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Pelmulder, Jelle Jans 1817-1900 & Tryntje Heeringa Family


Posted By: Wilma J. Vande Berg - volunteer (email)
Date: 5/5/2022 at 03:40:33

Pelmulder, Jelle Jans Pelmulder 1817-1900 and Tryntje Klazes Heeringa Family

Information for this BIOS for Jelle Jan Pelmulder was taken from many sources that are referenced throughout this narrative. Jelle Jan Pelmulder was a true pioneer settler with all the staunch requirements to have fulfilled his journey from the Netherlands to a strange new land in 1855. There was much written over the years about Pelmulder. The author of this BIOS, Wilma J. Vane Berg of the Greater Sioux County Genealogical Society, has tried in some way to summarize the vast information available from many sources into this account.

Jelle Jans Pelmulder was born 1 March 1817 Opwierda, Leeuwarden, Friesland He was married Trijntje Klazes Heeringa born 1821 born at Holwerd, Friesland They were married 1 May 1841 at Leeuwarden, Friesland. His parents were Jan Jelles Pelmulder and Martje Alberts Van Dijk and her parents were Klaas Tjepkes Heeringa and Trijntje Douwes Wiegersma.

The family of Jan and Trijntje Pelmulder along with their children Finke (Tryntje), Martha, Dina, and Jan, immigrated to America and arrived in New York on June 16, 1855. The complete family of Jelle and Trijntje Pelmulder will be outlined toward the end of this narrative.

Orange City Centennial Book 1870-1970 - Jelle Pelmulder, who had been a schoolmaster at Beernward in Friesland, had emigrated to Iowa in 1856 and had acquired a farm eight miles north of Pella. In 1867 he began to discuss the necessity of starting a new settlement. Interest was aroused and meetings followed, after he corresponded with land offices and secured encouraging information. Pelmulder got his old friend Sjoerd Sipma interested, and Hendrik Jan Van De Waa, a Civil War Veteran who had been in Pella since 1847, also became very enthusiastic about a new settlement. He was tired of high prices and soaring rents. After corresponding with a land agent in Storm Lake, he was informed that Homesteads were still available in Northwest Iowa.

The Pella committee was comprised of Sjoerd Aukes Sipma, Jelle Pelmulder, Huibertus Muilenburg and Hendrik Jan Van De Waa. Van De Waa offered his wagon that was converted into a prairie schooner and his team. The team was traded off for a young span of mules that were a handful to manage for the land seekers. The four men had various problems along the way, and decided to explore land further to the north in northwest Iowa than originally intended. They obtained maps, and surveying equipment at Sioux City to seek land in Sioux County where government land was still available.

The page following X1 in the Story of Sioux County Book has a picture taken of the four men with the wagon and the mules used in the first expedition to Sioux County, that was taken in 1895
When the four men saw the land before them, they agreed with one accord that they needed to go no farther. They returned to Pella and the four men were leaders of wagon trains the followed to the new colony at Orange City. The pages 5 -11 related the adventures of the move from Pella and the hardships and experiences of the early Sioux County pioneers. Diseases would sweep through the settlements, Mrs. Jelle Pelmulder died in 1882 of smallpox.

The ‘Story of Sioux County’ by Charles Dyke 1942 has an excellent account of the starting of the colony at Orange City. Colorful accounts were given in the first chapters of life in the early years of settlement which were experienced by others including the Pelmulder family.
Page 41 describes living in dugouts.. ‘Life in the dugouts, sod houses, and shanties varied with the nature of the occupants. Some dugouts would be fixed up and decorated with paper and pictures and hangings and a clock on a shelf would be ticking away the time of day…. For instance, the Martin Van Der Velde and Jelle Pelmulder dugouts in northern Holland township looked livable for there were pictures, books and music, while those of others were bare and cheerless.’ In the pages that follow are many references to life in those early years.
Page 46 .. ‘J. Pelmulder and daughter Isabel got lost while coming from Calliope in the night. Mr. Pelmulder was at a loss what to do but his daughter then took hold of the lines and let the mules go where they wanted. After many anxious hours of traveling they ended up at a homestead of Groen north of Orange City.’ The page also relates the experience of Isabel and Dina as having stopped by a settler and partook in pancakes being baked. The lady of the household set the pancake mix on the floor for lack of chairs and the dog began to eat of it, the dog was hit with the ladle and sent off but. the lady used the ladle to stir the batter and the girls felt they had to eat from the pancakes, but survived…
Pages 129-139 describes the famous Calliope Raid January 1872 to steal the county records and safe, in which Pelmulder had a hand in executing. The complete story in the book has a complete description of the raid and is too lengthy for the submitter of this BIOS to transcribe for this narrative.
Page o 135 has an interesting paragraph. ‘ While Henry Hospers, A. J. Betten, Judge Pendleton and Pelmulder did not come with the raiders, but had gone to Calliope the day before, they could not very well stay overnight in the town they had helped despoil, and wrapped in fur coats and furs and blanket they joined the procession, almost frozen when they go home. In order to keep from freezing, most of the raider had a bottle of whiskey with them and it was generously use. It was said the even Henry Hospers, Betten, Pelmulder, Greatrax and Judge Pendleton were somewhat tipsy after the long trip. But desperate situations justified desperate methods’.
Page 139 ‘On September 13, 1872, the Sioux county officials were: ….included Clerk of Courts was J. Pelmulder.’
Page 140. ‘The First Reformed Church of Orange City was the first church organization in the County and it dates from early spring in 1871.’ Among the first deacons was Jelle Pelmulder.
Page 182. Charles Pelmulder son of Jelle wrote a poem which was published in the Sioux County Herald Nov 5, 1874. ‘The Charge of the Grasshopper Brigade’ emphasis on the grasshopper plague of the 1870s.
Pages 504 – 514 has an article titled ‘Sioux County’ that was published in the Sioux County Herald 1875, by Jelle Pelmulder. It relates in historical detail what Sioux County was like and the status of things at the time.

Submitter would encourage the reader to read the entire book ‘The Story of Sioux County’ by Charles Dyke 1942. It gives a very good accounting of not only historical facts but lots of human interest stories of the early times in Sioux county.

Also check out this page on our website www.iagenweb.org/sioux/atlasesmaps.htm then Part III section 2. The 1908 Atlas give an early history of Sioux County which includes a picture of Jelle Pelmulder.

1860 Census of Lake Prairie Marion County IA Jelle Pelmulder age 42 born about 1818 Netherlands, was a farmer, wife Tryntje 38, Children Martje 16, Stoffertje 12, Jan 10, Ybertje 7, Klaas 5 & Aaltje 2.

1870 Census of Sioux County Tsp 94 Range 43, occupation Surveyor, Gelle (Jelle) Pelmulder age 53 born 1817 Holland Wife Tryntje 49, John 21, Eliabeth 19, Charles 14, Ellen 11 and Mary 8.

1880 Census of Orange City, IA Jelle Pelmulder age 63 born Netherlands, Wife Tryntje 59, Aaltje 22 and Mika M. 18.

CHILDREN of Jelle Jan Pelmulder first five were born in the Netherlands.

1. Tynkje Pelmulder born 20 Dec 1841 Leeuwarden, Friesland died 1903 husb: Arie Werkhoven
Alton Democrat of May 11, 1907 Orange City News.
Last Monday morning at ten o'clock occurred the death of Mrs. Workhoven. Deceased was sixty five years of age and bad been suffering the past two years with consumption and heart disease. She was married at Pella Iowa in 1864 (or 1860) to A. Werkhoven who died almost four years ago. She was one of the pioneer settlers of this colony. She is the mother of twelve children ten of whom are living and whose names are: Mrs, Mitchell of Dalton South Dakota, Mrs. Rutherford, Mrs. Munger and Jim Workhoven of Omaha Nebraska, Mrs. Nelson of Greenville Texas, Jelle Workhoven of Rock Valley IA and Arnold, Harry, John and Cornelia who reside at the old home here. All the children with the exception of Mrs. Rutherford came to attend the funeral which was held Thursday afternoon in the First Ref. church conducted by Rev. Stapelkamp and Rev. Winters. (See the obit of her husband Arie Werkhoven 1903. She was born Trijntje Pelmulder 20 Dec 1841 to Jelle Jans Pelmulder and Tryntje Klazes Heeringa, married in Marion Co. Jan 27, 1860. Arie Werkhoven died Sep 8, 1903.

2. Martje ‘Martha’ Pelmulder born 19 April 1844 Bornwird, Leeuwarden, Friesland death record lists her as born abt 1844 died 29 Nov 1925 Des Moines IA daughter of Jelle Pelmulder and Tryntje ‘Kate’ Herringa, Her husband was John Thomassen born 11 Oct 1838 Arnhem Gelderland Netherlands, and he died 4 Jan 1908 Pella IA. The children listed on Ancestry.com (bu others) were: Gertruida Gerridian Thomassen 1864-1942; Dena !865-1880; Johnnie 1867-1867; Katie Catherine 1871-1885; Martin Jelle 1873-1951; Anna Marie 1875-1950; Jennitta 1878-1885; Williamina Jospehine 1879-1941; John Hoeven 1880-1883, and Charles Hendriks 1885-1942. (This Jan ‘John’ Thomassen born to Geertruida Vleeming 1812-1848 and John Thomassen 1799-1860 was a brother to the Johannes ‘John’ Thomassen born 1851 who married Isabella Pelmulder.)

3. Jeltje Pelmulder born 05 Dec 1845 Bornwird, Leeuwarden Friesland, Died 6 Dec 1845 at Bornwird, Friesland, 1 day old, at Leeuwarden Friesland daughter of Jelles Pelmulder.

4. Stoffertje Berendina Pelmulder was born 16 Feb 1847 at Bornwird, Leeuwarden Friesland
husb: Nicholas VanHorrsen 1852-1931
Van Horssen, Berendina born 1847 died Jul 9, 1918 husb: Nicholas buried in West Lawn Cemetery Orange City IA. DeVolksvriend of Jul 11, 1918 In Dutch
Translated Obituary
Tuesday morning at Bingham Minn., Deceased - Mrs. N. Van Horssen - Pelmulder, 70 years old. The funeral will take place here Thursday n.m., at half past four of the Am. Ref. Church Research note: From an entry on Ancestry.com (by others) Nicholas Van Horssen was born 4 Aug 1852 Vuren Gelderland, Neth. Died Nov 24, 1931 Minneapolis MN son’s home, buried in West Lawn cemetery Orange City IA. His parents were Peter Van Horssen 1823-1892 and Anna Cora DeBie 1825-1858. He married Stoffertje Berendia Pelmulder. She was born Feb 16, 1848 Friesland Neth to Jelle Pelmulder and Trijntje Klazes Herringa. Died Jul 9, 1918 at Bingham MN. Buried Orange City IA. They were the parents of: Anna 1878, Tryntje 1878, Peter 1879, Maria 1881 and Charles 1888.

5. Jan Pelmulder born 20 Jul 1849 at Bornwird, Leeuwarden, Friesland died 18 Dec 1923 Orange CityAccording to a report on Ancestry.com (by other than submitter) Jan ‘John’ Jelle Pelmulder was born 10 Jul 1849 Friesland Netherlands died 18 Dec 1923 Sioux City IA. He married his first wife 11 Mr 1877, his 1st wife was Tryntje ‘Kate’ Pot 1846-1883 and they had one child John Jerold Pelmulder 1880-1973. He married his second wife Kathryn Marie Christensen 1865-1951 on 30 Dec 1883 . Two children are listed born to them Louise Jennite Pelmulder 1904-1945 and Josephine Mae Pelmulder 1907-1950.

6. Ybeltje ‘Isabelle’Pelmulder born 25 Oct 1852 at Bornwird Leeuwarden, Friesland
Source: Alton Democrat (7-28-1939) Born: October 25, 1852 Died: July 22, 1939 Mrs. Isabel Thomassen passed away at the home of Mrs. Cora Vander Sluls at the age of 80 years and nine months. She was born in the Netherlands in 1852 and came to Sioux County with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jelles Pelmulder. They were among the first group of Pella settlers to move into this county. In 1870 she was married to Mr. John Thomassen of Pella and six children were born to them. Three of the children survive their mother, namely: Gertrude, Mrs. N.A. Severson of Altadena, California, John Thomassen of McKee Port, Pennsylvania and Joe Thomassen of Los Angeles, 18 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren are all living. She has one brother, Charles Pelmulder of Nebraska. Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon first from the Van Etten Funeral Parlors and then the First Reformed Church with Reverend Hubert Muilenburg in charge. Interment took place at the local cemetery. (according to the 1860 census of Marion County Iowa this Johannes ‘John’ Thomassen was born about 1851 in IA to Geertuida Thomassen widow, age 49. That would confirm both John Thomassens married to the two Pelmulder sisters were brothers.)

7. Klaas ‘Charles’ Pelmulder 1856-1942
According to a report on ancestry.com (done by other than submitter) Klaas ‘Charles’ Pelmulder was born 13 Sep 1856 Pella Marion IA died 14 Apr 1942 Lincoln Johnson Nebraska. His wife was ‘Ella’ ‘Ellen’ Aaltje Ollenbeck 1856-1910. Their children were: Jelle Jay 1878-1962, Adrianna Anna 1880-1958, Henry Lee 1882-1969, Kate 1885-1976, Mary May 1880-1972, Sarah 1891-1899, Dickie 1899-1900, and Dorothy Irene 1901-1986. Later he married Bertha Van Steenwyk 1868-1944.

8. Aaltje ‘Ellie’ Pelmulder born 1858 - 1880
From a family report on Ancestry.com (by others than submitter) Aaljte ‘Ellen’ Pelmulder was born 9 Jul 1858 Marion County IA died 5 Aug 1932 Anoka County MN. She married in Sioux County IA Dec 20, 1881 to John Wilhelm Schultz born 19 Jul 1858 Wayne County IL died 24 mar 1929 Hennepin County MN They had children listed as Deane S. 1885-1964, Jelle 1887, Robert 1887, Marion Lenard 1894-1972, George Washington 1896-1968 and Luella Kathryn 1899.

9. Mika ‘Mary’ Pelmulder 1863-1917 Pelmulder , Mary born 16 Sep 1863 died 26 Oct 1917 daughter of Jelle and Tryntje Pelmulder buried in West Lawn cemetery Orange City Iowa. Find A Grave lists Mary Pelmulder born 16 Sep 1863 Pella Iowa, died 26 Oct 1817 Orange City IA, parents were Jelle Jans Pelmulder and wife Tryntje Heering. De Volksvriend paper of Nov 1, 1917 under Sheldon news.
Attemped translation:
Friday night came the announcement that Miss Mary Pelmulder who lived with her brother in law and sister J. W. Schultz. Her illness was lung fever, but her death came unexpectedly. In the few years she had walked in our midst she showed sincere and Christianity in her work. Her remains were buried at Orange City after the funeral service was held here under the direction of Rev. Van der Naald, assisted by Dr. Bushnell of the M. E. Church.
See the obit of her father Jelle Pelmulder 1817-1900 and that of her mother Tryntje Mrs. Jelle Pelmulder 1821-1882, for more family information.

Source: Sioux County Herald (6-15-1882) Born: March 18, 1821 Died: June 1, 1882 The deceased was born at Holwerd, province of Friesland, Netherlands, March 18th, 1821, and was married to Jelle Pelmulder, May 8th, 1841. Tryntje Pelmulder, with her husband and family, emigrated to America 1855, and settled in Marion County, Iowa and remained there until 1870, when they came to Sioux County being one of the first families to come to the colony and located on a farm four miles north of town; some seven years ago the family moved to Orange City, where they have since resided.
Mrs. Pelmulder was the mother of eight children, six daughters and two sons, all of whom are living and all married except Mary, the youngest, who is at home. The children are - Trientje, Martha, Jeltje, Stoffertje, Jan, Isabella, Charles, Allie, and Mary.
Mrs. Pelmulder was a member of the Reformed Church, and showed by her consistent daily life that she was indeed a Christian. Her virtues were of a character to endear her to all with whom she came in contact. She was an affectionate wife, a kind and loving mother, a good neighbor, a friend to the poor; always ready to help those who needed help. Such a woman as her children may be proud to call by the endearing name of mother. The husband and children have the sympathy of the entire community.
A translated obituary of Mrs. Pelmulder on 6-9-1882. Mrs. Pelmulder has died. This news raised general sympathy. She was a woman who came in everywhere where they suffered, with words and actions to comfort.And yet, she herself was not to be allowed to get comfort in the last days, no nursing, no receiving a kind word, than only of her sick husband and her youngest daughter, Mary. She wasn't even allowed to see her well-beloved children to pronounce a last farewell. That's hard! That causes sadness. That raises sympathy to the relatives.
The Index reports the next message of this case of death, which we would like to report with honor: “The deceased was born March 18, 1821 in Holwerd, County Friesland. On May 8, 1841, she was married to Jelle Pelmulder and emigrated in June 1855 with her husband and family to America, and settled in Marion County, where they stayed till 1870 when they came over to Sioux County, part of the first families who settled there in the Dutch settlement and started to live on a farm four miles North of this town. About seven years ago they moved to Orange City, where they stayed till now". "Mrs Pelmulder was mother of eight children, six daughters and two sons, all still living and married, except Mary, the youngest, who stayed at home". "Mrs. Pelmulder was a member of the Christian Reformed Church and proved by her steady daily life that she was indeed a Christian. By her actions she stole the hearts of all who met her. She was a dedicated spouse, a friendly and beloved mother, a good neighbor, a friend of the poor, everywhere ready to help those who need help, a woman, of whom her children are proud of calling her with the honorable name of Mother". The husband and children share in the sympathy of the whole community.

A translated obituary from "De Volksvriend" of 1 November 1900
Last Thursday afternoon, we were together at the funeral of the mortal remains of one of the leaders (foremen) of our Dutch settlement here, the old father Pelmulder. Rev. Dr. Steffens lead the divine service in the Dutch language and Rev. Kolyn gave an address in English for the Americans. The personnel of the Court-house formed part of the many who wanted to pay their last honors to the deceased. Old and full of years could rightly be told of him, while, since the death of his aged spouse in 1882, he was only waiting for old man death; patiently waiting at the time. He believed that he would be permanently united again with her. Full of years and honor can also be said rightly of him, while since his youth he was always an honest, sincere man. His word was always trustworthy and his promise always kept.
Educated in Holland for teaching, and after working for some years there in this profession, he decided to go to America for improvement of his faith. This was before the Civil War, and while he was totally against slavery he become immediately a pronounced member of the Republican Party. Often we heard him say that he was an abolitionist from his birth and therefore Republican. During the rest of his life he remained, therefore, loyal to this party. His first residence in America was in Pella, Iowa.
When they spoke there about settling a new colony he was one of the first, even the very first, to pay attention to the North-West of Iowa and was, with his family, one of the first who settled there.
Almost at once he was appointed as clerk of the Court or, like the Dutchmen would say, "griffier of the rechtbank". In those days the old Judge Olivier, the father of the recent judge, was one of the judges, when Mr. Pelmulder raised his objections to this appointment - that he was totally unfamiliar to these matters - he promised him to educate him well, as he did.
From time to time the old Mr. Pelmulder was reelected to the same job. From year to year he was higher and better valued and respected, not only by the Dutchmen, but even more by the Americans, not only by those of Sioux County, but also by those of LeMars, Sheldon and Sioux City, who called him "Uncle Jelle" . And we know for a fact that there are many in all those places who condoled with his children and grandchildren in their loss.
Seventeen years and 8 months Mr. Pelmulder remained clerk. When appointed the first time he lived on his farm, three miles North of the town. And when the County seat was in Calliope, he walked twice a week those 25 miles, always with his pipe in his mouth. When someone took the County books with force from Calliope to Orange City he was also there and by his advice he succeeded to avoid extravagances.
After serving as clerk for some years he was examined by Judge Ford, and called as lawyer to the bar.
Since 1876 he lived peacefully in our town and enjoyed his deserved repose. His greatest pleasures he found in his books and flowers.
Since the death of his wife, his youngest daughter (*Mary) was always with him, and took care of him till the day of his death, with the highest tenderness and loyalty.
The deceased lived a life of loyalty and sincerity, values which in those days have rarely been found in this size, a life worthy to be described better than we can do here.
May it be the highest example to imitate.

For a picture of Jelle Pelmulder.

Below is a picture of the four original ‘Land Seekers’ with the mule led prairie schooner that was photoed in 1895. Left to right Van Der Waa, Sipma, Pelmulder, and Muilenburg.


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