The Geerdes Families

The Geerdes family came to Grundy county from Freeport, Ill., in 1865. That is 59 years ago. The family at the time consisted of the father, George Geerdes, his wife and sons, A. G., Jacob, Henry, Hei and John. The father came to Grundy county the year before. He came here through his acquaintance with George Heikens, who was living here at the time. The country looked good enough to the elder Geerdes and he bought an 80-acre piece of land four miles west of where Wellsburg now is. None of the land was broke nor had it a stick of improvements on it. Mr. Geerdes paid $5.00 an acre for it. Three years later he bought another 80 acres adjoining it. A brick house, one of the first of its kind in this section, was built on this place.

The family came from Freeport by train to Cedar Falls and drove from Cedar Falls to their new home. During the first two years Cedar Falls was the closest shipping point and what the family raised to sell had to be hauled there. After that the Illinois Central railroad was extended through Ackley and that was made their trading and shipping point until a year later, when a railroad was built thru Steamboat Rock.

There were seven members of the Geerdes family when they came to Grundy county fifty-nine years ago. Though the head of this family died some forty years ago, there are now 102 of his descendants living, and they are all in this locality. There is probably not another family in Grundy county that has on it so many branches from the family tree.

Below are the names of the sons and daughters from this family, the number of children and grandchildren:
Children G'children
A. G. ----------------- 3 9
Jacob ----------------- 4 20
Henry ----------------- 6 22
Hei ------------------- 2 2
John ------------------ 8 4
Mrs. W. A. Meyer ------ 4 5
Mrs. S. J. Snittjer --- 2 4
-- --
26 66

All of the family except Henry live in Grundy county. Henry and family reside in Steamboat Rock.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 31 January 1924, pg 6