Obituaries

A translated obituary from "De Volksvriend"1 of Thursday, Oct 25, 1900.

Jelle Pelmulder.

In our next paper we hope to give you more details from the life of this man, with who we made in 1855 with the sailer South Caroline the trip from Rotterdam to New York, and who has taken an important place in the history of this colony.

A translated obituary of Mrs. Pelmulder on 6-9-1882.

Mrs. Pelmulder.

Mrs Pelmulder has died. This news raised general sympathy. She was a woman who came in everywhere where they suffered, with words and actions to comfort.

And yet, she herself was not to be allowed to get comfort in the last days, no nursing, no receiving a kind word, than only of her sick husband and her youngest daughter, Mary. She wasn't even allowed to see her well-beloved children to pronounce a last farewell. That's hard! That causes sadness. That raises sympathy to the relatives.

The Index reports the next message of this case of death, which we would like to report with honor:

"The deceased was born March 18, 1821 in Holwerd, County Friesland. On May 8, 1841, she was married to Jelle Pelmulder and emigrated in June 1855 with her husband and family to America, and settled in Marion County, where they stayed till 1870 when they came over to Sioux County, part of the first families who settled there in the Dutch settlement and started to live on a farm four miles North of this town. About seven years ago they moved to Orange City, where they stayed till now".

"Mrs Pelmulder was mother of eight children, six daughters and two sons, all still living and married, except Mary, the youngest, who stayed at home".

"Mrs. Pelmulder was a member of the Christian Reformed Church and proved by her steady daily life that she was indeed a Christian. By her actions she stole the hearts of all who met her. She was a dedicated spouse, a friendly and beloved mother, a good neighbor, a friend of the poor, everywhere ready to help those who need help, a woman, of whom her children are proud of calling her with the honorable name of Mother".

The husband and children share in the sympathy of the whole community.

A translated obituary from "De Volksvriend" of 1 November 1900


(Translated by Albert Geurink).
Jelle Pelmulder.

Last Thursday afternoon, we were together at the funeral of the mortal remains of one of the leaders (foremen) of our Dutch settlement here, the old father Pelmulder.

Rev. Dr. Steffens lead the divine service in the Dutch language and Rev. Kolyn gave an address in English for the Americans. The personnel of the Court-house formed part of the many who wanted to pay their last honors to the deceased.

Old and full of years could rightly be told of him, while, since the death of his aged spouse in 1882, he was only waiting for old man death; patiently waiting at the time. He believed that he would be permanently united again with her.

Full of years and honor can also be said rightly of him, while since his youth he was always an honest, sincere man. His word was always trustworthy and his promise always kept.

Educated in Holland for teaching, and after working for some years there in this profession, he decided to go to America for improvement of his faith. This was before the Civil War, and while he was totally against slavery he become immediately a pronounced member of the Republican Party. Often we heard him say that he was an abolitionist from his birth and therefore Republican. During the rest of his life he remained, therefore, loyal to this party.

His first residence in America was in Pella, Iowa.

When they spoke there about settling a new colony he was one of the first, even the very first, to pay attention to the North-West of Iowa and was, with his family, one of the first who settled there.

Almost at once he was appointed as clerk of the Court or, like the Dutchmen would say, "griffier of the rechtbank". In those days the old Judge Olivier, the father of the recent judge, was one of the judges, when Mr. Pelmulder raised his objections to this appointment - that he was totally unfamiliar to these matters - he promised him to educate him well, as he did.

From time to time the old Mr. Pelmulder was reelected to the same job. From year to year he was higher and better valued and respected, not only by the Dutchmen, but even more by the Americans, not only by those of Sioux County, but also by those of LeMars, Sheldon and Sioux City, who called him "Uncle Jelle" . And we know for a fact that there are many in all those places who condoled with his children and grandchildren in their loss.

Seventeen years and 8 months Mr. Pelmulder remained clerk. When appointed the first time he lived on his farm, three miles North of the town. And when the County seat was in Calliope, he walked twice a week those 25 miles, always with his pipe in his mouth. When someone took the County books with force from Calliope to Orange City he was also there and by his advice he succeeded to avoid extravagances.

After serving as clerk for some years he was examined by Judge Ford, and called as lawyer to the bar.

Since 1876 he lived peacefully in our town and enjoyed his deserved repose. His greatest pleasures he found in his books and flowers.

Since the death of his wife, his youngest daughter (*Mary) was always with him, and took care of him till the day of his death, with the highest tenderness and loyalty.

The deceased lived a life of loyalty and sincerity, values which in those days have rarely been found in this size, a life worthy to be described better than we can do here.

May it be the highest example to imitate.

L. VAN OLST


Albert Geurink May 18, 2004.

The original Dutch articles.

1(NOTE: "De Volksvriend" (The People's Friend) was a Dutch newspaper in Orange City, Sioux County, IA.)
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