Pike Township Family Stories

Nichols, Iowa Centennial Book 1884-1984, pages 341-345
By Carol Kaalberg

         Gayle Francis Kaalberg and Carol Ann Sieren were married at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic church in Harper, Iowa. They are the parents of Kory Quinn Joseph Kaalberg, Kyle Francis Kaalberg and Katina Marie Kaalberg.
         Carol was born in Harper, Iowa, the daughter of Elmer Sieren and Bernadine Beinhart Sieren. She attended St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Grade and High school in Harper and completed secretarial school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She was employed as an executive secretary. She has resided in the Nichols area since her marriage. She is active in the following organizations: St. Mary’s church in Nichols, St. Mary’s Altar and Rosary Society, DCCW Organization, Apropos Junior Federated club, West Liberty Booster club, Religious Education instructor, CCD St. Mary’s Parish Coordinator.
         Elmer John Sieren is a son of Mike Sieren and Margaret Greiner Sieren. He was born 14 June 1918. He was married 20 August 1940 to Bernadine Mary Beinhart, a daughter of Carl Emil Beinhart and Loretta Clarahan Beinhart. She was born 17 May 1921. They farmed in the Harper, Iowa, area before retiring to the Keota, Iowa, area. They are the parents of five children: Ronald Michael Sieren, Carol Ann Sieren, Sharon Kay Sieren, Daniel Joseph Sieren, and Cindy Sue Sieren.
         Carl Emil Beinhart was born 29 December 1891, son of John Beinhart and Anna Fixmer Beinhart. He died 14 February 1976. He was married 6 April 1920 to Loretta Clarahan, daughter of Joseph Clarahan and Heneritta Besser Clarahan, who was born 22 June 1899. They were parents of eight children. They farmed in the Harper area before retiring.
         Mike Sieren was born 12 April 1885 and died 14 October 1971, son of Joseph Sieren and Anna Heisel Sieren. He married 12 October 1910 Margaret Greiner, who was born 22 July 1889 and died 8 May 1977, daughter of Mike Greiner and Caroline Conrad Greiner. Mike and Margaret Sieren were parents of twelve children. They farmed in the Clear Creek area before retiring to Keota, Iowa.
         Gayle Francis Kaalberg was born in Iowa City, Iowa, the son of Frank Joseph Kaalberg and Marie Milder Kaalberg. He attended Wild Rose school when he was four years old. The next year he went to Nichols Public school. Then the family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where Gayle attended St. Mary’s Boys’ school. He was graduated from Nichols High school and entered St Ambrose college in Davenport, Iowa, where he received a music scholarship. He attended there for two years and then went into military service, returning to take over the family farm operation. While farming, Gayle played trumpet for various dance bands, such as Kenny Hofer, Frank Burr and Johnnie Ketelsen. He owns and farms 1 ½ miles northwest of Nichols, and the family lives on the Kaalberg Home Place five miles northwest of Nichols.
         Gayle became active in the Simmental cattle business. He imported a purebred Simmental bull and heifer from England. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Simmental Association and the Muscatine County Cattlemen’s Association. He is past president of the North Central Simmental Association (which includes an eight state area), Iowa Simmental Association, Muscatine County Cattlemen’s Association and St. Mary’s Parish Council. He is currently on the board of directors at St. Mary’s church in Nichols, Farmers and Merchants Savings bank in Lone Tree and Nichols, Lincoln Mutual Insurance company in Lone Tree, and West Liberty-Nichols Community School district.
         He is a member of the following: Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Simmental Association, American Simmental Association, Muscatine County Cattlemen’s Association, St. Mary’s Church, Nichols Community club, St. Mary’s Parish Council, West liberty Booster club, West Liberty Gourmet club, Muscatine County Farm Bureau and North Central Simmental Association.
         Frank Joseph Kaalberg was born 2 March 1902 and died 21 April 1958. He was married to Marie Milder 18 August 1936. Frank was a son of Bernard Kaalberg and Anne S. Brugman Kaalberg. He was a farmer and lived on the Kaalberg home place, five miles northwest of Nichols.
         Marie Milder was born 22 March 1914, daughter of Stephen Milder and Emma Keoppen Milder. She graduated from Ottumwa Heights college in Ottumwa, Iowa, in 1931, and taught school three years before her marriage. After her husband’s death in 1958, she received her BA degree from The University of Iowa and began teaching second grade at the school in Nichols. Marie taught in the Nichols-West Liberty school system for 24 years.
         Frank and Marie were parents of Ramona Kaalberg and Gayle Kaalberg. Frank Kaalberg was first married to Mary Catherine Bermel in 1923. She died in 1932, leaving him with two small daughters. A son, Joseph Kaalberg, also died in 1932 as an infant. All four of the children were raised by Frank and Marie Kaalberg.
         Dolores Mary Kaalberg married Harold Suchomel, and they live at Mt. Vernon, Iowa. They are parents of Rita Suchomel, now Mrs. David Dudley of Manchester, Iowa; Anne Suchomel, Mrs. James A. Miller of Lakeville, Minnesota; Jane Suchomel, Mrs. John Carlson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Joan Suchomel of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Kurt Suchomel of Mt. Vernon, Iowa; and Mark Suchomel of Chicago, Illinois.
         Rita and Dave Dudley have three children: Clinton Dudley, Russel Dudley and Tara Beth Dudley, all at home.
         Kathleen Ann Kaalberg is married to Alfred Pettigrew, and they live in San Bernardino, California. They are parents of Jon Pettigrew.
         Sister Mary Ramona Kaalberg graduated from Nichols High school and attended Ottumwa Heights college in Ottumwa, Iowa, and Marycrest college in Davenport, Iowa. After two years, she entered the Order of the Humility of Mary. She then completed her education at Peabody college in Nashville, Tennessee, where she received her MA and Ph.D. degrees. She now teaches at Marycrest college in Davenport, Iowa, and is affiliated with Project Renewal in Davenport. She also serves on the Board of the Order of Humility of Mary.
         Stephen George Milder was born 17 March 1882 and died 25 June 1963, a son of Henry Milder and Mary Epping Lindeman Milder. He married Emma Cecilia Koppen 7 February 1908. She was a daughter of Herman Koeppen and Wilhemina Schirke Koeppen, born 17 November 1883 and died 18 April 1955.
         Stephen Milder was born in Johnson county, Iowa, and Emma Koeppen was from Muscatine, Iowa. They rented a farm 2 ¼ miles north of Nichols. Robert Black owned many acres of land near where Stephen was farming. He built a new house for Steve and Emma if Steve would arm his land. This was located two miles north of Nichols, and Steve farmed there for ten years. Later they bought the old Silas Rummells farm 1 ½ miles north of Nichols, and finally the farm northwest of Nichols, where they spent the rest of their lives farming.
         Stephen Milder and Emma Milder were the parents of four children: Lawrence Henry Milder was born 25 December 1909 and died 5 February 1965; Marie Wilhemina Mildler (see above); an infant son, deceased; Lenore Agnes Milder.
         Lenora Milder was born 23 January 1916 and married Albert Pike 14 May 1940. They are parents of four children: Camilla Pike, Rowena Pike, Lorna Pike, and Michael Allen Pike, deceased in infancy.
         Marie Milder Kaalberg states: “When I was 4 ½ years old, I started to school at Siloam school. We could have gone to Poole school, east of our farm, but we had to cross a railroad track, so we received permission to go to Siloam, north a mile and a half. We walked through rain, sleet and snow to get to school. Sometimes our parents came to get us with the horse and buggy. After purchasing the farm in the Nichols school district, we went to school in town. That was quite a change!”
         1894 brought the Bernard Epping family to the area.
         Bernard Epping and Hendrena Epping had three children (Mary Epping, Dora Epping and Theodore Epping) when they came to America. They came in a sailing ship that took six months to make the crossing. When they were near the States, a terrible storm hit them, and the wind and storm blew them back almost to the starting point. It was a very hard voyage. A son was born on shipboard, but he lived only a short time and was buried at sea. They settled in the LeClaire, Iowa, area, where they lived until 1855. That year they bought a home northwest of Davenport, Iowa. They lived there until Hendrena’s death in 1866.
         Bernard Eppping was born in 1813 in Bienen, Holland. Hendrena Epping was born in 1823 in Bienen, Holland. They were parents of eight children: Mary Epping, Dora Epping, Theodore Epping, infant son deceased at sea, John Epping, Henry Epping, William Epping and Andrew Epping.
         Mary Epping, daughter of Bernard Epping and Hendrena Epping, was born 18 October 1848 in Bienen, Holland. She died 25 December 1908. She married George Lindeman in 1868. George died of a stroke as he fell from his horse and fell into some water and was drowned. They were parents of five children: Rickie Lindeman, Mary Lindeman, Frances Lindeman, John Lindeman and Joseph Lindeman.
         Mary Epping Lindeman married, second, Henry Milder in 1882. Henry was born 24 April 1839 in Ghent, Holland, and died 19 July 1926 in Nichols, Iowa.
         Henry Milder was a farmer in Fremont township, Johnson county, Iowa. They lived south of Clair Crawford’s farm, back in a field. A shed and a few trees mark the spot where their buildings stood. They were the parents of five children: Stephen Milder (who married Emma Koeppen), William Milder, Bernard Milder, George Milder and Cecilia Milder.
         Bernard M. “Barney” Kaalberg was born 19 July 1869, died 7 July 1947. He married Anna S. Brugman (1871-1941). Anna, called Suzanna, was the daughter of Engelbert (1824-1892) Brugman and Johanna (1845-1925) Brugman.
         Bernard and Suzanna first lived on the western ridge of the farm which is now the westernmost past of the Marie W. Kaalberg farm in Section 4, Pike township. They purchased the farm presently occupied by the Gayle Kalberg family in Section 31, Wapsie township on 10 March 1903. On 28 February 1918, Barney purchased another 40 acres which joined this farm from the west end.
         Bernard and Suzanna Kaalberg had four children: Henry Kaalberg, William Kaalberg, Frank Kaalberg and Marie Kaalberg. Only Frank and Marie married. Henry T. Kaalberg was born 1898, died 1904. William E. Kaalberg was born 1896, died 1977. Frank J. Kaalberg was born 1902, died 1958. Marie Kaalberg Van Aken was born 1904.
         The first Kaalberg to make his home in the Nichols area was Frank Kaalberg of Gendringen, Province of Gilderland, Holland. He came to this country in the mid 1800s and lived on a farm in Section 17 west Pike township. The only mark of this farm today is a clump of trees by the Elder farm, south of Meachams on Highway 22.
         Frank Kaalberg returned to Holland, married and brought his wife, Anna, here. They remained childless. After Anna’s death, Frank lived in a church-run nursing home in Dubuque until his death.
         On 24 February 1884, Frank Kaalberg assisted three nephews to come to Iowa from Gendringen, Holland. Bernard “Barney” Kaalberg and Arnold Kaalberg settled near Nichols, and their half-brother, John Kaalberg, settled near West Liberty. Another half-brother, Theodore Kaalberg, remained in Gendringen, Holland.
         Barney Kaalberg was 16 years old when he came to the United States. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States on 3 November 1891, at the age of 22 years.

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