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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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This article was contributed by Kay Reitberger

Sheboygan Press - February 26, 1912

Horse Drowns Youth Saved

Horse Plunges Through Opening in the Ice at Sheboygan Falls---Schlichting Sons Co. loses Valuable Horse---John Te Selle Narrowly Escapes


John TE SELLE, a young man about 20 years of age, and delivery boy for SCHLICHTING Sons Grocery store at Sheboygan Falls narrowly escaped drowning this morning when he broke through the ice on the Sheboygan river about two hundred feet from the ice house.

Mr. TE SELLE was sent to the river to get a cake of ice and was driving a horse and delivery rig across the ice and had just stepped out of the vehicle to turn the horse around when the animal plunged into the water. The horse was drowned and the wagon was dragged under water with the horse. The escape of Mr. TE SELLE is miraculous. Had he been in the rig at the time the horse broke through he would have lost his life.

The point where the accident occurred was supposed to be perfectly safe and had been used all winter but some thoughtless person or persons had cut ice there and left it open without a danger signal of any kind. Being covered with snow an accident was unavoidable. It the accident had not occurred to Mr. TE SELLE it would have been a death trap for someone else.

Later - The Press is informed that the ice was cut on Saturday by an employee of Otto RICKMEYER. About a fifty foot square had been cut out and nothing in the way of danger signals erected. The law clearly provides that in instances of this substantial enclosures must be put up. It is said that warnings had been given and attention called to this law frequently.

Sheboygan Press May 21 1942

Te Selle Family History Is Traced Back To 1782


The present record of the TE SELLE family tree dates back to the year 1782, when John TE SELLE was born near Winterswyk, Holland, located in the province of Guilederland. This was at the time of the Revolutionary war. It was approximately the same time the 13 colonial states made peace treaties with England, and when George Washington was put in charge of the affairs of this country.

Free America, as this country was called by the people in the Netherlands, was watched with great interest by the inhabitants of Holland during those years. This land of opportunity had been settled by many Hollanders and it was greatly due to their faith and integrity that this country became the leading country in the world. These Hollanders were the original settlers of the important cities of the United States such as New York and New Jersey.

When John TE SELLE grew up to manhood, he married Gertrude SCHREURS, to their union were born six children, the oldest of which was John Henry TE SELLE, of whom the present family are direct descendants. The second oldest son was John TE SELLE, who moved with his family to Sheboygan Falls in approximately 1861 and who still has two sons living in Sheboygan Falls, Garret Nero and Lon and William J. TE SELLE living in New Orleans, La. The third son was Henry John, who moved into Germany after he attained manhood, and whose offspring in later years moved to the state of Nebraska.

The daughters were Hanna, who married Henry LUBBERS; Dina, who married John GORHUIS; and Cena, who died at the age of 17 years. A half brother, who was born to the union of the second marriage of John TE SELLE, was named Garrit Henry TE SELLE and he migrated to Milwaukee where he operated a butcher shop for many years.

Description Of Home

The same John TE SELLE was born in "Huis," House of Stiega. It was the same house occupied by the TE SELLE family for more than a century and it was the birthplace of the grandparents as well as some of their children. The house was located about three miles south of Winterswyk and three miles from the German boundary line, or about 10 miles from where the German army invaded Holland in May, 1941. This house was of brick construction with a brick barn attached. The farm lands consisted of approximately nine acres of tillable soil and five acres of meadow lands on which three cows and a couple of oxen were grazed each summer.

It was in the year 1881 that John Henry TE SELLE decided to move to the land of opportunity with his wife and family which consisted of the following children: John, Garret, Dina, Cena, Jane and Hanna, together with their son-in-law, Garret NYHOF and Albert OONK, and the infant children of Garret NYHOF, Jennie and Hattie.

On the 23rd of July 1881, this family group bade farewell to their home which had been the home of the TE SELLE family for more than a century. Early that summer morning they entrained for Amsterdam, where they boarded the Dutch liner named Caster and Pulucks that same evening. The following morning, with 700 or 800 immigrants, they started their long journey to America. They did not land until the following month, August 10, at 4 o'clock at Ellis Island. There they were detained by immigration officers who checked their belongings and passports. They remained there until the following day, when they went to New York City, where they were entrained for Cedar Grove, Wis. Here they were to meet relatives and friends once more.

Met At Station

At the Cedar Grove station to meet them was John TEN HAKEN, who took them to his home, where they stayed a week. The father then rented a house in the town of Wilson on the VER VELDE farm, now located on U. S. Highway 141.

It was but three months later that the father, John H. TE SELLE, was stricken with illness which caused his death on the fourth day of November, 1881. It was a sad plight indeed to the mother and the small children to be left alone in the new world to face the hardships and sorrows which were so soon upon them. A sympathetic neighbor, Mr. EBBERS, made a coffin out of white oak boards and the deceased was laid to rest in the HARTMAN cemetery.

Under these circumstances it became necessary for the children to go to work early in life and earn a place for themselves. They all became farmers or married farmers, and soon each one progressed and increased his livelihood.


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