DUTCH MAN IN DUTCH TOWN PHOTOGRAPHED BY DUTCH PHOTOGRAPHER IN ORANGE CITY, IOWA

This Cabinet Card presents some interesting questions. Who is this man? What is his ethnicity? What is his story? The answers are lost to history but we can hazard some guesses. Perhaps the history of Orange City, Iowa can provide a little helpful information. Orange City was originally called Holland when it was founded in 1870 by settlers from Pella, Iowa who were looking for better and cheaper land. History books refer to Orange City as being known as the “Dutch Garden” or one of the “Dutch Colonies”. The photographer of this cabinet card is J. Jelgerhuis of Orange City, Iowa. The photographer’s last name indicates Dutch ethnicity. My hypothesis is that the subject of this photograph is a Dutch man, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. This is an especially good idea since I don’t have a farm. It sure would be terrific if a visitor to this site can identify historical details concerning this gentleman’s hat. I am quite sure that such information will illuminate the issue of his ethnic origin.

Published in: on January 30, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hello,

    I am from The Netherlands and working in the Dutch Heritage Museum.
    Studying this picture does not give much clues. The man could be of North Dutch or North German ethnicity regarding his features. The hat he is wearing is, as far as I know, not a specific part of Dutch traditional dress. It seems to me a, what is known as, ‘smoking hat’. A headdress used indoors to keep warm in the sparsely heated homes.
    The family name Jelgerhuis is often seen in the Province of Friesland. Perhaps that a part of the Orange City population is of Frysian origin. Which might give some confirmation to the man’s features.

  2. The Gentleman in the picture appears to be my great grandfather, Jelle Pelmulder, from Friesland, Holland. If you go to my website, http://www.usgennet.org/family/pelmulder/, you will learn much of this gentleman and his family.

    • It is fantastic that you were able to find an image of your great grandfather in the Cabinet Card Gallery. After visiting your website and seeing the obituary photograph of Jelle Pelmulder; it seems very likely that you correctly identified him as being the gentleman in the cabinet card photograph. Thanks so much for the identification and sharing your website.


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