WILLIAM WILTERDINK. The hand of industry is everywhere apparent among the home surroundings of the subject of this sketch, who came to this county in the spring of 1870, and homesteaded eighty acres of land on section 25, in Yankee Hill Precinct. From the primitive soil he has eliminated a good farm, and provided himself with those comforts and conveniences which are inseparable in the life of a well-ordered citizen. In addition to general agriculture, he makes a specialty of stock-raising, handling good grades of cattle, horses and swine, and besides being a thorough and judicious tiller of the soil, holds a good position, socially and financial among his neighbors.
Onondaga County, N. Y., contained the early home of our subject, where his birth took place under the modest roof of his parents on the 15th of March, 1849. His father, John H. Wilterdink, a native of Holland, emigrated to America in 1831, bringing with him all the substantial elements of a most excellent ancestry. The mother, a native of the same country as her husband, and now deceased, was by name Christina, and the parents settled in Onondaga County, N. Y., where they lived until about 1850. That year they changed their residence to Sheboygan County. Wis., where their son, William B., was reared to manhood, and where the father is now living, having arrived at the advanced age of seventy years. The mother died about 1860.
John H. Wilterdink, after the death of his first wife, contracted a second marriage, and his last wife is still living in Wisconsin. He was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church, honest and conscientious in his beliefs, and was a strict tutor of his large family of children, eleven in number, and nine of whom survive. These were named respectively: William B., our subject., who is the eldest of the family; John G., a resident of Buda Precinct, on the southwestern line of this county; Henry, who is a farmer in Colorado; Garrett; Albert; Cena, the wife of D. Foss; Kate, Mrs. Russing, a widow; Annie, Mrs. Samuel Dinawold; Mary and Gertrude, all live in Wisconsin.
The subject of this sketch grew to manhood in the Badger State, receiving a limited education, but being fond of reading, kept himself well posted in regard to matters of general interest, and has since kept up his early habit of perusing the reliable journals of the day. When starting out for himself in the spring of 1870, having reached his majority, he made his way to this county and homesteaded eighty acres of land in Yankee Hill Precinct. In 1877 he sold this, and removed to his present farm. This is also eighty acres in extent, where he has erected good buildings and gathered together the appliances indispensable to the well-regulated country estate. His father had no property to give him, and his possessions are solely the result of his own industry and perseverance.
Our subject, when assured that he could comfortably maintain a family, secured for himself a wife and helpmate, being married, July 4, 1874, to Miss Caroline, the daughter of Henry and Kate (Walker) Simmons, the wedding taking place at the home of the bride, in Grant Precinct. Henry Simmons was a native of Ohio. and one of the pioneers of this county. Mr. and Mrs. Wilterdink commenced life together in a manner suitable to their means and station, making it a point to live within their income, and each year has seen something added to the comfort of their home, which has been blessed also by the birth of seven children. These were named respectively: James H., Kate, Edna, Ernest, Walter, Annis and Levi.
Mr. Wilterdink is a decided Republican, politically, and has been moderator in, his school district for several years in succession. Although not a member of any religious organization, he makes it a rule of his life to follow the Christian precept of doing unto others as he would be done by. No man has been more warmly interested in the growth and development of Southern Nebraska, and by bringing a portion of its soil to a state of cultivation, he has materially assisted in bringing about this condition of affairs. The men who have Iabored quietly and conscientiously each in his separate place, although making very little noise in the world, really form the bone and sinew of a community, without which the fabric would soon, metaphorically, fall to pieces.