The original farmland owned by Lester Jansonius was purchased in1873 by Hendrick Jansonius, age 22, and his brother, Jan, age 27, whenthey came to the United States from The Oldemarket, Overjissel Province,The Netherlands. They arrived at the Port of New York, Ellis Island, ona steamship named "Castor." Their parents Frerik and Hendricka Jansoniushad passed away in The Netherlands, and the sons took their inheritanceto the United States to purchase land.
According to genealogy records, the men first went to a Dutchsettlement in Goshen, Indiana. But the land there was too expensive forthem ($40.00 per acre). The brothers were able to secure more land inGrundy County, at less cost. Hendrik and Jan Jansonius were chartermembers of the Second German Presbyterian Church, now known as WestFriesland Presbyterian Church, east of Ackley, Jan mostly bought andsold property and later moved to a Butler County farm near IslandGrove. The Butler County farm bought by Jan is owned by his descendants,the Art Jansonius family.
Hendrik(Henry) Jansonius married Catherine de Vries, also of GrundyCounty. They had three children, Henrietta, Mary & Fred. Their familyremained on the farm until 1908. Their son, Fred, and his wife, OttilieSchuette, moved to the farm around 1913. Fred and Ottilie's first bornson, Henry, lived only two days. Their other two sons were Lester andFrederick. They continued to farm the land until 1936.
At that time, Lester married Helena Janssen, and they began farmingand expanding the Jansonius farm. Their four children were La Veda,Marlys, Connie, and Darrell. Lester & Helen moved to Ackley in 1975. Atthat time Darrell (the great-grandson of Hendrik & Catherine) and hiswife, Becky, moved to the home place. Helena passed away in 2000, andLester resides at the Presbyterian Village.