From My Farmhouse Kitchen: Orange City Museum Honors Those Who Served | New

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Museums are collections of many different life stories. Some stories are told in more detail, others are just a glimpse of a life once lived. Or they can focus on a certain era or theme in history.

Nowhere is this truer than at the Dutch American Museum Annex in Orange City, Iowa. This building, located at the corner of Third St. SW and Arizona Ave. SW was built in 1903. It served as FM Slagle Lumber’s store until 1963.

Since then, it had housed many different businesses. In recent years it has been part of the museum complex. A dedication ceremony was held in August of this year to mark the annex’s new purpose of honoring the men and women who have served in the military.

Arlo Van Beek has served on the museum’s board of directors for 12 years. He is currently president.

“We realized that there were many stories of the men and women who served that were untold and in danger of being forgotten,” President Van Beek said. “We want to preserve and tell those stories and those sacrifices.”

As of 2019, the solidly constructed building has been renovated inside and out. In keeping with the town’s Dutch heritage theme, it now resembles the architecture of Marken, a fishing village in the Netherlands.

“During the renovation in 2019, we worked hard and quickly to be ready for the Tulip Festival,” said President Van Beek. “But I realized Covid would delay the opening.”

The Orange City Tulip Festival was canceled in 2020, which turned out to be a good thing for the schedule.

“We further realized that it would give us the opportunity to put in the extra effort to best present the exhibits and stories that these objects and stories deserve,” Van Beek said.

Exhibits depict Sioux County men and women who served in the military – beginning with the Civil War. Orange City was settled in 1870, just a few years after the Civil War ended. Many of the early pioneers were veterans of this interstate war.

Marinus Rhynsburger was one of the Civil War veterans. I wonder if tulips were blooming in the Netherlands when he was born there in May 1843. He came to the United States in 1854 with his parents where they became part of the Dutch colony in Pella, Iowa.

Along with his father, Dirk Rhynsburger, and brother, John Rhynsburger, Marinus enlisted in the Union Army in 1862 as a member of Co. B, 15th Iowa Infantry. He participated in several battles and was wounded twice, once at the Battle of Shiloh and another at the Battle of Atlanta. He served until the end of the war.

After the war, he returned to Pella, married and became a merchant. In 1882 he moved to Orange City, where he worked in the clothing business with his brother-in-law John Pas.

When Marinus left this life at the age of 90, he was believed to be the oldest Civil War veteran in this region.

Tulips were sprouting and sprouting when the United States officially entered World War I in April 1917.

Tall, thin, and brown-eyed, John C. Pressman spent his days working as a carpenter for Jacob Ypema. I wonder if he trembled when he heard the news that President Woodrow Wilson had signed the Selective Services Act on May 18, 1917. This meant that all men between the ages of 21 and 30 had to register with of the newly created selective service system. Pressman was 21 years old.

A year later, he entered the service in February. He was sent to Camp Dodge where he was assigned to an engineer regiment. Pressman was killed in action in 1818 near Fismes in France.

For several reasons, his funeral did not take place until 1921. Private Pressman’s service was held at Keokuk United Presbyterian Church where a national military cemetery is located.

It is truly bittersweet, for on his casket were flowers from the John C. Pressman Post 329, American Legion; which was named in his honor. He was the first soldier from Orange City to die in World War I.

Reverend Robert A. Foster presided over the ceremony. Among the many words he spoke were these: “I wish to express my gratitude that we citizens of Iowa owe the soldiers and especially those whose sacred remains rest here for a few moments. I don’t think I will ever be able to repay the debt, because it can never be repaid…. Today we again learn the meaning and value of the flag. There was a time when red on the flag simply meant red. We now know that its stripes are stained with the precious blood of heroes.

Unfortunately, the great war to end all wars did not achieve its goal. With this war still vividly remembered, the United States entered World War II on December 7, 1941 as tulip bulbs lay hidden and forgotten in the frozen ground.

Ring Kleinhesselink was born as the First World War was ending on a farm in the middle of the section near Newkirk. He enlisted in the army because he knew he would be enlisted.

The sturdy and well-built farm boy from Iowa proved to be a reliable soldier, eventually rising to the ranks of captain. He served in the South Pacific and European theaters.

In Guadacanal he served in the Gun Battalian at Henderson Field. While there, he kept a diary of his experiences which he later titled “The Truth About Guadacanal”. I hope to read this one day.

He married Anna Beth Vander Schaaf (now that’s kind of interesting). Also, my farmer and I bought our farm from a Kleinhesslink. The two were different clans, so I never met Mr. or Mrs. Ring Kleinhesselink.

After the war, Ring returned to the farm. There, his attention to keeping the fields clean, his creativity when it came to something as mundane as building a pig feeder was amazing, and that cornball sense of humor kept people on their toes. their guards.

For example, he liked to stand in his field and talk about it to his children or whoever happened to be there. “Yes, I am a farmer standing in my field.”

This man continued to serve his country by being active on the school board for 21 years, he was instrumental in bringing electricity to the area and was a member of the Reformed Church of Newkirk.

He can be written in the history books as the man who shot down the first V-1s over Antwerp; but I suspect that some of his fellow soldiers remember him as a soldier who practiced his biblical beliefs by refusing to go to Paris and other places of entertainment – because he did not want to be tempted.

Wars are never pleasant affairs. The Vietnam War in particular evoked many different emotions among Americans. It’s always like that. Yet many people we know or have read their memorial records spent years of their lives protecting freedom during the Vietnam War.

I must admit that until I read Carl Reinking’s obituary, his military service was unknown to me. This man and his wife have been family acquaintances for many years, which has blossomed into a deeper bond as they are special friends of my sister and her husband.

For this reason, we shared many Sunday meals together. So I should have known he was a farm boy who was adept at catching and holding baby pigs that needed vaccines. But I did not do it. All I knew of him was Carl, a good man.

I didn’t know he was a member of the National Guard. Two weeks before the expected arrival of their first baby in 1968, Carl was called up for active duty in the Army National Guard, stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. He was in basic training when his son, Daniel, was born.

This must have brought back vivid memories to his wife’s parents, the Hollingas. Lambert Hollinga was the first married man with two children from Sioux County to be drafted into World War II. His wife, Olva, not only had to take care of their two young children; but she was also pregnant with Nan at the time. Wars definitely require sacrifices from everyone.

The tulips were blooming when Spec. 4 Reinking was sent to serve with Company C, 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry, 198th Infantry Brigade, U.S. Division near Chu Lai, Vietnam as an infantryman in May 1969.

Last August we visited Mr Reinking just a month before his death in the care home he had just moved into. His tall and still slender body still testified to the star athlete he was in high school. His smile was the same. Her gentle and gracious spirit will always be remembered in my memories.

These soldiers were all older than me. Now all subsequent wars and conflicts involve people my age and younger.

I knew Daniel Landegent a little. He and his wife Nancy were a great musical duo, especially when it came to singing together or playing hymn duets on the piano.

Daniel could play many different instruments. In his lifetime, he delighted crowds with accordion music when the tulips bloomed at the Orange City Tulip Festivals. His talent for drawing and painting was often used for the festival night show.

He served during the Cold War years. He was made an officer in the United States Air Force. He spent four years as commander of the 321 Strategic Missile Wing in cold Grand Forks, ND. In other words, he went deep in the dirt, managing one of those missile silos.

There is no doubt that Officer Landegent’s wry sense of humor was a great source of warmth for his winter companions.

Military service and a talented artist seem like an odd combination. Soldiers are real people.

The appendix presents only a few objects from the most recent wars. President Van Beek expects their collections to grow in due course.

No, I haven’t forgotten the Korean War, even though it’s sometimes called the “forgotten war”.

Fifty-four thousand soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice before the armistices were signed on July 27, 1953 to end the Korean War.

Cornelius Siebersma, known to most of us as JR, received his Selective Service letter in 1951.

A year later, he was deployed to Korea. On the plaque with his picture in the Appendix, he wrote those words which are still true of his life today.

“I got to thinking, you’re going to a war zone, you might not come back, you better get your life in order. So I gave my life back to Christ on November 6, 1952, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

So much strife and turmoil since then. Even now that I’m planting tulips for next year’s spring, I wonder what changes will take place in this world as the bulbs hibernate underground.

I don’t know if I’ll live when these tulips bloom next spring. Are you sure you will? Perhaps we should heed these words that Mr. Siebersma wrote.

Renae B. Vander Schaaf is a freelance writer, author, and speaker. Contact her at (605) 530-0017 or [email protected]

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