I have the following information taken from "Portrait and Biographical Record of Jasper, Marshall and Grundy Counties, Iowa, 1894" and was wondering if anyone had any connections or information, or suggestions on where to start researching.I'm not sure if some family remained in Stephenson Co., or if they all moved to Iowa.
John P. Arends, a well known farmer of Grundy County, and the owner of a valuable farm on section 29, Beaver Township, was born in Germany July 13, 1842. He is the son of John P. Arends, a native of Germany, who was there employed as a day laborer and afterward as a fireman. He was in religious belief identified with the German Reformed Church, in which faith he died at the age of seventy-four. The mother of our subject was born, reared and educated in Germany, and was also identified with the German Reformed Church. Her death occurred at the age of sixty-eight years. She had a family of four children: Aaron, Dirk J., John P., and Annie, deceased.
In the schools of his native land our subject received a practical education. In 1865, at the age of twenty-three years, he accompanied his parents to the United States, and with them settled on a rented farm in Stephenson County, Illinois, where he remained for six years. From there he came to Beaver Township, Grundy County, and in 1870 purchased forty acres, comprising a portion of his presentestate. He at once commenced the work of cultivating the place, and by untiring industry and good management acquired the ownership of three hundred and twenty acres of well improved and valuable land.
At the age of thirty-one Mr. Arends was united in marriage with Meike Goldhorn, a native of Germany, and to them were born eight children, three of whom died in infancy, those remaining are, John, Hilko, Ben, Trena and Dora. The mother was born and educated in Germany, and came to this country with her parents in 1866, when she was sixteen years of age. They located in Ogle County, Iowa. In religion, Mrs. Arends was a member of the German Reformed Church, with which she was identified until her death, at the age of thirty-five.
The second marriage of Mr. Arends united him with Altie Peters, a native of Germany, and six children blessed this union. One died in infancy, and those living are, Peter, Rieka, Aaron, Joe and Dick.Mrs. Arends is a lady of pleasant disposition, a devoted member of the Reformed Church, and an efficient helpmate to her husband, having assisted him in the accumulation of his property. When commencing in life, our subject had no capital, but he possessed an abundance of energy and perseverance, and as a result of his efforts he is today recognized as one of the moneyed men of Grundy County, being worth at least $30,000.
In religious belief Mr. Arends is actively connected with the German Reformed Church, in which he officiates as an Elder, and to the support of which he is a regular contributor. Politically a Republican, he has held a number of local officies, in all of which he has been faithful to the trusts reposed in him. As a farmer he is progressive, as a citizen public-spirited, and in his domestic relations is kind and considerate.