local cemetery.
Mrs. Borgman, born Dena Wesselink, was born at Alton, Netherlands, on August 6, 1866 and came to America with her parents at the age of three years settling in Minnesota. In 1872 she came to Sioux County and has lived in the Sioux Center vicinity the rest of her days. In May 22, 1884, she was united in marriage to Mr. M. Borgman.
She was preceded in death by one daughter, Cynthia, who died at the age of 30 years as a missionary in China in 1925.
Sioux Center News, December 17, 1942


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