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Jansen, Egbertus J.--Century Farm 1881-1982


Posted By: Lydia Lucas - Volunteer (email)
Date: 1/8/2017 at 18:17:03

From Alton ... A Crossroads (1983), p. 100:

Jansen Family Farm

Egbertus J. Jansen married Johanna Ter Maart in the Netherlands and they immigrated along with a 16-month-old daughter to the United States in 1872. Egbertus was a carpenter and he left Holland because of the lack of work in this field. Upon arrival in the U.S. they settled in the Chicago area hoping to find work there rebuilding after the Chicago fire.

In the early 1880's they were drawn to Iowa and the Dutch settlement around Orange City. In 1881 and 1882 E. J. Jansen purchased two parcels of land in Nassau Township. One 80-acre piece was purchased from William Braskamp for $6 dollars an acre. A second 40-acre piece was bought from Henry A. Barling for $8 per acre. E. J. Jansen continued his work as a carpenter after coming to Alton. Part of the house that stands on the farm today is the original house that was built by Egbertus in the early 1880's. Early newspaper articles also refer many times to homes and other buildings being built by E. J. Jansen.

Henry William, seventh child of E. J. Jansen, was the next Jansen to farm the land. Born in Alton in 1886, Henry, better known as "Shorty" for his six foot plus height, worked at the local meat market and also drove a lumber wagon for Riedeman Brothers. He married Anna Stronks in 1911 and they moved to a farm by Carnes. In 1916 they moved to the Jansen "home place" and lived there until 1949 when they moved to town. In 1948 their youngest son, James H., married Elizabeth Byker and they began farming the land. Jim lives on the farm today and his son, Greg, farms the land.


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