20 December 2012

Obituary--Henry John Borgman

When I saw this obituary while leafing through some to pick for this blog.  It caught my attention because I believe he was my sister-in-law's great or great-great-grandfather (Hi Patti!).  At the least he is an ancestor of hers.  So for your information as well as her's, here is his storyl
From the 9 January 1936 Fremont TimesIndicator:

Aged Pioneer Claimed by Death at Home of Daughter

Henry John Borgman, one of the pioneer residents of this community, passed away Sunday at the home of his daughter, Mrs. John Stroven, corner of Merchant Ave and Maple St., with whome he had made his home for the past nine years.  He was 82 years of age.
Mr. Borgman was born July 3, 1853, in Bentheim, Germany, just across the border from the Netherlands, He came to America in 1880 and worked in Drenthe, Grand Rapids and Spring Lake before coming to Fremont in 1887.  Shortly after his arrival he bought the farm west of town where his son Albert Borgman now lives.  At the time he purchased this land he was employed at the Gibson saw mill.
In 1889 he was united in marriage to Gertie Brower who passed away on Oct. 18, 1910.
He was one of the oldest members of the First Christian Reformed church and was one of a group of the aged men of that church whose picture appeared in the state press a few years ago.  He was the youngest of six children and the last survivor.
He is survived by the following children: John , George, Herman and Albert Borgman, Mrs. John Stroven, Mrs. Hattie Karnemaat, and Mrs. Gerrit VanEmst, and a number of grand children.  The late Mrs. Steven Timmer was a sister of the deceased.
The funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon from the First Christian Reformed church and were in charge of the pastor, Rev. L. J. Lamberts.  Interment took place in Maple Grove  cemetery.

As I went through this obituary more carefully I was surprised to discover several things.  First, he was not from the Netherlands.  Most area people are proud of their Dutch heritage.  But, also like many of them, Mr Borgman did not come from the Netherlands, but across the border.  I have since discovered that many of our so-called Dutch, are really from Bentheim, Germany, "just across the border." Not Dutch at all but from Deutschland.
And the other item that really surprised me was that my sister-in-law's great (or great-great-) grandfather died at nearly the same time as my own great-great-grandfather, Armenus, my civil war ancestor.  GGGranddad Armenus died on the same day. 9 January 1936, that the paper that carried Henry Borgman's obituary.  Small world.

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