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Notes for Harmen Jan (Herman John) TeSelle:

The Family of Harmen Jan "Herman John" teSelle and Berendiena Aleidia Reusink Schreurs

IGI Record
Harman Jan TESELLE
Sex: M
Event(s):
Birth: 4 Dec 1844
Winterswijk, Gelderland, Netherlands
Parents:
Father: Jan Albert TESELLE
Mother: Diela TENDAMME

Last name was spelled te Selle in Netherlands. Changed it to Herman John TeSelle when he came to America in 1865.

1870 census Town Holland, Sheboygan Co., WI page 73 & 74, Household # 261/247- Herman TeSella (25), Bersina (29), John Schreurs (5) and Delia TeSella (2). Adults born in Holland, children born in WI. Herman listed as farmer, real estate $2300, Personal estate $600. Note - listed on index of FamilyTreeMaker.com as Herman LeSella.

Moved to Nebraska in 1871

March 1876 - Letter from Gerrit John TeSelle to his family in Holland, relaying the sad news that Harmen Jan's wife Berendiena died on March 11, 1876 at age 35. She had given birth to a daughter named "Dina" (also Berendiena) on March 4, 1876. Harmen Jan was left with 4 small children at that time. The baby died on August 8, 1876. On May 9, 1876 Harmen Jan married Johanna Arnolda Brethower, a girl of about 17 years of age that he had hired to look after his children. They named their first daughter Berendiena also.

1880 United States Census South Pass, Lancaster, Nebraska Page Number 390A
H. J. TESELLE Self M Male W 35 HOLLAND Farmer HOLL HOLL
Johanna TESELLE Wife M Female W 21 WI House Keeper HOLL HOLL
John TESELLE Son S Male W 15 WI Farm Hand HOLL HOLL
Dille TESELLE Dau S Female W 12 WI At School HOLL HOLL
Willie TESELLE Son S Male W 9 NE At School HOLL HOLL
Dena TESELLE Dau S Female W 3 NE HOLL HOLL
Everett TESELLE Son S Male W 2 NE HOLL HOLL

1900 census South Pass Pct, Firth Village, Lancaster Co., NE page 292a
#88/96
Herman J. TeSelle, head, Dec 1844, age 55, Holland/Holland/Holland, farmer
Johannah, wife, April 1859, age 41, 13 births, 11 surviving, WI/Holland/Holland
Evert J., son, Sept 1878, age 21, NE/Holland/WI, farm laborer
Albert, son, July 1879, age 20, NE/Holland/WI, farm laborer
Helena, daughter, July 1882, age 17, NE/Holland/WI, farm laborer
Minnie, daughter, July 1884, age 15, NE/Holland/WI, at school
Bertha, daughter, Jan 1887, age 13, NE/Holland/WI, at school
Herman J., son, Aug 1888, age 11, NE/Holland/WI, at school
Benjamin, son, Nov 1889, age 10, NE/Holland/WI, at school
John H., son, June 1892, age 7, NE/Holland/WI
Garret, son, Aug 1893, age 6, NE/Holland/WI
Johannah M., Sept 1895, daughter, age 4, NE/Holland/WI

1910 census South Pass Pct, Firth Village, Lancaster Co., NE page 96b
#212/213
Herman J. TeSelle, head, age 65, 2nd marriage, md 35 yrs, Holland/Holland/Holland, farmer, general farm
Johannah, wife, age 51, 1st marriage, md 35 yrs, 13 births, 11 surviving, WI/Holland/Holland
Benjamin, son, age 20, NE/Holland/WI, farm laborer, home farm
John H., son, age 17, NE/Holland/WI, farm laborer, home farm
Garret, son, age 15, NE/Holland/WI, farm laborer, home farm
Annie, daughter, age 12, NE/Holland/WI

HARMEN JAN TESELLE

(from NEWSPAPER ARTICLE, 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF RURAL FREE DELIVERY WRITTEN BY NORMA TESELLE PROPHET, THE VOICE NEWS, OCTOBER 3, 1996)
100th Anniversary of Rural Free Delivery
by Norma TeSelle Prophet
Several months ago I saw Bob Harms' station wagon parked at the Hickman Post Office. He is the rural mail carrier for RR 1 Firth and RR 2 Hickman. I particularly noticed the nifty "100th Anniversary of Rural Free Delivery, 1896-1996" sign on his vehicle...and decided that celebration warranted news coverage.

I grew up in a farming community..and am again, living in the country. One of the daily questions asked in our household is, "Did I get any mail today?"...or "Did the mail come yet?" These questions are no doubt asked in many, many other rural households!

Those of us who receive our mail on the rural route take that service for granted. During early discussions in Congress concerning rural free delivery, the topic was not too enthusiastically received, however.

I do not know when rural mail delivery was initiated in the Firth area, but from information I gleaned from my "TeSelle memorabilia," I presume it was in November 1903.

My grandfather, Herman John Te Selle (Harmen Jan te Selle), and two of his brothers, John Henry (Jan Hendrik) and Gerrit John (Gerrit Jan), settled in the Firth-Holland area in the 1870s. The three Nebraska brothers wrote to their mother and four other brothers who remained in the area of Winterswijk, The Netherlands. The descendants of one of the Netherlands brothers kept the letters from the Nebraska brothers. Several years ago I received photocopies of those letters and subsequently had them translated into English. One of those letters is very appropriate for this column.

On December 12, 1903, Gerrit John Te Selle of Firth, wrote to his family in the Netherlands. Excerpts from that letter follow. (*Note from NTP: the notations in brackets are mine.)

"...I would have written a bit earlier but our Post Office was being remodeled already a year ago. But now, on the 2nd of last month, (*November 2, 1903) it opened. We get our letters now in a mailbox at the house. Every day the delivery man brings the mail to about 100 families and he has to walk (*possibly meant 'walks his horses') 24 to 28 miles a day. He puts a sign up if he puts something in the box and I put the sign up again if I put a letter in the box, or else he passes us up.

"I just now see him filling my box. At least we now get a newspaper every day, as well as a message how the weather will be for the next 24 hours, and that is advantageous and profitable! The mailman gets 600 dollars per year, but it costs a lot of horses. He departs at 8 a.m. and has to be back at 3 p.m..."

Gerrit John added a postscript: "The address of brother J. H. (*Jan Hendrik/John Henry) is at the same route. Our address now is: G. J. te Selle, Firth Route, Lancaster County, State of Nebraska, North America." .....