Iowa History Daily: August 25 - Passing of Pella's Founder

Iowa History Daily: On August 25, 1868, religious leader and founder of Pella Hendrik Scholte died. After arriving in Iowa with a group of roughly 850 Dutch immigrants during August of 1847, Scholte helped guide Pella toward prosperity during his late life.

Born in Amsterdam in 1805 to a relatively well-off family, Scholte experienced tragedy when his father, grandfather, and mother all passed away over a six-year period. Inheriting a substantial business related to sugar refining, Scholte sold the business and enrolled at the University of Leiden. Graduating with a degree in theology in 1832, Scholte entered the service of the Dutch Reformed Church.

During his early ministry period, Scholte started planning to immigrate to Iowa in the United States with his followers. Settling on the name of Pella, Scholte embarked for America on the steamer “Calidonia” from Rotterdam to Boston. His followers followed on four masted ships in April of 1847. Taking a series of roads, railways, and steamboats to the St. Louis area.

Scholte and several other leaders headed into Iowa, and eventually spent $1.25 per acre on 18,000 acres. The deal also called for the seller to construct log cabins, although the shelters failed to materialize prior to the groups arrival in Marion County. Living in dugout shelters at first, the community eventually blossomed under Scholte’s leadership until his death by heart attack at 63 years old. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar


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