A widowed farmer, Marinus headed back to Holland in December 1926, in search of a wife and a mother for his three children. What compelled him to travel 2500 miles to New York, cross the Atlantic by ship for about 10 days, three young children in tow, just to find a wife. Surely, Oregon had respectable women to choose from. Apparently John, one of Marinus’s brothers, also returned to Holland in 1921 to marry after being in the states for several years.
Sometime in 2001 or 2002, my grandma stayed with me for two weeks. I have notebooks containing some of her family stories.
After arriving in Holland, it is unclear where Marinus was staying and if he actually went to work while he was there. But I do know that my grandma says she was not with her dad, but she was staying with good friends or her real mom’s parents. He was probably staying with his family, giving his children time to be with their grandparents. According to my grandma, her mother’s family had been good friends or lived across the street from a family with several girls. I believe she was spending a lot of time with this family and getting to know them well. They had been there for several months and my grandma felt like her dad was starting to give up on finding someone. A little 11-year-old matchmaker, she told her dad, “I know just the one for you.” She introduced them and said,”they liked each other instantly.”
They were married August 24, 1927. He was 45 and she was 29.
On October 6, 1927 they left Rotterdam via the S.S. Volendam steamer 2nd class, arriving directly in to New York, by-passing Ellis Island. Paula had eye surgery when she was two and they were afraid Ellis Island Immigration office would turn her away.
She arrived in America for the first time, October 21, 1927. Married, an instant mother of three, she must have been a little apprehensive about her new life. But it appears, as she settled in, she began to take on her new role quite nicely….