Hassebroek by Alberta H. Otto, grandaughter, Riley, Kansas,
From the Pioneer of the Bluestem Prairie, p. 350, Riley County, Number 792
Casper William hassebroek was born on 23 August 1836 at Oldersum, Prussia, son of William Olten and Anna (Freeks) Hassebroek. He was in school at an early age and given a thorough German education. When he was 17 years of age, he came with his parents and settled in Ogle County, Illinois. On 13 January 1862 he married Ida Groenhagen at Forreston, Illinois. Ida was born 23 November 1838 at Sickwerrum, Hanover, Germany, daughter of Harm and Anna (Sweets) Groenhage.
Mr. Hassebroek farmed at Forreston, Illinois until 1870 when they came to Riley County and settled in Madison Township where the family farmed 160 acres of land in Section 2. No fencing material was available to keep the work horses and cows at home, so they had to be tethered. A smooth wire was available later which didn’t work too well, so the settlers were received when Mr. Hassebroek began making barbed wire. Mr. Hassebroek was Presbyterian and a charter member of the Fairview Church. He helped organize the Riley Presbyterian Church, was a ruling Elder and held other church offices.
In 1877** Mr. Hassebroek opened a General Merchandise store in Riley which he operated until his son, Enoch, and wife, Ellen, bought it in 1901. They operated the store until their deaths at which time operation of the business was carried on by Enoch’s sons: Casper Willian who died in 1969, and Donald Griffith who died in 1972. The store is still in operation today*, under the “Hassebroek Inc.” name.
Casper William and Ida Hassebroek had five children born at Forreston, Illinois: 1) Hattie born 9 November 1862, died 30 August 1947, married 17 March 1881 George Visser; 2) William born 2 September 1864, [no additional information]; 3) Anna born 13 November 1865, died 19 January 1955, married 16 December 1885 Frank O. Clark; 4) Minnie born 2 January 1868, died 27 June 1911, married 17 March 1897 Edward M. Evans; 5) William born 23 August 1869, died 31 May 1940 at Topeka, Kansas, married 18 January 1904 Bessie B. McCord at Topeka.
Five more children of Willian and Ida were born at Riley: 1) Enoch born 4 July 1872, died 24 August 1961, married 3 March 1896 Ellen Griffith; 2) Mary born 3 November 1873, died 11 September 1923, married 12 March 1908 Dr. F. P. Goodwin; 3) Lydia born 1 September 1876, died 27 January 1885; 4) John born 15 September 1879, died 18 January 1959 at Marysville, Kansas, married 18 November 1914 Emma Stice; 5) Ida born 13 April 1881, died December 1918 at Clay Center, Kansas, married 12 August 1905 Arthur Downing.
Casper William Hassebroek died 13 June 1913 at Riley, Kansas, and Ida died 10 November 1929. Both are buried at the Riley Cemetery.
* Today the Hassebroek building is in progress of being renovated to be home to the Arts & Memories Museum. The geological items will remain in the current building. In order to complete the renovations, we need your financial support. Please consider donating toward this cause.
**While this article states the building was built in 1877, the museum has it listed as 1887, therefore, further research needs to be done to find out which is the correct date.