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The First Kallemeyn Immigrants

The first Kallemeyn immigrant, Jan KALLEMIJN, came to Iowa as a member of the early stream of Iowa Hollanders in the second summer of the migration, 1848. In Dutch emigration records he was described as a "landbouwer", a dirt farmer, a raiser of crops (as opposed to a stock raiser). He was a Dutch taxpayer, who was "well-to-do" and may have been a landowner in Holland. In any event, his family would have achieved a middle-class standard of living for the time.

Jan was born at Borsele, in the province of Zeeland, in the Netherlands. As an adult he lived and farmed near the village of Andijk, in North Holland. He had married a local girl, one Elsje GROOT, and together they had at least one child, Jacob, who will figure into our story later, in the U.S.

While divorce was not unknown, female and infant mortality were very high at the time, and it is probable that Elsje died before reaching her mid-forties. Jan remarried to the aforementioned Trijntje VERWER, a woman 22 years his junior. Together they came to Iowa.

Within five years of arriving in the New World, Jan was a land-owner. In 1853 he bought 43 acres of farmland east of Pella in Black Oak township of Mahaska county. Later he bought 3 acres of timber land a few miles north, in Richland Township. It is interesting to note that this latter plot was in an area surveyed and platted by H. P. Scholte in 1849 in an effort to assure that the available supply of timber could be apportioned equitably amoung the early settlers.

When he died in 1863, Jan provided in his will that his estate be divided amoung Trijntje, Jacob, and his two Iowa born sons, Maarten and Klaas. Wisely, he dictated that Jacob, who was still living in Andijk, should receive his one-sixth share (Trijntje got half) in the form of money. His heirs were instructed to have the estate appraised to determine its value, and, if necessary, sell some of the land to raise the cash to send to Jacob. Jan thus avoided a possible inter-family struggle over the un-divided interests in the land.


Ka.Web.05 Rev 25 Jan 2004