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G.K. Ten Eyck


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/5/2001 at 18:58:37

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
G. K. Ten Eyck, one of the honored pioneers and a self made man of Van Buren County residing on Section 36, Chequest Township, has for forty-five years made his home in this community. He has been a witness of the greater part of the growth and progress of the county and has been identified with its growth and development.
On the paternal side Mr. Ten Eyck traces his ancestry back to Holland. His grandparents, the founders of the family in America, left their native land and settled in this country prior to the Revolutionary War. On the maternal side he is of Irish descent. The parents of his mother, during the Irish Revolution, fled to this country and located in Schoharie County New York in early Colonial days. They spent the remainder of their lives in the Empire State and the husband served in the French and Indian War.
Christopher Ten Eyck, the father of our subject, was a native of Albany County, New York, and throughout his entire life followed farming in that State. He married Polly Kennedy, also a native of Albany County, whose death occurred in 1826. He died some twenty-four years later in 1850. Of their four children, three are yet living: Thomas, a resident of Rensselaer County New York; G.K. of this sketch; and Mrs. Ellen Morris of Frankfort Indiana.
The boyhood days of our subject were spent in the vicinity of Albany New York. Not content with the limited education which he had acquired in the district schools, while learning the trade of a carpenter and joiner he attended night school in that city, thereby adding not a little to his store of knowledge. The studious and enterprising habits of those years have characterized his entire life, and he yet keeps himself informed, on matters of general interest. His term of apprenticeship to his chosen trade having expired, he followed that pursuit in Albany and vicinity for several years, but at length he came to the west to try his fortune upon its broad prairies. In 1846 he purchased two hundred acres of raw land and began the development of a farm. He was then a single man, but after having made some preparations for a home in 1847, he returned to his native state, where was awaiting him a lady who had promised him her hand in marriage. The wedding of Mr. Ten Eyck and Miss Christina M. Bink was then celebrated and with his bride he returned to Iowa. Her parents, Philip and Mary Harrington Bink, were natives of New York and of German descent. Of this marriage three children were born; all of which are deceased.
The young couple began their domestic life upon a farm in Chequest Township, which at one time comprised three hundred acres, but it now embraces one hundred and forty acres of highly cultivated land, he having disposed of the remaining portion. In 1849 he went to St. Louis, where he spent one year working at his trade, but with that exception he has continuously made his home in Van Buren County since 1846. He has carried on agricultural pursuits and also done considerable carpentering, by which means he has acquired a good property, which now places him in comfortable circumstances.
Mr. Ten Eyck was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife in 1854, and in 1856 in Van Buren County he wedded Rosannah Elizabeth Sellers, a native of Indiana, and a daughter of Benjamin Sellers. Both her parents died in Indiana. By this union has been born four children, three of whom are deceased; the one living, Oliver E., married Mary Vincent, daughter of S.E. Vincent, and is now engaged in teaching school in this county. Mr. and Mrs. Ten Eyck have a pleasant home situated only a short distance from Lebanon, in fact that town was built upon a part of his farm. They are highly respected throughout the community, and their home is the abode of hospitality. Mr. Ten Eyck is a Democrat in politics and is a member of the School Board. The cause of education finds in him a warm friend, and he has done effective service for her interests. Large hearted and liberal, he is a friend to the poor and needy and his has been the helping hand stretched out to many who, hade it not bee for his timely aid, would doubtless have been involved in bankruptcy. At one time he bid in a farm that was sold at a sheriff’s sale and thus gave the previous owner a chance to redeem his home. His life is made up of such commendable acts as that, and in consequence he has won the lasting regard and respect of those with whom he has been brought in contact.
I am not related, and am only copying this for the information of those who might find this person in their family.


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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