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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Michigan: Ottawa County

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Wiepke Diekema Biography
Posted by: William Brackett (ID *****9065) Date: July 28, 2006 at 09:54:53
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The Portrait and Biographical Record of Muskegon and Ottawa Counties, Michigan was published in 1893 by the Biographical Publishing Company of Chicago. This work contains a Biography on Wiepke Diekema. It reads:

“Wiepke Diekema, the efficient County Superintendent of the Poor of Ottawa County, Mich., and a prosperous general agriculturist residing upon section 31, Holland, Mich., has held many important public positions of trust, and was for eight years Highway Commissioner and for twenty consecutive years ably discharged the complex duties of Township Supervisor. Our subject is a native of the Netherlands, and was born in that fertile country in the year 1830. His parents, Peter and Bouwena Diekema, born in the Netherlands, were descendants of a long line of sturdy ancestry, who cultivated the land of the Old Country, and with frugal industry won their way up to comfort and prosperity. Peter was the son of Wiepke and Tarje Diekema, and parents and grandparents were native of the province of Groningen. The paternal and maternal ancestors of Mr. Diekema were prominent people, widely known and highly respected for their ability and upright character. The paternal grandfather was a large farmer, owning about two hundred acres of valuable land, upon which he raised with profit both grain and cattle. He lived to the advanced age of eighty-five years, and at the time of his death, in 1844, was wonderfully well preserved, having excellent teeth, white and firm, curly hair, and five feet eight inches in stature, was a fine-looking man.

The paternal grandfather, a man of more than ordinary influence in his locality, reared a family of eleven children, all of whom, with the exception of the father of our subject, lived and died in their native land. The father devoted his entire life to agricultural pursuits, and was both a renter and land-owner of the Old Country. With his family he emigrated to the United States in 1848, and having made a safe voyage did not tarry long in the East, but made his way directly to Michigan, where he bought twenty acres located in the dense woods of Ottawa County, and situated upon section 31, township of Holland.
Cultivating the soil and improving the farm with good buildings, he lived to see most of the acres yielding an abundant annual harvest, and in the Wolverine State reared his family. The mother of Mr. Diekema was a widow when she married the father, and by her first husband, Walter Vos, had two daughters: Martha, aged seventy-eight, a resident of the Old Country; and Catherine, widow of Marcus Niehuis. The union of the father and mother was blessed by the birth of two children: Wiepke, our subject; and Eilke, the wife of Paul Berghois, living one mile east of Holland. The parents were both devout members of the Reformed Church and were active in good work. The father, politically a Republican, was well versed in the affairs of Government. He did not long survive middle life, passing away in 1850, at fifty-seven years of age. The mother lived to reach the advanced age of four-score years and two, and peacefully entered into rest.

Our subject in 1852 married Miss Hendrikjen Stegeman, who was born in the Province of Overisel, in the Netherlands, the daughter of John and Hendrikjen Stegeman. The home of Mr. And Mrs. Diekema was brightened by the birth of eight intelligent children. Peter died in infancy; Henerika married John Tencate; Peter died at the age of fifteen; G. J. was the fourth in order of birth; then follow Aldert, Bouwina, Albert and Martha. In 1852 our subject bought the eighty acres of land where he resides and to which he has added until he now owns one hundred and ten acres, formerly wild land, but all now under high cultivation and well improved with commodious and substantial buildings, which well attest the prosperity of the owner. Our subject and his estimable wife are able members of the Reformed Church of Holland and are leaders in church work. Politically, Mr. Diekema is a Republican and has been since the war. Long identified with matters of local welfare, he began his public career as a Roadmaster, being elected to the position in 1868. With fidelity discharging the duties assigned to him as Supervisor, Commissioner and Superintendent of the Poor, our subject is also a Notary Public and by his official record and private life commands the high regard and confidence of all his fellow-citizens.”

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