Third Generation


18. Gerhard Johan Hendrik (GJH) Fischer was born on 11 October 1861 in Groenlo, Gelderland Province, Netherlands.10 He served in the Netherlands Army (Nationale Militie) in 1880–1881 in Groenlo, Netherlands.11 Netherlands military registration and service was mandatory for all males. GJH was a farmer in Pella community, rural Adams, Lancaster County, Nebraska area. He died on the family farm on 10 April 1944 at the age of 82 in the Pella community, rural Adams, Lancaster County, Nebraska. He was buried on 14 April 1944 in the Pella cemetery, Pella, rural Adams, Lancaster County, Nebraska.
The Netherlands was suffering from overpopulation with few employment and property ownership opportunities for the younger generations. Many people were leaving the Netherlands and coming to America. He decided to emigrate from the Netherlands with two friends, Christian Herberts and Garrett Doeschot. The three left Rotterdam, Netherlands on October 3, 1883, crossed the Atlantic ocean on the steam ship, Staatendum, traveling steerage class. They arrived in New York city on October 21, 1883. During this time Castle Garden located at the Battery in lower Manhattan was the immigration center for the Port of New York. Castle Garden was opened as an immigration depot in 1855. It's primary purpose was not to inspect, but to protect hapless newcomers from the crooks, prostitutes, and swindlers that prowled the piers looking for easy marks. Within Castle Garden walls, immigrants could exchange money, purchase food and rail tickets, attend to baggage and obtain information about boarding houses and employment. GJH Fischer and his two friends, took the train from New York city to Hickman, Lancaster County, Nebraska and from there went to the Dutch settlement at Holland, Lancaster County, Nebraska. They remained close friends and lived in the Firth/ Pella/Holland, Lancaster County, Nebraska area throughout their lives.
G.J.H. Fischer began his American experience living with his sponsor, Sam Liesveld and working as a farm laborer in the Holland, Lancaster County Nebraska area. The 1885 Nebraska census shows him living with and working as a farm laborer for Henry Frye also in the Holland, Lancaster County Nebraska area.
He returned to the Netherlands several times in later life. He sponsored the emigration of his brother, (John), three sisters, ((Johanna Wielenga, Hendrika "Reka" Blanc / Wunibald) and Dena Reimer) , his mother, (Hendrika), a nephew, Henry J. (Knop) Fischer, and a niece, (Johanna Gertrude Kruiswyk), to America.
Gerhard was naturalized on 31 January 1914 in Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska.12,13 Henry Languis and Edward Vanderbeek were witnesses. His naturalization petition lists his residence as Zwolle, Netherlands at the time of his Emigration.

Gerhard Johan Hendrik (GJH) Fischer and Diena (Dena) Vanderbeek were married on 22 February 1887 in Holland, Hickman, Lancaster County, Nebraska. Diena (Dena) Vanderbeek, daughter of Garret VANDERBEEK and Jakoba "Jane" VanderBelt, was born on 11 August 1866 in Brandon, Fond du lac County, Wisconsin.. She migrated with her family, in about 1874 from Brandon, Fond du lac County, Wisconsin to the Holland, Hickman, Lancaster County, Nebraska area. She was 8 years old when the Vanderbeeks moved from Wisconsin in search of low cost homestead and railroad land on the western frontier. They came with several Dutch families to the Holland Nebraska Dutch community. She died on 6 January 1950 at the age of 83 in Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska. She had late onset diabetes and her death was due to complications from the illness. She was buried on 10 January 1950 in the Pella cemetery, Pella, rural Adams, Lancaster County, Nebraska. GJH and Diena began married life and started their family on a small farm about one quarter of a mile west of the Burlington railroad tracks west of Holland, Lancaster County, Nebraska and a half mile north back in the field. They moved to the VanOosten farm one mile east of the Pella church (176th street & Pella road, NW corner) in 1899/1900. They then purchased 160 acres of land, that became known as the Fischer home place, located at 176th street and Firth road (NW corner), from the Henry Stuurp estate for $5600. The deed was registered on July 3, 1903. That farm was originally homesteaded by Benjamin F. Harney and is documented by a US Patent issued on July 20, 1878. The Harney family later sold the property to the Stuurp family. GJH and Diena sold 40 acres to Diena Fischer's aunt, Berendina Vanderbeek, (Mrs Arend J.) in 1906. The sale price was $1640 and was probably done to lower the debt on the remaining 120 acres of the land. They built a new farm house in 1912. The house was equipped with all the modern conveniences available such as a dumb waiter, hot and cold running water, an indoor bathroom and gas lights. The old house was used as a garage for their automobiles and a shop for many years. They purchased 80 acres adjoining the west side of the original 120 acres from Berendina Vanderbeek for $7200. The deed for the 80 acre addition was registered on March 3, 1913. Later they bought the 160 acre farm located across the road east at 176th and Firth road, NE corner and a 160 acres farm located two miles south on 176th street. Their land holdings totaled 520 acres. Several years later the south 160 acres was sold to Cornielus Nieveen (presently owned by his son Lavern and Margery Nieveen in 2012). The GJH family operated the home place farm for many years until GJH and Diena bought a house and moved to Firth to begin their retirement. Their three sons, John, Carl and Arnold continued to live on and operate the farm until Carl married in 1932 and Arnold married in 1934. GJH and Diena then moved back to the farm and lived with there with their son John. John continued to operate the farm until 1940 when he married and relocated with his wife, Minnie, to a farm she owned near Filley, Gage County, Nebraska. GJH and Diena remained on the farm for the rest of their lives. Their son Carl and son-in-law Arthur DeYong rented the farm until the death of GJH in 1944. Carl then rented the farm, moved his family there and cared for his aged mother until her death in 1950. Carl purchased the farm from the Fischer estate in 1952 and lived there the remainder of his life.
GJH and Diena were members and very active in the Pella Reformed Church, Pella, rural Adams, Lancaster County, Nebraska.

Gerhard Johan Hendrik (GJH) Fischer and Diena (Dena) Vanderbeek had the following children:

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Henry Fischer.

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Jacoba Fischer.

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George Fischer.

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Gerrit Fischer.

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John Henry Fischer.

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Jennie Fischer.

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Frona Fischer.

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Johanna (Anne) Fischer.

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Lucy Jeanette Fischer.

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Carl William Fischer.

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Arnold Fischer.