The following is from an interview with Cornelia "Kate" (Viergever) STEVENS
at her home In Aberdeen, Idaho by Maurice Johnson about 1980.
Kate Viergever's parents had each moved to Kansas from Michigan with their families. Her mother, Adrianne or Jennie as she was called, was sixteen years old when she "ran off" and married Leonard Viergever who was twenty-three years old. Leonard Viergever's parents, as well as, Adrianne's parents were originally from the Netherlands.
Kate Viergever was born on October 17, 1883 in a "sod shanty" on a farm eight miles from Cawker city, Kansas. When she was four years old her parents built a new log house.
In 1887, even before Kate was five years old, her parents enrolled her in the grade school. She tells about day-dreaming the first day of school and the teacher rapping her knuckles with a ruler. She promptly grabbed his hand and bit him.
About 1894 the Viergevers moved to the Oklahoma Territory for a few years before returning to their farm in Jewell County, Kansas.
Kate did not like Oklahoma. She remembered the frequent prairie fires that often threatened the farm and buildings. She did have fond memories of walking through the woods and along the river near her home with her father and being told about the flowers and other plants. She also remembered picking wild strawberries and gathering black walnuts and wild plums.
Sometime in 1895 the Viergever family, which now included four children, returned to Jewell County, Kansas. They moved onto a farm about a mile or two from Willard.
Kate was married in her family home on November 22, 1904 to Albert Stevens. Albert, too, was a native of Kansas being born November 21, 1881 in Dover, Kansas. His parents were originally from Somersetshire, England. Albert's parents had lived in Skaneateles, New York, for several years before moving to Kansas.
Kate and Albert Stevens were farmers and belonged to the Methodist Church.
The following information was added by James Stevens, one of Kate's grandsons.
Kate and Albert Stevens operated a farm at the intersection of Interstate 70 and NW Valencia Rd. about 12 miles west of Topeka, KS. The farm was originally Albert's father's farm. I will write more about Kate and Albert's farm in the Stevens' portion of my attempt to document a portion of the story of my ancestors.
Kate's obituary says they lived on a farm at Silver Lake, KS before moving to Aberdeen, Idaho. (I was unaware of any farm in Silver Lake.)
When Kate passed away, she had 20 grandchildren and 42 great-grandchildren.Back to the Table of Contents?