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Balkema, Nicholas family, 45 years at Sioux Center


Posted By: Lydia Lucas - Volunteer (email)
Date: 5/7/2021 at 17:50:30

From the Sioux Center News, March 16, 1939:

Brief Chronicle, by N. Balkema
[the first part of this article is partially blacked out, and some words are unclear]

Editorís Note: The following [illegible] story about the 45th anniversary of the N. Balkema store was written by Mr. Balkema himself. There [are a hundred?] of little things that could [and?] maybe should be added. Balkemaís business and his family are very [closely?] identified with the story of Sioux Center. But the story that follows has a flavor all its own and we are happy to publish it just as it was written.

* * *

Forty-five years ago last Monday, March 13, the family of N. Balkema, then consisting of Pa, Ma, Katherine, Walter and Jeanette were on their way from the famous little village of Newkirk to Sioux Center in a horseless carriage, a farm wagon equipped with a hay rack loaded with furniture hitched behind a span of large and noble Missouri mules driven by John J. Hollander, a farmer then living one and a half miles southwest of Newkirk. The roads were dry and the weather so mild that overcoats were unnecessary. We moved into a house belonging to H. W. Beernink, a part of which is still standing on the same lot, now belonging to the Beernink estate or some of the heirs.

After having the beds and stoves set up and the furniture arranged I took up my duties in the corner store where I still hold forth part of the time during warm weather. The store at that time was conducted by the very congenial individual Joseph Hyink my partner in business, who had the reputation of knowing all the children by their first names. Many of the older residents of Sioux Center will still remember Mr. Hyink as the leader of Psalm singing in the First Reformed Church with the late Rev. Jas. De Pree as pastor.

The personnel of clerks employed in the store at that time were Tone Van Heukelom, father of Bernie Van Heukelom who lives four and one-half miles north of Sioux Center, John G. Itaak now living at Brookings, S.D., and C. J. Meis, deceased. The storeís history from that time until the present is well known by a large number of residents of Sioux Center and surrounding territory.

The children born into the family at Sioux Center are Florence Mabel, Raymond P., Clayton N. and Lucille Clara, increasing the number to four daughters and three sons making the perfect number 7. In due course of time the sons and daughters of the family were united in marriage as follows: Katherine to William Frederick Den Beste, Walter S. to Constance Weinland, Jeanette to William G. Van Roekel, Florence Mabel to Peter B. Mouw, Raymond P. to May De Ruyter, Clayton N. to Lois Ellen Betts, Lucille Clara to Eardley L. Schuetz.

To these unions the following children were born: Alice, Berniece, Gwendolyn Ruth, Esther Clara and Mildred Eleanor Den Beste; Charlotte Lenore and Donald Thomas Balkems; Clara Lucille, Kenneth Wilbur and Ruth Mary Ann Van Roekel; Vernon Peter, Muriel Clarice and Eva Elaine Mouw; Phyllis May, Dorothy Ellen and Mary Margaret Balkema; Keith Vernelle and Sandra Louise Balkema; Terry Lee and Dianne Clare Schuetz.

Of the original family all are living except Jeanette (Mrs. W. G. Van Roekel). All of the in-laws except Alice Bernice Den Beste and Dorothy Ellen Balkema.

This family history would not be complete without adding the name of Kenneth Van Wechel united in marriage with Gwendolyn Ruth Den Beste making a grand total of 36. Four members of the family having passed away there are now 32 in the family circle. Of the 17 living grandchildren 6 are attending institutions of higher learning as follows: Esther Clara Den Beste, St. Olaffs College, Northfield, Minn.; Charlotte Lenore Balkema, Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa; Donald Thomas Balkema, University of Soouthern California; Clara Lucille Van Roekel, I.S.T.C. Cedar Falls, iowa; Vernon Peter Mouw, Central College, Pella, Iowa; Phyllis May Balkema, State University of Iowa, Iowa City.


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