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was the Rev. Henry P. Scholte. A brief sketch of this gentleman will not be out of place. He was born in Amsterdam, Holland, in 1805. In early life he learned the carpenter trade and devoted considerable of his time to drawing. When 17 years of age he was deprived of his father, which event
, called his attention to the subject of religion, and the result of bie considerations was that he commenced a preparatory course, and in 1821, entered the seminary at Amsterdam. In 1824, after passing throngh the literary examination of the University of Leyden, he began the study of theology in that institution. During a revival in Holland in 1826, after giving the matter of religion mature deliberation, he came to the conclusion that sectarianism and church organization were of a secondary importance. In 1830 a rebellion broke out in Belgium, which Mr. S. took an active part in suppressing. In 1832 he passed the theological examination at the University of Leyden and was licensed to preach. After being examined by the Synod of Holland, he commenced his duties as a minister of the Gospel in the National Reform Church in the beginning of 1833, where he officiated until the division in 1835.
The small body of seceders were not permitted to dwell in harmony, but passed through a series of trials that were fraught with persecutions aud imprisonments, instigated by the Synod of Holland. The legality of these acts, for want of a better excuse, was based upon an iron-clad law of Napoleon, which stipulated that not more than twenty persons should assemble in one body for divine worship.
These persecutions instead of having a disastrous effect upon the followers of the new faith, increased its adherents; consequently the government became discouraged and the persecutions ceased entirely soon after the accession of William II. to the throne.
The social condition and pecuniary circumstances of the middle and poorer classes of the country came under the observation of Mr. Scholte during his labors as a minister. He perceived how difficult it was for the poor to eke out a sustenance, and for them to attain a social status was an utter impossibility.
After considering the inatter of their relief he concluded that, owing to the crowded condition of the Netherlands, that his efforts to aid them, or to contrive any means to better their condition in their native country would be futile, and that emigration to some other country where they would have a broader scope for their labors, was the only alternative to bring about the desired end. With this project in view, in connection with another minister of ability, they began a series of investigations in regard to the laws, religion and general advantages of different countries. They corresponded with the Minister of Colonies and endeavored to secure free passage to the island of Java and a permit to make a free settlement there. To this the government objected and they turned their attention in another direction. America was the next country under consideration. After making inquiries in regard to the clinate, laws, etc., of different parts, Texas was first thought of, but owing to the climate was abandoned. "Missouri was next under consideration, but the existence of slavery forbade its choice. Finally Iowa, which was then in its infancy as a State, was chosen to be the land of their future abode.
The next step to be taken was to create an interest among a sufficient number to form a self-sustaining colony. In July, 1846, the first meeting for the purpose was held at Leersdam, and in December of the same year
the second meeting was held at Utrecht, at which an organization was ef fected, Henry P. Scholte being elected president, A. J. Betten vice-president and Isaac Overkamp secretary. A committee consisting of G. Overkamp, G. F. Le Cocq, John Rietveld and A. Wigny were appointed. whose duiy it was to receive members on certain conditions, and arrange for means of transportation. It was required that the members of the or
. ganization should be industrious and moral. It was not essential that tter should be adherents to a religious faith, but no atheists or infidels were ad mitted, and Roman Catholics were entirely excluded. Another measure was that each member of sufficient means should take charge of one or more persons or families who desired to go, but were too poor to defray the expense.
In the spring of 1847 the association numbered 1,300 souls, and between 700 and 800 were prepared to make their departure. Four vessels were chartered, three of which sailed from Rotterdam and one from Amsterdam the early part of April. The fleet arrived in Baltimore the early part of June, where they were joined by Mr. Scholte, who had preceded them by steamer. Nine deaths and three births occurred during the voyage.
They were conveyed to Pittsburgh by canal and railway, thence to & Louis by steamboat, arriving in July. Mr. E. F. Grafe, a German, and for sometime a resident of that city, was aware of their coming and proved to be a beneficial friend to them during their sojourn at that point. It ra necessary for them to recuperate and make arrangements for the journey to their final settlement, consequently they constructed a temporary shelter outside the city limits. It was also essential at this time to know the locaity in the Hawkeye State where they were to take up their permanent abode, and Henry P. Scholte, Isaac Overkamp, John Rietveld and others for this purpose departed for Iowa as the avant-couriers or prospectors. Rev. M. 'J. Post, who for a number of years was a minister of the gospel
. and mail-carrier in the frontier for a number of years, came in contact with them at Fairfield. Mr. Post recoin mended the belt of country lying between the Des Moines and Skunk rivers in Marion county as a suitable locality to establish a colony, and with the committee went over the ground.
The location and surroundings were agreeable to their views and Mr. Scholte, as financial manager and agent for the colony, purchased the claims of settlers within a radius of two townships, which was designed for the use of the colony, together with live stock and agricultural implements.
They returned to St. Louis and mechanics were immediately sent for ward to construct temporary shelter for the emigrants on their arrival which was soon. Sheds were erected in different parts of where the city of Pella now stands, some families moved into the cabins recently occupied by those whose claims had been purchased, while others built sod houses on the prairie and improvised a roof of grass which was in abundance on the edge of the sloughs. Thus we find the founders of the now flourishing settlement inaking their debut in Marion county. That they made their now happy and comfortable home out of the raw material is unmistakable, and the prosperity that has attended the colony to the present time is not only familiar to the residents of Marion county, but throughout the entire northwest. Though chiefly instrumental in developing the resources of the township and building up a city which is a credit to themselves and an honor to the State, they were not properly the first settlers. Prior to their coming many of the best claims were taken; the Hollanders generally ought ont the owners of these claims and the first owners took up he line of march for regions further west.
The veritable first settlers of Lake Prairie township were Virginians by he name of Nossaman and Hamilton. They came during the year 1843, obn B. Hamilton having the honor of building the first house in the town.
The development of the material resources of Lake Prairie township, and be increase in population have been so rapid as to be almost without a parllel in the country.
Notwithstanding the fact that the people who have made that country vhat it is did not arrive till 1848–9, and when arriving found nothing but he bare soil, they had so far improved and populated the township by the rear 1855, as to make the following showing: Number of polls...
407 Value of lands..
$166,624 Personal property
In 1870 the value of property in the township had so increased as to be as follows:
Lands and town lots
The population in 1875 was 5,209, and the entire valuation of all the property in the township, personal and real estate, is now $1,461,693.
While this progress has been largely due to the fertility of the soil and early railroad communication, it cannot be denied that it is chiefly due to the industry and fecundity of the race of people who inhabit it.
John B. Hamilton, one of the first settlers of this township, was the first school fund commissioner. From some of his records still in existence, we find that in 1851 he subdivided Lake Prairie township into school districts, of which there were six in number, making one for every twelve miles of territory. At present there is a school district constituted out of ever four square miles of territory, and all the districts are well supplied with school. houses. Last year, outside the city of Pella, there was raised by special taxation, for school purposes, the sum of $2,000 and for the improvement of the roads the sum of $2,519. The present township officers are:
Justices—H. Neyenesch, H. M. McCully, N. de Reuss.
THE CITY OF PELLA.
The city of Pella was originally laid out under the direction of Henry Peter Scholte, and named thus from a Hebrew word, which signifies a city of refuge.
The town site was first surveyed by Sanford Doud, in May, 1848, and re-surveved by a man named Clemons in 1849.
The original town site was part of the north half of section 10, and the south balf of the south half of section 3, all in tp 76, r 18.
Some ten additions have been laid out since then, as follows:
Southeast Pella, October 11, 1854; n part e hf of ehf, ne qr section 10, tp 76, r 18, and the w hf of the sw qr section 11, tp 76, r 18, by Isaac Overkainp and G. H. Overkarnp.
South Pella, November 30, 1854.
North Pella, September 9, 1854; n hf se qr, ne qr sw qr, section 3, tp 76, r 18.
West Pella, November 7, 1854.
The first house for the entertaininent of the public in Pella was kept by the widow of M. J. Post.
The first post-office was the one originally established on Lake Prairie and moved to Pella in 1848. The first postmaster was Henry Peter Scholte, the founder of the Holland settlement.
Walters & Smith carried on the first business, a store of general merchandise, in a small building about one mile from the center of the city, as it now is.
E. F. Grafe carried on the second business house in the town.
In 1855, one year after the incorporation of Knoxville, the people of Pella took measures to have their town incorporated. The following are copies of the official records, relating to the matter:
"On the twenty-eighth day of June comes -- and makes due returns of the votes cast at Pella, Marion county, Iowa, for and against incorporating the town of Pella into a city. Whereupon examination of said returns, it appears that there were 157 votes cast, of which 135 were cast in favor of incorporation and twenty-two were cast in opposition. Which, froin said return, it was found that there was a inajority of 113 votes in favor.of incorporating the said town of Pella into a city.
“Whereupon the county judge fixed upon the ninth day of July, 1855, as the time, and the said town of Pella as the place of holding an election to choose persons to prepare a charter, or articles of incorporation for the said city or town of Pella." The court also fixed upon three persons as the number to be elected to prepare said charter.
"On the tenth day of July, 1855, comes Hugo Kuyper and makes a due return of the number of votes cast for persons elected to prepare a charter for the city of Pella.
"Whereupon it appears from said return that there were seventy-six votes cast, of which H. C. Huntsman received seventy-two, Isaac Overkamp received seventy, and P. Pravendright received sixty-four. Which appearing from said return that the persons named were duly elected.
"Whereupon the said H. C. Huntsman, Isaac Overkamp and P. Pravendright were duly notified of their election, and the twentieth day of Au
gust was fixed upon as the day to submit a charter for the said town of Pella, to the legal voters of the said town, and that E. F. Grafe, W. J. Ellis and A. van Stigt be appointed judges, and H. Hospers and Isaac Overkamp clerks of said election.'
The charter was adopted, and the tenth day of September, 1855, was the time fixed for electing officers for the corporation.
The first election was held on the day named and resulted in the election of the following officers:
Mayor, W. J. Ellis; marshal, A. Stoutenburg; recorder, G. Boekenoongen; treasurer, I. Overkamp; aldermen, T. Rosborough, M. A. Clark, J. E. Streng, H. Hospers, O. McDowell, J. Berkhout. The present officers of the city are as follows:
Mayor-H. M. McCully.
Street Commissioner-L. v. d. Sluis.
Aldermen-First ward, J. B. Sexton, W. D. Forsythe; Second ward, S. v. d. Zyl, H. Kuyper; Third ward, H. de Booy, F. W. Brinkhoff; Fourth ward, Jonas Liter, Geo. Brown.
The officers of the city from the time it was incorporated until the present, are as follows:
Mayor-W. J. Ellis. Recorder--G. Boekenoogen, H. Kuyper. Treasurer -Isaac Overkamp. Marshal--A. Stoutenburg, J. F. van Nahuis, D. C. Campbell.
Mayor-W. J. Ellis. Recorder-H. Kuyper. Treasurer-Isaac Overkamp. Marshal-D. C. Campbell, O. H. Parish.
Mayor R. G. Hamilton. Recorder-P. Barendregt. Treasurer-Isaac Overkamp. Marshal-O. H. Parish.
Mayor-Isaac Overkamp. Recorder--P. Barendregt. Treasurer—A. H. Viersen. Marshal-Thomas Rosborough.
Mayor-Isaac Overkamp. Recorder-P. Barendregt. Treasurer-J, Nollen. Marshal-B. ten Broek.