Holland, Nebraska began as a Dutch settlement and for years it remained strictly Dutch. lts founders tenaciousIy fought the influences of the “Melting Pot.” Today, Holland and the surrounding country is a typical Nebraska farm community, a typical American village. Imitation of superior farm methods, observation of luxuries enjoyed by other people, trade with other nationals, as well as, in later years, intermarriage with other nationals–all of these have conspired to effect the passing of the Dutch Colony, and the creation of the modern Nebraska community.
Agricultural catastrophes greatly disheartened the entire settlement. Their courage, however, was strong enough for the unequal struggles, and their fortitude in every crisis through which they passed was rewarded by increased prosperity in the years that followed.
The schools established in this settlement were a distinct step in the progress of the cultural development of these people. With all of the hardships endured, approximately eighteen of the earliest pupils of the Holland settlement, entered learned professions. Those who did not secure higher education, but remained in the community as farmers, business men, etc., became better and more prosperous citizens, and lived fuller and richer lives because of the elementary education they received.
The abrogation of long established customs has not, as some feared, left the church an empty and dead institution. It is, today, far from being a hollow mockery, but is a real living, and wide awake institution. It is filled to its utmost capacity every Sunday. Respect for their church has continued to be a strong characteristic of the Dutch-Americans of the settlement at HoIIand, Nebraska.
Hardships and difficulties were frequently encountered by Doctor Was during the many years in which he ministered to the illness and suffering of this pioneer settlement. These experiences merit for him a high place in that honorable company of “country doctors” or “general practitioners” who courageously served the pioneer communities of the West. With the passing of the years and the progress of medical knowledge, specialization, and the contribution of the schools, there has been brought to these pioneers a modern knowledge of health and sanitation.
Vast have been the changes in South Pass and surrounding precincts within the Dutch settlement since the Dutch pioneer first located within their borders. Instead of the rude trails and unbridged streams, the township is well supplied with many miles of graded and graveled roads, and an adequate number of substantial bridges. Rural Free Delivery Routes place the daily mail at each farmer’s home in the settlement.
From these humble beginnings, from almost total destitution, and with scarcely any other capital than their fixed resolution to wrest from the prairie substantial realization of the dream which impelled them to leave their fatherland, these daring pioneers conquered the relentless forces of nature and built a community of homes which have remained secure against the invasion of many enemies.
In the middle and latter part of the nineteenth century, times for farming were bad in the Netherlands, as elsewhere in Europa. The rents were high and the wages were low. Many Dutchmen conceived the idea, that in America a better home could be made, and their families could receive a better start in life than in the crowded cities and provinces of their native country. Accordingly they disposed of their property and set sail for the United States, with Wisconsin as their goal.
INTRODUCTION < Table of Contents >Next Chapter This thesis will be an historical portrayal of the development of the little Dutch‑American settlement at Holland, Nebraska. This settlement is located in the southeast part of Lancaster County. The organization of Nebraska as a territory and its early history, including the flow of… Read more »
TABLE OF CONTENTS <Back to “A History of the Dutch Settlement…” [Note: This Table of Contents shows the original thesis headings, but not the original page numbers, which have been eliminated and replaced by direct links to the referenced web pages.] INTRODUCTION I. ORIGIN OF THE SETTLERS A brief history and geography of… Read more »