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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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John Mentink

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 527 - 528

John Mentink, a retired farmer, and one of the oldest living settlers of Holland Township, resides in the village of Cedar Grove. He is a native of Holland, born July 4, 1816, in Wentesweek, province of Guelderland. He was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools of that country. At the age of twenty-four years, Mr. Mentink was united in marriage to Berndina Kempel, a daughter of Barthos and Hannah (Schuerhof) Kempel. Their marriage was celebrated in May, 1840, in the Dutch Reformed Church of Wentesweek.

November 1, 1847, Mr. Mentink, accompanied by his wife and two children, Jan and Henry, took passage at Rotterdam for New York. The vessel was a two-mast sailing boat, of American build. Seventy-one days were consumed in making the voyage, and much stormy weather experienced. Landing in New York, he at once proceeded to Buffalo, where he settled on a farm situated near the village of Hamburgh, Erie County. After a residence of four years in the State of New York, Mr. Mentink and his family came to Wisconsin to look for a new home. Coming to Sheboygan County, he purchased forty acres of heavily timbered land in Holland Township, located on section 26. After erecting a loghouse, 14 x 22, he returned to Sheboygan for his family, and later installed them in their new home. At that time the Indians were numerous, and were often entertained by this pioneer. The only known thoroughfare was the old Green Bay Road. Mr. Mentink assisted in making the roads in his neighborhood, and in various ways lent a helping hand it he development of the town of Holland. He cleared and improved his land, form time to time adding to it, until he now owns a fine farm of one hundred and thirty acres, which is well improved and under a good state of cultivation.

Mr. and Mrs. Mentink became the parents of seven children, six of whom still survive. Jane, born May 11, 1841, is the wife of Henry Kremer, a farmer in the town of Holland; Henry J., born February 17, 1844, is a farmer of Sioux County, Neb., who served in the First Wisconsin Infantry during the late Civil War; Ben W., born May 8, 1849, is a farmer of Fond du Lac County; Johanna, born November 3, 1850, became the wife of Cross Poort, of Woodville, St. Croix County, Wis.; Gertrude, born December 7, 1852, wedded G.W. Wyneveen, a farmer of Holland Township; Albertus, born March 21, 1854, died April 2, 1855; Albertus, the second bearing that name, was born August 27, 1856, and is now a resident of St. Croix County, Wis. He is a farmer by occupation, and lives near Baldwin. After a married life of twenty-two years, in which she shared in the burdens and hardships common to pioneer life, Mrs. Mentink was called to her final rest. She was born in 1820, and died at the age of forty-two years. She was a Christian woman, esteemed for her goodness of mind and heart.

March 31, 1865, Mr. Mentink wedded Gerritje, daughter of Arend J. and Giese (Elverg) Prinsen, who were both natives of Alton, province of Guelderland. Mrs. Mentink was born on the 28th of November, 1828, in the Netherlands, Holland, and when yet a young woman came to the United States, accompanied by three brothers and a sister. There were forty days on the ocean, and after landing came direct to Sheboygan County, and settle din the town of Holland. Of this union four children were born. Gerret A., born December 15, 1866, and John, born November 21, 1869, reside on their father's farm on section 26; Benjamin, born January 19, 1872, is operating a hardware store in Cedar Grove, Sheboygan County; Bennie Obbink (adopted), now seventeen years of age, has resided with Mr. Mentink since he was three days old. By a former marriage, Mrs. Mentink had four children: John, Henry, Joe, and Hannah, who became the wife of Dennis Flipsen, of Baldwin, St. Croix County, Wis.

In political affairs, Mr. Mentink has always voted the Republican ticket. He was School Clerk of his township for a number of years, and is still serving on the School Board. For thirty-four years Mr. Mentink has served as Treasurer of the Dutch Reformed Church of America, of which his family are pioneer members. Although having reached the advanced age of seventy-seven years, he enjoys good health and is quite active. He is honored and respected by all who know him.

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Transcribed by: Mary Risseeuw

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