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Getting to know Adolph Van Duyn

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Getting to know Adolph Van Duyn


POSTED January 25, 2013 1:11 a.m.

It is not often we have the opportunity to hear personal testimony of what has transpired over a one hundred year period! Having been blessed with longevity and good health, Mr. Adolph Van Duyn, resident of Bethany Home, was able to share the following story with regard to growing up in the USA and experiencing over 100 years of living. Mr. Van Duyn will be celebrating his 101st birthday on Sunday, Jan. 27.

Mr. Van Duyn reminisces:

I was born in 1912 in Hawarden Iowa, a little town west of Orange City … right on the Nebraska border. My mother was a Swier, so I am related to the Swier clan living in Ripon. At the age of three, we moved to South Dakota where my dad purchased a “quarter” of land (160 acres) plus another 80 acres. The nearest town was Colton. We moved on the Railroad, since there were no cars or trucks yet in general use.

For local travel however, we used horses. It was one mile to the post office, and two miles to school. We would hitch the hoses to the surrey and travel everywhere we needed to go by surrey. We would also go to church by surrey, except in the winter when we had to use the horse drawn sled.

There were six of us kids, three boys and three girls. I was the third oldest. We worked hard on the farm. It was mostly corn and oats, but we had about a dozen cows too. I remember dad teaching me to milk a cow at the age of six. He gave me a cow that was almost “dry” and told me to milk her. I didn’t get much milk, but I learned how to do it.

I left the family farm at the age of 21 when I got married to Anna. We were married 74 years until her passing six years ago. I did some farming on my own, hauled hay, owned a mobile home park, and have been retired for a long time. I have four boys, many grandchildren, and have always been a member of the Christian Reformed Church.

Happy Birthday Adolph! May God continue to bless you with good health and sound mind.

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