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Family Ties – St. John’s Cemetery, Spearville, Ford, Kansas

In March of 1885, an extended family consisting of an infant, her parents, an aunt, two uncles, and a grandfather left Holland and came to America. The grandfather was Henry Welting. There is not a lot of information about Mr. Welting. He was born in Holland in 1821. He was married and had at least one daughter, Wilhelmina Berendina “Mina.”

The infant was Bernadina “Dena” Bosman. She was born in 1884 in Holland. Her parents were Johannes Evergradus “John” and Wilhelmina “Mina” Welting Bosman.

The aunt was Margert Borkes. The two uncles were Albert and Theodore Borkes. All three were in the 60’s. Henry Welting was the stepfather of Margert, Albert and Theodore. He was 63 years old at the time of immigration.

When Dena was just nine months old, the extended family boarded a ship to make a new start in America. The trip took eight weeks. It was an arduous journey as conditions fraught with sanitation issues, overcrowding, and the spreading of diseases. For example, friends of the family who also made the trip had a baby that became ill and died while at sea.

While living in Lyons, Kansas, Dena married Gerhard Bleumer. In 1907, the Bosman family, the Borkes family, Grandpa Henry, and the Bleumer family headed to Ford County.

Margert died two years later at the age of 72. Grandpa Henry died in 1911 at the age of 90.

Albert and Theodore both died in 1915. They were 73 and 75 years old. John passed away in 1929 and Mina in 1932. All are buried in St. John’s Cemetery. Dena and Gerhard were blessed with 10 children. She died in 1958 and is buried in St. Andrew’s Cemetery in Wright.

Note: The Little River Monitor newspaper of May 16, 1907 reports that John Bosman and Theo. Borkes each bought a half section of land near Spearville, paying $9,250 and $10,200 respectively.

Note: Several documents listed the pronunciation of Bosman as “Boschman”. This could also be how it was spelled before coming to the United States.

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