Evert and Willamina Hulshof, c. 1915

Having kicked around what they might have thought of their daughter taking up with a railroad maintenance worker, perhaps we should meet the parents. This is Evert and Willemina Hulshof–Great Grandpa and Great Grandma Hulshof, to most of us.

A quick side note: You all probably already know this, but just in case: The “sh” in Hulshof is not pronounced like a letter combination–the name is not pronounced HUL-SHOF (at least in Dutch–I guess English speakers with that name can pronounce it however they wish). Rather the syllable break is between the “s” and the “h”–the name is pronounced HULS-HOF. “Hof” in Dutch means garden or courtyard or even farmyard or farm (the latter meanings are older, and show up more in German than Dutch). “Huls” is a name, either of a person or place. (Most likely place–there is a hamlet in the far southeast of The Netherlands named Huls that may be the source of this family name.) So putting it together, the name means “the farm belonging to Huls” or more probably, “the farm in Huls.” So the people who originally had the name Hulshof may been from a farm near Huls.

Back to the photo…

This was taken long after John and Minnie’s wedding–probably ten or fifteen years after. Maybe taken about 1915, by which time John and Minnie were living in Alberta, Canada. I presume this photo was taken in Evert and Willemina’s home in White Lake, South Dakota. (But the lighting seems awfully good for a house. It is possible this was a set in a studio.)

Evert and Willemina immigrated to the US from The Netherlands in 1880 with their two oldest children, Minnie and Gerrit, who were four and two years old, respectively. Evert was a farmer (appropriate to his family name), so it was probably to be expected that they would settle in the Midwest. And they did, first in Sioux Center, Iowa. A son Evert Jan was born to them there, but he died as an infant. They moved to Douglas County, South Dakota (which isn’t that far from Sioux Center, despite being in a different state). Daughters Diena and Anna were born to them while they lived there.

There were lots of Dutch immigrants around Douglas County, though, and Evert was concerned that his children would grow up “Dutch” rather than “American.” So he moved to a “less Dutch” place, White Lake, in Aurora County. As I mentioned yesterday, the name “White Lake” was originally a name given to a stop (or maybe station) on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul rail line that passed through that area. The town that grew up around the rail stop adopted the name.

Once Evert and Willemina settled in White Lake, they lived in that area for the rest of their lives as a couple. After Willemina passed away in 1917 (not so many years after this photo was taken), Evert moved to Hamill, South Dakota, where he lived with his daughter Diena until he passed away in 1923.

I presume Diena was farming the homestead that her younger sister Anna won when homesteads were being distributed by lottery about 1907 or 1908 (when Anna was barely twenty). Grandpa John Wright had put his name in the same lottery and was more than a little frustrated when he, as a family man, did not get a homestead but his single, barely-an-adult sister-in-law did. Nevertheless he moved his family to Anna’s homestead to help her get established. But I suppose that is a story that deserves its own telling.

Anna, of course, is the Anna who married Pete Smith and lived on Vashon Island. Just to tie this back to earlier discussions.

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