IOWA WOMEN’S ARCHIVES

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LIBRARIES

IOWA CITY, IOWA

 

 

VAN ZANTE AND DE COOK FAMILIES

NORTHN

PAPERS, 1888-1960s

1 linear inch

 

 

ACQUISITION:

The» papers (donor no. 586) were donated» by June Van Haaften in 1999.

ACCESS:

The papers are open for research.

COPYRIGHT:

»Copyright of the Besse DeCook diary has been transferred to the University of Iowa.  Copyright of all other material has been retained by the owner.

PROCESSED BY:

Doris Malkmus, 1999.  [WORD 7 VanZanteDeCook.doc]


 

»Biography

            The Anthony and Elizabeth Van Zante and their fourteen children were Dutch-American immigrants who farmed near Pella, Iowa in the late nineteenth century.  Mary Van Zante, born in 1876, went to rural school in South Porterville and attended Pella First Reformed Church.  She married Conrad De Cook, a neighboring farmer, and together they had three sons.  Her husband died of a heart attack in 1926, and the boys farmed her farm on shares until she died in 1949.  Ernest De Cook, one of the three sons of Mary and Conrad DeCook, married Bess De Prenger in 1929.  Their daughter June De Cook married Willis Van Haaften, the son of Mabel Korver Van Haaften.

Scope and Content Note

 

            The Van Zante and De Cook Family papers consist of photocopies of diaries and reminiscences and measures one linear inch. The diary of Mary Van Zante De Cook is a well-written, factual diary of a twelve-year old daughter of a Dutch immigrant farm family near Pella, Iowa.  It recounts her day-by-day activities--school, church, chores, and other farm events--from 1888 to 1900.  A second item in the collection are her son, Ernest De Cook’s, three brief reminiscences: one about chicken thieves; another describing the drop in land prices after 1920; and a third about country doctors.  A second item in the collection is the 1932 diary of his wife, Besse De Prenger De Cook, that details the daily activities on their farm the year their daughter June De Cook was born.  The collection thus provides an interesting comparison between generations, and between farm-girl adolescence and the life of a young married farm woman.

             

 

Related Collections

 

Mabel Korver Van Haaften

 

 

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