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Hermiena Berendiena "Wilhelmina" Heideman Beernink
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Birth: Dec. 19, 1842
Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Death: Sep. 22, 1932
Sioux Center
Sioux County
Iowa, USA

Mrs. H.W. Beernink died Thursday, September 22, at her home in Sioux Center, after a few weeks illness. She would have reached the age of 90 in December, and was one of the hardy pioneers who settled in Sioux County, stayed on through the trials and privations of those early days and lived to see marvelous changes come to the prairie country.

Wilhelmina Heidman was born in Suderwick, Germany, just across the border line from the Netherlands. In her girlhood she was employed in Holland and knew the Dutch language as well as her native tongue. In 1867, when 25 years of age, she was married to Henry W. Beernink. Three days after their marriage the couple set soil for America and after landing journeyed across the country to Alta, Wisconsin, where they lived for three years. In 1871 they joined a western bound caravan and took up a homestead one mile south and three-fourths of a mile west of what later became the town of Sioux Center.

While her husband was building the usual sod hut, lumber being impossible to secure, Mrs. Beernink and two little boys stayed at Orange City with Mrs. Van Wechel. The family lived int he sod hut for several years, until one winter day the thatched roof caught fire and the hut burned, leaving the family homeless. They were offered a refuge at a neighboring farm, that of the Wandscheer family. They were fortunate in having saved a supply of potatoes and a butchered pig which they had in their "root cellar" and these they shared with the Wandscheers, who were without food. Three years of the grasshopper plague left the early settlers with scant fare, but the fourth year they had a fine cope and sold their wheat at one dollar a bushel. That year the Beerninks, having gone by "sun time" since their arrival in Sioux county, bought their first clock, a real luxury to them. Their 81 bushels of what brought the magnificent sum of $81. In the meantime they had built their second sod hut, warm and comfortable, on the line between their homestead and a 60 acre "tree" claim adjoining the homestead. A few years later they sold this claim, not having the money for the required tree plantings and other improvements, for one dollar an acre. In the "boom times" some ten years ago, this same quarter section sold for $500 an acre. Later the family had a frame house build of cottonwood, but the wood shrank so badly that great cracks were left in the walls and often when the snow sifted through the cracks covering floors and beds, they longed for their warm sod hut.

Until 1899 the family lived on the farm. Then, the children having grown up and married, Mr. and Mrs. Beernink moved to Sioux Center. Mr. Beernink died 7 years ago, his passing breaking a union of 58 years. Th e home farm now belongs to the oldest son, Simon, who son William farms the place.

Seven children survive their mother, one son, Gerrit, having died when a small child. The surviving children are Simon, John, Mrs. Ella De Mots, Henry and Reuben, all of Sioux Center; Hattie, Mrs. Gerrit Ellerbroek, of Sheldon, and Johanna, Mrs. G.D. Siemen, of Sioux Center. There are 21 grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at the home and at Central Reformed Church, of which Mrs. Beernink was long a member. Rev. L. Brunsting of First Reformed Church preached in Dutch and Rev. James De Pree of LeMars, in English. Her favorite psalm, the 73rd, was sung in Dutch and a mixed quartet sang favorite hymns, "Rock of Ages" and "Asleep in Jesus."

Although the weather was rainy and cold,a large number of friends gathered to honor the memory of this wonderful pioneer woman, whose devotion to family and friends and keen interest in the communit7y continued so many years beyond the ordinary span of human life.

Alton Democrat - 23 September 1932 
Family links: 
  Hendrik Willem Beernink (1842 - 1925)*
  Simon Beernink (1868 - 1956)*
  Johan Beernink (1871 - 1940)*
  Ella Beernink De Mots (1873 - 1948)*
  Hendrik Jan Beernink (1875 - 1963)*
  Reuben Beernink (1877 - 1951)*
  Hattie Beernink Ellerbroek (1879 - 1959)*
  Gerrit Beernink (1881 - 1886)*
  Johanna Beernink Siemen (1885 - 1968)*
*Calculated relationship
Memory Gardens Sioux Center Cemetery
Sioux Center
Sioux County
Iowa, USA
Created by: Brad Foster
Record added: Feb 14, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 65631657
Hermiena Berendiena Wilhelmina <i>Heideman</i> Beernink
Added by: Sandi Shipps Beernink
Hermiena Berendiena Wilhelmina <i>Heideman</i> Beernink
Added by: Sandi Shipps Beernink
Hermiena Berendiena Wilhelmina <i>Heideman</i> Beernink
Added by: Brad Foster
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