Leonard Van Der Jagt

Leonard Van Der Jagt, one of the pioneer settlers of Sheboygan County, is a native of the province of Zeeland, Holland, where he was born September 19, 1839 [1838]. His Parents, Cornelius and Martha (Bunefeltt) [(Bienefelt)] Van der Jagt, and six children sailed from Alvord Schloss for New York. The voyage was made in a three-mast sailing-vessel of American make, and consumed some twenty-eight days. During the passage one of their children, a little girl, two years of age, died. Our subject remembers many incidents connected with this memorable journey. They experienced one storm of great severity which lasted many hours, terrifying the five hundred passengers on board, but happily it passed without harm to boat or crew. After a stay of two weeks in the city of New York, Mr. Van der Jagt brought his family to this county, coming by way of Buffalo and the Lakes to Sheboygan. In the latter city they stopped at the Wisconsin House, which was kept by Joseph Schrage. Here they rented a house until the father could have time to select their new home, but at the expiration of six weeks they removed to the town of Holland, where the father purchased eighty acres of land on section 35. It was heavily timbered, and about all the improvement that had been made was a log house, 20x30 feet, in which the family lived for some fifteen years, when it was replaced by a house of later and more improved architecture.

Cornelius Van der Jagt was a painter by trade, and followed that vocation until advanced in life. On the old homestead stands a barn 56x48 feet, the painting of which was about the last work he undertook, he being then seventy-four years old. He and his wife became the parents of thirteen children, eight sons and five daughters, four of whom still survive: John, a farmer of Holland Township; the gentleman whose name heads this article; Peter, a farmer of St. Croix County, Wis.; and Minnie, who became the wife of John De Master, of Cedar Grove, a sketch of whom will be found elsewhere in this work.

In his political affiliations, Mr. Van der Jagt was a Republican, standing by his party in victory or defeat. He and his wife were charter members of the First Presbyterian Church of Cedar Grove, their daily walk in life being in harmony with the profession they made. Both were held in high esteem by all who knew them for the honorable and upright lives they led. Their last days were spent in the town of Holland, his death occurring on the 5th of February, 1886 [probably the 1st of February, 1888], and his wife's, August 8, 1875 [or August 5th], she having preceded him several years.

Leonard Van der Jagt was ten years old when he came to the United States with his parents in 1849, and was, therefore, largely educated in the early schools of this county, where his life has since been passed. Until his marriage he remained at home, aiding and assisting his father on the farm. November 6, 1863, marks the date of his union with Minnie Stokdyk, a daughter of Adolph and Anna (Peters) Stokdyk. Of this union one child was born, Peter, who died in infancy. Mrs. Van der Jagt was a native of Groningen, Holland, and was born August 5, 1843 [or August 4th] and died January 25, 1865. After the death of his wife Mr. Van der Jagt wedded Miss Alice Stokdyk, a sister of his first wife, their marriage occurring April 13, 1868. The lady was born January 22, 1847 [probably 1848], and is a native of the town of Holland.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Van der Jagt twelve children were born, nine of whom survive: Adolph, who was born January 1, 1873, and is a printer by trade residing in Milwaukee; John, born April 7, 1874; Henry, October 8, 1875; Martha, January 18, 1879; Nettie, August 25, 1880; Minnie, June 23, 1882; Peter, July 2, 1884; Elmer, April 23, 1885; and Cornelius, January 18, 1889. All except the first-named are at home with their parents.

The family attend the Presbyterian Church at Cedar Grove, which was incorporated about 1860. Like his father, Mr. Van der Jagt is a stanch Republican in politics. He has a good farm of eighty acres, well cultivated and improved, and is considered one of the substantial farmers of this seciton of the county.

[From "Portrait and Biographical Record of Sheboygan Co.," 1894, Pages 558-559]

[Corrections to the original text that I know about are shown in red]