On Tim’s Trail, Part 1

Exploring Gage's Dutch heritage at Jaarsma bakery in Pella, Iowa.
Exploring Gage’s Dutch heritage at Jaarsma Bakery in Pella, Iowa.

Both of us are going to have opportunities to visit ancestral stomping grounds. Our journey back in time technically began in Pella, Iowa, where Gage’s mother’s maternal grandparents were born in 1867. Their parents came from Holland and joined that Dutch community in south-central Iowa.

But, we didn’t really do any family-searching in Pella; we were more interested in getting Dutch letters and other tasty treats at Jaarsma Bakery.

However, on our way north out of Des Moines, we detoured in the direction of Sac City. Tim’s great-great-great grandfather, Daniel T. Rising, was the second doctor to settle in Sac County, in 1857, according to “History of Sac County, Iowa,” by William H. Hart (Bowen, 1914). He was also elected superintendent of schools in 1858. He and his wife, Ruth, stayed there for five years and moved to Grant City, about 20 miles away. They died on the same day in 1865.

According to his grandson, Harry Rising, “Our Grandmother was sick with pneumonia and [Grandfather] worked with her so hard trying to keep her alive, got her on her feet and walked her back and forth. He must have loved her a great deal. I think when she died he was broken hearted and he didn’t live much longer, just a few hours.”

The cemetery in what used to be Grant City.
The cemetery in what used to be Grant City.

Daniel and Ruth Rising were buried in the cemetery in Grant City. Unfortunately, according to a genealogy researcher, “Grant City, Iowa, was a small town, had many storms … and in 1919 a tornado went through and wiped the town away. There is a cemetery, and stones and such were not replaced after 1919. No one seems to have the old records of the cemetery to know who is actually buried there or anything on when they died.”

So, we drove to where Grant City used to be, and we did find a cemetery. It had headstones, but most were dated after 1919. We walked around a little bit looking at the older ones, but as expected, we didn’t find the Risings.

Sac City has, of course, grown and developed, and there’s not much there that would have been there in the 1860s. There’s a Civil War monument, and we did find Memorial Park, where the town has preserved a cabin that was built in 1854. It has no connection to Tim’s ancestor, but it is contemporary to his time. And who knows — maybe the people who lived in it were Daniel Rising’s patients.

A cabin built in 1854 now resides in Sac City's Memorial Park.
A cabin built in 1854 now resides in Sac City’s Memorial Park.

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