Among the extensive landowners of the county is John Rietveld, the owner of six hundred acres in Clay township.
He was born at Noordeloos, Holland, on the 21st of January, 1844, a son of Jan and Dierke (Blokland) Rietveld,
who three years later emigrated with their family to America. The father was one of the committee having charge
of the affairs of the colony which settled at Pella. He located on the Des Moines river, near the present home
of his son John, in August, 1847, and there he resided until his death, which occurred in 1859 when he was past
fifty five years of age. He became the owner of a half section of land, which was but slightly improved when it
came into his possession and which he developed during the succeeding years. In addition to cultivating the soil
he raised stock and was very successful in both lines of activity. He was a devout member of the Dutch Reformed
church and was held in high esteem by those who knew him. His wife died in February, 1876, when more than seventy
years old. She was also a member of the Dutch Reformed church. Ten of their children grew to maturity, but only
two are now living, the subject of this review and a sister, Mrs. Langerak, who is the mother of the present clerk
of Marion county. Three brothers of our subject, who were farmers, have now passed away and five of his sisters
are also deceased.
John Rietveld attended the early subscription schools in this county when his services were not needed at home
and received thorough training in the subjects taught at that time. He remained at home until 1864, when he was
married, and then began his independent business career. He had practically no capital and began farming on shares.
He saved as much as possible annually, as he had determined to purchase land, and when, upon the settling of his
father's estate, he received one thousand dollars, he added this sum to the thousand dollars that he had saved
and purchased his first farm. Industry and economy enabled him to add other land and he now holds title to six
hundred acres in the northwestern part of Clay township. He is an efficient agriculturist and his labors yield
him a handsome income.
On the 28th of October, 1864, Mr. Rietveld was married to Miss Christina Van Loon, who was born in Woerden, Holland,
on the 28th of July, 1843, a daughter of Gideon and Elizabeth Hendriene (Solsbergen) Van Loon. In June, 1849, she
was brought by her parents to this country, the family home being established at Pella. Her father engaged in cultivating
a small farm, which he purchased and improved, and he and his wife resided there until called to their reward,
he in 1907 at the age of eighty nine years, and she in 1899 when seventy three years old. Both were consistent
members of the Dutch Reformed church. All of their six children are still living, those besides Mrs. Rietveld being:
James, Dierk, Gideon, Mrs. Mary Bogaard and Miss Elizabeth, who resides with her eldest brother, who is unmarried.
Mr. and Mrs. Rietveld have ten children: Delia; Mrs. Elizabeth Weirs; Mrs. Jennie Vanderwal; Mrs. Marie Sells;
John and Gideon, both of whom are married; Mrs. Bertha De Young; and Cora, Katherine and Lois, all at home.
Mr. Rietveld is a stanch supporter of the measures and candidates of the republican party at the polls, believing
firmly in the policies of that organization. Both he and his wife are active members of the Dutch Reformed church
and their influence is always on the side of moral advancement. Mr. Rietveld deserves much credit for having achieved
such a large measure of success and also is entitled to honor because of the unswerving integrity and uprightness
of his daily life.
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Marion County, IA
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