Iowa Old Press

Sioux County Herald, July 3, 1879

By Rev. J. W. Warnshuis



    2.- DITCHING - This is another mode of destroying young
grasshoppers.  A simple ditch two feet wide and two feet deep, with
perpendicular sides, offers an effective barrier to the young insects.
They tumble into such a ditch and die at the bottom in large quantities.
It is the habit of the little insects to travel in a body.  Throw a
ditch across their path or around your field and your grain is safe.
Then the little ones are in the ditch scatter a little straw in the
ditch and set fire to it and gone are the 'hopper'. The direction of the
apprehended approach of the insects being known from their hatching
locality, ditching one or two sides next to such locality is sufficient,
and when farmers unite they can construct a long ditch which will
protect many farms.  The efficiency of the ditch depends not so much on
the inability of the little 'hoppers' to jump or scale it, as on their
tendency not to do so.  In the bottom of the ditch they become
demoralized, crippled and enfeebled by constant efforts, and the
tramping and crowding upon one another.  The ditches must be kept in
order - the sides must not harden and must be kept perpendicular.
Ditching, next to burning is the most effectual way of killing the young
'hoppers' but it is often too expensive in a new country, where many
poor men must fight single handed.  The best way is to destroy the eggs
by harrowing and then there will be no young grasshoppers!

    3. - COAL-OIL AND COAL-TAR -  Coal is a cheap and sure agent to
destroy young grasshoppers.  "The toxic power of coal oil on these
insects is very remarkable, a single drop destroying a large number.
Take a common board 12 or 15 feet long for the foundation or bed piece.
Make a tin trough 4 inches deep and 6 inches wide.  Divide the trough by
partitions, about a foot apart thus avoiding the spilling of oil.  Back
of this place a strip of tin 16 inches wide and as long as the tough.
Under all this place three wooden runners 3 feet long, for the tough to
ride upon.  Fill the pan half full of water and then add a small
quantity of kerosene, sufficient to cover the water.  Fasten a rope to
the side runners and hitch a horse to it.  The lightness of the machine
will allow its being used on any crop.  The little hoppers will hop in
and out of this trough as it is drawn across the field, and in one or
two minutes after being oiled they are dead.  A boy and horse with this
coal oil machine can save a piece of grain in a few days, by going over
the field until the hoppers are gone. From this it will appear that
'hoppers' can be more easily destroyed than weeds.  By systematic,
united and persistent effort all the little 'hoppers' can be destroyed
in a short time that may be found in any section of the country. The
grasshopper does not begin to be an evil like the weevil, the Heesian
fly or the chintz bug, which are not found here.

    DESTRUCTION OF WINGED GRASSHOPPERS  - "The destruction of the winged
grasshoppers, when they swoop down upon a country in prodigious swarms,
is impossible.  Man is powerless before the mighty host.  The only
method of saving a field of grain from the winged insects is by
diverting the swarms by means of smoke. 

    In the wheat growing region like this in Sioux County straw is
abundant.  Let the straw be stacked in small heaps in different parts of
the field and at every field corner, and there let it remain until the
'hoppers' are descending upon the country.  Then when the swarm comes
let the farmers in the township or a county simultaneously set fire to
the straw, using straw to slacken combustion and increase the smoke, and
the combined fumigation will entirely drive the insects away.  By
co-operative and systematic plans and effort much can be done to divert
the course of a swarm of 'hopper'.  Too much stress cannot be laid on
the advantage of co-operation and concert of action and legislation
should be made to both induce and oblige action.  In every community
there are those who persist in doing nothing to prevent injury.  These
indifferent ones frequently bring ruin upon themselves and upon their
more persevering neighbors. There should be a law to oblige every able
bodied man to work one or more days, either in the fall to destroy eggs,
or in the spring to kill the young insect.  These remedies for the
destruction of the grasshopper eggs and the young insects are such as
recommend themselves to every intelligent mind. These remedies have all
been tested and proven by experiments on a large scale in different
localities and have given complete success. 

    We cannot lay too much stress on the importance of destroying the
eggs by thorough plowing and harrowing.  It should be enforced by law.
To all that has been said we add.


    It is a great mistake to depend upon one kind of farm produce for
the support of the family.  There should be a diversification of crops.
There is too great a passion for immense tracts and great wheat farms. A
wiser course it to look to many sources for profit rather than to one.
There is no better country that Sioux County for the raising of stock.
Good water and grazing is in abundance.  Disease of any kind among
cattle in unknown here.  Our climate has healthy and invigorating
influence upon cattle and upon all live stock generally.  Our wool,
beef, butter and cheese are unsurpassed.  At the Inter State Fair, held
in Minneapolis, Northwestern Iowa was awarded the premium for its dairy
products.  At the Centennial Exposition Iowa took the first premium on
its dairy products.  There is no reason why every farmer should not have
from 50 - 100 head of cattle.  Pasturage costs nothing.  Hay costs only
the expense of cutting and stacking.  The immense quantity of corn
should be fed to hogs.  Hog cholera has never been known here.  The
advantage of growing more stock must be obvious to all.  For then if the
wheat crop failed, there would be no sweeping disaster - it would not be
felt.  Diversified agriculture is the most sure and profitable, not only
from the grasshopper standpoint but in every respect and at all times.
It must follow, that the more extensively any given crop is cultivated,
to the exclusion of other crops, the more often will it met with
disappointment and failure, and will eventually exhaust the soil of the
constituents for its profitable growth. 


    1. - Grasshoppers do not, as a rule, deposit their eggs in loose and
cultivated soil.  When our prairie is all broken  and under cultivation,
then the grasshopper plague will be a thing of the past.  The
grasshoppers move westward before the westward moving emigration.  We
are already on the eastern boundary line.  Two miles east of East Orange
the grasshoppers are no longer found. 

    2. - Grasshopper eggs can easily be destroyed by thorough harrowing
autumn to the depth of one inch, or by deep plowing.

    3. - Young insects can easily be destroyed with very little effort
and expense by burying, ditching, or with kerosene.  The winged swarms
can be kept off  by smudging and smoking.

    4. - Diversified agriculture and the keeping of stock is the wisest
and most profitable farming.

    5. - Grasshoppers are not as great an evil as other insects, such as
the weevil, which are not found in Sioux county. The grasshopper is a
periodical one, and can now be easily managed and controlled.  Of course
the first settlers have suffered severely from the grasshoppers, having
come here the first of June 1873. They in a few hours destroyed all the
corn and oats and did much damage to the wheat.  Just as the first
settlers were about to realize something from their patience and hard
labor in breaking the prairie,  the grasshoppers came and took all the
corn and oats and destroyed about half the wheat.  This was a severe
trial, especially upon those who had bought their team and plow and
other farming implements on trust.  These grasshoppers were in Sioux
County until about July of 1877, doing every year more or less damage,
yet not to that extent that is supposed by people in the East.  When the
writer visited this county in 1877, he expected to find an impoverished
and grasshopper stricken people. Imagine his surprise when he found no
such people or country.  Of course some farm suffered more than others,
but they always raised enough to eat and seed to sow.  He was surprised
to see the vast improvement made in less than sever years - three of
which had been grasshopper years and one a wet harvest season.  More
wheat was damaged that year, 1875, be rain, than was ever destroyed by
the grasshoppers.  That year, 1875-1876 was the darkest in the history
of Sioux County. 

    In September, 1878, the grasshoppers came again but did no damage
other than filling the new breaking with their eggs. These have now
hatched and the wheat in many places is destroyed.  This is a severe
trial for the new beginners who came here last year and have nothing but
breaking.  The damage is however, not so much due to grasshoppers as to
the drought that has been general throughout the country,  at least in
the Western States, this spring.  Wheat did not 'come up' for want of
rain, and when the rain came the wheat began to grow, the little
grasshoppers were there too.  Had the wheat commenced to grow as in the
other years soon after it was sown, then the few little 'hoppers' that
are here would not have been able to do much damage, if any.  Wheat on
old land promised a rich and abundant harvest, and those who destroyed
the grasshopper eggs last fall in the breaking have the best wheat on
the breaking.

    The great trouble has been, people have been ignorant of the means
of the mode of destroying the eggs and the young insects.  If this paper
shall have the effect of impressing upon the minds of the people here
and elsewhere, that the young hoppers can, with little effort and
expense, be destroyed, it will prove one of the greatest benefits that
has ever come to Sioux County.  We advise every one who reads it to
carefully preserve it, and see that every one gets a copy.  Every local
paper throughout the west should copy this article.  Let the people have
light and knowledge upon this important question.  Let them know that
grasshoppers can be more controlled than weeds and that East Orange,
Sioux County , Iowa, is already the eastern boundary of the Temporary
Grasshopper Region, and that perhaps after this year we shall never see
the grasshoppers here again. 

    P. S. - Since the above was written a large number of grasshopper
eggs have hatched and the little insects are quite numerous, and in many
places have done considerable damage.  What the result will be as to the
coming harvest cannot now be predicted.

    The places where the eggs now hatch and the habits of the little
insects this year seem to contradict, somewhat, the statements that have
been made.  In explanation the following is offered.

    The past season and year cannot be taken as a year to go by or to
draw conclusions from.  This season has been very dry.  From October
last till May 11th was had very little rain, and during the winter
scarcely any snow.  We can hardly say that it rained during all those
months. The grasshoppers that deposited their eggs here last fall came
very late in September.  On account of the failure, to a great extent,
of the wheat crop last year,  for reasons that have been given, old land
became quite bare and compact in many places.  This accounts for finding
eggs this year in old land and their hatching there.  As a rule eggs are
deposited in hard and compact ground, and not in loose and cultivated
land.  This sure, that when the country is once settled, there will be
no more grasshoppers.  No one doubts it. 

    The eggs can be destroyed in the manner that has been given, if the
work is faithfully and thoroughly done.  The young, too, can be
destroyed by burning, by ditching, and by kerosene.  It is useless to
say nothing can be done.  Everything can be done by those who have a
heart to work.  By systematic and persistent efforts crops can be
protected more easily against grasshoppers, and with less expense, than
weeds.  The great damage that the crops have thus far sustained is not
as much from the grasshoppers as from the drought which has been quite
general throughout the west. The harvest may yet turn out better than is
anticipated, better even than in other places where the army worm and
chintz bug are committing great ravages.  Corn never looked better that
is does now.

    From the fact that an immense emigration is almost constantly moving
into Dakota, it can almost with certainty be expected that this year
will be the last of the grasshoppers in Iowa.  If history proves
anything, it is safe to conclude that we have seen the most of this
locust plague.

Sioux County Herald, July 10, 1879

By Rev. J. W. Warnshuis



    When we speak only of the Reformed churches under this head, we do
not thereby intend to make an invidious distinction, or to ignore other
churches that are found in Sioux County, but we simply do so because the
writer is better acquainted with the Reformed churches, and because this
church is more directly identified with the settlement of the Holland


    Is the oldest church on this western continent and one of the oldest
churches in the world. "The Reformed church arose in the Netherlands
amid the storms of persecution and political revolution. Like the rest
of Europe this country in the fifteenth century was lying in the
darkness and under the curse of popery. 
God's word was hidden, the traditions of men followed, the cardinal
doctrines of the Gospel were hidden.  When a faint light appeared it was
speedily quenched.  But in due time light came that could not be
quenched.  Two young men, natives of Groningen, John Wessel and Rudolf
Agricola, who lived 50 years before Luther, morning stars of the
Reformation, studied the Scriptures and came to the knowledge of the
doctrines of justification by faith in Jesus Christ.  The seed sown by
these men was quickened into life by the Reformation.  The gospel was
preached and the Bible was preached as the only rule of life and faith.
For many years the Christians worshipped privately and called themselves
"The churches of the Netherlands under the Cross."

    In 1562 a confession of faith was published and was called the
Belgic confession, because its author, Guido de Bre, was a native of
Belgium.  It is the same confession that is rewarded today by the
Reformed church in this country.

    The Heidelberg Catechism was received about the same time by the
church in the Netherlands.  This confession and catechism, with the
canons of the Synod of Dordt, constitute the doctrinal standards of the
Reformed Church.  To these standards great importance is attached.  Not
that these could be of authority in themselves, but only so far as they
exhibit the truth of God.  The Scriptures are received as the infallible
word of God.  In the establishment of truth we always appeal to the word
of God.  "Thus saith the Lord."
settles every question of doctrine with us. 

    With such standards the Reformed church of Holland sent her children
to the new world and all have been retained by the Reformed church of
American without alteration. 

    The Reformed church in the Netherlands suffered severely under
Charles V. and still more under his son Philip, who sent an army of
10,000 men, headed by that monster of cruelty, the Duke of Alva, to
crush out the Reformation in Holland.  The "Council of Tumult" and the
"Council of Blood" were established and the "Spanish Inquisition" was
put in full force.  The truths the Reformed church professes have stood
persecution and oppression.  In upholding these truths martyrs have died
triumphantly.  God has set his seal to these truths by accompanying them
with marvelous power.  These truths have been preached by such men as
Whitefield, and Venn, and Hervery, and Berridge, and Romaine, and
Edwards, and Davies.

    This church has been established in this country, a church without a
bishop and state without a king.  To Holland belongs the glory of being
the first of modern nations to establish the right of conscience, and to
proclaim and maintain civil and religious liberty. 

    The government of the Reformed church is Presbyterian or
representative.  The officers (elders and deacons) are chosen by the
people for a term of two years. 

THE REFORMED CHURCH IN AMERICA -   was established not long after the
discovery by Hudson.  A colony of Hollanders was planted along the
Hudson River and Mohawk Valley, on Long Island, in New Jersey and in
Pennsylvania.  These colonies remained under the Dutch government until
1664, when the British took possession of New York. At this time New
York as called New Amsterdam, Brooklyn, Brenkelen, and Albany, Fort
Orange, and the whole settlement was called the New Netherlands. 

    The Hollanders, as is their usual custom, with great care and zeal
for the church, soon made provision for the public worship of God
according to the custom of the Fatherland.  They met on Sunday in an
upper room above a horse mill.  This was the beginning of public worship
in what is now New York City.  From good documents it can be stated that
a considerable church was organized in New York City as early as 1619.
Hence there was a Reformed church in New York  a year before the
Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock.  Our Calvinistic confession came to
the shores of this country 20 years before the Westminster confession
was ever written.  The Reformed church in America is not of recent
origin.  The ancient names of her ecclesiastical assemblies also shows
the venerable age of the church- consistory, Classis, Synod - names that
correspond to Session, Presbytery, and General Assembly, of here younger
sister, the Presbyterian Church. 

    The Reformed churches in America were at first in the care of or in
connection with the classis of Amsterdam in Holland.  In 1771 articles
of union were adopted and the Reformed church in America entered upon an
Independent existence in this country. 

    After the surrender of New York to the British (1664), there was
very little immigration from Holland, hence the Reformed church
predominates only in those states where the Dutch began to settle in
1609-1664, were: New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  In 1845
immigration from Holland was again revived and settlements were made in
western New York. 

    In 1847 colonies were planted in Michigan, Wisconsin, and in Iowa.
So that today are found Reformed churches as far west as Kansas, and
within the last few days a mission station has been formed in the
Territory of Dakota. 

    In 1794 the minutes of the General Synod were first kept in the
English language.  From that year it may be said that English became the
language of the Reformed church in this country.

   We have thus dealt at length upon the history of this church, in
order that the new comers to Sioux County may know who we are.  Our true
characteristic was well set forth last week, by the president of our
General Synod,,  now in session, in the following words:  "One feature
of our churches, its determination to have energetic ministers to preach
the old doctrines of the cross.  We have a great attachment to the
truths of the Bible, and no wonder we have passed with them through a
baptism of blood.  Many of our members have suffered and died for the
sake of these truths.  The names of many martyrs are found on our church
records.  The Reformed church has ever faithfully and earnestly
contended for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.  Her
history stands before the world. The reader will mark in it the hand of


    The First Reformed church in Sioux County was organized in Orange
City; May 6, 1871, by a committee appointed by the classis of Illinois,
consisting of Rev. N. D. Williams, of Norrex, Ill., and the elder N. J.
Gesman, of Pella.  The first officers of the church were M. Verheul, G.
van de Steeg, and T. J. Heemstra,  elders: S. A. Sipma, W. van Rooyen
and J. Pelmulder, deacons.  This was the first organized church, not
only in the Holland colony but in Sioux county. 

    The first sermon in the Holland colony was preached in Orange City
in July, 1870, by Rev. John van der Meulen, who was at that time pastor
of the Reformed church of Milwaukee, Wis.  Revs. E. Winter and A.
Thornpson, of Pella, and Peter de Pree, of Bethel, Iowa, preached in
Orange City soon after the settlement of the colony. 

    August 21, 1871, the church, of Orange City, made a call upon the
Rev. Seine Bolks to become their pastor.  It could hardly be expected
that this call would be accepted as father Bolks was at that time pastor
of one of the largest churches in Michigan, the Reformed church of
Zeeland.  But the earnest prayers of the church at Orange City were
answered.  The call was accepted.  Rev. S. Bolks came to Orange City
April 4th, 1872, and was installed as pastor by Rev. E. Winter of Pella,
on the last Sunday of that same month.  A better choice of a pastor
could not have been made.  Rev. Bolks was a man of great experience,
especially in the trials and difficulties of a new settlement.  In 1847
he himself had started with two vessels of immigrants from Holland and
settled with them in the woods of Michigan.  Having endured all the
hardships and sufferings with colonies in Michigan, and having been
associated in the formation of churches and establishment of schools in
Michigan with such men as Rev. A. D. van Raalte,  D. D., and Rev. C. van
der Meulen, Rev. Bolks was the man for the church and colony of
northwestern Iowa.  The success of this colony and the growth of the
church in Orange City is due, under God, to the earnest and faithful
labors of this servant of God.  He ministered to this people not only in
spiritual things but also in temporal things.  And neither in time nor
in eternity will be forgotten the winter of 1872-1873, when the colony
was visited with a glorious and powerful revival.

    Father Bolks continued to be the active pastor of the Reformed
church of Orange City until August, 1878, when he was, by the classis of
Illinois, declared "Emeritus" on account of ill health and old age.
Rev. Bolks was the first installed pastor in Sioux county.  Since that
time until the present that church has been vacant.  The Rev. J. W.
Warnshuis had preached for them during the past winter and summer, three
Sabbath afternoons of each month.  The church has now called Rev. A.
Buursma, form Illinois, who has accepted the call.  He arrived here the
last Sabbath in June.  The church at present numbers nearly 300 members.

Sioux County Herald , July 17, 1879

By Rev. J. W. Warnshuis

    Until 1875 the church worshipped in the school house.  When this
school house became too small, a building of rough boards was made in
the rear wall of the school house, which was closed during the school
days.  Seats were made of rough boards.  A table and chair placed at one
end was the pulpit.  Such was the building in which this church
worshipped until 1875.  In this church Dr. M. Cohen Stuart preached in
November, 1873.  He had been a delegate from Holland to the Evangelical
Alliance which met that year in New York.  That Sabbath when Dr. Stuart
preached in Orange City will not soon be forgotten.  It was then
announced that a Christian lady of New York had given $4000. to Orange
City to build a church. 

    The building of this church was commenced in 1874.  It was the first
house of worship built in Sioux county and is a commodious and
substantial edifice.  It can be seen in almost any direction for a
distance of more than ten miles.  It is a grand monument to the
character of the Christian lady who gave her money to build such a house
for a poor people in the distant northwest. 


    This church was organized May 18, 1877, by a committee appointed by
the classis of Illinois, consisting of Rev. S. Bolks, of Orange City,
and his elder H. Muilenburg.  The church was organized with 27 members.
The first officers were B. Smith,  Sneller,  W. K. Scholten and R. Vos,
as Elders:  A. M. van den Berge,  D. Gleysteen,  G. J. Hofmeyer, and H.
de Kraay, Deacons.

    In August, 1877, a call was made upon Rev. J. W. Warnshuis, who was
the pastor of the "Abbe Reformed church" of Clymer Village, New York.
He had already been called twice in 1876, to become the assistant pastor
of Rev. Bolks in Orange City.  The call from East Orange was accepted.
He arrived there in the beginning of June 1878, and was installed by the
Revs. S. Bolks and J. B. Du Beer, in the following November.  Through
the aid of the Board of Domestic Missions a neat and comfortable
parsonage was built by the church of East Orange in the fall of 1877.
It was especially through the Sunday School of the Reformed church of
Flatbush, L. I., that this parsonage was built and that the Reformed
church of East Orange obtained a pastor.  The contributions of this
Sunday School are given for the support of the pastor at East Orange.
It is now a year that the pastor has been settled at East Orange.  In
that year the membership has been more than doubled, there being now
nearly 100 members, a Sabbath School has been organized which has over
100 scholars on its list, and a prayer meeting has been commended and
sustained, holding their meetings every Wednesday evening.  On Sabbath
the preaching in the forenoon is in Dutch and in the evening in the
English language.


Iowa Old Press Home
Sioux County