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Pocahontas County, Iowa, History

Source: Pocahontas County Historical Society Members and Friends, Pocahontas County, Iowa, History (Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing Company, 1982).

[page 66]


Rural Electrification got its start on May 11, 1935, when President Franklin D. ROOSEVELT signed an executive order establishing the Rural Electrification Administration.  The executive order was later acted on by congress and called the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.

In April 1936 the first meeting of farmers was held in Pocahontas to begin the organization of a Rural Electric Cooperative.  A Charter was obtained from the State of Iowa on January 23, 1937.  The original Board of Directors consisted of R.R. CEJKA, Laurens; E.O. WOLKENHAUER, Havelock; J.V. PODUSKA, Pocahontas; Henry H. DeWALL, Jr., Pocahontas; V.C. FOX, Fonda; Walter W. HEALD, Rolfe, Henry J. JOHNSON, Palmer; and O.F. HANSEN, Laurens […] Following the first annual meeting of members held at the Court House in Pocahontas, committees were formed to canvas the townships to encourage farmers to sign up for electricity.

[page 107]


Mary HAM is at present the oldest living member of the Rolfe Presbyterian Church.  She joined the church on March 4, 1900 and was featured on one of the pages of the anniversary brochure in 1980.  Other members who joined the church more than fifty years ago are: Maude IVES, Clara DAWSON, Orvan OLERICH, Bess GRAHAM, Mary NELSON, Zelma PETERSON, Jane WEBB, Don CLEAL, Anna McINTIRE, Bertha CORDES, Ferne THORSON, William BRINKMAN, Ellwood OLERICH, Bernard RICKLEFS, Myrtle RICKLEFS, Vera BOOS, Edna WOOD, Leona WILSON, Isabelle SAVERY, Russell IVES, Harold HOARD, Norton IVES.

[page 120]


The Lake Lassies 4-H Club was organized on March 6, 1943, by Fern BEHRENDSEN HIGGINS around her dining room table and she served the first three years as their leader.  The charter members were Gloria DELLE, Beverly JONES HARRIS, Dorothy JONES RICKLEFS, Dorothy O’DONNELL PYLE, Pauline O’DONNELL, Darleen PETERS MAIDEN, and Dorothy PETERS.  Later that same year the first seven members were joined by Carol CLAUSSEN GROVE, Marian CLAUSSEN BENJAMIN, Donna DUNN, Arlys HALLIGAN DODD, E’deane HODGELL RICKLEFS, Lorna HODGELL MILLER, Henrietta JANSSEN, and Ila Mae TOPLIFF STOUGARD.

Fern HIGGINS had a real interest in young people and was always involved in 4-H and youth groups in the local Methodist Church.  It was her wish that young girls learn to sew, prepare meals and have fun growing up.  Her daughter, Marilyn HENRICHS, recalls going with her mother at the age of three to pick up girls who needed a ride to meetings and they usually had a carload.

A tradition of the club was homemade ice cream made and served each year at the Local Achievement Day.  There was a 25th anniversary observance in 1968.

The names of the leaders who gave so generously of their time, the winning demonstration times and the County Officers are recorded and kept at the Gilmore City Public Library.

The club was divided in 1954 into three clubs, the Lake Lassies, the Lake Townettes and the Lake Farmerettes.  The division lasted only four years.  Lake Lassies was disbanded in the mid 1970’s.

[page 155]


Done Right Roofing Company, now under the ownership of John CEJKA Jr., had its beginning in 1969 when Michael KRCMAR started the business then known as Done Right Roofing Service.  John took over the business from Mike in January of 1980.

John and his brother, Neil, take pride in the quality workmanship they perform while on the job.  The various services which they perform include shingling, built-up roofing, steel roofing and siding, blown insulation and chimney repairs.  John offers free estimates and quick service on jobs ranging from large to small; major or minor.  Submitted by John CEJKA, Jr.

[page 158]


Although considerable time has elapsed, the passage of time has done very little to dim the memory of the residents of Sherman township.

The storm originated in the middle of Marshall 16.  Although it had been a hot, humid day, I had been so busy trying to finish some housecleaning jobs, I had paid little attention to the weather.  The first place the tornado hit was the BUNCH farm Marshall 16 southeast corner; the house was damaged and all the trees were taken.

Next, the Orville HAWLEY farm was the next victim – Marshall 11, southwest corner.  The family heard the roar of the approach of the tornado and at first decided to go to the basement.  Fate must have taken a hand, as on second thought they decided to outrun it in the car, along with Yvonne 2½ and Harlan who was slightly older.  Fern said they drove to Laurens to her mother’s in Laurens for 30 minutes.  Upon return, they found the farmstead a complete disaster – all they had left was the clothes on their backs.  The house was completely gone, a piece of the davenport was was lying by the creek a short distance away, the chicks in the brooder house were chilled by the rain and died later, the barn and the crib were still standing but were badly damaged and looked as if they were beyond repair.

The Ralph VIAL farm, Marshall 14 northeast corner, received only minor damage.  They had been to the last-day-of-school picnic and came home about 4 p.m.  Mrs. VIAL went to the brooder house in the far end of the grove when she saw the storm’s approach … boards flying etc. … she hurried back to the house, they went to the basement and escaped unscathed.

The Robert CEJKA farm, Marshall 12, the middle of the mile south side of the road was not hit, but the family took refuge in the potato cave by the dredge ditch and said the tornado, in passing over, sounded like a freight train.

Next on the list was the Amos HARTSOCK farm, Sherman 6 southeast corner.  They decided to outrun the storm as they had seen it approach – Harlan said it was so muggy the water dripped off the tools as he was working in the shop.  He was home on vacation from Illinois where he worked for Packard.  He and sister Donna Jean, outran the storm in his coupe; Mr. and Mrs. HARTSOCK took the family car and left … the big shaggy dog jumped in the car to go along … he had never before ridden in a car! … can these animals sense danger??  Upon their return, disaster was the understatement.  The house was badly damaged: the chimney lay on the ground, the windows were all gone, curtains all gone, the shade trees were no more.  The only way to get supper was on the oil burner because of no chimney.  There was a kerosene stove intact on the porch but the grids were swept away.  When they tried to get into the house the door was locked … it had never been locked as there was no key for it!  It took much manipulation to get the door open.  There was dirt in the refrigerator contents; the wash basin in the sink was lifted out and flung into the bedroom; the Pekinese was under the bed scared to death; chickens lost their feathers; a Stetson hat was in a pond a mile away, upside down, unhurt; a straw was driven into a tree; clothing was inside the hoghouse at the DEXTER farm which was just a short distance away.  Storm windows had to be installed before nightfall; the out buildings lay in ruins.

About 30 rods east, the DEXTER farm received considerable damage.  The family took refuge in the cave.  The first thing they heard was a loud crash on the door, much later they learned it was a large maple.  It grew dark as night in the cave; their ears felt the pressure of the storm which was similar to that pressure that is felt when one is high in the mountains.  When it grew lighter in the cave they knew the storm had passed and could not get out of the cave because of the tree on the door.  Nothing to do but wait.  The tree was too heavy to lift off from the door, the hinges were impossible to remove much as was tried.  The only thing to do was wait until someone came to look for them as it was known that Mrs. DEXTER was in precarious health.  Eons passed.  After some length of time, footsteps came up the sidewalk.  “Anybody home?”  “Yes,” we chorused.  It was Harlan HARTSOCK.  To this day we often re-live the day and reminisce; we are thankful to him that he let us out of our predicament.  There was dull axe – and I mean dull! – lying nearby.  He chopped, even though at times it seemed futile, still raining hard.  What devastation met the eye – all the outbuildings were in shambles.  The windmill and the Wincharger tower that provided electric current were gone, the house had only minor damage and the beds were dry and the bottled gas stove was in working order so we could both eat and sleep, only a few windows were broken but there was damage to all three porches.  The hoghouse was turned slightly but the pigs were sleeping inside, apparently unaware of the storm.  The only loss was some chickens – the ones left were wandering about in a daze.  Some of the horses were inside the barn, unhurt; the horses in the pasture had slivers in them.  The car in the garage did not have a scratch, but the garage itself looked as if it were beyond repair.  The threshing machine stored in the shed had minor damage but the shed was badly damaged.  Muddy water was driven into the house through the closed windows.  All the shade trees were gone.

The Joe WADE farm was damaged although the house escaped.  Their farm was in Sheridan 5 southeast corner.  The brooder house was carried to the DEXTER field – all the chicks were killed, even though the floor of the building was intact with the feeders still on it.

The Bill WUNDER farm ½ mile south, on the east side of the road lost the barn; the horse tank was in DEXTER’s grove.

About a quarter mile south on the east side of the road where the John HATTEBERGs lived, the barn was ruined.

A short distance south of HATTEBERGs, on the west side of the road, the Fred HINRICHS farm received quite a bit of damage.  All the windows were blown out of the house, the rugs were soaked and considerable repair work needed to be done on the barn.

Further down the road the Oliver LEITH barn was lost.

[page 159]

On Sherman 18 northeast corner lived Mr. and Mrs. Messer LEITH.  Son Murl and wife Marjorie were visiting there that fateful afternoon, as well as Mrs. Knute HATTEBERG who was wall papering a room.  The went to the Fred HINRICH’s home as they had a cave.  Also at the cave were Mr. and Mrs. Jerry DeYOUNG of Ware and Mrs. Oliver LEITH and children.  Soon Mr. HINRICHS came home and announced that the storm was over.  The crowd disassembled.  Then the storm hit; Marjorie and Mrs. LEITH and the LEITH children went to the basement except Messer and Murl who had great difficulty holding the basement door shut.  They could see debris flying by the windows.  Murl’s car, was upset and demolished; in some way the horn was shorted and blew the entire time the victims were in the basement.  The outbuildings and the trees suffered damage but the house was still standing but needed considerable repair.  Then the tornado turned directions and headed for Ware but it let up before it reached town.  The George CHAPPELL house, however, was damaged by a fallen tree.

The clocks stopped at 5:40 and it was 7:00 when the DEXTERs were freed from the cave.

C.I. HERSOM’s crew of men from Laurens worked the rest of the summer and into September to re-build the buildings at the DEXTER farm.  Even though the buildings were repaired.  Nothing could replace the shade trees.  How thankful we were that, considering the devastation, no one in the whole community received any kind of physical injury.

[page 201]


The winter of 1935-36 was a severe winter although the early part was nothing unusual.

Sunday February 2 was potluck at the Methodist church at Ware.  The Clare SARGENT family was moving to Chicago after having farmed in the community for several years; thus we were having a farewell for them as they were faithful in attending church.  The day started dark and gloomy and was foreboding as light snow started to fall.  On the same afternoon was Martin LARSON’s mother’s funeral – he was my uncle by marriage – held at Alta, Iowa which was a distance of about 40 miles.  My 2 brothers and 2 uncles attended services in our car.  The weather looked dubious, so people disbanded from the church in early afternoon.  As my mother and I had no transportation home, the Bill WUNDER family offered to take us, having to drive about a mile past their own farmstead as we lived 2 miles northwest of Ware.  We barely made it home as the weather had worsened.  From that day on there was very little traffic on the roads and very few cars.

Roads were maintained by a 10-20 International 10-horse power on the drawbar; These machines were not very powerful and besides, there were very few in the county.

Today, the maintainers are 200-horsepower and there is at least one maintainer to the township but today cars are more prevalent than in 1936.  However, I may interject at this point, in 1978 the road was snowbound … Marshall 1 and 2 … between these two sections …, and between Marshall 1 and Sherman 6.  It took a dragline to open the corner between Sherman 5 and 6 two miles northwest of Ware.  Nature, in her vengeance, has no mercy.

Travel was by bobsled which was a wagon box on sled runners pulled by a team of horses.  A bobsled was standard equipment.  On every farm people walked or rode horseback, which was the alternate transportation.  The frigid weather continued, and for about 3 weeks the temperature was zero in the daytime and 20 or 25 below at night.  Animals were sheltered in the barn save for going out long enough to drink out of the horse tank.  Tank heaters warmed the water for the livestock; they were stoked with wood; during the night the fire went out.  The water froze in the tank; the farmer scooped out the ice in the morning, started the fire, pumped water in the tank with the windmill, and started all over again.  It took nearly all day to care for the livestock .. the stock had to be fed, watered, and the barn cleaned.  There was no electricity, no bathrooms, and very few furnaces.  Generally, the homes were heated by a cookstove in the kitchen and by a heating stove in the dining room.  Rooms were shut off as there was enough room in the kitchen and dining room if people did not mind being crowded.  Fires went out during the night.  Beds had woolen blankets, woolen comforters, and a heated flatiron was a welcome addition, besides flannel nightgowns and flannel pajamas.  All the men wore sheepskin coats as they were the ultimate … there were no down-filled coats, no parkas, no electric blankets and no insulation.  Water froze in the water pail at night.  The cold continued more than a month.  Lives were in danger if people ventured too far from home unless they were sure they could get back again.  Schools were let out; trains did not go as not only the roads were blocked but there were big banks on the railroad.  Consequently, there was little mail.  Elmer CONVEY, local mail carrier, (when there was mail!), carried the mail on his back in a gunnysack walking down the railroad as far as the Charlie SNOW farm Marshall 1 southeast ½; the Cless DEXTER or Amos HARTSOCK walked to SNOWs for the mail, and so on down the line.  Mail was important as there was little news on the battery-powered radio.  Radio stations were not numerous; WHO at Des Moines had the best news.  There was no FM, no TV, and light at night was a kerosene lamp.

Bob and John CEJKA owned farms 4 or 5 miles apart.  They rode a fast riding horse down the Rock Island track to go from one farm to another […]

[page 253]


Douglas and Sharon ALMQUIST, married June 28, 1970, live on a farm in Section 4 of Colfax Township.  Their son David, born January 9, 1975, is the fifth generation of this family to live there.  The quarter section, now jointly owned by Douglas and Cortlyn ALMQUIST, was homesteaded in 1878 by Neils SYNSTELIEN.  Niels and Kari were parents of one child, Julia, who married John August ALMQUIST.  They were parents of two children, Nelvin and Elsie (Mrs. Carl ERICKSON).  Nelvin married Agda SAMELSON.  Their children are Cortlyn, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, Douglas, Caryl (Mrs. Ronald DIRKS) Fonda, Annette (Mrs. Donald CARLSON) Pocahontas, Richard, Ankeny, and EaVon (Mrs. Jerry WOODIN) Pocahontas.

Douglas attended Iowa State University in Ames.  He is an Industrial Engineer for George A. HORMEL in Fort Dodge and farms the family farm.

Sharon, daughter of Clifton and Irene (MANUEL) ROGERS of Leonard, Missouri, attended Northeast Missouri State College in Kirksville, Missouri, and taught physical education in the Odebolt-Arthur Community School and the Pocahontas Community School Systems.

Douglas and Sharon are members of the Evangelical Convenant Church of Pomeroy.  Douglas is a member of the Church Board and Sunday School Superintendent.

The family enjoys camping vacations, boating, water skiing and participating in a variety of sports activities.  submitted by Sharon ALMQUIST

[page 279]


E.N. (Erasmus Nelson) BENDIXEN, eldest son of Peter and Albertina BENDIXEN, was born in Woodstock, Illinois, on December 1, 1864.  When five years old, he came to Goldfield, Iowa, in a covered wagon with his parents and later, they settled in Garfield Township.  August 8, 1888 he married Elizabeth S. CHRISTENSEN, daughter of Ole and Christina CHRISTENSEN.  She had been born at Manson, Iowa, on December 19, 1871, and came to Garfield Township at the age of 12 when her parents moved to a farm west of Gilmore City, Iowa.  After their marriage, Erasmus and Elizabeth moved to the farm three miles south of Roolfe on which they lived the rest of their lives.

They became the parents of four daughters and four sons: 1) Effie – married Alex HIESEL, 2) Guy remained single, 3) Ida – died in infancy, 4) Emmet married Laura McGUFFIN and had a son Forrest, and a daughter Jean, 5) Mabel – married John WITT and had four daughters, Blanche, Marguerite, Irene, Edna, and a son, Roger, 6) Myrtle – married John G. RICKLEFS.  Their family consisted of twins, Berniece and Bernard, Islea, Virgil, and Merlin, 7) Lee – married Imogene KNISLEY and fathered Lynn, Laura, and Lee, 8) Roy died in infancy.


E.N. and Elizabeth BENDIXEN

E.N. BENDIXEN’s father, Peter (born 1837) came to America from Denmark in 1861.  He found employment as a farm hand and clerk in a grocery store until the fall of 1863 when he returned to Denmark and married Alberina SVENDSEN.  In the spring of 1864, he, his wife, his sister, and his parents, Nels and Martha (M. BUCK), returned to America and settled in McHenry County, Illinois.  Nels had been the owner and captain of a merchant vessel which he sold when he emigrated to America.  The family came to Iowa in 1869, first locating in Des Moines Township, and later in Lake Township.  The nearest market then was Fort Dodge.  Later came Manson, Humboldt, Algona, Rolfe, and finally Gilmore City.  The visits of the grasshoppers made it necessary for the family to live on cornmeal for two years and to keep horses the same period without grain.

Nels died on his farm in 1881 at the age of 81, Martha in 1898 at 87.  Both were devout members of the Lutheran Church and are buried at Rolfe.  Peter died in 1902, Albertina in 1915, and both are buried in Rolfe.  Erasmus died in 1934, Elizabeth in 1941, and both are buried at Rolfe.

[page 282]


Joseph BLOUDIL married Anna SIC CEJKA SLUMP in 1886.  She was a widow with five children.  Anna CEJKA, John CEJKA, Helen SLUMP, Mary SLUMP, and Joe SLUMP.  Joseph and Anna then had three children together, Frank BLOUDIL, Margaret BLOUDIL, and Paul BLOUDIL.  Joseph and Anna were both born in Praque, Cjeckoslovokia.

When John first came to this country he settled in Norway, Iowa.  In 1885, Joseph moved into the Havelock area because of land being so much cheaper.  He bought a farm south of Havelock which is on the Ware road.  He later sold this farm to Peter KEMMER.  He then bought a farm 2½ miles southwest of Ware.  This farm he later sold to his son Paul.  He then moved to a farm east of Havelock, where he lived with his family until his death.

The family went to school near Ware, Iowa, in a country school, where of course, they all walked.  Anna was Catholic, but the children were raised in the Methodist Church in Ware.  Joseph did his part in the community, acting as a school director, and a county supervisor.  Anna Sic married and had several children, one being Evelyn, Mrs. Ray WOODIN of Laurens.  John CEJKA married Maude CHAPPEL.  Their son, Robert CEJKA, was President of Pocahontas County REA for many years.

Helen SLUMP married Edward HANISCH of Laurens.  Mary SLUMP married James PRANTLE of Manly.  Joe SLUMP was adopted by Joseph.  Frank BLOUDIL and Joe never married but lived with their Father east of Havelock.  Margaret married Henry HANSEN of Cedar Falls.  Paul BLOUDIL married Lilly WUNDER of Laurens.  Anna and Joseph, as well as their children, Anna, John, Mary, Joe Frank, and Paul, are all buried in the Havelock cemetery at Have-



lock, Iowa.

Their BLOUDIL farm is now owned by Evelyn WOODIN, a granddaughter.  Information given by Margaret BLOUDIL HANSEN, written by her daughter Betty KROUGH and Audrey GOODE, daughter of Paul BLOUDIL.




Frank and Joe BLOUDIL lived on a farm 2½ miles east of the town of Havelock.  They farmed an 80 acre parcel as bachelor brothers.  Joe BLOUDIL also worked as a surveyor for many years.  They were half-brothers of John CEJKA of Ware.  Joe BLOUDIL was noted as an honest trustworthy ditch digger and laid tile on most Pocahontas farms.  Frank BLOUDIL took care of his parents who lived with them until they passed away.


Paul, the son of Joseph and Anna BLOUDIL and Lilly WUNDER, daughter of Henry and Mary WUNDER were married February 14, 1922.  The WUNDERs lived on a farm one-half mile north of the BLOUDIL farm.

They lived on the home place which they purchased from Joseph BLOUDIL, Paul’s Father.  Several years after they were married, they adopted a daughter, Audrey, and four years later, another daughter, Arlene.  Arlene passed away in 1942.

Paul and Lilly worked together on the farm, doing many things to improve it.  They acquired 80 acres more which they purchased from Lilly’s father.  It was located in Marshall Township, and across the road from their Sherman Township farm.

Paul was on the Ware School Board for several years as well as a War Bond Committee man during World War II.  He and Lilly were active members of the Ware Methodist Church.  Lilly was also active in the community, belonging to the Marshall Township Women’s Club, church groups and worked on the election board for many years.

Paul planned to retire as of March 1, 1946, but passed away in November of 1945.  Lilly married Howard GIBSON in January of 1951.  This was a short marriage as Mr. GIBSON passed away in June of that same year.

Audrey, daughter of Paul and Lilly was married on November 4, 1951 to George GOODE of Des Moines, at the Ware Methodist Church.  In January of 1953 Lilly moved off the home place into Havelock, Iowa where she resided until her death in October of 1977.  She was laid to rest with Paul at the cemetery at Havelock, Iowa.

Paul and Lilly are remembered fondly by their family and many friends as two who were always ready to help in any way.

These two farms are now owned by George and Audrey GOODE.  Information given by Audrey GOODE, daughter of Paul and Lilly BLOUDIL.

[page 286]


Bruce was born in June, 1946, in Pocahontas to William and Roma BOYSEN of Havelock.  Bruce went to the Havelock and Havelock-Plover Schools.  I was born in April, 1947, in Fort Dodge to B.M. and Elsa CUTHBERTSON of Rolfe.  I went to D.M.T. School and Rolfe Cons. Schools until ’59 when my family moved to Havelock.  I went to 6th grade at Plover, and I remember going home and telling Mom about the nice boy in 7th grade.  We got better acquainted in school and M.Y.F., Bruce taught me to ice skate and we rode horses together, among other things.  We dated a few months in ’63, a few months in ’64, a few months in ’65, etc., etc., etc.  In Jan., 1972 we were married in the Meth. Church in Havelock.  We settled in and love our old remodeled home (built about 1900) where Bruce’s grandfather (Will BOYSEN) lived as a child and Bruce’s father was born.

In January 1973 we got a little boy, Chad, now 8.  He loves animals and nature.  We’ve learned a lot from his menagerie.  Did you know you can’t get rabies from a garter snake bite?  Crawdads eat legs off salamanders; and snapping turtles eat crawdads and salamanders!  We even watched toads grow from tiny eggs.

In July 1976 Jennifer was born to us.  She was the youngest model in the Bicentennial Style Show (3½ wks.) modeling in a christening gown with Mary DEVEREAUX.  Jennifer likes to play with dolls and doll houses.  She attended Wee Wisdom Preschool in Pocahontas and will start kindergarten at H-P (fall ’81).

In Sept. 1979 we got Jeremy.  Jeremy is the only one that seems to be keeping Bruce’s curly hair past the first hair cut.  At 1½ he’s a real live-wire and Chad’s and Jennifer’s favorite little person.  We’re so


Bruce and Judy BOYSEN   Chad, Jennifer, Jeremy

glad we’ve got him.

As a family we enjoy going fishing, swimming or riding motorcycle.  We spend our vacations a day or two at a time just going places of interest to all of us.  We spend a lot of time working together — especially in the yard and garden.  The children enjoy their Sunday School and I have been teaching a class most of the time since we were married.


Boy Christopher BOYSEN (Born 1861)-(Died 1939) came to America in 1875 with his mother and step-father from Schleswig-Holstein near Lech.  The family included the following sisters and brothers; Margareta BOYSEN (Mrs. Charles Gilgerson PORTER), Boy Christopher BOYSEN, Carson BOYSEN, Otto BOYSEN, and Eliese TYCHSEN (Mrs. John CHRISTOPHER).  B.C. was born in Schleswig which was at that time part of Denmark, however by the time he was three years old (1864) it became a provine of Germany therefore he was educated in the German schools.  He emmigrated with his parents, Hans and Christina BOYSEN TYCHSEN and located in Clinton County, Iowa at Grand Mound.

For a time B.C. was associated with a meat market at Arcadia, Iowa, then came to the Havelock area to begin farming in 1883.  He began “breaking ground” in Sherman Township, Section 14 and was the pioneer owner and occupant of the first 160 acres of this farm.  In 1885 he journeyed to Grand Mound,

[page 287]

Iowa where he married Betty FELLNER.  They established their home on this farmstead which became the birthplace of their three children: Harry (B. 1887) Anna (B. 1889) and Will (B. 1893).  In 1895, Betty, the mother, was very ill; the family went by train to Grand Mound where she died following gallbladder treatment or surgery.  Although, the grandparents wanted to keep the little children, B.C. chose to return with them to his farm home.  At that time Will was two years old.  The following year he married Mary MARHOLTZ (B. 1876-D. 1963) a wonderful wife and mother to family.  Four children blessed this union; Louis (B. 1898), Roy (B. 1903), Jesse (Jay) (B. 1908), and Byron C. (B. 1912).

B.C. increased his farm operation to 449 acres; despite slough and drainage problems he made every effort to turn it into productive farmland.  The young children could skate from their farm home all the way to Pocahontas in the wintertime.  During the summer the prairie hat was stacked on higher ground, then, in winter moved over the frozen sloughs to feed the livestock.  Soon after the Strickland ditch was dug the BOYSENs began tiling as this outlet improved the drainage of the low lying areas.  This undertaking totaled 30 miles of tile, all dug by hand labor on 440 acres.

By 1960, the older sons, Harry and Will had married and they each began farming their farming operations on the separate parcels of 220 acres of the original farmstead.  B.C., Mary and the four younger boys moved to a farm purchased from George MICK two miles west of Havelock in Section 28.  Later Lou farmed this land and son Roy operated the farm purchased in Roosevelt Township.

Their retirement home was built in Havelock where they moved in 1926.


Will was the third child of B.C. and Betty FELLNER BOYSEN (b. July 12, 1893) 4¼ miles southwest of Havelock, Section 14 in Sherman Township.  His family included Harry, Anna, Lou, Roy, Jesse, and Byron.  He attended the country schools and sometimes only during the winter terms as there was much to do on the farm.

Gladys STOVER was the second daughter of Jacob and Ida CROUSE STOVER (b. July 20, 1893) at their home 5¼ miles southwest of Havelock Section 15, Sherman township.  After completing her eight grades in the rural school she enrolled in the Havelock Independent School in 1906.  She and Mary HOBSON drove a horse and buggy to school during the nice weather then during the winter months they roomed with the ADAMS family and ate their meals with Mrs. Susan GROVES.  After graduating in 1910 she took the required teacher’s examination and attended the County Teachers Institute in Pocahontas.  She, then, taught at the same O’Brien Country School where her mother had taught.  She also taught at her home school and at the Boysen school.

February 16, 1916, Will BOYSEN and Gladys Ruth STOVER were married at her parents home and they established their home on the Boy C. BOYSEN’s first farmstead in the county.  A son, William Stover BOYSEN, was born January 15, 1920.  They continued to live on the farm for 12 years enjoying being the second generation occupants when Will’s health left them no choice other than moving from their farm.  They occupied several homes in Havelock, then moved to the acreage east of Havelock vacated by the Jacob STOVERs.  They never lost touch with the farm and for a time in the late thirties and forties were actively engaged in farming again.

Will worked with Bachmans Hardware, served on the Town Council, was the mayor for a time, manager of the Havelock Telephone Company served on the Havelock School Board, and was a director of the Pocahontas County Mutual Insurance.  Gladys a member of Methodist Church and Women’s Organization — Havelock Womans Club — Does hand work for hobby.


When William was born on January 15, 1920 he became the third generation to live on the BOYSEN Farm 4¼ miles southwest of Havelock, Iowa Sherman Township Section 14.  The son of Will and Gladys STOVER BOYSEN, he moved with his parents to Havelock, Iowa when he was eight years old.  Here he received all twelve years of his schooling, graduating in 1937.  Though given the option of furthering his education he chose farming as his future and this afforded a father-son operation.

Roma was born November 24, 1920 at the Sulphur Springs farm home of Carl Henry and Carrie BODHOLDT GUNDELACH who were both of Danish ancestry.  She attended the Providence Consolidated School until the middle of her sixth year then moved with her family to Newell, Iowa where she completed her grade school and graduated from high school in 1938.  Roma attended Buena Vista College and graduated with a teacher’s diploma on May 30, 1941.  Her first teaching position was at Ware, and then at Hartley, Iowa.

In 1942 William enlisted in the Air Corps going first to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, then Eau Claire, Wisconsin and on to graduate from Williams Air Force Base, Chandler, Arizona.

William and Roma were married May 20, 1944 at Phoenix, Arizona where William was assigned for the instructor training program.  Moves included Rankin Field, Tulare, California and Minter Field near Bakersfield, California and back to Havelock in 1945.  Since 1947 they have lived on the acreage at the east edge of town vacated by Will and Gladys BOYSEN.

Four children, Bruce William born June 6, 1946; Brian Lynn born September 17, 1949; Barbara Jean born November 19, 1953 and Brent Alan born June 29, 1955.  All of then graduated from the Havelock-Plover Community School.  Bruce married Judt CUTHBERTSON January 7, 1972, have three children: Chad William born January 24, 1973, Jennifer Lyn, born July 7, 1976, and Jeremy Jon born September 30, 1979.

Brian married Claudia LESMAN June 9, 1972, they have two daughters, Amanda Marie born October 1, 1976 and Courtney Lynn born March 20, 1979.  He is a lawyer in Marshall, Minnesota.

Barbara is a registered nurse graduated from St. Luke’s School of nursing in Sioux City where she is currently employed.

Brent along with his brother Bruce farm with their father in Sherman Township and operate under Boysen Grain and Livestock.

William served 16 years on the Havelock-Plover School Board and 3 years on the County School Board.  He was one of the organizing members of the Northwest Telephone Cooperative Association, as well as a councilman, a committeeman of an active Boy Scout Troop in the sixties, a director of the Farmer’s Cooperative Elevator of Pocahontas, Havelock, and Plover in the seventies.  As a member of the Methodist church he has held numerous offices and on the building committee in 1960.

Roma taught Sunday School and Bible School and held various offices in the church and the Women’s organizations.  Also a member of the Parsonage Building Committee in 1975.

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David (Diedrick) BRINKMAN, resident of section 24, Roosevelt Township, was born near Hamburg,

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E.P. (Phil) BRINKMAN Family

Germany in 1843.  At the age of 23, having learned the carpenter trade, he came to this country on a sail boat that was 72 days on the voyage.  He first located in Michigan and married Anna WIEGMAN on February 28, 1871.  In April 18, 1873, he came to Pocahontas County.  He was one of those early, hardy pioneers.

They raised a family of 12 children: Hattie, Caroline, Henry, Dora, Jessie, John, William, August, Anna, May, Glyde and Idelia.  Of these 12 children, one is still living.  She is Mary CAFFREY of Apple Valley, California.

August A. (Gus) BRINKMAN married Grace PHILLIPS of Clinton County, Iowa, in 1919, shortly after his return from France and World War I.  They resided on a farm in Garfield Township, section 19 just across the road from the original BRINKMAN farm of D. BRINKMAN.

August and Grace BRINKMAN were the parents of three children: Winifred ZIMMERMAN of Topeka, Kansas; Mary Margaret MOORE of California; and E.P. (Phil) BRINKMAN of Rolfe.  August and Grace were active members of the Rolfe Presbyterian Church.  They were also active in Farm Bureau work and were both 4-H Club leaders.  August was a livestock farmer who truly loved his farm.

E.P. (Phil) BRINKMAN, born September 16, 1926, was the only son of August and Grace BRINKMAN.  He attended country school and graduated from the Rolfe High School in 1945.  He graduated from Iowa State College in 1949.  For a short time he worked in Nebraska, in Agricultural Extension work.  On July 8, 1951 he married Bette AUGUSTINE of Des Moines, Iowa.  After two years in the army during the Korean War, they returned to the family farm south of Rolfe.

They raised a family of four children: Laurie JENSEN of Ames, Iowa; Karen VINSON of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Gus of Ames, Iowa; and Kyle, still at home.  Phil, like his father, has been a 4-H leader and serves as a Commissioner on the Soil Conservation Committee in the county.  His wife, Bette, has taught Home Economics in the Rolfe High School and is an assistant librarian at the Rolfe Public Library.  Both Phil and Bette are active in the Rolfe Presbyterian Church.

An interesting aspect of the family is the way some interests have carried over from previous generations.  Phil has been a 4-H leader for many years as his parents were and the oldest son is presently working as a carpenter as did his Great Grandfather, Diedrick BRINKMAN.


Henry Diedrick BRINKMAN, son of David Diedrick and Anna WIEGMAN BRINKMAN, both of whom came from near Hamburg, Germany and settled in Pocahontas County in 1873.  Henry was born in March 1877.  One of twelve children who helped with chores and farming, attended country school and Upper Iowa University, Fayette, Iowa, hoping to become a lawyer; but as he was one of the older children, his parents sent for him to come home to help with the farming.  He did teach, though, in the country schools for several years, then acquired land to farm.


Henry Diedrick and Nellie HOOVER BRINKMAN

Henry was a hard working good farmer raising grain, feeding out cattle and hogs.  Always providing a good living for his family.  He was a member of the First Methodist Church, Farm Bureau, a Mason, and Order of the Eastern Star.  He was active in the Church as a Trustee, Official Board Member and Sunday School Superintendent.

In June, 1905 married Nellie Elizabeth HOOVER, daughter of William Wesley and Isabel PEASLEY HOOVER.  Nellie was born January, 1882 in McLean County, Illinois.  At the age of six years she came with her family to Manson, Iowa, on one of the first trains that came to Iowa.  Nellie graduated from Manson High School.

Following her high school graduation, Nellie attended a teacher’s conference at Laurens, making the trip from Manson by horse and buggy to Clare and from there to Laurens by train.  Her ride back to Manson was made in a freight car over the Rock Island line which had just been completed through Pocahontas.

That Fall she taught the Lizard Lake school, later taught country school in Webster County, then came to Rolfe and taught one year then resigned to marry Henry.  Nellie was a faithful member of the United Methodist Church and participated actively in church affairs all her life.  She was active in many community activities and organizations, among them: United Methodist Women, Daughters of American Revolution, T.T.T. Society, Order of the Eastern Star, A.L.D. and the Farm Bureau.  She was a 4-H leader for many years.  Her home was the center of her life.

Their family included Alice Janette FORD (Mrs. Jim), Paul Diedrick, Robert Paul (deceased), Lois Jesse HODOWAY (Mrs. Richard Paul), Anna Isabel GUY (Dr. Lou) (deceased), David Henry, Stella Mae Evelyn BUTTERWORTH (Dr. James), Mary Elizabeth Tietze WALKER (Mrs. Robert K.), 24 grandchildren and 32 great-

Henry died in January, 1950.  Nellie died in July, 1980.  Submitted by: Lois Jessie HODOWAY


David and I established our home in the Rolfe area in 1950, when we married and moved to a farm home three and a half miles north of Rolfe.  David gained a ready-made family, for Darlene had twin boys, Michael and Marshall, from a former marriage, and during the years we lived in the country, five more children were born to us – Henry, Jill, Jann, Jean, and Julie.  Mike and Marsh attended D.M.T. School through third grade.

In 1957, we moved to a large old home in Rolfe.  The house was built in 1892 by an early lumber dealer, C.A. GRANT.  It was ideal for our growing family, in size as well as location, for it is located only two blocks from the school.  In the ensuing years, three more children were born, Joyce, Jayne, and Robert, making a family of ten children growing up in the house of 802 Garfield Street.

Our property extends a block north to Pilot Creek, which wanders along the north edge of Rolfe, and our children spent many hours there, fishing, exploring, and ice skating.  North of our house there is a hill where the land lowers to the creek plain, and our children, as well as almost every child growing up in Rolfe, have enjoyed sliding on it in winter time.

Our lives revolved around Rolfe Community School for many years.  In addition to the academic program, sports and music were important to our children.  One year, three of our girls were on the first team, basketball, at the same time.  The boys were fortunate in having strong FFA programs.  All of our children are grown and attended, or are attending, college.

Scouting was an important activity during our


David BRINKMAN residence

children’s early years.  Three of the boys, Mike, Marsh, and Henry, were in Boy Scout Troop #76, led by Merritt BAILEY, then Lawrence KENNEDY.  All of the girls were in Girl Scouting, and I served as troop leader for ten years.

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David farms four miles northwest of town.  Alvin, Leslie, and Sophie THOREN, whose father worked for David’s father, have continued to live there.  David also farms the home place two miles south of Rolfe.  Recently he purchased Jim WILCOX’s stockyards at the southeast edge of Rolfe.

I took up painting as an avocation, then, after the youngest child was in school, went back to college, commuting to Buena Vista College in Storm Lake.  I graduated in 1972 with degrees in art and English, then taught at Albert City for five years.  Since 1977, I have taught art half time at Mallard Community School.

In 1979, I ran for City Council and was elected.  Upon the resignation of Mayor Harold HOARD, I became mayor on July 1, 1980.

Our daughter Jann, Mrs. Tim RICKLEFS, lives south of Rolfe on a farm with her husband and four children, and Robert, a student at Iowa Lakes Community College, is close by.  The rest have settled greater distances away, but when they come home for holidays, the house again rings with laughter and conversation.

In our back yard were many towering elm trees, which became victims of Dutch elm disease in the mid-seventies.  For many years, there was a well-worn path through the trees, made by our children on their way to school.  Even now, after mowing, we can trace the path, and we think of the years of rich living our family has enjoyed while living in the big white house with balconies, on the north edge of Rolfe.  Submitted by Darlene BRINKMAN


Michael, twin brother of Marshall, was born in 1947 in Dothan, Alabama.  During the first three years of his life, he lived with his mother and twin brother in the home of his grandmother, Lorna WESTERMAN, at Plover.

After his mother’s marriage to David BRINKMAN, and their move to the Rolfe area, he attended Des Moines Township school for his first four grades.  Two of his teachers that he remembers are Mrs. Glenn LENT and Helen NEILSEN.

After the family moved to Rolfe, he and Marh enjoyed exploring the banks of Pilot Creek, building rafts during the summer and trapping during the winter.  The goal of his life then was to catch a mink, but he never did.



He was active in the Boy Scouts, camping at Prairie Gold Scout Camp in Okiboji and going on Scout trips to other parts of the United States.  He earned his Eagle Scout award.

During his high school years, Mike played trumpet in the band and was on the football squad.  He graduated from Rolfe High School in 1965.  There were seven cousins in that graduating class — Mary Ann BRINKMAN, Ed VAUGHN, Sara OLERICH, Craig HODOWAY, Kathy IVES, Mike, and his brother Marsh.

Mike attended the University of Northern Iowa, and graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science.  He married Colette BEARD, a nurse, and they lived in Denison, Iowa, for a year while Mike taught in junior high school.

After a six-month stint in the Iowa National guard, he returned to the Waterloo area, where he taught school.  For the past six years he has worked for the John Deere Tractor Company.  Mike presently lives in Waterloo, Iowa, and, while he and Colette are no longer married, he enjoys the frequent company of his two daughters, Darice and Danae.


Marshall, twin brother of Michael, was born in 1947 in Dothan, Alabama.  During most of his first three years, he lived with his grandmother, Lorna WESTERMAN, near Plover, while his mother taught school in Plover and Mallard.



After his mother’s marriage to David BRINKMAN and their move to the Rolfe area, he attended Des Monies Township School.  After the family moved to Rolfe, he felt fortunate to return to Des Moines Township School during his junior high school years.  He remembers Tom JONES as a favorite teacher.

Marsh was of a scholarly nature, and remembers several outsstanding teachers during his high school years at Rolfe Community School–Mr. GILBERTSON, Mr. OFFENBURGER, and Miss MARCUM.  Charles RECKARD, his vocational agriculture instructor, fostered his interest in agricultural science.  He was active in music and was an excellent basketball player.

Scouting was an important activity during his boyhood.  In addition to camping, he and Mike were fortunate in being able to go on Scout trips to Washington, D.C., the Black Hills, and Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.  Attaining the rank of Eagle Scout climaxed his Scout career.

After graduating from Rolfe Community School in 1965, Marsh attended Iowa State University, where he majored in Agronomy and was a member of Farmhouse Fraternity.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969 with scholastic honor.  He remained at Iowa State University to attend graduate school and earned his Master of Science degree in 1971 and attained the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1974.  His doctoral dissertation was the result of research in oats stem rust.

Marsh is on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he is an Assistant Professor and does teaching and research.



Capt. Henry BRINKMAN

Henry David, first child of David and Darlene BRINKMAN, was born on Aug. 6, 1951.  He attended Rolfe grade School, Des Moines Township Junior High School, and Rolfe Community High School.  His classes in vocational agriculture were important to him during his high school years, and he fondly remembers Bob BROWN as his instructor in vocational agriculture and advisor in Future Farmers of America.

After he graduated from High School in 1970, Henry joined the United States Air Force.  He was stationed in Texas, Arkansas, and Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, then he was transferred to Hawaii where he remained for almost two years.  While there, he was awarded a scholarship from the Air Force, entitling him to four years of college.  He resigned from the Air Force and attended Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, where he majored in agricultural education and continued Air Force training with the Air Force R.O.T.C.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1976 and at the same time received a commission from the United States Air Force as a second lieutenant.  He had maintained friendship during those years with his high school vocational agriculture teacher, Bob BROWN, who had in the meantime joined the Air Force and had become a pilot.  Mr. BROWN was the officer who presented him in the commissioning ceremony.

Henry, having a commitment to the Air Force, then applied for navigators training, was accepted, and for almost a year took navigator training at Sacramento, California.

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Henry was stationed in Fayetteville, North Carolina, for some time, and flights around the United States and several trips to Europe.  Captain BRINKMAN is now stationed near Frankfurt, Germany, and a navigator aboard a C-130 Hercules cargo.  He is now a navigator-instructor, and sees a great deal of Europe and the Middle East as he fulfills his duties.


Jill is the fourth oldest of ten children born to David and Darlene BRINKMAN of Rolfe.  She was born on August 10, 1952.

Jill attended Rolfe Community School, and, in high school, was active in music, band, sports, and other activities.  She was also involved in youth organizations in the United Methodist Church.

She was active in Girl Scouts, and attended Lakota Girl Scout Camp as a camper and as a staff member.  She earned the rank of First Class Scout, the highest rank in Girl Scouts.  Lucile TAYLOR and Anita ROBINSON as Scout leaders encouraged her interest.

After graduating from high school in 1971, Jill



attended Iowa Central Community College for one and one half-years, then worked as a secretary for several businesses in Fort Dodge.

On May 7, 1977, Jill was married to Robert E. DETMERING, Jr.  They have lived in Fort Dodge, goldfield, and Forrest City, Arkansas.

They have two children, Judith Ann and Robert Eugene DETMERING III, and are presently living in Marshalltown, Iowa.  Their family belongs to the United Methodist Church.


Jann was born in 1953, the fifth of the ten BRINKMAN children.  Before she was two years old, her hands and arms were badly burned in a mangle.  Eventually she recovered all functions possible.

She attended Rolfe Grade School and Des Moines Township Junior High School.  During her years in Rolfe High School she was active in band and vocal music.  She remembers with pleasure their swing band and choir directed by Jim WATSON.



After her graduation in 1972, she married Alan SCHADE of Pocahontas.  To this union two children were born, Jason and Heather.  Jann became a nurse’s aide and worked at the Pocahontas hospital.

Following the termination of the marriage, she and the children returned home for a time, during which she attended Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg and received a certificate as a licensed practical nurse.

Jann married Tim RICKLEFS of Rolfe in 1976 and the family moved to Tim’s farm five miles south of Rolfe.  Two children were born to them, Brian, now three years of age, and Joseph David, age one.

Jann continues to maintain her interest in nursing while helping her husband and being the busy mother of four lively children.  She continues to maintain her interest in nursing, and is active in the Presbyterian Church, Daughters of American Revolution, and the T.T.T. organization.


Jean Marie BRINKMAN, sixth child of David and Darlene BRINKMAN, was born on December 4, 1954.  She went to elementary school in rolfe and attended Des Moines Township school for sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.  Her class was the last to be promoted to high school from the Junior High at D.M.T.  A teacher whom she fondly remembers from those years is Lyle FOSTER.

During high school, Jean ws active in extracurricular activities such as athletics, band, newspaper staff, yearbook staff, and Future Homemakers of America.  Jean was a member of the United Methodist Church, and participated in choir and youth groups.

Throughout her childhood, Jean was active in the Girl Scout program.  She was awarded the First Class award, the highest award in Scouting.  Her involvement in Girl Scouts extended beyond high school.

After graduation from Rolfe Community School in 1973, Jean attended Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.  During college, she was affiliated with the Alpha Chi Omega sorority.  She received Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics Education and in Physical Education and coaching.

Jean is presently teaching home economics and physical education and coaching girls’ basketball in Wellsburg, Iowa.




Julie was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, on February 22, 1956, the seventh child in a family of four brothers and five sisters.  She attended Rolfe Community School from 1962-1974.  While in high school, she participated in basketball, softball, track, marching band, stage band, and concert band.  During her junior and senior years, she was selected to be on the Twin Lakes First Team, All-Conference, in girls’ basketball, and was the 1974 Rolfe Homecoming Queen.

Julie attended Wayne State College, Wayne, Nebraska, from 1974-1978.  She received an athletic scholarship in basketball and was selected as Wayne State Female Athlete of the Year during her sophomore and senior years.  She was a member of Cardinal Key National Honor Society, and graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physocal education and biology.

She furthered her education at Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas, as a graduate assistant in basketball and softball while teaching several activity courses.  She received her Master’s Degree in physical education in May, 1980.

While at Emporia State, Julie was selected to be on the Olympic Torch Relay Team which carried the flame from Yorktown, Virginia, to Lake Placid, New York, site of the XIII Winter Olympic Game.  Fifty two runners were selected, one from each state, and Julie represented the people of Nebraska.  After the ten-day run, in which the torch was carried over one thousand miles, Julie was privileged to see the events in the Winter Olympic Games.

In May, 1980, Julie and Lieutenant David MINTZ of Emporia, Kansas, were married.  They moved to Enid, Oklahoma, where David is an instructor-pilot in an Air Force Training Aircraft, T-37.

Julie is presently teaching elementary physical education at Garfield Elementary School in Enid, Oklahoma.  Her hobbies are running, sewing, sailing, and swimming.  One of her goals is to run a marathon in the near future.

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Joyce Ann BRINKMAN was born June 26, 1957, in Fort Dodge, Iowa.  She attended elementary, junior high, and high school at Rolfe Community School, from which she graduated in May, 1976.

She attended Allen Memorial School of Nursing in Waterloo and received her diploma degree as a registered nurse in June, 1979.  Following her graduation, she was employed at Allen Memorial Hospital on a medical-surgical floor as a staff nurse until June, 1981.

Joyce and Dr. Douglas A. McINTOSH were married on May 23, 1981, and moved to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where her husband is employed as an emergency room doctor, and where Joyce continues her career as a nurse in a hospital.

Joyce enjoys running, bicycling, camping, and pursues photography as a hobby.




I was born on June 26, 1959, the youngest girl in our family of six girls and four boys.  I attended Rolfe Community School and enjoyed life in our small town.

As I look back on my childhood memories, I find an assortment of people, places, and things which stand out from the sixties and seventies.

One person I remember is Harold CALLIGAN and his soda fountain.  My favorite was the cherry cokes he served, which really hit the spot.  Merle McANICH, who owned Rolfe Variety Store, offered a candylover’s dream of penny candy.  Ten cents would fill a brown bag and would satisfy even the heartiest appetite.

The Ritz theater provided entertainment on Saturday nights.  Young romances were unveiled as the movie began, and sitting by your boyfriend was very special.  Twenty five cents was the price for a good movie, ten cents bought a bag of popcorn, and fifteen cents a glass of pop.

When the Rolfe swimming pool was built, Sue ZEMAN and I spent every day there.  We could hardly wait for the pool to open at one o’clock and we were reluctant to leave at closing time.



The ZEMAN and BRINKMAN children had great fun remodelling Carl HANSEN’s old sheds into our clubhouses.  We also enjoyed sliding down Feldman’s hill and skating on Pilot Creek during the winter.

As a teenager, the success of the sports teams in Rolfe Community School influenced me to pursue athletics.  I remeber running everyday with Sara BECKORD and idolizing her talents.  The 1970-71 girls’ basketball team, which made it to the state tournament in Des Moines, provided inspiration as well.

Being from a small school, participation in more than one sport was possible, if not necessary.  It seemed like it was the “in” thing to do – being an all-around athlete – and I participated all four years in three sports – softball, basketball, and track.  I received All-State Special Mention honors in softball and basketball, as well as a first team Twin Lakes Conference member for two of the four seasons.  I was also a member of the Distance Medley Relay Team, which qualified for State twice.

As well as being an athlete, I was active in swing choir, which became an important part of my senior year.  We received four first place trophies in four contests.  Other activities during my senior year included annual staff editor, cheerleading, student council member, drama, and Future Homemakers of America.  I was class president for three years and graduated from Rolfe Community School in 1978, I have attended the University of Iowa for three years.  During two of those years, I was on the University women’s softball team.  I am a pre-nursing major, and anticipate beginning the nursing program next year.  Written by Jayne BRINKMAN


Robert was born on September 3, 1961, the



youngest child in the BRINKMAN family.

He attended Rolfe Community Schools and was active in student government, serving on the student council, and was class president during his senior year.  He participated in football, baseball, and track.

Robert’s main interest in high school was in the Future Farmers of America, in which he served as president during his senior year, and achieved his Iowa Farmer degree.

He graduated in 1980 and has attended Iowa Lakes Community College, majoring in farm management.  He was also a member of the I.L.C.C. football team.

Robert is interested in agriculture, and he hopes to pursue a career in farming or in a farm-related field.


Bill BRINKMAN (b. April 16, 1017) was part of the John H. BRINKMAN family which included a brother, John Halleck, and two sisters, Helen and Margaret.

John H. was the son of Diedrick and Anna WIEGMAN BRINKMAN of Garfield Township.  Born in 1883, he was one of 12 children.  John married Carrie JEWETT in August, 1912.  She, the daughter of A.F. and Mahala JEWETT, had come to Rolfe to teach school before they were married.  Carrie was born and attended school in Indianola, Iowa.  John was a lawyer in Rolfe following a banking career until 1928 at the First National Bank of Rolfe.

Bill attended the University of Iowa for a short

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time.  In 1937 he purchased the Standard Oil Station in Rolfe and managed it till World War II.  Bill enlisted in the Marine Corps and trained to be an air plane mechanic.


William and Dorothy BRINKMAN

June 9, 1943 Bill married Dorothy SCHAEFER of Schaller.  I was born in Schaller, June 11, 1917.  I graduated from the Schaller Public School and Buena Vista College, Storm Lake, Iowa with a two year teachers certificate.  I taught first grade in the Rolfe School until we were married.  Bill served in the south Pacific during the war.  He was discharged in February, 1946.

We came back to Rolfe and Bill purchased the Standard Oil Station for the second time.  He managed the station for the next eleven years.  We then bought the Chevrolet garage from L.R. DAVIDSON.  Bill has been in the Chevrolet business for twenty-four years.

We have two children, the oldest daughter, Mary Ann and a son, John William.  Both of our children graduated from the Rolfe Community School.  Mary Ann graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education.  She taught a few years then was a consultant for the Open Court Company.  She married Dr. Joseph CLINTON, August 24, 1974.  They now live in Minneapolis, Minn. and have two daughters, Megan Ann and Michelle Elizabeth.

John graduated from Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa in 1974.  He received a degree in Business Administration.  He came back to Rolfe and went into business with his dad.  John married Marcia FALK of Rockwell City August 21, 1976.  They have two sons, Daniel John and Jacob William.

Bill and I are members of the Rolfe Presbyterian Church.  We have both served as Elders.  Bill also served as a trustee and I taught Sunday School for many years.  Submitted by Dorothy BRINKMAN

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John Howard CEJKA, Jr., son of John and Elma CEJKA, was born on June 7, 1953 at Storm Lake, Iowa.  He has an older sister, Jeanne, and two younger brothers, Neil and Scott.  John was raised on the family farm located 2½ miles from Ware.  The homestead was built by his great-grandparents, John and Maude CEJKA.  The farm was sold in 1974.  John attended school in Ware, grades kindergarten thru seventh, until the school was closed in 1965.  He then was educated at Pocahontas where he graduated with the Class of 1971.  After graduation, he became self-employed in the trucking industry and in 1978 sold out of the trucking business and bought Done Right Roofing Company.  In 1974, he married Kyle Lynn GELLERMAN.

Kyle, the daughter of Michael and Karen KRCMAR [sic, spelled “KREMAR” in index], was born on March 24, 1956 at Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.  She has an older brother, Douglas, and two younger sisters, Debra and Melissa.  Kyle resided in Wisconsin Rapids until 1964 when the family moved to Fort Dodge, Iowa.  In 1966, her family relocated to Pocahontas County.  She attended school at Havelock-Plover, Laurens, and graduated from Pocahontas in 1974.

John and Kyle have three children: Kelley Lynn, age 6, born January 8, 1975; John Michael, age 3, born February 1, 1978, and Robyn Elaine, born May 5, 1981.

The family presently lives in the first schoolhouse in Ware.  John, as time has allowed him, has done all the remodeling work.  Kyle helps out with the painting and varnishing.  Presently, the family occupies only the West half of the building.  Future plans include the remodeling of the East half.

The CEJKA family enjoy doing many things together.  Weather permitting, they ride bicycles nearly every night.  Fishing is a favorite pasttime along with working in the garden.  The children especially enjoy working with and riding their horses.  During the winter months, John enjoys trapping and snowmobiling.  Kyle’s hobbies include sewing, embroidery and crocheting.



John and Maude CEJKA

Copied from an old old clipping – “Married – CHAPPELL-CEJKA.  A quiet marriage occured in Laurens last Thursday morning, when John CEJKA and Maude CHAPPELL, two of our most worthy young people, were made husband and wife.  They have lived in our midst for a number of years and have the good wishes of a large number of friends.  The bride looked truly beautiful in a dress of old rose wool trimmed in pink silk and ribbon, while the groom wore the conventional black.  They commenced housekeeping at once on the grooms farm near Ware.”  I couldn’t find the marriage certificate so the year itself is unknown to me but I know they lived to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  I am their only daughter-in-law, Pearle CEJKA, and I lived with them and my husband, their son Robert, on their farm, for eight years.  I know the CEJKA family is an American success story.  John CEJKA came over from Prague, Czechoslovakia with his young mother Anna CEJKA and his little sister Anna.  He lived as a bonded servant when he was seven years old.  He was paid $1.00 a year, sometimes had to sleep on straw and many times had to wrap his feet in gunny sacks for warmth as he tended the farmer’s cattle as no fences were used in those days.  During the years of the depression which were most severe through 1929 through 1936 they had just mortgaged their home place in Sherman Township to help pay for a 320 acre farm in Marshall town-

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ship.  Rather than lose both farms they worked very hard and raised many hogs and cattle.  Many years they raised about 1,300 hogs a year.  The peak year in the depression of the early 30’s they raised 1,628 hogs.  Because of the size of their operation, it meant severe toil for the the CEJKAs.  But the profits from their toil bought and paid for three farms with a 1,020 acres.  The farms had no electricity until 1937.  Housekeeping in those days was hard work.  Planting of the crops was done with horses.  Mrs. CEJKA’s house was always full of farm hands and she was a bountiful cook.  John CEJKA passed away in 1951 and Maude CEJKA passed away in 1955.  Preceding them in death was their little daughter Mabel who died from whooping cough and measles, at the age of eight.  Family interments are in the Havelock cemetery.



Robert and Pearle CEJKA

Robert CEJKA and Pearle SUNDERMEYER were married April 3, 1926 in Mallard Iowa.  Robert farmed with his father in Sherman Township and they lived in the same house with his parents for eight years.  Their first two children were born there, John CEJKA III and Alice Rae.  Then a small house was built in the same yard and children Robert II, James, Fred, and daughter Dorothy were born there.  In the year 1938 Robert and Pearle and family moved on the 320 acre CEJKA farm in Marshall township.  There, sons Joe, Ronald and Ralph were born.  All the children attended the Ware school.  Through the efforts of the Ware Community Club and of which Pearle CEJKA was president, a hot lunch program was started, in which one hot dish was served every day and surplus commodities were provided by the state.  This was the first project of this kind in the state of Iowa and was started in the Ware school.  It was written up in the Congressional Record in Washington D.C. (Mr. Fred GILCHRIST was the Senator at the time.  His home was in Laurens, Iowa.)  The family were members of the Methodist Church in Ware.  I, Pearle, can remember that I baked seven loaves of bread, I spent two days a week in the basement washing approximately 20 loads of wash each time.  The washing machine was a Maytag washer with a Briggs and Stratton motor underneath.  No electricity came to the farms until 1939 but electric washing machines were too high priced at that time for most farmers.  I raised 500 capon roosters one spring so that I could buy a new Monarch kitchen range.  We set the table for twelve or more every day.  We must not forget to mention the threshing crew that was between 25 and 30 men came every summer and it never failed that it rained at our place just before noon dinner so they had to come back for another meal.  Our basement walls were lined with shelves that held a minimum of a thousand quarts of fruit and vegetables, for the winter months groceries.  In 1952 due to failing health, Robert built a new home nearby and moved the younger family there which was Joe, Ronald and Ralph.  These boys attended the Laurens High School after the Ware school closed.  Their oldest son John attended West Point Military Academy.  Robert Cejka passed away suddenly in his home after an extended illness, September 26, 1966.  Preceeded in death were sons Fred and James.  Interment is in the Havelock Cemetery.


Robert R. Cejka Jr. was born July 27, 1931, in Ware, Ia.  He grew up in the Ware area where he attended and graduated from Ware Consolidated School.  On April 20, 1952 he married Patricia WILBUR, daughter of John and Grace WILBUR of Laurens.  They moved into their new home 1½ miles south of Ware.  There he farmed 360 acres until 1974.  To this union were born five children: Carol (Mrs. Marvin HANNA) of Laurens, Ia.  They have two children, Doug age 10, Christopher age 7; Barbara (Hillsboro, Oregon); Linda (Mrs. Jerry KORRECT of Waukesha, Wisconsin).  They have one child, Angela age 3; Diane (Cornelius, Oregon).  She has one child Mellissa age 4; Bob (Hillsboro, Oregon).

In 1974 he sold his land and moved to Hillsboro, Oregon, where he is currently in the Coast to Coast Store business.  Submitted by Carol HANNA


Robert CEJKA, Corn Belt Power Cooperative board President, passed away suddenly at his farm home southeast of Laurens, Iowa on September 26, 1966.

Robert CEJKA was a pioneer leader in Rural Electrification.  His record of service spans a full thirty years.  He was one of the incorporators of Pocahontas Rural Electric Cooperative in 1937 and served on the board until his death.  He was chairman of that board during the cooperatives first twenty years.

He was one of the incorporators of Central Electric Federated Cooperative Association in 1937, a pioneer power cooperative, later marged with Federated Coperative Power Association of Hampton, Iowa to form Corn Belt Power Cooperative in 1947.

Mr. CEJKA served on the Corn Belt Board from its origin – as a director, as Vice President, and for the last 6 years as President.  He served on numerous committees of state and National stature and was Sec.-Treasurer of the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives at the time of his passing.


Robert R. CEJKA Family


Robert CEJKA

Robert CEJKA provided three decades of dedicated leadership to rural electric cooperatives.  Farm people, particularly in Iowa, owe him a large measure of gratitude for his relentless efforts to provide low cost, high quality electric service to farms.  Rural electrification lost a champion when he passed away.

Robert (Bob) CEJKA held an active interest in the Ware community, serving 20 years on the Ware school board and many years as a member of the board of trustees of First Christian Church in Laurens.  He also served as Democratic chairman of Pocahontas County for several years.

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I am a transplant into Pocahontas County from Calhoun County.  In 1934 I was fortunate to be hired to teach the country school at Lake #9.  Herman RICKLEFS was the director.  I taught there one year for $45.00 a month.  Then a new director was voted in and he had a friend who had just graduated from high school and was looking for a teaching position.  I applied at the school two miles north, Lake #4 where Anton RICKLEFS was director and I was the eighth teacher to apply and was hired.

It was the custom at Christmas time to have a program in the one room country school.  The children drew names, the parents were invited and Santa would be there.

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Liily BLOUDIL GIBSON was born Lilly WUNDER, the daughter of Henry and Mary WUNDER.  She was married to Paul BLOUDIL.  They lived and farmed southwest of Ware.  They had two daughters, Audrey and Arlene.  Paul died there in 1945.

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Mr. and Mrs. James GOMMELS and Michelle

James GOMMELS, son of Herman GOMMELS, and LeDonna KNACK GOMMELS, (daughter of Chris and Esther KNACK) grew up in the Fonda-Varina area and graduated from the Fonda Public School.  Jim entered the service.  LeDonna attended Morningside College and then taught in Alta, Iowa.

On June 5, 1960, they were married and spent a year in Washington State. Michelle Marlene was born in April 1961 and after Jim’s discharge they returned to Iowa, LeDonna to teach in Humboldt and Jim to attend Ft. Dodge Community College.  In 1963 they moved to Cedar Falls.  LeDonna to teach and Jim to get his degree from University of Northern Iowa.  They moved to Winthrop where both taught.  Jim received his Master’s Degree from Northeast Missouri State.  At present both are teaching in the Iowa City School System.

Michelle is attending the University School of Pharmacy in Iowa City and is a flag girl in the Hawkeye marching band.

Jim is active in Lions Club.  Has served as an officer in Iowa Council and National Geographic Society.  LeDonna and Michelle are members of Varina Legion Auxiliary and both have attended Girls’ State.  LeDonna was active in 4-H in Pocahontas County and received many county, State, and national awards.

The family are members and active in the St. Mark’s Methodist Church in Iowa City.

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Mr. and Mrs. A.V. (Arnold Victor and Elnora Frances) became residents of Rolfe in 1914 when Mr. GRAEBER was hired as superintendent of schools there.  Prior to this, he served in the school systems of Merrill and Sutherland, Iowa.  Mr. and Mrs. GRAEBER were both graduates of what is now the University of Northern Iowa at Cedar Falls.  They married in 1909 and had five sons, one of whom died at birth.

A.V. GRAEBER was born at Crocker, Iowa, near Alleman, Iowa, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry GRAEBER on October 12, 1881.  His father, Henry GRAEBER, was a country doctor and was killed when a horse kicked him in his head while he was hitching his team to make a house call.  Mrs. Henry GRAEBER then remarried and with her young family, moved to Arcadia, Iowa, in Carroll County.  There, A.V. graduated from high school at the age of fifteen.

Elnora RINGGENBERG was the ninth child born to Mr. and Mrs. David RINGGENBERG of Sheldahl, Iowa, on August 27, 1887.  She studied music in college and taught at Merrill, Iowa, after her marriage to A.V.

A.V. GRAEBER became an established business-

[page 386]

man in the Rolfe community dealing in real estate and insurance.  He and his wife were active members in the Masonic Pilot Lodge No. 467, Order of the Eastern Star No. 79, and the Methodist Church of Rolfe.

Elnora died suddenly in her home on December 13, 1956.  A.V. died following a short bout with cancer on February 9, 1975.  They are buried in the Rolfe Cemetery.

Four sons are living in 1981: 1) Clifford Francis and his wife Ruthelaine, reside in Burbank, California.  They had two daughters, Marilyn and Carol, and one son, Bob.  2) Theron Eugene and his wife Janel, live in Anaheim, California.  Theron had one son, Bill.  3) Burdette Arnold has lived and worked in New York City since college.  4) Gerald Raymond and his wife, Islea, live on a farm near West Bend.  They are the parents of a son, Steven, and a daughter, Marsha.


Gerald R. and Islea L. GRAEBER have lived for the past 22 years on their farm eleven miles north of Rolfe.

Islea, the third child of John G. and Myrtle RICKLEFS, was born in Lake Township.  She moved with her family to Section 28 of Garfield Township south of Rolfe at the age of 8.  She attended Country school, Garfield #4, and the Rolfe High School, graduating in 1939 as valedictorian.  Islea taught first and second grades at Rembrandt, Iowa after receiving a degree from Iowa State Teachers College.

Gerald was born and raised in the town of Rolfe, the youngest of four living sons of A.V. and Elnora GRAEBER.  Gerald attended the local school graduating from high school in 1938.  He participated in athletics, lettering all 4 years in football.  He attended Drake University in Des Moines for three years then enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force, called to duty in December, 1941.

Gerald and Islea were married August 5, 1942 at the chapel of Foster Field, Victoria, Texas.  Their son Steven was born May 15, 1944 while Gerald was stationed at Woodward, Oklahoma.  Gerald served in the South Pacific theater of the war in 1945.  His active duty ended in 1946 after serving as supply officer of the air base at Ojo, Arizona.


Gerald, Richard SWANSON, Marsha GRAEBER SWANSON, Islea, Steven

Jerry, Islea, and Steven took up residence in the town of Rolfe in the stucco duplex at the north end of the business district.  (Then owned by A.V. GRAEBER).  Jerry became his father’s right hand man, first farming the family farm south of Rolfe and then enlarging the operation to include the present half section north of Rolfe, now owned by him and his wife.  Islea taught first grade in the local school in the early fifties.  She and Mrs. R.O. MORTENSON were the first married lady teachers to be hired by the district because of the shortage of teachers.

The GRAEBER’s son, Steven, attended the Rolfe School thru his freshman year.  He was active in the Boy Scouts and the Presbyterian Youth Fellowship.  After graduation from West Bend High School in 1962 he attended Iowa State University at Ames, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering.  Since then he has lived and been employed in the Los Angeles, California area.

The GRAEBER’s daughter, Marsha, who had been born in 1948 attended Rolfe school through the 5th grade.  She graduated from West Bend High School (1966) and received a B.A. degree in child development from I.S.U.  In 1970 she married Richard SWANSON of Aurelia, Iowa, an I.S.U. graduate with a B.A. degree in agriculture education.  They lived in Glidden, Ankeny, and Sheldon where Richard taught agriculture and Marsha managed child care centers before their move to the farm 9 miles north of Rolfe in 1977.  Their daughter Heather Lynn was born March 9, 1980.

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August and Christine CARLSON GUSTAFSON came from Sweden.  They were parents of 8 children: Julia (Mrs. Fritz LUNDBERG), Mabel (Mrs. Alfred LARSON), Edith (Mrs. Bert EGERTSON [sic]), Esther (Mrs. Waldemar PETERSON), Gilbert, Earnest, Robert and Ed GUSTAFSON.  All are deceased in this year of 1981 but Mabel LARSON of Albert City.  She was 94 Jan. 11th and still lives alone in her own home.  Mrs. Bert EGERTSEN was the mother of August and Martin EGERTSEN, Marie FAGERLUND and Christine RYON (deceased Aug. 11, 1963).


Carl John GUSTAFSON was born December 17, 1860 in Skaraborg’s Lan, Vastergotland, Sweden and came to America at the age of 21 on November 26, 1882.  (He had 3 sisters and 3 brothers) Carl first was employed in a furniture factory at Rockford, Illinois, and then moved to Alta, Iowa where some


Carl John and Emma GUSTAFSON


Christine CARLSON GUSTAFSON and Children

cousins were living.  He worked as a carpenter helping to build many churches in that area.

Emma Ulrika ERICKSON was born in Sweden, May 1, 1862, came to Chicago, Illinois in the 1880’s and worked as a housekeeper.  During this time she met Carl and they corresponded by letter after he moved to Alta.  In January 1889, he wrote “I’m coming to Chicago and we’ll get married–don’t tell anyone.”

These were my grandparents who were married in Chicago, February 16, 1889.  While first living in Alta where Lillie was born, Grandpa bought 80 acres S.W. of Laurens for $10 an acre.  This was recorded May 8, 1889.  Later they moved to the farm on which Grandpa built a house.  The last west rooms were added on in 1909.  Eight more children were born on this farm: Godtfrid, Nora, Anna, Hjalmar, Justus, Ray, Malcolm and Marie.  On July 17, 1910, Grandma died from cancer of the liver.  Grandpa carried on alone with help of older children as Marie was only a few months old.  In 1917 he and the younger children moved to Albert City.  (He also built that house).

In 1929 Grandpa and Hjalmar went to South Dakota and brought back evergreen seedlings which were planted on the farm.

On July 29, 1930 Grandpa married Emily ANDERSON of Albert City.

Carl was a member of the Laurens Lutheran Church.  In 1899 he joined the Mission Covenant Church of Albert City and was church board secretary for many years.  July 31, 1947 Carl John passed away.

Justus, my father, was born August 26, 1898.  He went 8 years to the north corner, Swan Lake #8 country school.  He then worked on the farm.  At age 3 he remembers his mother outside yelling that something was wrong.  She could see a team of horses running east on the road a mile south.  These were the Albert City bank robbers who had just earlier switched teams for fresh horses with Ada ANDERSON (EKSTAM) and her mother.  Justus also remembers swallowing a nail at the age of 11.  His dad took him by train to Chicago to doctors who wanted to operate, but Carl John said “no, we’re going home to talk to mother first.”  To this day Justus doesn’t know where the nail went.

Justus and Ida Naomi ANDERSON were married December 22, 1920 at Albert City in his father’s home.  They started farming 4 miles east of Albert City (Tom SELKE place) where Earl was born.  Later they moved to the home place where Leona, Lowell, DeWayne and Ethel were born.  Submitted by DeWayne E. GUSTAFSON


DeWayne was born March 23, 1927 in the same house his dad was.  He has 2 older brothers, Earl and Lowell and 1 older sister, Leona, and a younger sister, Ethel.  DeWayne went 7 years to Marshall #1 country school and graduated from Albert City in 1945.  After graduating, he served with the Army for 16 months, then worked in Des Moines in the parts department for International Harvestor and car-


DeWayne GUSTAFSON Family Heidi, Randy, Dale, Ardis and DeWayne

[page 394]

pentered with his Uncle Hjalmar in the Albert City area.  DeWayne started farming with his dad in 1948 and that year met Ardis PETERSON for the first time.  In May 1949, his brother Lowell married Joyce BOUGHEY (Ardis’s cousin) and both DeWayne and Ardis stood up with them at Jackson, Minnesota, a starting of a new romance.

Ardis PETERSON was born March 12, 1931 in the same house her dad, Clyde, was.  She also went to the same Cummins #3 country school and graduated from the same Laurens High School in 1949.  Ardis went to A.I.B. in Des Moines for 7 months and then came to Laurens and was Lowell HAKES’ secretary for 11 months.

Rev. H.O. WARD of the Laurens Methodist Church married DeWayne and Ardis on September 3, 1950.

They lived in an apartment for about 6 months and then moved to the Elmer EKSTAM farm in February of ’51.  Dale was born September 22, 1957 and they moved to the Pete ASCHENBRENNER place in December.  Randy was born November 26, 1958 and Heidi on January 21, 1963.

The GUSTAFSON home place (120 acres) was bought by DeWayne and Ardis in 1963, and they moved there in November of ’65.  June 1975 the Payton construction of Emmetsburg started to remodel the house and finished the downstairs the end of October.

Different animals have been on the farm … the first (and only) 2 milk cows didn’t last long after kicking the milk pail over several times.  Sheep were around for several years, but DeWayne decided hogs were his favorite, so gave up the sheep.  Cookie was their first black cocker-spaniel dog and went with them everywhere.  She died of old age and is buried on the ASCHENBRENNER farm.  Now “Buddy” (mostly Beagle) is the family pet who has his own chair to sleep in.  His favorite trick is singing “Happy Birthday.”

Ardis taught Sunday School for 13 years and now is one of the Laurens Methodist church organists.  She and DeWayne both bowl on a team.

Ardis’ early memories are: drinking warm milk, stepping in a bucket of milk, setting chairs up in the living room and playing school with her brother and dolls, and her cat “Mickey” who she could dress up and push him in her doll buggy.  Submitted by Ardis M. GUSTAFSON



Lowell and Marvella GUSTAFSON

Lowell and Marvella GUSTAFSON were married November 16, 1943, in Hutchinson, Kansas while Lowell was stationed in the Naval Air Corp.  Lowell served 4 years in the service during World War II.  That last year was spent in Okinawi.

They are the parents of three children, and six grandchildren.  Gloria, Mrs. Don MUMFORD of Pocahontas, have four children, Cindy, 16 Donna 14, Jill 11, and Donald Jr. age 10.  Gloria works in Wood’s Super Value and has for the past ten years.  Don is employed at Buske Mfg.  Garry GUSTAFSON lives in St. Louis, Mo.  He works in The Webster Groves Trust Bank there and is an assistant cashier.  He is married but has no children.  Glenda, Mrs. Duane RICKLEFS, lives in Palmer, Iowa and has two daughters, Kristie, age 7 and DeAnn, age 3, Glenda works for James HUDSON, an attorney, in Pocahontas.  She has worked for him for 12 years.  Duane works at Iowa Industrial Hyd. Industries.  He has been there for about 12 years.

Lowell’s father, Ernest GUSTAFSON, lived on a farm northeast of Albert City, Iowa about all his life.  He married Olga PETERSON and they had 8 children.  One son Elmer died during World War II.  Ernest died in 1960.  Mrs. Olga GUSTAFSON lives in Pocahontas, Iowa.

Marvella’s folks, Mr. and Mrs. Hiram E. PETERS, live in Rolfe, Iowa.  They are the parents of four children, three boys and one daughter.  They are Herbert PETERS, Pocahontas, Marvella GUSTAFSON Pocahontas, Henry PETERS, Omaha, Nebr., Dick PETERS of Rolfe, Iowa.

Lowell works for Barrett Milling and Feed of Pocahontas, Iowa.  He has worked there for about 17 years.  Marvella works at the Pocahontas Record Democrat Newspaper in Pocahontas, Iowa and has worked there for 16 years.  We have lived in Pocahontas Co. all our lives.

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The HAWLEY family was of English origin.  George HAWLEY (b. 1843; d. 1889), one of the first settlers in what was then known as Laurens Township, was a native of Ontario, Canada.  During the early years of the Civil war, he moved to Heuvelton, St. Lawrence County, N.Y. where he married Mary FURNESS and farmed.  The inflation, gold standard, and depression following the Civil War made it impossible for them to pay off the New York farm mortgage, and in 1880 they moved with six children (Celona A. b. 20 Feb. 1868, Charles Anthony, b. 13 Sept. 1869, Frederick b. 31 Oct. 1870, Esther Ann b. 14 Nov. 1872, Lavenia Maude b. 7 Sept. 1875, Harriet Catherine b. 2 July 1878), to the NW¼ section 14, Marshall Township.  The family arrived in Fonda, Iowa on May 28, 1880, but their household effects did not arrive until September.  The only structure on the farm was a sod trapper’s shanty and a shallow dug-out big enough for two horses.  A frame addition was added to the sod shanty and the family lived in those miserable quarters on a very meager income for several years.  The family grew to ten with the addition of Albert William, b. 30 April, 1882, May Furness, b. 10 May, 1884, Sophronia Ellen, b. 24 March, 1887, and Seymour George, b. 6 March, 1890 after the death of his father.

The family moved to Rolfe for a time in 1889 while George HAWLEY operated a livery stable in an attempt to supplement the family income.  Father George HAWLEY became ill with typhoid fever, presumably from contaminated well water in Rolfe, and the disease swept through the entire family.  George HAWLEY died in October, 1889 and the rest of the family managed to survive the disease.  Fred HAWLEY seemed to have the most severe case of the children and hovered between life and death for weeks.  When he first went to bed with the sickness he weighed over 200 pounds and when he finally started to recover he weighed less than 80 pounds and was carried about the house in the arms of his sister.  His recovery was very slow, and much effort was required for him to learn to walk again.  He had deep scars on his body from sores that developed because he was bedfast for so long without the benefit of knowledge of proper care, and with the


Fred K. and Hetty B. HAWLEY

[page 412]

entire family being burdened with the disease.  He was left with a damaged heart that caused him prblems the rest of his life.  It was several years before he could even walk without the aid of crutches, and in fact, was on crutches when he was married November 17, 1893.  In spite of his handicap he was industrious and hard working being particularly successful with livestock upon which he concentrated his farming efforts.  With only $5.00 in cash, his wife teaching school, and a cooperative banker, he purchased 80 acres in the W½-NW¼ section 11, Marshall Township with which he built enough equity to purchase the home place from his brother in 1899 and the balance in 1914.  The HAWLEY farm in the W½ of section 14 Marshall Township, was officially designated a Century Farm in 1981, the date of the first abstract entry.

Fred K. HAWLEY was united in marriage to Henrietta Isabel BOEKENOOGEN on November 17, 1893 by the Rev. John A. KEES in the KEES’ home.  To this union were born two children: Charles Frederick, born February 10, 1902, and Martha Elizabeth, born July 8, 1906.  Charles married Lela Jane STOVER, who passed away in 1923, and married Leone DAVIDSON in 1927.  Martha married Robert B. HUDDLESTON in 1929.

Fred K. HAWLEY spent his lifetime trying to help others, especially farmers.  He was active and outspoken in the organization and promotion of any project, program, organization, institution or politician that he felt would benefit the farmer.  he knew that if the farmer prospered, the rest of the country would also prosper.  He was active in the establishment of drainage districts and promoting drainage of the lowlands and swamp lands of the area; he promoted higher education and the reorganization of the schools; he was concerned about farm tenancy and felt the land should be oowned by the family who farms it (He was Chairman of the Iowa Farm Tenancy committee in the 1930’s and also served on President Franklin ROOSEVELT’s National Farm Tenancy Committee); he was a firm believer in the cooperative movement and was one of the first organizers of the Farmers Trading Company (serving as its first secretary) which is now the Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company in Laurens; he helped organize the first rural telephone company in Laurens; he promoted the farmers mutual insurance organizations, and was active in mutual insurance organizations from 1900 until his death in 1945 at which time he was a member of the Board of Directors of five different insurance companies, and all the time he was fighting poor health.  he worked for the United States Department of Agriculture in 1933 and 1934 establishing the county organizations to administer the first farm program ever under the Agricultural Adjustment Act.  He was the USDA representative when the first crib of corn was sealed in the United States in Pocahontas County.  It is impossible to enumerate all his activities.

Hetty B. HAWLEY was a pioneer in her own way.  She was a teacher who came from a family of educators.  She was interested in community affairs and took an active part in various study clubs being one of the original organizers of the Laurens Woman’s Club.  She helped in the establishment of the park in Laurens and in the securing of the Carnegie Library.  She served on the Laurens Park Board for many years.  She was also active in the Methodist Church.


Leland John HAWLEY was born September 5, 1923 on the HAWLEY home farm in section 14, Marshall Township, Pocahontas County, Iowa.  He was the son of Charles Frederick HAWLEY and Lela Jane (STOVER) HAWLEY.  He was brought into this world by Dr. J.H. HOVENDEN of Laurens, and was left motherless when his mother died shortly after his birth.  He


Leland and Connie HAWLEY

was nicknamed “Bud” by his great Aunt Sophronia HAWLEY who was the nurse present at his birth.  He was named Leland John by his grandmother HAWLEY deriving the name from from his mother’s, Lela Jane, but the only name most know is “Bud.”  Four years later father, Charles F., married Leone DAVIDSON in Laurens, Iowa where the HAWLEY family had moved from the farm in 1925.  Up to that time the only Mother Bud knew was his grandmother, Henrietta Isabelle (BOEKENOOGEN) HAWLEY.  Since grandfather, Fred K. HAWLEY, was “Dad” to Charlie, and grandmother was “Ma”, it was natural for the grandparents to be Ma and Dad to Bud, and his Dad was “Charlie”.  Bud continued to live with his grandparents, and even though Leone was the most wonderful step-mother in the world, and it was convenient that Charles and Leone lived just across the street so Bud could flit back and forth, home was with “Ma” and “Dad”.

Bud attended the Laurens Consolidated School in Laurens graduating in 1941.  He attended Grinnell College until entering the U.S. Army in 1943.  On June 21, 1945 Leland John HAWLEY and Beverly June BUCKWALTER were united in marriage in the First Methodist Church, Hot Springs, Arkansas.  Beverly was the daughter of Russel McKinley BUCKWALTER and Gladys (WABLE) BUCKWALTER who were natives of Portage, Pa.  They had moved to Arkansas from Latrobe, Pa. because of the arthritic condition of the mother.  Beverly and Bud met in a USO in Hot Springs while Bud was on interim duty at Army-Navy General Hospital in Hot Springs.  They made their first home in Little Rock, Arkansas where Bud finished his time in the Army and was employed as an insurance investigator for Retail Credit Company until they moved to Iowa in May of 1946 when Bud joined his father in the Hawley Insurance Agency in Laurens.  Grandfather Fred K. HAWLEY had passed away in 1945.  Grandmother Henrietta HAWLEY passed away in 1952.  Father Charles F. HAWLEY passed away in 1974.

Four children were born to this family: Cynthia Lee, b. 19 Nov. 1948, Fredrick Kent, b. 25 Aug. 1950, Gloria Ann (Mrs. William GRICE), b. 16 Dec. 1952, and Mary Kay (Mrs. Dale LARSON), b. 22 Feb. 1955.  They all graduated from the Laurens Community School.  Cynthia graduated from Drake University and now has a managerial position with the First Valley Bank of Bethlehem, Pa.  Fred graduated from the University of Iowa and is woorking in Minneapolis, Minn.  Gloria graduated from Mankato State College, Mankato, Minn. and is working as a registered nurse.  Mary Kay attended the University of South Dakota but is now enjoying being a farm housewife.

L.J. HAWLEY was also united in marriage to Constance Louise CARLSON HOAG on April 2, 1975 at the First United Methodist Church in Laurens.  They reside at 311 East Olive St., Laurens, Iowa with son, Robert Carlson HOAG who is a sophomore at Laurens-Marathon Community High School.

Connie is a retired teacher being active in community organizations and local and state chapters of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary professional teachers sorority.  Bud is a professional insurance agent who is also active in community organizations.  He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Laurens Municipal Light and Power Plant, Treasurer of the Laurens-Marathon Community School, Secretary-Treasurer of the Laurens Development Corporation and a director of the Laurens Skyways Corporation.  He is Secretary-Treasurer of the Pocahontas Mutual Insurance Association, and a member of the Board of Directors of IMT Insurance Company (Mutual) of Des Moines, Iowa.  He is also president of Hawley Insurance Agency, Inc.


Charles Frederick HAWLEY, born February 10, 1902 son of Fred K. and Henrietta BOOKENOOGAN HAWLEY, and Leone Louise DAVIDSON, born May 8, 1907 daughter of Joseph Ray and Blanche MARKER DAVIDSON, all of Laurens, were married June 1, 1927 at the Fred HAWLEY home in Laurens.  They established their first home in an apartment located at 204 South 2nd St. Laurens and after a short time moved to a home they purchased at 312 South 3rd St.  Charles was employed by Standard Oil Co. as a tank wagon delivery salesman.  On June 1, 1928 daughter Wanda June was born.  She passed away August 17, 1928 with pneumonia.  Daughter Gretchen Lee was born June 29, 1930 and daughter Jane Lucile was born April 7, 1934.  Charles had one sister Martha (deceased).  Leone has three sisters and two brothers, Vera, Harold (deceased), Raymond (deceased), Berniece and Mary.  In 1933 Charles joined his father Fred in the Hawley Insurance Agency in Laurens.  Charles became the Secretary of the Pocahontas Co. Mutual in 1941 and the home office was moved from Plover to the Hawley Agency in Laurens.  Charles and Leone moved to the home they purchased at 224 W. Section Line Rd. in 1946.  On March 15, 1959 they moved to their newly built home at 410 W. Section Line Rd.  Both of their daughters are graduates of Laurens High School where they participated in Music, Drama, and Speech.  Daughter Gretchen graduated in 1948 and attended Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls and married Donal Harry WOODIN on March 13, 1949 and they moved to a farm in Sherman Twp. near Ware.  Daughter Jane graduated from high school in 1951 and from the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1955 with a B.S. degree in nursing.  She married Jay APPLETON of Denver, Colorado June 29, 1955 at the Christian Church in Laurens.  After working for Conoco Oil Co. for a number of years, living in Denver, North Platte, Nebr., and Sedalia, Mo., they both are now teachers at the State Fair Junior College in Sedalia, Mo.  They are the parents of two sons, Charles Eugene born July 28, 1957 and married to Katherine KNEPPER of Beaverdale, Pa. November 22, 1979.  Son Bret Jay born July 29, 1959 and married to Deborah THOMAS of Sedalia June 3, 1979.  Charles HAWLEY was a graduate of Ware High School in 1921 and Cedar Rapids Business College.  He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Des Moines Consistory, Eastern Star, charter member of Laurens Lions Club, past president Laurens Chamber of Commerce and Community Chest, served from 1934 to 1967 as Treasurer of the Laurens school district, in 1946 became a member of the board of directors of I.M.T. Insurance Co. in Des Moines and served that company as treasurer from 1966 until he passed away September 10, 1973.  Leone graduated from Laurens High School in 1925 and worked at the U.S. Post Office in Laurens until her marriage.  She has several hobbies and is a member of the United Methodist Church, Eastern Star, Stitchers, and several card clubs.  Both enjoyed travelling and fishing together which they did extensively following his retirement in 1968.

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Seymour George HAWLEY was the youngest son of George and Mary FURNESS HAWLEY, one of the early pioneer families.

His father, George, was of Dutch and English descent and his family first settled in Pennsylvania; later moving to Ontario, Canada.  He returned to the United States during the Civil War to work on a farm near Heuvelton, New York.  Here he met and married Mary FURNESS.  They lived in St. Laurence County, New York until 1880 when they moved to the NW¼, Sec. 14 Marshall township, Pocahontas County, to the HAWLEY Home Place near Laurens, Iowa.

George had preceded his wife and family in the winter of 1879 to Iowa to see the land possibilities here and Mary and their six children followed in the spring of 1880, arriving in Fonda, Iowa, by immigrant train.  The family hauled their possessions by team and wagon across open prairie following trails around lakes and ponds to their new home – a trapper’s shanty and shallow dug-out large enough for two horses.

In the ten years that followed, three more children were born and in October of 1889, Seymour’s father died of typhoid fever.  Just four months later on March 6, 1890, Seymour was born, the youngest child in a family of four boys and six girls.

Seymour attended grade school at Marshall No. 1, Marshall Center and grade school in Laurens.  He left school after eighth grade and started to work, sometimes with ditching crews, sometimes at the carpentry trade, or cattle herding and finally farming on the home place.

On December 18, 1913, Seymour married Florence Ethel SARGENT, at New Virginia, Iowa.  Ethel was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. O.O. SARGENT.  She was born November 20, 1890 in Wilcox, Nebraska.  The SARGENT family later moved to Laurens where they resided on a farm in Marshall township.  Here Seymour and Ethel attended country school together.  Later she attended business college in Des Moines and at the time of their marriage she was employed at Successful Farming in Des Moines.

Seymour and Ethel started farming in 1914 on a farm one and three fourths miles west of Ware where they lived fourteen years.  In 1925, they moved to the HAWLEY home place, owned by brother F.K. HAWLEY, where they remained for thirty two years.  Their first children born were twins, Alice


S.G. HAWLEY Family   Jim, Florence, Orville, Marilyn   Bob, Mother, Dad, Ken

and Alfred, who died in infancy.  Other members of the family are Orville, Laurens, Florence (Mrs. H.M. POHLMAN) of Laurens, Jim, of Corona, California, Marilyn (Mrs. Bob DUBBERT) Laurens, Bob, of Laurens, who farms the home place, and Kenneth of Novato, California.

Seymour was a member of Grace Lodge A.F. & A.M., served as a committeeman for the Triple A and was a member of the board of directors of the Farmers Trading Company, later known as the Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company.

Ethel was a 28 year member of the Order of Eastern Star, pianist at Ware Methodist Church for over forty years and a life member of the United Methodist Women.  Both Seymour and Ethel were members of the United Methodist Church.

Seymour died on the HAWLEY farm June 3, 1957, the farm where he was born and Ethel on October 24, 1974 in Laurens, Iowa.

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Fred Merle HODGELL, son of James Wesley and Alice Electa BARTHOLOMEW HODGELL, was born August 6, 1895, at Galt, Iowa.  He grew up in Greeley, Colorado and brought his wife and family to Pocahontas County in 1924.

Adda May QUIGLEY, daughter of Horace Morello and Martha Carolina MOORE QUIGLEY, was born September 18, 1900, at Decatur City, Iowa and grew up in Wibaux, Montana.

On June 2, 1917, Fred and Adda were married at Wibaux, Montana, at the home of the bride.  Farming was their life ever since marriage, and they have

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Fred and Adda HODGELL

farmed in Wibaux, Montana, Decatur County, and Pocahontas County.  They always raised livestock including milk cows.  They have lived on farms near Pocahontas, Ware, Varina, and Gilmore City over their farming years.  They moved to the farm in section 36 in 1942 and lived there until their son, Merle moved onto it in 1957.

Fred and Adda had six children: Cyrus Merle, born January 22, 1818 [sic], Luella Mae, born March 9, 1919, Lorraine Merton, born January 18, 1921 and died as an infant, James Morello, born February 20, 1922, Edmondeane Marie, born October 27, 1924, and Lorna Martha, born January 2, 1927.

Cyrus Merle married Wanda PEERS from Rolfe and they live on the above mentioned farm.  They had four children Marla Marie, Mary Helen, Frederick Albert, and Cyrus Merle II.

Luella Mae married Robert Charles SNOW Sr. from Laurens, and they farmed near Ware until Bob’s death in 1975.  Luella still resides there.  They had 11 children: Robert Charles Jr., Roberta Luann, John Fredrick, Joanne Elizabeth, Leda May, Laurel Lea, Gertrude Debra, Dana Clair, Gaylen Ross, Gayle Annetta, and Wayne Alan.

James married Laura Marie ZEMAN from Palmer and they now make their home in Gilmore City.  They had eight children: James Harold, Rebecca Louise, Ellen Ruth, Paul William, Alex John, Kathleen Mary, Barbara Ann, and Lena Marie.

Edmondeane married Bernard Clarance RICKLEFS from Rolfe and they have farmed all their married life near Rolfe.  They have three children: Timothy Joe, Bennet Bernard, and Susan Deane.

Lorna married Vincent Joseph MILLER from Pocahontas and they lived in Pocahontas and Humboldt Counties all their married life.  Vince died in 1978 and Lorna still resides in Pocahontas.  They had eight children: David Joseph, Kelvin Michael, Jay Alan, Alice Electa, Joe Wesley, Darious Evan, Joyce Elaine, and Melissa Maye.

Fred learned that his ancestors came to the United States from Ireland and Adda’s ancestors from Ireland and England.  Fred died on March 14, 1973, after he and Adda had lived in Pocahontas for ten years, and Adda still lives in Pocahontas.  They retired from farming in 1963 and did so enjoy the farm life.  Adda’s “pride and joy” has always been all 34 of her grandchildren plus 65 great-grandchildren.  She is also saddened when she thinks about losing three grandsons and three great-grandchildren to death.  Submitted by Donna and Adda HODGELL

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Donald was born near Pocahontas on April 16, 1921, the oldest child of Walter and Rena DIRKS HOHENSEE.  Grandparents were David and Emilie DABRAKO HOHENSEE and John and Pearl SCHOON DIRKS.

Town and rural schools were attended by Don and some of his teachers included Helen HARRIS — Hazel TERRY, and Mrs. Ray WESSELS.  After completing eighth grade he worked for local farmers Al TURNER, Ray CRUMMER, and Archie JONES.  In 1942 he began farming for himself until the draft call for World War II.

Don left for military service with the army in Dec. of 1942, seeing basic training at Fort Custer, Michigan.  Further training in Camp McCoy, Wisc. and maneuvers in Tenn.  The 476th quartermaster corps debarked from Camp Shanks, N.Y. aboard the Queen Mary, destination Glascow, Scotland.  The crossing took 5½ days across the u-boat infested Atlantic.  From Glascow the troops traveled by train for Hereford England where they were kept busy with maintenance in preparation for D-Day.  The first week of June the troops were transferred to Swansea Bay, England along the English Channel with arms and trucks on alert.  On June 6th the corps landed on Omaha Beach in France with the third wave of assault forces.  Action was seen near the cities of Carentan, Isignty, and Ste Mere Eglise, France.  After fourteen days of action the truck convoy was hit by a German Messerschmitt machine-gun straffing, near Ste Mere Eglise.  Don’s truck was hit and he was injured by flying shrapnel.  He was evacuated back to England and back to the U.S. aboard a hospital ship in August of 1944 landing in Charleston S.C.  From there he transferred by train to Temple, Texas where he spent eight months with surgery and recuperation.  On May 8, 1945, after twenty-nine months of service, Don returned to Pocahontas for a bond tour and discharge.

In 1949 Don and Eleanor SCHOTT were married in Pocahontas.  Eleanor’s parents were William and Frida MEIDEL SCHOTT.

In 1953 the couple built a home at 507 Second Ave. S.W. where they still reside.  The lot was bought from Art NAUGHTON and Ray KELLY was the contractor.  This was the second home built in the Doyle Addition.

The HOHENSEE’s are parents to six children.  Connie, birthdate April 17, ’50, married to Bill ZAUGG, and living in Ayrshire.  Charles, born April 4, ’51, a science teacher living in Ottumwa.  Roger, born Jan. 14, ’55, is married to Ellen SPURBECK of Newell, lives in Pocahontas and works as an auto body mechanic.  Renae, birthdate Feb. 20, ’56, a secretary living in Des Moines.  Debby, born April 28, ’57, is married to Darwin EATON of Sioux Rapids, lives in Pocahontas and works for Bernard SHIMON, Druggist.  Dean, birthdate Sept. 5, ’58, is married to Carole DEAN of Pocahontas, lives in Storm Lake and works as an auto-body mechanic.

There are five grandchildren.  Carolyn age six, Andy age five and Katie age two, children of Bill and Connie ZAUGG.  Joshua age five and Brian age two, sons of Roger and Ellen HOHENSEE.

Donald is still farming the same land he rented thirty-nine years ago from the Meyer COHEN family of Los Angeles, California.  This farm is located along highway four, south of Pocahontas five miles.


Eugene Raymond HOHENSEE was born on August 3, 1945 in Fort Dodge to Raymond and Eileen HOHENSEE.  His paternal grandparents are Rena HOHENSEE of Pocahontas and the late Walter HOHENSEE.  His maternal grandparents are John and Theresa NOMANN of Pocahontas.

Eugene grew up on a farm near Pocahontas and attended the Pocahontas schools where he graduated in 1963.  In 1964 Eugene moved, with his parents, to a farm near Manson.  On Easter Sunday April 18, 1965, Eugene married Janet Kay JOHNSON of Palmer.

Janet was born in Fort Dodge on September 3, 1945.  She is the daughter of the late Adolph JOHNSON and Laura JOHNSON, who now lives in Manson.  Janet’s paternal grandparents are the late Henry and Lena JOHNSON.  Her maternal grandparents are the late Christian and Goldie GERDES.

Janet grew up on a farm near Palmer and attended the Palmer schools where she graduated in 1963.

When Eugene and Janet were married, they made their first home in Plover where Eugene took a job at the Farmers Elevator.

On November 17, 1966 a son was born to the HOHENSEE family at the Storm Lake hospital.  They named him Jeffery Eugene.  In May, 1969 Eugene broke his leg in a motorcycle accident.  After three weeks in the Fort Dodge Lutheran Hospital, Eugene was sent home and spent 9 months confined to a hospital bed.  Janet cared for him during the time but she was also expecting their second child.

And on September 19, 1969, another son was born in the Pocahontas hospital, and they named him Michael Christopher.

In August, 1973, Eugene was transferred from the Plover elevator to the office in Pocahontas.  At this time, the family moved to 106 NW 8th St. in Pocahontas.

Janet took a job at the Manor West and later at the Community Hospital.

On September 19, 1976 Janet gave birth to a daughter in the Pocahontas hospital.  They named her Julie Marie.

In June, 1979 Eugene was promoted to assistant manager of the Pocahontas, Havelock, and Plover elevators.

Eugene is an avid gardener and has a small greenhouse in the basement of his home.

He recently completed a six year term on the church council of the St. Peter Lutheran Church where the family has membership.  the last year of that term was as chairman.

Eugene is a member of the Pocahontas Golf Club and enjoys golfing.

Janet is not presently employed, but she has many hobbies.  Among them are quilting, crocheting, sewing and tennis.  She loves to sing and is a member of her church choir.  She sings solos for many occasions and has sung in the Pocahontas Community Chorus four times.  She is also taking piano lessons.

The HOHENSEE’s son Jeff, almost 15, took second place in the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Contest this spring.  Michael, soon to be 12, is a serious fisherman.  Julie, 5 years old this fall, enjoys singing and catching lady bugs.

The family still lives at 106 NW 8th St.  They enjoy the city of Pocahontas and think it is a great place to live.


Vernon HOHENSEE and Elsena CLAUSSEN were married on February 16, 1947, a week later than planned, due to a terrible snow storm.

We moved on the first farm east of Pocahontas on the south side of the road which belonged to Vernon’s folks, Mr. and Mrs. Walter HOHENSEE.

Vernon was born to Walter HOHENSEE and Rena nee DIRKS on May 14, 1926 just a quarter of a mile south of this farm.  He spent most of hi younger years on a farm five miles south of it.  He attended rural schools and Pocahontas High School.  He was called into service in 1945 serving in Japan.  He has two older brothers, Donald and Raymond.

I was born on Oct. 8, 1925 at the Heike CLAUSSEN farm home located 3¼ miles northeast of Palmer.  This farm had formerly belonged to my grandfather Herman CLAUSSEN who had moved out from Illinois and settled here.  My mother is the former Anna IHNEN whose family also moved out from Illinois and settled in the Palmer area.  I attended country school, Manson and Palmer High School and

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Vernon and Elsena HOHENSEE

worked around Palmer at various jobs.

My father was killed in a corn picker accident when I was 12 years old and, being the oldest of four children, I had to take over more responsibility to help raise the family which consisted of myself, two sisters, Mardella and Anita, and a brother, Donald.  Mother remarried to Frank SCHOON, who had a son, Harvey, and together they had a daughter, Marlene.

We have lived here 34 years and Vernon still enjoys farming, but, due to health problems, has cut out the livestock program.  He also sells Stormor Grain bins.  We were blessed with two children.  Ronald HOHENSEE, our oldest, is married to Debra HANSEN.  They have two children, Eric and Christi, and live at Storm Lake where he is associated with Bil-Mart appliance store.  Our daughter, LaRinda Ann, is married to Steven HOVEY and they live on a farm near Rolfe.  They have one daughter, Michelle.

We also had a foster daughter for a short time, Janet FARNSWORTH.  She is now married to Jack THOMAS and has a son, Jackie.  They live in California.

Having purchased more farm ground adjoining closely has kept us both pretty busy, but we both enjoy many activities in the community and St. Peter Lutheran Church.  Vernon is a charter member of the Brotherhood and is now serving as president.  I belonged to the former Ladies Aid, Mission Society and now Women of the Church of which I am president of a circle.

Vernon belongs to American Legion and V.F.W.  I belong to Legion Aux. and Cancer Society.  Vernon has also been Center township clerk since 1956.

We enjoy our family very much, especially the grandchildren.  Being so close to town we have many folks just dropping in which we also enjoy so much as the coffee pot is always on or soon will be so the welcome mat is always out.


On January 25, 1900, I Rena DIRKS HOHENSEE, was born to John and Pearl SCHOON DIRKS at Blanden, Iowa.  I had two step-sisters, Annie and Tena, from my dad’s first marriage to Annie PETERS.  I also had two brothers, Dick and Otto, and eight sisters, Mary, Minnie, Sena, Lena, Ella, Hannah, Mary Stella, and Mattie.  I attended rural schools at Blanden and later at Manson while I lived with my sister.

On Sept. 25, 1918 I married Walter Gustav HOHENSEE in Western, Nebraska.  Walter was born on July 23, 1897 to David and Emilie ABEL HOHENSEE at Daykin, Nebraska.  He had five brothers, Henry, John, Fred, Milton, and Clarence, and two sisters, Lydia and Dora.

I met Walter when I went out to help my sister, Ella, who was married to Walter’s brother, Henry.  Several years later another sister, Mary Stella, married another HOHENSEE brother, Fred.  This chain reaction began when the HOHENSEE brothers would come out to Iowa to help area farmers pick corn.

In 1919 we moved to Iowa where Walter worked for Pocahontas County hauling gravel on roads.  In 1921 we moved to a farm ½ mile south of the cemetery corner in Pocahontas and began farming.  Our three sons were born at this farm, they are: Donald David, married to Eleanor SCHOTT of Pocahontas, Raymond John, married to Eileen NOMANN now of Manson, and Vernon Clarence, married to Elsena CLAUSEN of Pocahontas.  In 1931 we moved to the SAYLOR farm five miles south of where we were living.  We lived there until 1944.  We then moved to the farm we had purchased just east of the cemetery.  In 1947 we retired and moved into Pocahontas and Vernon and his bride moved on the farm and they still live there.  In 1954 we built a new home at 601 Second Ave. SW where I still live.

Walter served on the Summit Hill Cemetery Board for 10 years, was foreman of volunteer labor when our new church, St. Peter Lutheran, was built, he was a member of Brotherhood and we were church custodians for several years.  Walter was also very active in many other community affairs.  Walter passed away March 20, 1961.  I served as our church’s memorial chairman for 15 years and sang in the choir for 30 years.  I presently belong to the ALCW and Circle and enjoy going over to the church every Wednesday to quilt.


Walter and Rena HOHENSEE

I have 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.  All my immediate family, except for two grandchildren, live less than an hours drive from Pocahontas so we are able to visit together often.  Submitted by Rena DIRKS HOHENSEE

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Earl’s Grandparents: Cyrus Esra (Scottish) and Alice VAUGH (Pennsylvania Dutch) HUNTER.  Esra was a soldier in the Union Army in the Civil War.  They settled in Iowa and farmed, then moved to Armor So. Dakota and farmed and were active in many things in community, later they returned to Fonda, Ia. area.

Torkil (of Norway) and Helen SHIRLEY (Norwegian of Wisconsin) LARSON, came from Wisconsin to Grant Township, farmed and their family was active in Rusk Community, in business, church and cultural activities.

Earl’s Parents: Ira A. and Cora M. LARSON HUNTER farmed around Fonda, then moved to Armor So. Dak. (Charles Mix County), where Earl was born and lived until he was 14 yrs. old.  The family moved back to Iowa and lived on the former Torkil LARSON farm, which they had purchased.

Earl’s sister Edith (deceased) Mrs. Theodor PEARSON of Rochester, Minn., and brother Ralph M. HUNTER of Pocahontas.

Bernice’s Grandparents: Carl and Sophia OLSON PETERSON came from Sweden.  They lived in Illinois later came to Grant Township where they farmed.  The family was early members of Elfsborg Luthern Church, and active in many community activities.

Anton N. (native of Norway) and Julia A. TOLLEFSRUDE (Norwegian of Wisconsin) MONKELIEN, came and obtained farm land in Grant Township.  Later Anton had farm implement business and was a blacksmith in Rusk as the village developed.  They were active in the Rusk development in all aspects.  Trinity Luthern Church stands on their gift of land for the church.

Bernice’s Parents: Andrew and Nellie Mae MONKELIEN PETERSON.  Farmed in Grant Township (Pocahontas area where Bernice was born), moved to Pocahontas, where Andrew had a Farm Implement business, later Stock Yards business.  Bernice’s sister: Bessie PFALTZGRAFF of Waterloo, Ia.  Brother: Byron A. Of Spirit Lake, Ia.; Sisters: Bonalee N. of Waterloo, Ia.; Beverly J. (deceased); Barbara M., Mrs. Andrew BLOMBERG, Cedar Falls, Ia.

Earl and Bernice farmed north of Pocahontas, then near Varina, post office was Fonda.  Bernice worked with Girls 4-H “Dover Doers” Club and Women’s Extension work.  They moved to Pocahontas, Earl still farmed, and Bernice worked as a Nurses’ Aid in a Nursing Home.  Their Family: Jean E. (Mrs. Kenneth E. STOELTING) Sac City, Ia.;  Their Children: Elain A. (Mrs. Gary WIENHOLD) Tulsa, Ok.; Wayne G. (Served in the Air Force In Germany) Sac City, Ia.; Jayne M. DeLOPEZ (Ramon’ ORTEGA, her husband) Aleconte, Spain; Blaine K., Sac City, Ia.

Son of Earl and Bernice, Charles Earl (deceased); Daughter: Carol A. (Mrs. David R. DUNNING) Tulsa, Ok., she has one son, William D. (served in the Army, in Korea and Germany) Copperas Cove, Tx.; Son: Lowell C. (wife Gwenever SNETTER of Laurens, Ia.) Havelock, Ia. (He served in the Army in the U.S.); Their children: Marsha (deceased), Michael E., Marlen P. and Melinda.; Daughter: Alice M. (Mrs. Erwin E. RICKLEFS) Pocahontas, Ia.  Their children: Cynthia L. (Mrs. David HOHENSEE) Pocahontas, Ia.; and her children Matthew, Mitch and Amanda.  Brenda L. (Mrs. Mark HOHENSEE) Varona, Mo.  (Children: Joshua and Jarid); Brian E. and Constance M. (lives in Sioux City, Ia.) Glenda and Lorie; Son: Lyle R. (wife of Jean O. MURPHY of Corby Northants, England) Tulsa, Ok.  Lyle served in the Air Force in England and they have one son Scott R.  Submitted by Bernice E. HUNTER


Lowell HUNTER, son of C. Earl HUNTER and Bernice PETERSON HUNTER was born Sept. 7, 1933 in Fort Dodge, Iowa, was raised on a farm in Sec. 23, Dover Twp.  Attended rural school, Dover No. 6 from kindergarten through the 8th grade and attended Pocahontas Public School for 4 years graduating with the class of 1953.  He served in the U.S. Army from April 18, 1956 to April 17, 1958, taking his basaic training in Arkansas and spent the remainder of the two years at Selfridge Airforce Base, Michigan.

On June 28, 1956 he was united in marriage to Gwynever Mae SCHNETTER, daughter of John SCHNETTER and Mabel ZEMAN SCHNETTER, in St. Columbkille’s Catholic Church, Varina, Iowa.

Gwynever was born May 18, 1935 at her parents’ farm home in Sec. 32, Marshall Twp.  Attended rural school, Marshall No. 9, and St. Columbkille’s Catholic School in Varina where she graduated with the class of 1954, being valedictorian of her class.

To this union four children were born.  Marsha Ann, born June 29, 1959.  She attended Havelock-Plover Community School.  During her high school days she took part in sports, cheerleading, class plays, band, speech and received the Betty Crocker Homemaker Award, graduating with the class of 1977.  She attended two years at Iowa Lakes Community College, Emmetsburg, Iowa.  She was employed in Algona, Iowa for a short time before she died Feb. 12, 1980 of Cancer.

Michael Earl, born Dec. 19, 1963.  Takes part in many things in school.  Has been basketball manager and plays drums in band.  Enjoys motorcycling and snowmobiling and is interested in photography.

Melinda Kay, born June 17, 1967.  In school she plays clarinet in band.  Active in sports, playing volleyball, basketball and is out for track.  Enjoys square dancing.

All of our children were born in Buena Vista Co. Hospital, Storm Lake, Iowa and attend Havelock-Plover Community School.

Lowell farmed for a short time after he got out of service, in Sec. 34, Marshall Twp.  In May 1960 we moved to Havelock, Iowa where Lowell has been employed by Pocahontas County, being a road maintainer operator for the past 21 years.  Also farms a few acres.

Gwynever has been employed in a number of places in Havelock over the past 21 years.  On March 22, 1980 she was appointed Postmaster of Havelock, where she has served as clerk for the past 12 years.

The family attends The Parish of The Resurrection Of Our Lord Catholic Church in Pocahontas.

They enjoy gardening in the summer and camping.  Have taken several sight-seeing vacation trips.  Among these being to the Black Hills in South Dakota, Pikes Peak in Colorado, Itasca State Park, Minn. and to Detroit, Michigan and area where Lowell was in the service.


I, Lyle Richard HUNTER, was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa July 29, 1944.  I lived in Dover Township for about ten years.  We then moved to Pocahontas where I graduated from Pocahontas Community School May 1964.  After graduation I worked for Hallette Construction Company in Gilmore City, Iowa for a brief time.  Then I worked in the shop at the Shimon Ford Garage.

In September 1965 I joined the U.S. Air Force and was based at Lackland A.F.B., San Antonio, Texas for my basic training.  Then I was sent to the Shaw A.F.B. in Sumpter, South Carolina.  While

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Lowell HUNTER Family

L to R Lowell, Michael, Marlin, Gwynever, Melinda, Marsha 1978


Lyle HUNTER Family

Jean Owen MURPHY HUNTER, Scott Richard HUNTER, Lyle Richard HUNTER

there I received orders posting me to the R.A.F. Alconbury, Huntington, England.

I arrived in England January 3, 1967 for what was to be a three year tour of duty.  During the first month there, I was transferred to R.A.F. Chelveston as a memberof a Support Squardon of R.A.F. Alconbury.

In May 1967 I met Jean Owen MURPHY of Corby Northhampshire who in June 1968 became my wife at the St. Andrews Church of England in Corby.  That October my mother, Bernice HUNTER and my sister Carol DUNNING visited with us.

Jean was born September 27, 1945 at Corby.  She graduated from high school in 1963 and became a secretary at British Steel Corporation where she continued working until we returned to the States.

On January 17, 1970 we arrived at NcGuire A.F.B. in New Jersey and I was released from active duty.  We traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma and took up residence there.  My first employment was with Mistletoe Express, a trucking firm.  In Many [sic] 1970 I began my career with the U.S. Postal Service as City Letter Carrier.

On June 21, 1971 Scott Richard was born to us.  When he was about a year old, he and Jean returned to Corby for a visit.  Then in 1979 we all spent five weeks in Corby and Scotland.

After living in several residences in Tulsa we purchased our home near Mingo Creek, Tulsa, only to be flooded out two months later in a severe storm.  On June 8, 1974 nearly all of our family belongings, most of them from England, were lost or destroyed.  It has taken years to rebound.  We sold that home and moved to another on higher ground which is our family residence to date.

In recent years I have had opportunities with the Postal Service to work as a Supervisor or Customs Service Representative.  This due to two Junior College degrees I obtained by attending night classes at Tulsa Junior College.  The first degree in Associate of Science in Business Administration I obtained in 1978.  The second degree in Associate of Applied Science in postal Service Leadership I obtained in 1980.

Jean has worked as a dental assistant, clerk in a book store, and an Attendance Secretary in the High School.

We are active members of the First Presbyterian Church.  We like to travel and try to visit many places of interest.  Scott is a member of the Cub Scouts and attends Scout and Church camps.  Scott and I enjoy camping together.

Jean became an American citizen in November 1975.  Submitted by Lyle R. HUNTER

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John Willm JANSSEN of Lake Twp. and Marie C. IHNEN of Bellville Twp. were married April 27, 1926.  They established their home on the Willm JANSSEN farm in Section 19 of Lake Twp.

John and Marie were parents of three sons.  Vernon Leroy, september 8, 1928; Erwin Eugene JANSSEN, April 20, 1932; and Eldon Norman, October 25, 1933.

The boys were baptized and attended church at St. John Lutheran Church, Lizard Twp.  They attended school at the country school in Section 17 of Lake Twp.  At the time of this history book writing in 1981 this one room country school house still stands.  It is being used as a grain bin.

Vernon was confirmed in the Lutheran Faith at St. John Lutheran Church, Lizard Two.  Erwin was confirmed at Britt, Iowa; and Eldon was confirmed at Corwith, Iowa.

The family moved to a farm at Corwith, Iowa from 1945 to 1949.  They then returned to the Palmer-Manson area to farm.  The family then became members of St. Paul American Lutheran Church in Manson.

John and Marie moved to Manson in 1959.  John


John Willm JANSSEN Family

Back row: Erwin, Vernon and Eldon Front row: Marie C. (IHNEN), John Willm JANSSEN

passed away in 1968.  He is buried at St. John Cemetery, Lizard Twp.

In 1979 Marie became a resident of Residential Care Center in Pocahontas.

Vernon married Henrietta Frederika JANSSEN on September 16, 1956 at St. John Lutheran Church, Lizard Twp.  She is daughter of John H. and Else W. M. JANSSEN of Section 28 of Lake Twp.  They live at 2718-18th Ave. North Fort Dodge, Iowa.  They are parents of Brenda Kay, 1958 and Brian John, 1963.  Vernon is an agent for Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.  The family is member of Christ Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge.

Erwin married Myrna Joy NEHMAN on August 5, 1956 at St. Paul Am. Lutheran Church in Manson.  She is the daughter of Herman NEHMAN and nee Velma KROHN of Section 8 of Webster County.  They live on the IHNEN family farm in Section 12 of Bellville Two. and farm the land.  Erwin is employed as Chief-of-Police in Manson.  They are members of St. Paul Am. Lutheran Church in Manson.

Eldon married Eldora Marie POPPEN on January 11, 1959 at St. John Lutheran Church, Lizard Twp.  She is the daughter of the late Henry K. POPPEN and nee Anna D.S. RICKLEFS of Section 18 of Lake Twp.  They live on her grandparents and parents’ farm in Section 18 of Lake Twp.  They are parents of Danette Renae, 1959 and Mark David, 1961.  They are members of St. John Lutheran Church, Lizard Twp.  Submitted by Erwin and Myrna JANSSEN

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Darrell, sometimes called “Huey”, moved to Laurens when he was three years old.  Born in Milford, Iowa on January 12, 1926, he was the only child of George and Vera (RICE) KORRECT.  He still considers himself fortunate to have received his education in the Laurens school.  He especially enjoyed taking part in plays and music; he played trombone in a dance band in addition to school bands.


Darrell and Jeanette KORRECT with Steve, Jerry, Dave and Susan (1960)

After graduating in 1944, he served in the Army in Germany and played with the Third Infantry Regiment Dance Band.  While he was overseas, his grandfather, Wm. KORRECT, of Bancroft, died, leaving his 1928 Model A to Darrell.  This vehicle was a favorite with the Laurens young people when “Huey” returned home.

Darrell worked at Les RICHARDSON’s station for a time; then in 1947 began work at Mather Implement.  He was taught mechanical skills by his dad; later he became a salesman.  He has worked for three generations of the MATHER family: Ray, Bob and Bill.

I was born April 18, 1930 and grew up on a farm in Cummins township with my parents, Douglas and Winnie (PETERSON) RIGBY.  My older sister Lucile (now FREEMAN and brother Robert and I went to school at Cummins #2, where enrollemnt averaged 15 pupils.  Bessie HANSEN (now SCHUTZ) was my first-grade teacher and taught me to read.  What a

[page 485]

thrill!  Minnie HANISCH was teacher for three years; then Joy GEHRT of Mallard taught during my last four years of country school.

Joy was determined that we would be as well prepared for high school as “town kids”.  She expected us to excel academically, but also spent hours teaching the “regulation” rules of basketball.  We learned to sing “parts” in music, and some even learned tap dancing!

I attended Mallard High School and took part in every possible activity.  After graduation in 1947, I took a short business course, then came to Laurens to work at the Laurens State Bank.  I stayed with Roy and Minnie RUBEL.

I soon met “Huey” and his Model A, and on May 24, 1949 we were married.  For a time we lived in a trailer house in his parent’s yard.  Then in 1951 we bought an acreage in southeast Laurens.  We raised several crops before the land was developed.  We still live in the house, which is now nearly 100 years old.

Steve was born in 1952, followed by Jerry in 1954, Dave in 1956 and Susan in 1959.  I did not work outside the home during those busy years, but in 1963 I returned to my bookkeeping job at the bank.

All of our boys are I.S.U. graduates, and Susan is due to graduate from there in 1982.  Steve is an engineer and is married to the former Mary RUNEBERG.  They have a son, Garrett.  Jerry, also an engineer, and his wife, the former Linda CEJKA, have a daughter, Angela.  Dave is a geologist, working in Oklahoma at present.

Very important to us is our membership in the Laurens United Methodist Church, where I teach the Kindergarten Church School class.  Submitted by J. KORRECT


George and Vera KORRECT and son, Darrell, moved to Laurens in 1929.  George had been a native of the Swea City-Bancroft area.  Born in 1899, he was the only child of Wm. and Elizabeth (DELPERDANG) KORRECT.  George’s grandfather, John KORRECT, had come from Germany; the DELPERDANGs were from Alsace-Lorraine.

George helped his parents on the farm, but with his love for cars and motorcycles, it was natural that


George and Vera KORRECT

he should become a mechanic.

Vera Mae RICE was born in Audubon county in 1902, to Frank and Cora RICE.  She had an older sister, Ina, (later Mrs. E.J. STROBEL), and a brother, Ross.  The family moved to the Milford area, where Vera played basketball and graduated froom Milford High School.

In May, 1923, Vera and George were married in Milford, and in 1926 they became parents of a son Darrell.  Three other babies were born to the KORRECTs, but all died soon after birth.

After the KORRECTs moved to Laurens, George worked for Fred HOMUTH and for Claude GARNER before opening an auto repair shop of his own.  Later he went to work for Mather Implement, where he was a tractor mechanic for more than 35 years.

George and Vera owned their home at 208 E. Main.  Vera’s greatest interest was in their grandchildren, and she also loved the neighbor children.

George retired in 1975, and he and Vera moved to the Laiurens Retirement Housing on the south edge of town, as soon as it was finished.  Vera died in September, 1971 [sic], and George died less than four months later.  They were members of the United Methodist Church.  Submitted by J. KORRECT

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My father, Hans W. NIELSEN, left his home in Fyn, Denmark in 1880 at twenty years of age.  He came to the Peter JENSEN home north of Rolfe, Iowa.  He worked building railroads near Livermore, Iowa and old Rolfe.  On Sundays he would walk to visit the JENSENs six miles north of Rolfe.

Later he worked for different farmers before buying the farm owned by Roy SCHONBERGER.  After ten years he visited his family in Denmark.  When he returned to the U.S. he brought my mother, Christina NIELSEN, and her brother Niels with him.  A year later her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jens NIELSEN and their son, Sofus, came to the U.S. and made their home in Rolfe.

My mother worked for the CHARLTONs and Dr. and Mrs. BEAM.  Later my father sold his farm and bought two hundred acres six miles north of Rolfe where I was born.

My parents were married in 1887 and to this union four children were born, Viggo, Hilda, Elna and myself.  we lived our entire life on this same farm except Elna.


Hans W. NIELSEN Family

My father started farming walking behind a walking plow and drag.  Our crops consisted of corn, oats and hay.  the corn was picked by hand and the oats shocked and stacked.  On Nov. 11, 1918, while picking corn, we heard the train whistle all the way from Plover to Rolfe.  Armistice had been signed.  A very happy day.

My brother, Viggo, was the first in the community to have a television set.  Neighbors and friends congregated at our home to watch it.  With all the lights off we watched patiently but the picture was very snowy.

Earlier we had a home made radio with ear phones.  Al JOLSON was very popular at the time.


Gilfert was born in 1901, the son of Nels and Christina (OLSON) NIELSEN.

Gilfert went to Pikertown School and has spent all his life on the farm the family moved to when he was one year old.


Gilfert and Edith NIELSEN

The early death of his father made Gilfert a farmer at a very early age.  Gilfert raised Hereford cattle and Percheron horses and some mules.  The sale of colts were a part of the farm income.  Milking the cows and hand raising the calves and keeping a flock of white rock chickens made them very self-reliant on a small farm.

Gilfert married Edith SAMSON (b. July 21, 1909) on August 3, 1968.  Edith passed away on March 10, 1976.  Gilfert is retired from actively farming, but enjoys living on the farm.  Gilfert has been a devout member of the United Methodist Church at Rolfe.


My father Henrik came from Fyn, Denmark, in 1882.  he was one of the young immigrants who came to America to build a life in a new land.  In years to come, the Scandinavian community would become an important factor in the development of Pocahontas County.

Dad joined his brothers Hans and Niels who came to America earlier.  They settled and worked in the vicinity of Old Rolfe.  My father worked as a farm hand and in the Rolfe livery stable.  He worked hard, lived a frugal life and in 5 years was able to make a $700 down payment of 160 acres 6 miles north of Rolfe.  He married Rena HENRICKSEN, also from Denmark.  Rena was enroute to join her brother in Livermore, California.  The train conductor put her off the train in Livermore, Iowa.  She was stranded in a strange country with no money and couldn’t speak a word of English.  Hans and Niels were working in LIvermore that day and came to her rescue because they spoke Danish.  It was through them that she met her future husband Henry.

After their marriage they lived on the farm and raised a large family.  Four boys and 4 girls.  Two girls died in infancy.  With no T.V. or radio for entertainment, my brothers and I created our own brand of excitement.  We must have been a handful for my tender-hearted, deeply religiou mother.  We

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were members of the Lutheran faith.  There was no established church in the area, and the Danish community built the Nain Lutheran Church in about 1900, one of the first churches built in the town of Rolfe.  I married Carol FARGO of Gilmore City and we farmed with Dad until we lost the farm in the depression.  After that we rented farms in the Rolfe area.

As a young man I learned to play several musical instruments and played for house dances.  We gathered at a neighbor’s home, moved the furniture, rolled back the rugs and danced!  Everyone brought something for lunch, the hostess made coffee and we had a wonderful time!  At one o’clock, the band played “Good Night Ladies,” and everyone gathered their lunch baskets and sleeping children and headed home.

In 1939 we bought a farm near Bradgate, Iowa.  We farmed in this area for several years and in 1945 we bought a farm east of Plover.  Except for a few years when we lived in Humboldt County, we have been residents of Pocahontas County.

We have 4 children.  Donna, Mrs. Orvil HEATHMAN, Rolfe; Beverly, Mrs. Garland WESTERMAN, Plover; Marilyn, Mrs. Kermitt SHIMON, Rolfe; Johnnie Wayne, Rolfe who married Doris ALGER of Graettinger.  Carol died of cancer in 1974 shortly after our 50th. wedding anniversary.  I moved to the Rolfe retirement apartments.  I am fortunate to have my 4 children living close to me, all engaged in farming.  I enjoy my 13 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.  Submitted by H.J. NIELSEN


Niels C. NIELSEN was a native of Fynn, Denmark, born in 1876, the son of Jens Peter and Marn NIELSEN.  In 1891 he came to America with his sister, Christina, at the age of fifteen locating in Pocahontas County.  His parents and a brother came to America a year later.

As a young man he was employed as a laborer by Lot FISHER on a farm and later worked in a livery barn owned by Pete JOHNSON.

In 1901 he married Mary CHRISTIANSEN, a daughter of Fritz and Anna CHRISTIANSEN with whom she came to America from Fynn, Denmark at the age of three years.  They were the first couple to be married in the Nain Lutheran Church at Rolfe.  Both were educated in country schools.

He bought 80 acres of bare land in 1901 in Section 16 five miles north of Rolfe in Des Moines Township.  A house was moved on the property and a well was drilled for water.  Other improvements were put on each year, and in 1917 he built a new house.  They were the first couple to occupy the farm and lived there until his death in October 1961 at the age of 85.  His wife, Mary, died in August 1954, also a son died in May 1955.  They celebrated their Golden Anniversary in April 1951.

The homestead is still occupied by a daughter but it had been enlarged by additional purchases and buildings to take care of the horses, cattle and hogs which he raised.

His family consisted of eight children, Marie MILLER, husband deceased, who was employed by N.W. Bell Telephone Company in Sioux City for 31 years, retired and moved back to Rolfe; Anton, deceased, a farmer and his wife, Helen, lives in West Bend, Iowa; August and Grace, farmers, retired and live at Rolfe; Clifford, wife deceased, worked in a paper mill, now retired and lives in Camas, Washington; Mildred JOHNSON, husband deceased, were farmers, she retired and lives at Osage, Iowa; Jens Peter and Mildred maintain a repair shop in Pocahontas, Iowa and live at Plover, Iowa; Ila Mae and Joe HUBBELL live on a farm at Loman, Minnesota; and Mabel IVES, husband deceased, still lives on the home place.

He was a successful farmer in raising good crops



with the help of his children picking corn by hand, milking cows and helping with the field work.

For some years it was the custom to have all his children and grandchildren assemble at his home at Christmas time making the occasion a great joy.


Nels NIELSEN came to the U.S. from Denmark.  He worked on the railroad at Livermore Iowa.

Nickalina OLSON and her daughter Christina came to the U.S. from norway.  Nickalina died in 1902.


Nels and Christina NIELSEN

Nels NIELSEN and Christina OLSON were married April 19, 1899.  They lived at Livermore and Nels continued to work on the railroad.

They moved to Rolfe and lived east of town.  It was here that their son, Gilfert, was born in 1901.

They purchased and moved to the farm in Powhatan Township in 1902.

As a result of a railroad accident, Nels became an invalid.  His son, Gilfert, never saw his father walk.  Nels died in 1910.

Mrs. NIELSEN stayed on the farm with her young son and kept it going until he was old enough to take over the farming.  She continued to live with Gilfert until her death.  She passed away on February 3, 1949 and had reached the age of 80 years.

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Born April 4, 1925 to Leo and Mary REIS, Pocahontas Co.  He grew up on a farm in Dover twp near Little Clear Lake.

On Feb. 9, 1957 he was united in marriage to Bernadine VODRASKA, daughter of Louis and Evelyn VODRASKA, in St. Margarets Catholic Church Mallard.  For the past 23 years Leon has been employed with the Department of Transportation of Pocahontas where they make their home.

They are the parents of two children, James Lauerence and Peggy Larrannie.

James graduated from Pocahontas Comm. School.  Was later employed at the Ford Garage.

He married Sheryl HAWKS of Pocahontas, to this union a daughter Melissia Ann was born.  They separated and in 1981 James married Janna RICKLEFS of Aryshire, Ia.  They are making their home at Spencer where he is employed.

Peggy graduated from Pocahontas Comm. School and Iowa Great Lakes Comm. College with an R.N. degree.  She was married to Keith GREVERSEN son of Mr. and Mrs. Karl GREVERSEN, Pocahontas, on Sept. 23, 1978 at the Resurrection of Our Lord Catholic Church.

Keith graduated from the Rolfe Comm. School, he is also a member of the Air National Guard unit, with the 134th Tactial Control Flight, Fort Dodge, Ia.

He is employed at Spencer where they make their home.  They are the parents of a son Branden Keith.


Leo A. was born to Herman Peter and Mary THOMAS REIS Feb. 22, 1885 at Breda, Ia.  In 1891, they moved to Pocahontas Co., settling in Dover township Sec. 5.  He attended Sacred Heart Parochial school in Pocahontas which was built in 1896.  Rev. W.A. PAPE was pastor.

On Sept. 30, 1913 he was united in marriage to Mary F. MURPHY at Our Lady of Good Council Catholic Church, Fonda by Rev. Father HEELAN.

To this union nine children were born: Mary Rose, Albert, Clarice, Raymond, Leonard, Leon and (Dorothy) Jean.  Two died in infancy.

He was grain and livestock farmer on what is now known as Little Clear Lake which was adjacent to their farm.  His favorite sport were duck hunting in fall, muskrat trapping in fall and winter and many fish were caught in early spring and summer.  He remained on this farm until he passed away Jan. 8, 1965.  Mary died Nov. 1, 1978.  Both buried in St. Columbkille cemetery at Varina.

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Anton (A.R.) RICKLEFS, third son of Herman and Ann JENNSEN RICKLEFS was born October 17, 1864, in Burmonken, Ostfriedland, Germany.  He emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1882 when seventeen years old to avoid military service in his native Germany.  He lived with a cousin in Benson, Illinois, where his first job as a farmhand earned him fourteen dollars a month and room and board.  Within five years he was farming for himself.  Anton’s father, Herman, and Anton’s brothers, Hero, Harm, and Johann Gerhard (George), also emigrated to the U.S.A.  Anton married Anna Catharina GOMMELS, daughter of Peter and Altye GOMMELS, February 24, 1889, in Benson, Illinois, and they farmed in that area for 13 years.  In 1902, they and their 5 young sons moved to Pocahontas county to the farm located on the S.W. ¼ of Sec. 21, Lake Twp., eleven miles north of Manson.  Their furniture and farm equipment (including a team of horses) came by box car while the family came in the passenger car of the train.  Their arrival coincided with one of the famous Iowa Prairie blizzards.  Much of the land, which they had purchased on a previous visit to Iowa, was prairie sloughs and required much tiling and hand clearing.  Later, the RICKLEFS purchased the 160 acre farm across the road.  They farmed until 1925 when they retired and moved to Manson into the modern house they had built.  The RICKLEFS were devout Lutherans as members of the St. Johns Evangelican Lutheran Church located near Palmer in Lizard Twp. and are buried in the cemetery there.  Mrs. RICKLEFS died at the age of 88 in 1951.  Mr. Anton RICKLEFS died at the age of 97 in 1962.  In 1962, survivors were six of his seven sons, 21 grandchildren, 60 great grandchildren, and 14 great great grandchildren.  The seven sons were: 1) Herman, who married Margaret BEHRENDS, and was an Iowa farmer.  2) Frank, who married Anna HERRON, and was an Iowa farmer.  3) John, who married Myrtle BENDIXEN, and was an Iowa farmer.  4) Ernest, who remained single and lived with his parents.  5) Louis, who married Bertha SUMMERFIELD, and also farmed in Iowa.  6) Carl, who married Lorraine MOLINE, and lived in Manson, first as owners and operators of a grocery store and later, as a dealer in insurance and real estate.  7) Edward, who married Zola BENOIT, and first lived in Manson operating a service station, and later living in Rockwell City as a mail carrier.  The last child, a daughter, Altye, died at three months of age.


Mr. and Mrs. A.R. RICKLEFS

Sons L to R: Herman, Carl, John, Louis, Edward, Ernest and Frank




Bennet RICKLEFS Family

Bennet, son of Bernard and Edmondean HODGELL RICKLEFS, was born on May 4, 1948.  He grew up on the farm where our family now lives.  He has a brother Tim and a sister Susan.

Kathryn, daughter of Joseph and Mary Margaret SINEK VAINREB was born September 12, 1949.  I grew up on my family’s farm five miles south of Rolfe with my five sisters and two brothers.  My sisters are Mary Jo, Susan, Pat, Nancy and Terry.  My brothers are Kevin and Dave.

Ben and I both graduated from Rolfe community school.  Ben graduated in 1966 and enlisted in the army.  He was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Fort Rucker, Alabama; Fort Wainwright, Alaska; and Fort Belvoir, Virginia.  He was discharged in March 1969.

I graduated in 1967, then went to business school in Omaha, Nebraska for one year.  I found a job in the business office at Fort Dodge Mercy hospital.  Two years later the hospital in Humboldt opened so I had the job as business office manager there for six years.

Ben and I were married on November 26, 1971 at St. Margaret’s Catholic church in Rolfe.

We have two daughters, Erin Elizabeth born March 2, 1977, and Rachel Lynn born March 20, 1979.  The girls have a dog named Sophie.

We farm and raise hogs.  Ben, his father and brother have mastered several building projects including farrowing houses, finishing sheds, and our new home.  We moved into our new home in September 1979.

Ben is a member of the American Legion and the Rolfe school board of education.  He has his private pilot license and is a co-owner of an airplane.  We both like to golf and we enjoy being with our girls.


Bernard RICKLEFS, son of John and Myrtle BENDIXEN RICKLEFS was born October 14, 1918, on his grandparents’ farm in Garfield township.  After farming in the Palmer area the family moved to their farm in Section 28, Garfield township.  Other children in the family were his twin sister Berniece, Islea, Virgil and Merlin.  He attended rural school and the Rolfe High School and began farming with his father.

My parents Fred and Adda QUIGLEY HODGELL moved from Decatur County, Iowa to a farm north west of Pocahontas in Sherman township where he was employed as a farm hand.  I was born that same year on October 27, 1924, and was named Edmondeane.  Other children were Merle, Luella, James and Lorna.  I attended rural school, Ware school and graduated from Varina consolidated High School.  In 1942 I attended Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa, and there through mutual friends met Bernard.

We were married November 23, 1943, in the home of my parents on a farm south of Gilmore City.  We moved to his 80 acre farm in section 16 Garfield township, which he had purchased in 1941, and raised our family Timothy, Bennet and Susan.  All the children attended the Rolfe school, and as they grew older we began to expand our farm operation.  Both boys began farming before they finished High School by renting the RYEN farm in Section 15, Garfield township, which they later purchased.

Tim married Darlene NIELSEN, daughter of August and Grace NIELSEN of Rolfe in 1963 and moved to our farm in Section 22, Garfield Township.  Their daughter Jolene was born there.  About a year later they moved to our farm in Section 29, where Tim still resides.  Two other daughters Janiece and Jennifer were born.  This marriage ended in divorce.  In 1976 he married Jann BRINKMAN SCHADE, daughter of David and Darlene WESTERMAN BRINKMAN, of Rolfe.  She had two children, Jason and Heather, whom Tim adopted.  Two sons, Brian and Joseph David were born to this union.

Bennet graduated from High School and two days later enlisted in the army.  After 33 months he returned home and began farming.  He married a neighbor girl, Kathryn VAINREB, daughter of Joe and Mary Margaret SINEK VAINREB, in November 1971.  We moved to our new home in Rolfe and they took over the “home” place.  They have two daughters Erin, and Rachel.

Susan earned her B.A. degree in English from the University of Northern Iowa, and began teaching in the Junior High school in West Union, Iowa.  She married William TREES, son of Donald and Verna TRYON TREES of Spirit Lake, Iowa, in August of 1971.  They have two children, Darin and Brandy.  They presently live in Estherville, Iowa, where he is a policeman and she is a teacher.

We have lived in town since 1971.  Bernard keeps busy farming 1600 acres with his sons.  We think it is a good life and feel we have been richly blessed.  Submitted by Edmondeane RICKLEFS


Erwin Earl RICKLEFS was born on December 30, 1935, son of Louis H. and Bertha A. SOMMERFIELD RICKLEFS.  He attended Lake Township Country School and graduated from eighth grade there.  He worked on farms prior to marriage then he did construction work.  In 1959 he moved to Pocahontas and began work with the Road Department.  In 1968 he moved back to rural Pocahontas to farm and has

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lived there ever since.  In 1971 he left the Road Department as Foreman and began his duty as Deputy Sheriff.  He resigned in 1979 and now farms and dairies.

On June 2, 1955 he married Alice Marie HUNTER at Ft. Dodge, Iowa.  Alice HUNTER, daughter of C. Earl and Bernice E. PETERSON HUNTER, was born October 20, 1935.  She attended Dover No. 6 and graduated from eighth grade and then from Pocahontas High School in 1954.

Mr. and Mrs. RICKLEFS had six children: Cynthia Lou was born March 19, 1957 at Fort Dodge, Iowa.  She attended and graduated from Pocahontas Community School in 1975.  She married David HOHENSEE on July 20, 1975.  They have three children: Matthew David, Mitch Alan, and Amanda Lee.

Brenda Lee born July 31, 1958 at Storm Lake, Ia.  She attended Pocahontas Community School and graduated from that school.  She married Mark HOHENSEE and they have two children: Joshua Mark and Jarod Erwin.  They live in Verona, Missouri.

Brian Erwin was born on November 13, 1959.  He attended and graduated from the Pocahontas Community School.  He farms with his father.

Constance Marie was born July 4, 1961 at Ft. Dodge, Iowa.  She, too, attended and graduated from the local school.  Upon graduation she attended Iowa Central Community College of Ft. Dodge.  Presently is working for Social Services in Sioux City.

Glenda Kay was born January 12, 1964 at Ft. Dodge.  She is a senior at the Pocahontas Community School.

Lorie Lynn was born June 30, 1971 at the Pocahontas Community Hospital.  She is attending the Pocahontas Community School and will be in the fifth grade next year.


John George RICKLEFS, born at Benson, Ill., came to Pocahontas County in 1902 when seven years old.  His family came to the farm they had purchased in the S.W.¼ of Sec. 21, Lake Twp.  They made the move by passenger train with their household goods, horses, and farming equipment coming by box car.  On Jan. 3, 1918, he married Myrtle Christina BENDIXEN, daughter of E.N. and Elizabeth BENDIXEN.  John and Myrtle began farm life as hired help for Myrtle’s father receiving $50 a month, a cow to milk, a hog to butcher, and a dozen hens for eggs.  Their residence was the farm house on the second farm owned by E.N. BENDIXEN, located in N.W.¼ of Sec. 34, Garfield Twp., until John was drafted into military service during World War I.  Myrtle returned to her parent’s home where the twins, Berniece and Bernard, were born Oct. 14, 1918.  That same year, John became ill with influenza at camp and experienced grave danger of death.  Notification was sent that because of his critical condition and lack of medical assitance, he would not be tended to.  His father took the train to Camp Riley and personally nursed his son back to good health.  He was discharged upon recovery and returned home.

Myrtle and John borrowed $2,000 from his father to buy livestock and machinery, rented 160 acres located in the N.E. Corner of Sec. 27, Garfield Twp.  Here their third child, Islea, was born October 30, 1921.

The family moved to the William ELSEN farm, N.W.¼ of Sec. 33, Lake Twp., and farmed there for 8 years.  Virgil was born here May 31, 1928.

In 1930, the move was made to the N.E.¼ of Sec. 28, Garfield Twp., which they purchased in 1929.  Merlin was born here Aug. 27, 1936.

In 1951, construction of their house in Rolfe was begun, and in 1953, they moved to the new house in town.  They were members of Masonic Lodge, Eastern Star, and the Presbyterian Church of Rolfe.  The


John G. and Myrtle C. (BENDIXEN) RICKLEFS

couple resided there until John’s death in 1966.  Myrtle continued her life there until taking up residency in the Rolfe Care Center in 1980.

Daughter Berniece, married Al SEDLACEK of Pocahontas, and is a retired landowner and operator in that area.  Son Bernard, married Edmondeane HODGELL of Gilmore City, and they own and operate land in Garfield Twp.  Daughter Islea, married Gerald GRAEBER of Rolfe, and own and operate their farm west of West Bend.  Son Virgil, married Dorothy SANDVEN of Humboldt, and also owns and operates farms in Garfield Twp.  A son of Virgil’s, Dennis and his family, live on Myrtle and John’s home place.  Son Merlin, married Karen ANDERSEN of Elmore, Minnesota, and lives in Rochester, Mn., where he is a junior executive with I.B.M. corporation.

To date, Myrtle also has fifteen grandchildren, and 19 great grandchildren.


Scott RICKLEFS graduated from Rolfe High School in 1979, being honored as an Iowa Master Farmer his Senior year.  He was anxious to really give this business of farming a try.  So, after graduation he rented Sylvester PEASE’s farm and CLIFFGARD’s farm and he started farming, and farrowing pigs and feeding out cattle.

On February 21, 1981, Scott and Cheryl Ann CRAWMER of West Bend were married.  Cheryl’s parents are Jim and Annette CRAWMER of West Bend.  We painted and redecorated the original


Scott and Cheryl RICKLEFS

Walter and Helen HEALD farm house and Cheryl and Scott moved into it to make their home.  A son Adam Scott joined their family July 19, 1981.


August 12, 1950, Virgil and Dorothy SANDVEN were married at Humboldt Methodist Methodist church.  Dorothy came to Rolfe as a kindergarten teacher and met the young farmer there.

Virgil was drafted that March, his basic training was at Ft. Riley, Kansas, 25 years before his father John took his basic training at the same camp.  In October of 1951, Virgil was sent to Korea.  When he returned home in December 1952, it was a joyous occaion to become acquainted with his son, Dennis, who was 13 months old.

Now is the time to become full time farmers.  After the usual trials of floods and hail, the lean years improved, and the farming operation enlarged; and so did the family.  We added two beautiful girls and a bouncing baby boy.

Connie Colleen on July 5, 1954, and Audrey Ann on February 11, 1956.  To make our family com-


Virgil and Dorothy RICKLEFS Family

[page 628]

plete, we needed another son.  Scott Lee joined our family October 10, 1960.  Now everyone had a brother and a sister.

We enjoyed a family vacation each August, usually going to the Colorado mountains, but also going to the Ozarks, Yellowstone National Park, Black Hills, Niagara Falls, Washington D.C. and sometimes to the Lakes, but always to a motel with a swimming pool.  Here the family learned to enjoy the water, later loving to water ski.

While the children were growing up they were all active in the girl and cub scouts, 4-H, Presbyterian Sunday School and Youth Fellowship.  Dorothy and Virgil took an active leadership enjoying the activities with the children.

In 1968 we bought the Walter HEALD farm and we moved among the beautiful oaks, and we named the place (the farm) “Oak Leaf Acres.”

As the children graduated from highschool, each went to college, Dennis to I.S.U. and graduating with an Ag. business B.A.  Then went into farming living on the John RICKLEFS home place.  He married Donna GOSCHE, an I.S.U. student from St. James, Mn., and they now have two very special daughters, Michelle Lee, 8 years old, and Suzanne Denys, 2 years old.

Connie graduated from Drake University in Des Moines with an elementary B.A. plus a certification in special education.  Now living near Newell, Iowa, and teaching L.D. at Albert City, Iowa, and is married to Scott JORGENSEN, a farmer now, but a former Rolfe Agriculture teacher.

Audrey graduated with honors from I.S.U. in Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in May 1980, an ambition of hers since early childhood.  She is now working as an associate, with Dr. Joe SENG, in a large and small animal practice at Davenport, Iowa.

Scott graduated from Rolfe in 1979, earning the honor of Iowa Master Farmer in his senior year.  He was determined to start right in as a farmer, so this is what he did.

On February 21, 1981, he and Cheryl CRAWMER, of West Bend, Iowa, were married and they moved into the original HEALD farm home.  Married life comes natural to them, and their first summer they even established a beautiful garden.  On July 19, 1981 Adam Scott, their son arrived.

It is fun having part of our family close by us, and watching them mature, and seeing our grandchildren grow up.

Isn’t life great!!!

[page 655]


Al, son of Joseph J. and Barbara DEDIC SEDLACEK was born in 1917 and still lives on the family farm, Section 12, Grant Township.  The second child in a family of three attended and graduated from Pocahontas Public School where he starred in athletics.

He has farmed since 1937 and also owned a large grain truck for grain trucking.  He retired from farming in 1981.

Al enjoyed helping Grant Guides Boys 4-H Club as assistant leader.  He also helped with the weighing in and the transporting of their calves during county fair time.  He also coached the basketball teams in their bids for championship in county tournaments.

Al married Berniece RICKLEFS in 1941.

Berniece, daughter of John and Myrtle BENDIXEN RICKLEFS of Rolfe, was born in 1918 at Rolfe on the Erasmus BENDIXEN farm, a twin to Bernard RICKLEFS of Rolfe.

The family moved to Lake Township for eight years and then to the farm purchased in 1928.  It is located in Garfield Township, Section 28.  There were five children.

After graduation from Rolfe High School, she taught at Gilmore City for four years.  Later she was active in Girl Scouts, 4-H working as township girls leader and County 4-H Committee, Extension


Berniece and Al SEDLACEK

[page 656]

Council, Home Economic Extension Committee, as well as other community projects.

She also taught Home Economics and Art at Pocahontas Catholic High School in 1967.  She was an active member of Bar Art Group.

Their family consists of three children: Jon, who was born in 1942, is a graduate of Creighton University and Law School of Omaha, Nebraska.  He is now an attorney at Blair, Nebraska.  He was married to Ann HOLLANDER of Omaha in 1975.  They have two children: Sarah and Joseph.  Sally, who was born in 1943, is a graduate of Drake University Des Moines.  A former art teacher and interior designer was married to Larry SCHAEFER of St. Joseph, Missouri in 1965.  They now live in Phoenix, Arizona.  They have two children: Grant and Jana.  Joel, who was born in 1950, in a graduate of Buena Vista College at Storm Lake.  He is the co-owner and manager of Storm Lake Ready Mix.  He was married to Marsha RASMUSSEN of Newell, Iowa in 1975.  They have one child, Aaron.

The SEDLACEKs are members of Resurrection of Our Lord Catholic Church at Pocahontas.  They are active in the church related groups.  Submitted by Berniece C. SEDLACEK


Anthony and Catherine SEDLACEK were both of Czechoslovakian descent, and they were early settlers in Pocahontas, Iowa.  Mr. SEDLACEK died as a young man, leaving his wife to finish raising their five children, Anthony, Joseph, Michael, Mary and James.


Mrs. Catherine SEDLACEK

Joseph, a farmer and big truck operator, married Barbara DEDIC, of Czechoslovakia, and they had three children, Maymie (Mrs. Ray GARRELS), Albert, who married Berniece RICKLEFS, and Josephine (Mrs. Francis SMITH).

Mary married John C. SHORS of Pocahontas, and they were the parents of Lucy (Mrs. Martin ALEXANDER) and George (who married Catherine SHAW), and two other sons, Louis and Charles, who died young.

Anthony, Michael and James never married.  Anthony known as “Tony” was a very familiar town figure.  He was appointed City Marshall and Street Commissioner of Pocahontas, in 1910, and for many years he was in charge of the electrical, water, sewer departments, and the general good health of the town.  Workmen, under his direction as Superintendent of the municipal light system, illuminated the school football field in 1930, making Pocahontas the only lighted field in the area, the closest being in Spencer and Storm Lake.

Michael, called “Mike,” was in the Merchant Marines during World War I.  He also worked for the town on the streets, as well as working as a car salesman, farming, and operating a gas station.

James, the youngest, was in the Army in World War I.  He then operated a bicycle shop, and did considerable surveying work for the county.

The SEDLACEK bachelors were very active in St. Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church in Pocahontas.  The Church had a pipe organ, which operated with a hand wheel, and pumping the organ for Mrs. A.J. SHAW, the organist, was Mike’s regular duty.  Tony was on the Board of Trustees of the Church for many years.  He was in charge of taking up the collections and assisted in the general management of the Parish.  Submitted by Mrs. George SHORS

[page 697]


George Jon SVUBA was born on November 24, 1894 in Cokitle, Bohemia.  At the age of 2 years, he moved to Grdvac, Yugoslavia with his parents, seven sisters and two brothers.  After some grade school, George lived with another family and learned the cabinet-making trade.

In 1913, George came to the United States to Chicago where one of his aunts resided.  His trip from Yugoslavia to the U.S. was on a freighter taking 16 days and nights out of which most of this time he spent being seasick.  In Chicago, he worked in a piano factory but this wasn’t what he wanted to do.  He met John CEJKA on the streets of downtown Chicago where they became acquainted.  George came to Ware, Pocahontas County, Iowa with John where George worked and lived with the CEJKA family for 14 years.  George liked the farm and the outdoors.

Dorothy Ruth COULTAS was born near Reading, Minnesota in 1910.  She started school in Minnesota about the age of 8 years.  The family moved to a place near Emmetsburg, Iowa where they farmed.  Dorothy graduated from high school in Emmetsburg.  She had three brothers and one sister.  Later when World War II started, the parents, younger brother and sister went to San Francisco, California where they all worked for the war effort.  The older boys, Dale and Gene, were already in the Navy, and Don, the younger boy, went into the Air Force.  They all came home safe.

After George and Dorothy were married, they farmed southwest of Fonda.  The SVUBA family then bought a farm in Sherman township, Section 20, from Guy STRAIGHT where they had electricity.  They then sold their farm to John CEJKA and bought the ROELKE farm, 240 acres, Section 23, Swan Lake Township.  The boys were old enough to help farm, so more land was needed.  George always raised hogs and fed cattle and they always had some chickens and a few milk cows to help with the income.

Gernie graduated from Ware with a class of 5.  The other four children graduated from the Laurens school.  Joan was Homecoming Queen in 1955.  Genie married Myron SPEER, a conservation officer in Davenport, Iowa where they reside.  They have two boys.

Bill married Roberta PHEIFFER and they live in St. Joseph, Missouri where Bill drives a truck. They have two boys and a girl.

Joan BURK now lives in Winthrop, Iowa where her husband Wayne is the high school superintendent.  They have two boys and a girl.

Dwight married Sharon GOETTSCH, a classmate.  He is an electrical engineer with the city of St. Joseph, Missouri.  They have two boys and a girl.

Francis married a local girl, Mary WRIGHT.  They live on the family farm and have two girls and two boys.

George and Dorothy moved to Laurens in 1963 to 221 S. 3rd where they presently live.

[page 720]


Joseph H. VAINREB, a native of Pocahontas County, was born June 7, 1915, the son of Joseph and Anna STEGGE VAINREB.  His father was an immigrant to this country from Hungary and his mother, a Center township native, whose grandparents came here in 1869.

Following the death of his mother in 1921, Joe was put in the care of others which included three years residency at Boys Town, Nebraska, ending in 1928.

He returned to Pocahontas County and was employed by John L. PASCAL as a farmhand.  When World War II started, he enlisted in the army and served in the Pacific theater as a medical officer.

Following the war, he returned to the Pocahontas area and, on August 18, 1946, married Mary Margaret SINEK.

Mary Margaret, the daughter of Leon and Margaret SHIMON SINEK, was born April 5, 1918.  She grew up in the Rolfe area and attended the Rolfe school.  Following graduation in 1935, to supplement her normal training in high school, she attended a summer session at Iowa Teacher’s College, Cedar Falls.  She returned to teach in several of the country schools throughout the county.

Following their marriage, Joe and Mary Margaret moved to the Plover area and worked for Ernest W. MEREDITH in his farming operation before farming some rented land there.  In 1949 they moved to Section 28, Garfield township, outh of Rolfe to a farm owned by her father.

Joe and Mary Margaret were blessed with the following children: Mary Jo VAINREB, Mrs. Steve (Susan) ROGERS, Mrs. Bennet (Kathryn) RICKLEFS, Mrs. Paul (Patricia) FABER, Mrs. Kenneth (Nancy) EBERLE, Teresa VAINREB, Kevin VAINREB, and David VAINREB.

Joe’s general farming operation at one point included milk cows, hogs, and beef cattle.  It also put meat and milk on the table, in that Joe used his knowledge of butchering, which he acquired at Boys Town, to process beef and pork.  Later, grain farming and a cattle feeding operation made the most effective use of the land and time available.

With this large a family it became a family operation.  There were times when Mary Margaret of “Joe’s girls,” as they were sometimes referred to, proved to be capable farmhands when called upon.  A female driving the tractor and baler during the haying season was a familiar sight and Joe always had a special way of communicating with the driver.

In order to feed this large a family it was a necessity to have a garden.  There was always sweet corn from the earliest planting until September, meaning three or four plantings.  Strawberry picking was a family project with the younger children on the outer edges of the bed and always looking “for the biggest one that would fit my mouth.”

In August, 1975 Joe and Mary Margaret moved to a new home located on a farm, section 30, Garfield township, they purchased from the estate of her uncle, Adolph SHIMON.

The pleasure of Joe and Mary Margaret’s life came when they were blessed with grandchildren.  At the present time there are Erin and Rachael RICKLEFS, Kimberly and Matthew FABER, and Nicole, Andrea, and Nathan EBERLE.

There are many things that are special which have happened to Joe and Mary Margaret and their family.  They will be remembered because Mary Margaret, in a large part, made them that way.  Her death in September, 1980 will make these and other memories of the past part of their lives forever.  Submitted by Mary Jo VAINREB


Joe and Mary Margaret VAINREB Family  1977


Joseph VAINREB became a resident of this county when he married Anna STEGGE in 1910.  He was an immigrant to this country from Slovakia, Europe when he was twenty years old.  He lived at Jefferson,


Joseph and Anna VAINREB children   Mary, Joseph H., Agnes and Ann   1980

Iowa before coming to Pocahontas.

Joseph was born on February 13, 1881 to Toamis and Mariae KRAJCSIROVICS WEINREB.  (After his arrival in this country, the spelling of Joe’s last name was changed to make the name look as it was pronounced.) Joe and Anna STEGGE (b. June, 1884) daughter of Henry and Mary SICKING STEGGE, were married on
October 5, 1910.  A certificate of naturalization was given to Joe when he became a citizen of the United States in May, 1917.

Joe worked for a contractor and the engineering department of the Pocahontas County governmental body in laying the large tile in the county.  Later he worked as a custodian for the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and School.

Joe and Anna were the parents of five children: Mrs. Joseph (Mary) GENGLER, Mrs. Ervil (Agnes) CUNNINGHAM, Joseph H. VAINREB, Clarence VAINREB, and Mrs. Larry (Anne) NAUGLE.  Clarence was a casualty of World War II.  There are nineteen grandchildren.

Anna died in 1921 and Joe in 1943.  Submitted by Mary Jo VAINREB

[page 721]


I am proud to say that I am  a native of Pocahontas County.  I was born May 27, 1947, the daughter of Joseph H. and Mary Margaret SINEK VAINREB.  My heritage is deep in Pocahontas County in that I am the fifth generation of families, who, as immigrants, following short stays in points east, made this county their permanent home.

John SINEK, grandfather of my grandfather, Leon SINEK, came to Center township from Chicago in 1877.  He and his son Frank were born in Bohemia.

Albert SHIMON, grandfather of my grandmother, Margaret SHIMON SINEK, came to Roosevelt township by way of Chicago and Protevin, Iowa in 1874.  From 1884-1900 they lived in Minnesota before returning to the county.  Albert’s son Frank moved back to the county following his marriage in 1886.  These men were of Austrian and Bohemian nationalities respectively.

Bernard STEGGE, grandfather of Anna STEGGE VAINREB, came to Lincoln township in 1869.  he was born in Germany.  One of his sons, Henry, was born in Wisconsin.

My grandfather, Joseph VAINREB, was an immigrant to this country from Slovakia, Europe.  He lived in Jefferson, Iowa before coming to Pocahontas when he married Anna STEGGE in 1910.

When I learned these facts about my ancestors, it blended right in with a fascination for history that I have had since grade and high school.  I graduated from Rolfe Community School in 1965.



My education continued when I attended Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge, a junior college for a general education.  I received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Science from Buena Vista College, Storm Lake, Iowa.

When I have some free time, I consider the hobbies I have a very important part of my life.  When the weather is nice, I enjoy gardening and flowers.  At other times, I enjoy sewing, various forms of needlework, and an assortment of crafts.

Since July, 1976 I have been employed by St. Margaret’s Catholic Church, Rolfe, Iowa as secretary-accountant.  It was in this connection that I was asked to be a lector and participate in the liturgy of the Catholic Church.  I continue to include this activity as a regular part of my life.  Submitted by Mary Jo VAINREB

[page 756]



David, Jayne and Lindsay WOODIN  December 1980

Jayne Coleen NELSON was born January 31, 1956, to Arlo O. and Dorothy J. NELSON of Laurens. Jayne has an older sister, Barbara Ann.

During Jayne’s high school years, she enjoyed music and sports, graduating with honors in 1974 from Laurens High.  The following fall she enrolled at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

David Charles Ray WOODIN was born Dec. 22, 1953, to Donald H. and Gretchen L. WOODIN of Laurens.  David has an older brother, Dan Lee.

During Dave’s high school years, he enjoyed music and academics, graduating valedictorian in 1972 from Laurens High.  The following fall he enrolled at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

On August 16, 1975, Dave and Jayne were married at the United Methodist Church in Laur-

[page 757]

ens.  They moved to Ames, where Dave finished his college career with a degree in Agronomy, graduating with honors.  Jayne enrolled in Bernel’s School of Cosmetology in Ames.  In the spring of 1976, they moved back to rural Laurens (SW¼ of Sec. I in Swan Lake Twp.), where Dave began farming.  Jayne finished Cosmetology training, commuting daily to Larson’s School of Cosmetology in Spencer, Iowa.  She graduated in Sept. of 1976, and immediately started working at Pat’s Beauty Salon in Laurens.  Jayne gave up her hair stylist work in December of 1979, to farm with her husband.  Dave and Jayne have a daughter, Lindsay Brooke, born Sept. 28, 1980.

During the summer of 1981, they moved to the SE¼ of Sec. 1 in Swan Lake Twp., to a farm they recently purchased.  Dave’s outside interests include participating in a slow pitch softball league, hunting, fishing and working towards his masters degree in Agronomy.

Jayne’s interests include participating in a women’s softball team, singing and sewing.  Submitted by Jayne WOODIN


Donald Harry WOODIN, born January 11, 1928, son of Raymond and Evelyn WOODIN and Gretchen Lee HAWLEY, born June 29, 1930, Daughter of Charles and Leone HAWLEY, all of Laurens, Iowa, were married March 13, 1949 at the Christian Church in Laurens, Iowa.  They established their first home on the S.W.¼ of Sec. 7 Sherman Twp. 1½ miles west of Ware, Iowa, as full time livestock and grain farmers.

On September 1, 1951 son Dan Lee was born.  In November 1953 they moved to a farm which they purchased in Booth Twp. Palo Alto Co. 8 miles west of Mallard, Iowa.  On December 22, 1953 son David Charles Ray was born.

Dan started school in Mallard in 1956 and on March 1, 1959 the family moved to the S.W.¼ Sec. 12 Swan Lake Twp. northeast of Laurens, which they purchased and where Donald and Gretchen have spent the rest of their time together as Pocahontas Co. farmers.  son Dan graduated from Laurens High School where he was a member of the National Honor Society active in Speech, drama, Music, and F.F.A.  he was the recipient of the Iowa Bar Association’s American Citizenship Award for the class of 1969.  In 1974 he graduated from Iowa State College with a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science.

On May 26, 1973 he married Jacqueline Dorothy MASTERSON of Boone, Iowa.  They are parents of two children, daughter Audra Lee born February 17, 1975 and son Austin Don Masterson born January 24, 1979.  At the present time Dan and family are living in Ames, Iowa, where he is employed at Iowa State University as a Computer Programmer Analyst.

Son David started school and graduated from Laurens High School as valedictorian of his 1972 class.  He was a member of the National Honor Society active in Music, Drama, Speech, and F.F.A.  He then attended the University of Iowa three years majoring in pre-med.  He transferred to Iowa State University for his final year graduating with a major in Agronomy.  He was the outstanding Agronomy graduate in the 1976 class.  David was married August 16, 1975 to Jayne Coleen NELSON daughter of Arlo and Dorothy NELSON of Laurens.

After graduation he and his wife returned to Pocahontas Co. as hog and grain farmers.  They have one daughter Lindsay Brooke born September 28, 1980.  David and family are presently living on their farm in Section 1 Swan Lake Twp.  The family are all members of the United Methodist Church in Laurens, Iowa.  Together Donald and Gretchen started farming with all four row planting and two row harvesting equipment and have progressed to eight row planting and four row harvesting, 40 horsepower tractors to 230 horsepower, ear corn to shelled corn, and presently more soil conservation practices without using the plow and leaving the trash on top.  They enjoy their family and traveling and are continuing their farming operations northeast of Laurens.


One of the early settlers in Pocahontas County was Harry Edward WOODIN who came in 1894 and broke sod north of Pocahontas.  He was born in Goodland, Indiana in 1871, the son of Alexander Everett and Annie (HARTSHORN) WOODIN.  In 1897 he married Ada DEXTER.  She was born near St. Jacobs, Holland in 1879 and came to America in 1881 with her parents, Jeerd and Agnes (KUIKEN) DYSTRA (DEXTER in America), and her brother Cless and Cralis and sisters, Trincy, Sitska and Marguerite.  They settled in Indiana and later came to Pocahontas County in 1895.

Harry and Ada’s children were Grace, Carl, Raymond, Truman, Walter, Pirl, Ruby and Harvey.  Their farm home was one and one-half miles west of Ware, Iowa on the south side of the road.

My first encounter with the name WOODIN was in 1939 when I came to Ware to apply for a teaching position.  At the intersection of the Ware road and what is now Highway 17, I saw a sign – WOODIN – Potatoes for Sale – 1½ miles west of Ware.  Later I would learn that they were well known for their potato raising.  Before that day was over I had a teaching contract signed by Ray WOODIN, president of the school board.  Ray and wife Evelyn (MALIK) farmed west of Ware, later moved west of Havelock and now are retired in Laurens.  Their children are Raymond, Jr. and Donald.

I soon met Truman and Luverne (NEWELL) WOODIN who lived in Ware and operated a garage.  Later they farmed west of Ware.  They are now retired and spend the winters in Mesa, Arizona.  They have a daughter, Ruth.

Pirl and wife Esther (HIXSON) WOODIN farmed south of Ware and Pirl drove a school bus.  They are now retired in Laurens.  Their children are Carol and Mervin.

I met Walter at the annual school carnival.  We were married two years later and farmed south of Plover and later moved to the WOODIN farm west of Ware.  In 1956 we started the Woodin Mfg. Co. in Laurens.  Walter died in 1979.


Harry WOODIN Family in 1937

L to R: Front Row: Raymond, Harry, Ada, Harvey   Back Row: Walter, Truman, Ruby, Grace, Carl, Pirl

Grace WOODIN operated a grocery store in Pocahontas and married Wayne REX.  Both are deceased.

Ruby WOODIN married Woodrow OTTO.  They farmed in the Plover area, then the WOODIN home farm and later moved to their farm south of Plover.  They are now retired in Pocahontas.  Their children are Glen and Eileen.

Harvey married Maxine OXENFORD.  He was a plumber in Pocahontas and later they operated Maxine’s Rancheteria.  Harvey died in 1977.  Carl and Vera (HOLDEN) WOODIN live in Joplin, MO.  Their children are Dean and Sandra.

Harry and Ada WOODIN retired to Joplin, Missouri in 1939 after living on the same Pocahontas County farm for 42 years.  In 1957 they were brought by plane to a nursing home in Emmetsburg.  Harry died in 1959.  Ada was then cared for in her daughter Ruby’s home until her death five years later.  Doris (LUTHER) WOODIN


Raymond Everett WOODIN, born March 27, 1902, son of Harry Everett and Ada DEXTER WOODIN, Evelyn Eva MALIK, born December 15, 1902, daughter of Rudolph and Anna MALIK, were married December 15, 1923 in Ware, Iowa at the Methodist parsonage.  They established their first home in Grant Township for one year then moved to the S.W.¼ of Section 7, Sherman Township, 1½ miles west of Ware directly across the road from Ray’s original home place.  They spent the next 25 years of their lives farming and living on this farm.  In 1949 they moved to a farm they purchased in the S.W.¼, Section 28, Cummins Township and lived there until retiring to their present home at 414 W. Olive Street, Laurens in 1975.

They were the parents of two sons: Raymond Everett, Jr., born February 17, 1925 and Donald Harry, born January 11, 1928.  Both sons were active in sports and graduated from Ware High School.  Both are presently Pocahontas Co. farmers.

Ray Jr. married Alice BOYSEN, daughter of Harry and Clara BOYSEN, on February 16, 1947.  They are the parents of two sons: Gerald Ray, born December 20, 1949 and Steven Harry, born October 2, 1953.  Gerald married Eavon ALMQUIST of Pocahontas and they are the parents of three children: Curtis Ray, born September 3, 1973; Gregory John, born June 18, 1975; Dee Ann, born July 22, 1977.  Steven is unmarried at the present time.

Donald Harry married Gretchen Lee HAWLEY,

[page 758]

daughter of Charles and Leone HAWLEY, March 13, 1949.  They are the parents of two sons: Dan Lee, born September 1, 1951 and David Charles Ray, born December 22, 1953.  Dan married Jacqueline MASTERSON on Boone, Iowa and they are the parents of daughter, Audra Lee, born February 17, 1975 and son Austin Don MASTERSON, born January 24, 1979.  David married Jayne NELSON of Laurens, August 16, 1975 and they are the parents of one daughter, Lindsay Brooke, born September 28, 1980.

Evelyn was born in Wagner, South Dakota and, at the age of 13 years, came to live with her Aunt Maude and Uncle John CEJKA in Sherman Township.  She has three sisters and one brother, Helen, Maybelle, Violet (deceased), MALIK and Ned KOVAR.  She graduated from Ware High School in 1922 and that summer attended college at Spencer which was a branch of Iowa State Teachers College of Cedar Falls where she received her diploma and became a substitute teacher that fall in the country schools of Grant Township, often times walking several miles in extreme weather conditions to her work.

Raymond had five brothers and two sisters: Grace, Carl, Truman, Walter, Pirl, Ruby, and Harvey.  He attended school in Ware.

Ray and Evelyn have been active members of the Havelock Methodist Church and also of Ware.  They have been progressive farmers, beginning with horses and ending their farming days with four row equipment, and always interested in the betterment of their local community.


Ray WOODIN, Jr. was born in Pocahontas County.  His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Ray WOODIn, Sr., who now resides in Laurens, Iowa.  At the time of Jr’s arrival, his parents were plannig a move to a farm 1½ miles west of Ware, IA and he lived there until Uncle Sam called him from the comforts of Home.  He received his education at the Ware Consolidated School, graduating in 1943.  He was in the Army from 1944 to 1946, serving eighteen months in the European zone.  In 1947, he married Alice BOYSEN.

I was born on a farm south of Havelock and graduated from the Havelock Consolidated School.  My parents were Mr. and Mrs. Harry BOYSEN.  In Feb. 1947, I married Ray WOODIN, Jr.

Ray WOODIN, Jr. and I live on a farm 3 miles west and 2¼ miles north of Pocahontas in Sherman Township.  We have two sons, Jerry and Steve.  Jerry was almost a Christmas present as he was born December 20, 1949.  He and his wife, the former EaVon ALMQUIST, make their home in Pocahontas and are the parents of three children, Curt 7, Greg 5, and DeAnn 3.  Jerry is employed by the Commercial State Bank in Pocahontas.

Steve was born Oct. 2, 1953, right in the busy harvest season.  He’s single and lives at home but farms east of Havelock.  Steve and his Dad assist each other in their farming project and sometimes they involve me, but I wouldn’t want it any other way, as I enjoy helping out from time to time.  By Alice WOODIN


Truman is one of eight children of Harry and Ada DEXTER WOODIN and has spent all but a few winters of his life within five miles of his birthplace, 1½ miles west of the once thriving Ware.

His father was a native of Indiana, coming to Iowa in the late 1800’s.  His mother had a more interesting experience.  She came to the United States as a child of one and a half years with her parents by boat from Holland where her father had been one of the group of service men called “The Queen’s Guard”, at that time considered a great honor.  Her parents settled in Indiana and came to Iowa about six years later to a farm by Ware where she met Harry WOODIN, a friend of her older brother and married.

After Truman reached manhood, he put his mechanical ability to work as the owner and operator of a garage and repair service, not once but twice.  He farmed in between times.  During this time he married Luverne NEWELL, the daughter of Loyal and Laura NEWELL.  Mr. NEWELL was from Indiana.  Mrs. NEWELL was the daughter of Pocahontas County pioneers, Gustave and Lizzie SCHREYER from southeastern Iowa.

Truman and Luverne went back to farming west of Ware to raise their only child, Ruth.

Ruth graduated with the last graduating class of the Ware Consolidated School, went to school in Minneapolis and came home as a medical technician.  She worked at the Mercy Hospital in Fort Dodge, Iowa and married Camillus WALSH of rural Gilmore City – a young farmer.  They have given the WOODINs four precious grandchildren: Diane, Steven, Kathleen, and Mary.

Truman has retired from farming even though they still live in the farm home summers.  They spend some of the winter months at their other home near Mesa, Arizona.


Walter WOODIN was born in 1909 on the family farm one and one-half miles west of Ware, Iowa.  Pocahontas County was his home for his entire life except for the depression year of 1930 which was spent in California.  This was a well remembered year as jobs were scarce and temporary.  At one time he had nothing to eat for three days.  For a short time he worked in a factory for forty cents an hour or sixteen dollars a week.  He won a biggest smile contest sponsored by Jack OAKIE and received twenty-five dollars.  He returned to Iowa and carved out a mechanical show “Fun On The Farm” with fifty-two characters.  This was shown on a carnival circuit, admission five cents, for three summers, and then sold.

Walter’s parents were Harry E. and Ada (DEXTER) WOODIN who came to Pocahontas County in the 1890’s where they met and married.

My parents were Clifford and Anna (BARROW) LUTHER.  My mother’s parents came to this country from England.  My Father had ancestors in this country dating back to 1660.  My father lived in Laurens, Iowa from May 1967 until his death in December 1969.  I was born in Des Moines in 1916.  My father was a postal clerk.  We moved to a Boone County, Iowa farm in 1920.  I graduated from the Luther High School, attended Iowa State Teachers


Doris and Walter WOODIN   November 28, 1959

College at Cedar Falls, taught rural schools in Boone County and came to Ware, Iowa to teach third and fourth grades in 1939.  My salary was seventy dollars a month with six dollars deducted for teacherage rent.

I have many happy memories of living there with five other women teachers on the west side while the superintendent’s family lived on the east side of the building.  My contract required that I spend half the weekends in Ware and if I got married I would immediately be out of a job.  I first met Walter at the annual school carnival.  We were married in June 1941 and lived three and one-half miles south of Plover.  In 1948 we moved to his father’s farm west of Ware.  Walt always had an inventive mind and made many articles to make farm work more efficient.  In 1956 he started manufacturing electric egg washers which are described in this book under the heading of Woodin Mfg. Co.  I was always active in the business and after we moved to 517 West Garfield, Laurens, Iowa in 1962, I also gave piano lessons.  I am a member of the Federated Woman’s Club and the Pocahontas County Historical Society.  We have both been active in the Methodist Church.

Walter became ill in 1978 with a rare neuropathy similar to Guillian Barre syndrome and died in December 1979 after nine months hospitalization.  During his illness Laurens people were most compassionate and helpful.  I also have pleasant memories of coming to Laurens as a child to visit my great uncle Chester W. CLARK and his family, never dreaming that someday I would live here.  Laurens is a good place to live.  Mrs. Walter (Doris) WOODIN

[page 760]


Henry WUNDER left Emkendorf, Germany in the year 1881.  He took the passage of another man who was inducted into the German army.  He got his permit to leave the country from the Prussian government April 5, 1881.  At that time he was 16 years of age.  He came to Benton County, Iowa and worked on a farm for a year to pay for his passage to the United States.  He received his room and board


Henry WUNDER Family

L to R: Top row: Martha, Paul, Lilly, Alice, Edd, Claire  Bottom row: John, Henry, Mary, Bill

and a suit of clothes for his years work.  At one time he worked for the Northwestern Railroad in Iowa and Nebraska.  He talked of the sod houses in Nebraska.

Henry met and married his wife Mary in Keystone, Iowa.  She too had immigrated from Germany.  She came at the age of 22 and also came to Benton County.  They first farmed near Jolley, Iowa in Calhoun County from 1895 until 1912.  All of their children were born there.

In 1912 they moved with their 8 children to a 320 acre farm which they purchased near Ware, Iowa.  There was only a crib and a small building on the place.  So besides putting in the crops a two story house was erected before winter set in.  In the meantime the family cooked and ate in the small building and slept in the grain bin of the crib.

As time went on Henry purchased 160 acres northwest of Ware where his son Bill lived and farmed after he returned from World War I.  He had seen plenty of fighting and was on the front lines when the Armistice was signed.  Bill was married to Bessie SCHLENSIG.

Another farm of 160 acres was bought and son John farmed it for awhile.  He was married to Nellie COOK and when she passed away he quit farming.

Lilly WUNDER married Paul BLOUDIL and lived on a farm near Ware.  She was also married to Howard GIBSON and lived in Havelock.

Son Edd married Juanita OAKLEY and lives in Fonda.

Alice married Harry OVERMIRE and lives in Ayrshire.

Martha married Virgil FRYE and lives on the farm west of Ware.  Her son Erwin farms the place.

Paul married Mavis PIERATT and farmed the home place until his death in 1969.

Claire married Clifton COX and lives in Fort Dodge.  She works at the reservation desk for the Holiday Inn.

The family remembers the tornados that blew down the barns on the home place.  The first time it was 2 P.M. on the 28th of June and the second time it was at 2 A.M. on the 29th of June.

Henry WUNDER and his wife moved to Des Moines in 1925 after retiring from farming.  He passed away in 1962 at the age of 97.  His wife passed away in 1972 at the age of 101.  Submitted by Martha FRYE

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  1. kayleen mccuen
    23 November 2009 at 6:24 am

    I am seeking information on the family of Amos Hartsock from Laurens, Iowa. I am married to Mark Mccuen who is the son of Donna Hartsock McCuen.

  2. 15 August 2010 at 8:44 pm

    looking for hyin harms janssen my greatgrand father he passed 1895 his wife was anna c janssen she married a harms schoon would likeab on hyin janssen

  3. 17 August 2010 at 5:22 pm

    1868 hyin harms janssen was born the same for anna c csrstens married 1887had three alma john gerhard robert janssen my grand fatherin 1895 he was born indec 1895 his fatherpassed on in 1897 grandmother married harm schoon thy had two sons henry and fred my grand father married a ruth clipser she dissaperd 1932they had a son robert henry and mary lou janssen 1922 1928 in 1932 granddad moved to missouridadhad roberta helen and me billie joe janssen mary not married need help finding abouth ruth clipser mary said grandpal went to col. she nerve came back said shr passed on there bjanssensr@aol.com

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