TeSelle, Jan Albert (1873-1954)

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Jan Albert TeSelle was born in Holland, Lancaster County, Nebraska on 6 June 1873. Albert was the son of Jan Hendrik te Selle (1838-1921) and Hanna Berendina Onnink (1841-1929). Albert married Johanna Walvoord (1878-1965) on 2 March 1899. They had six children together, born between the years 1900 and 1916:

  • Mamie Jessina TeSelle (1900-2001) [Spouse: Lloyd Erisman Franey(1899-1958)]
  • Vester L. TeSelle (1902-1977) [Spouse: Juanita G. Stevens (1906-1993)]
  • Ruth M. TeSelle (1903-1989) [Spouse: Earl Clayton Becker (1901-1996)]
  • Eamiel Alfred. TeSelle (1907-1958) [Spouse: Fern Martin (1908-1995)]
  • Orval A. TeSelle (1911-1994) [Spouse: Helen V. Jacobitz (1912-1985)]
  • Wendell Paul TeSelle (1916-1984) [Spouse: Velma Faye Birt (1916-2004)]

Although Albert did not serve in World War I, he did have to fill out and submit a WWI Draft Registration Card in 1918.

Albert and Johanna lived all their lives in Holland. Jan Albert died on 5 November 1954 in Holland, Nebraska, and was buried in the Holland Cemetery on 8 November 1954. Johanna lived another decade and passed away in September 1965.

In April 2013, Jan Albert’s grandson, Kendell A. TeSelle (1944-2017), wrote an email1 describing what his father, Wendell P. TeSelle (1916-1984) had told him about his own father, Jan Albert:

Albert TeSelle was a farmer southwest of Holland, Nebraska. I never knew him until he was retired and had already moved to the town of Holland, the first house west of the Hayman’s Grocery/Produce store. I remember that Albert had good carpenter skills and he had a tool shed next to his house with lots of carpenter tools in it.

Albert was mild-mannered.

My dad, Wendell TeSelle, told me when I was a child that I came from a long line of worriers and I would need to learn how to relax. He told me a story of how his dad (Albert) in the days on the farm when my dad was a child how Albert would be physically sick in his stomach from worry the day before he would take the horse and wagon to Lincoln, Nebraska (a trip of 20 miles) for supplies..

I guess if you asked who “wore the pants” in my grandfather Albert’s marriage one might say Albert did based on the one story my father told me about the Chicago Worlds Fair. My dad said that in the earier years of Albert’s marriage to Hannah but after a number of his brothers and sisters had been born, Albert and a friend of his decided to ride bicycles all the way (600 miles) to Chicago to the World’s Fair. That in itself was a pretty big deal but not near as big of deal as the fact that he did it leaving his wife home with all the children, one of whom had pneumonia at the time. Dad said my grandma never did forgive Albert for that stunt. Sometimes it isn’t easy to determine who won the battle and lost the war. However, I don’t recall my dad telling me of any other long distance bicycle trips that Albert took on his own.

One other story my dad told me about that might give some indication of the type of people the early Dutch who came to the USA were was about the Holland church organ dispute. In the early days when the Holland church got an organ as a musical instrument, it caused a great uproar among the congregation — almost splitting up the church with the one side saying that the organ was the “instrument of the Devil.”


1 Kendell wrote the email on an airplane while flying home to Colorado from the Netherlands after visiting Dirk and Geert te Selle in Winterswijk, the area where the te Selle family originated. The email was sent jointly to Dirk and Geert, as well as to Robert TeSelle, to be included in our Family Website. [return]