The Herald’s Nonagenarian Club

Today – Mrs. A. Arends, Holland

(Article Grand Rapids Herald, 23 October 1929, Page 7)

Oldest Resident of Holland is Proud of Distinction
Family Settled in Woods Near Saugatuck 82 Year Ago

Holland, Michigan – October 22 – Mrs. A. Arends is this city’s oldest resident. Next January 23 Mrs. Arends hopes to celebrate her ninety-fifth birthday with her children here. Besides being a pioneer in this section of the state, she has lived in Holland for a greater part of her life.

Mrs. Arends was born in Vriesland, a province of the Netherlands, in 1885. At the age of 13 she came to this country and settled with her parents in the woods near Saugatuck. The family owned 160 acres of the wooded territory and built a log cabin there. There was no demand for lumber at the time, so they took up farming.

After establishing a fruit farm on the Saugatuck road, Mrs. Arends lost her husband and son within a short period of each other, so moved to Holland where she has resided ever since. She has lived with her daughter, Nellie, for 10 years. Her four other children are Mrs. Margaret Blink, Chicago; Mrs. Lonkhart, Fremont, and Jacob and Sekun, Grand Rapids.

Mrs. Arends, had eight brothers and sisters but she is the only one of her family group remaining. Two of her brothers saw service in the Civil War. Mrs. Arends can well remember making things for the soldiers, and also recalls distinctly the coming of the news of Lincoln’s death.

Although she has been in this country for more than 80 years, Mrs. Arends states that she can still remember her home In the old country and is sure she could find it if she returned. She attributes her remarkable memory to the formula, "If you don’t use your mind and body, you’ll lose them."

Mrs. Arends has 11 great-grandchildren. Her oldest daughter, in Chicago, is 74 years old and folks in the metropolis wonder when she tells them that she still has a mother living. Although in the past few years Mrs. Arends has been unable to get about as before she still is bright as ever and, is right up to date in happenings throughout the town. She takes pride in being the oldest resident of the city.

Transcriber: Evelyn Sawyer
Created: 26 November 2004