Sioux County, Iowa


Dirk "Tom" Doornink and wife Jane (Eppink)


D. A. Doornink was born 1867 in Aalton, Gelderland, Holland. He was the child of D. W. and Grietje Grotenhuis Doornink. He was the oldest of 2 living brothers. The family - and the children which includes Ed, John and Dirk Anthony emigrated to America in 1872. They settled in an area 2 mi. west of Sioux Center where their first home was a dug-out in the ground with hay and sticks for a roof. They lived here for a few years until gophers and worms forced them to find something better. They then built a sod hut with a roof that was made of sticks with prairie grass woven through them to keep the water out. For their fuel they had to chop trees either at the West Branch or the Rock River. In 1880 they homesteaded this land as a timber claim on which a certain number of acres had to be planted in trees.

Dirk Anthony was also known as Toon. He married his cousin Jane Eppink born 1879 who was the daughter of Wessel John Eppink and Sandrena Hendrika Grotenhuis, known as Drika. They moved to the homestead on which a house and other buildings had been built. There were three children born to this family that died in infancy. The living children were Dick, John, Gerrit and Johanna. John passed away in 1922 of spinal meningitis. In 1927 they moved to a farm 1 mile west and three fourths mile south of Sioux Center. At this time Gerrit and Clara Vander Zwaag moved on the original farm. There were 2 children born in this family - Darlene (Mrs. Gerald Van Roekel) and Kenneth. In 1938 a new house was built by Gerrit and his brother Dick. Case De Vos was the mason at that time. In 1940 Toon and Jane built a home in the south part of Sioux Center. Toon preceded Jane in death in 1949. Jane continued to live in the same place until 1962 when she died.

Gerrit and Clara lived on the home place until they moved to Sioux Center in 1960. Their son Kenneth and his wife Jenean Kosters are living on the home place today. Darlene and her husband Gerald Van Roekel are living on a farm located 1 ½ north of Carmel which was also purchased by her grandfather D.A. Doornink.

by Mrs. Darlene Van Roekel

Source: Sioux Center Iowa 1991 Centennial Book--Family Contributor, Mary Haverhals


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