Story of Nederland Told in Family Histories
Block, W. D. "Bill" Quick, Brenda Warren (librarian), and Marie
NEDERLAND - Early family
histories completed by these local historians are now available at
the Bob Henson Memorial Library in Nederland. W. T. Block, W. D.
"Bill" Quick, Brenda Warren (librarian) and Marie Fleming show off
the newly bound black and gold volumes which contain these records.
Those wishing to have their family histories recorded in future
volumes are asked to contact the library. A public reception at 10
a.m. Sept. 29, 1992 in the library marks the official dedication of
the volumes to the city.
Yesterday is history. The
popular teen-age saying is still true.
Recording family history is
often left to older family members. When younger family members
begin to ask about yesteryears, the memories may have faded to a
Now, local historians have
compiled a new source of information. A five-volume set of stories
and pictures is available at the D. Bob Henson Memorial Library.
of the good sources of early Nederland life and times, the priceless
history, was being lost as the ones who lived it were dying off,"
said W. T. Block, a local historian. "The Nederland Historical
society had collected many family histories, both written and voice
tape recorded, so there was information available to start work on
these chronicles," said Marie Fleming.
the histories were written by W. T. from tapes obtained from
visiting with the older family members and just tape recording their
recollections," said W. D. "Bill" Quick.
The trio spent many hours
making phone calls and reviewing research to compile these volumes.
The Nederland Historical
Society will host a reception in their honor at their regular
monthly meeting on Tues. Sept. 29, 1992 at 10 a.m. at the D. Bob
Henson Memorial Library at 1903 Atlanta Ave. The public is invited
and encouraged to attend.
Brenda Warren, librarian, will
formerly accept the volumes from the authors. The volumes are
titled, The Chronicles of the Early Families of Nederland, Texas"
The authors names, W. T. Block
and W. D. Quick, E.D.S. and a dedication also appear on the first
page. The dedication reads, "With Special Gratitude to Mrs. Marie
Rienstra Fleming and the Nederland Historical Society for use of
their files and oral history tapes."
There are accounts of 125
families - from A-Z with photo illustrations taken for family albums
and an array of other photos, untitled, depicting the people, life
and times of early Nederland.
Block and Quick began their
work in January 1991; the volumes were completed in April 1992.
Before the Nederland project,
Block wrote a Port Neches history book, "Sapphire City of the
Neches: A brief history of Port Neches, Texas from Wilderness to
started out writing the first three chapters of the Port Neches book
for Celeste Kitchen. It wasn't until I took her the proofs to read
that I realized she was planning for me to write a whole book. She
didn't know it, but by the time I had researched for her first
requested work. I was deeply in love with the project and relished
the idea," Block said.
the Port Neches book, the Nederland project just seemed to follow,"
it known that W. T. did the lion's share of the work," Quick said.
certainly contributed to it," Block said.
thing about historical data, when an author or historian writes
about some happening in their locale, the idea catches on with
others to do the same project in their area. We hope this happens
with this early family history," Quick said.
"We had a
sense of urgency because old timers die off and there is no one left
to tell the stories," Block said.
are personal memories of different people. The same events viewed
through the eyes of different family members are not the same,"
Marie Fleming said. "My sister Anna Rienstra remembered the early
school days of Nederland. When I look back at her life, Nederland
had only been in existence for 5 years before Anna's recollections
and stories began," Fleming said.
Block's mother called Nederland
home in 1906 when the early Dutch settlers came.
historical society had begun collecting information prior to work on
the volumes. There was a skeleton of information to work from,"
The trio stressed that
information in the volumes came from others' impressions of family
members. Although none of the accounts are documented, they are
recorded as they were told to the authors.
Block wrote the book, Quick
reviewed it, and Fleming read every page. They said nothing in the
volumes would hurt anyone.
we could spice it up and say people should come to the library and
read what is said about their early families. Truth is there is
nothing hurtful in these stories," Block said.
The volumes cannot be checked
out of the library because they are reference books. The library
paid to have the five volumes bound in the school colors of black
with gold engraving.
books were used mostly during the Nederland Heritage Festival
treasure hunt. People would spend a great deal time reading in hopes
of finding the key to a clue. They often would come across some
family history unknown to them and remark about the good job the
authors did,” Brenda Warren said.
People throw away valuable
information when they throw away letters and papers to clean up. In
this case, one person's trash is another's treasure.
A bill from an old store would
be a treasure to a historian and may later prove ownership of a
family business. Persons not knowing what to do with old family
scrapbooks should check with the historical society before scraping
fan letters and old clippings.
The society urges families
write a current history including when they moved to Nederland, how
many members in the family, family names, reasons for moving to the
area, and their impressions of current life and times. What is new
today, is history tomorrow.
The Historical Society collects
information from families with a history that dates back to the
early years of Nederland.