Sioux County, Iowa



Geurt A. "Gerrit" Van Roekel and Hattie
(Vande Berg).

Geurt A. "Gerrit" Van Roekel was born September 8, 1882 in Sioux County. His parents were Abraham Van Roekel and Nancy Vander Kroll. Gerrit Van Roekel married Driesje "Hattie" Vande Berg on March 4, 1902 in Sioux Center. Hattie Vande Berg was born July 11, 1883 and she was the daughter of John Vande Berg and Wilhelmina Kastein who were noted pioneers of Welcome township. (See the separate story of John and Wilhelmina Vande Berg.) Hattie was the sixth child of nine children.

Gerrit A. Van Roekel and Hattie (Vande Berg) Van Roekel farmed one and a quarter mile north and one mile east of Sioux Center in Welcome township. They first lived in a one room house that was across from the creek from where they built a new house. The new house was partially built from some cottonwood trees that ware on that site. The lumber was cut down and sawed right on the spot. The Van Roekel children went to the country school which was Welcome #8 and it stood one fourth mile south of the Van Roekel driveway. High school was attended in Sioux Center and was reached by a horse and buggy. The children carried their tin innovative lunch pails which sometimes in the winter yielded a half frozen lunch.

Geurt A. "Gerrit" Van Roekel Family. Front row L-R: Johanna (Mrs. John Klein), Mina (Mrs. Neal
Kroon), Hattie (Mrs. Gerrit Van Roekel), Jeanette (Mrs. Ben Kraayenbrink), and Jean (Mrs. Jack
Mieras). Back row L-R: John G.A. Van Roekel, Gerrit Van Roekel, Abe Van Roekel, and Alice (Mrs.
Art De Goei).

The winter of 1936 was memorable for the Van Roekel family, the snow banks ware so high that the vehicles could not be gotten out for a month. The family walked to church, and one trip to town with the horses took six hours. A few other special occasions for the Van Roekels was the birthday affair for Grandmother Van Roekel for which a big tent was rented and lots of home made goodies prepared. About 150 people would attend the big birthday get together. A mission feast held in the grove of the Gerrit Vande Stouwe farm just west of Hull was also a highlight.
Gerrit A. and Hattie Van Roekel were the parents of eight children and their families are listed as follows:

Wilhelmina "Mina" Van Roekel was born March 18, 1904 Sioux Center and she married Cornelius "Neal" Kroon who was born April 13, 1905. Neal had a garage in Rock Rapids, IA and also was the Lyon County Sheriff. Neal and Mina Kroon lived in Rock Rapids and were the parents of one daughter, Ruth (Mrs. Milton Hocking).

Abraham "Abe" Van Roekel was born January 28, 1906 Sioux Center and he married Martha Van Wyk who was born May 22, 1913. They are farmers and lived near Beaver Creek, MN. Abe and Martha Van Roekel ware the parents of four children: Viola M. (Mrs. Marcus Uithoven), Robert E. Van Roekel, Donald L. Van Roekel, and Roger A. Van Roekel.

Jeanette Van Roekel was born July 12,1909 Sioux Center and she married Ben Kraayenbrink who was born October 20, 1911. They were farmers living near Sioux Center and have retired in Sioux Center. Jeanette and Ben Kraayenbrink are the parents of seven children: Harry Kraayenbrink, Darlene (Mrs. Peter Moss), Alvin Kraayenbrink, Dick Kraayenbrink, Bernice (Mrs. John Vander Stouwe), Joyce A. (Mrs. Allen Brown), and Linda (Mrs. James J. Lyons).

Welcome School #9, approximately 1915. Top row from left: Martin Brommer, George Kuhl, John
Vande Berg, Jessie Zoerink, teacher, Gerdena Vande Berg, Cora and Coba VanBeek (twins).
Third row: Elmer Straatsma, Hattie Kuhl, Wilmina Van Roekel, Jennie Van Beek, Della Kuhl,
Christina Weyers, John Weyers, Pete Pollema. Second row: Simon Pollema, unidentified, Annie
Pollema, Jeanette Van Roekel, Reka Kuhl Pollema, Teddy Schenk. Front row: Siebolt Pollema,
Freddie Kuhl, Henry R. Vander Berg, John Straatsma, Johnny Kuhl, Abe Van Roekel. (photo of
Alice Dooyema)

Alice Van Roekel was born March 8, 1911 Sioux Center, she was a twin, and she married Art De Goei who was born July 5, l906. They were farmers and were in construction and lived in Orange City, IA. Alice and Art De Goei were the parents of four children: Gilbert De Goei, Delores (Mrs. Robert Van Driel), Alyce (Mrs. Donald Vander Stoep) and Arthur D. De Goei.

Johanna Van Roekel was born March 8, 1911 Sioux Center, she was a twin of Alice above, and she married John Klein who was born September 1, 1911. They were restaurant and grocery store operators and lived various places including Sioux Center, Hospers, and Sheldon. Johanna and John Klein were the parents of three daughters: Betty (Mrs. Lee Hodo), Shirley (Mrs. Dick Goodman), and Vicki (Mrs. Don Meuer).

Jean Van Roekel was born March 6, 1915 Sioux Center and she married Jack Mieras who was born September 25, 1915. They were restaurant and grocery store operators at various places, ending their career in Boyden, IA. Jean and Jack Mieras are the parents of one daughter, Brenda (Mrs. Larry Moret).

John G.A. Van Roekel was born February 14, 1918 Sioux Center and he married Martha Wierda who was born January 26, 1920. They were farmers and now are retired and live in Sioux Center. John and Martha Van Roekel are the parents of four children: Larry Van Roekel, Janet (Mrs. Jeffery Harcum), Virgina (Mrs. Stanley Oordt), and Michael J. Van Roekel.

Gerrit A. Van Roekel was born February 6, 1920 Sioux Center and he married Irene Punt who was born March 2, 1922. They were farmers and later had the A&W Drive Inn. Irene lives in Sioux Center. Gerrit and Irene Van Roekel are the parents of two children: Judith Fay (Mrs. John Vande Vegte) and Dean Van Roekel.

by John G.A. Van Roekel

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


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