Letter 26

Date (sent): April 26, 1883
Writer: Gerrit Jan te Selle, Jan Hendrik te Selle
Place: Firth, Lancaster County, Nebraska
Addressee: Derk Willem te Selle
Address (sent to): Fökkink, Winterswijk, Netherlands


Gerrit Jan and Jan Hendrik te Selle respond to the news that their mother, Dela ten Damme te Selle, has died (March 26, 1883).

  • Gerrit Jan had sent a book to Dela and to Derk around New Year, and GJ was glad she had received it before her death.
  • They inquire about the health of their brother Tobias, who was very ill.
  • They waived any interest in their mother's physical property; they asked only that their share of money should be sent, so they can buy a memorial to her.
  • JH writes that he has informed his Uncle Bloemers of Dela's death.
  • JH also asks whether Derk ever received his registered letter containing five dollars.

Holland, Nebraska              April 26, 1883

Dear Beloved Brother

With deep hurt, we received on April 21 the message that Mother died. Yes, how completely unexpected, as we received a letter only 14 days ago that all of you were very healthy! This message really hit us hard, but you know that she now already glorifies Jesus among the Rows of Angels and I hope that I will meet her there again, and that may be soon already.

I am happy that you received that book when she was still alive, and hope that it gave her some consolation and knowledge. I had the book sent from Grand Rapids around New Year, because then I did not need to pay the freight. Although I gave it to you I hope you will lend it to the other brothers 1) when they want to, because it is too expensive to send a book to each of you. It costs $2.25 per book, but there was so much value in the book that I could not help to send one to you. I already wanted to write a letter to you a long time ago, but as I do not feel quite well I didn’t feel like it. My chest and throat are getting worse. I hope for the best, but fear for the worst. Well, let the Lord do what He thinks is good.

To my regret, I understand that brother Tobias is very ill also, but please point him to Jesus and his great sacrifice. He will save who trust in Him.  May he be supported as Kuiler says, by eternal hands, as this is a large consolation on sick and death beds.

You wrote about Mother’s possessions. We agreed with each other that you should send us our share of the money so that we can buy a memorial.  But furniture and clothing you should spread among yourselves as you can. Keep the chest for yourself. I would regret it if the big chest would go out of the house as I can still see it. But you have to do what you like best.

Sadly, I have to finish now.

Your brother, G.J. Te Selle


in other handwriting is added:

We wrote to Bloemers2) on behalf of all of us.  Uncle is still very well. He is 89 years now.

Brother, I have to ask you. I sent you a letter at the end of March, a year ago, with 5 dollars in money. Did you get that?  I got a message from New York that the letter was sent over the ocean, (3) but they could not take further care of it.   I had it registered. Wishing you to the blessing of the Lord,
J.H. te Selle

In addition to Derk Willem (1827), the other brothers remaining in the Netherlands were Tobias (1830), Hendrik Jan (1832) and Jan Albert (1835).


“We wrote to Bloemers …”

Gerrit Willem Bloemers was married to Janna te Selle, sister of Jan Albert te Selle (born 1800), who was the father of the seven Te Selle brothers. When brothers Harmen Jan, Jan Hendrik, and wife, Hanna Onnink – te Selle emigrated to the United States, they went to Gibbsville, Wisconsin where the Bloemers were living.