Centennial Memory Project

The Cops Family Comes to America

The Kimberly Public Library recently received a wonderful donation for our local history collection! The Cops Family Comes to America: The Diary of Johanna Aleida (Cops) Schuh has been added to the library's reference collection and can be viewed in the library. The book contains diary entries, chiefly from 1948, when the author moved with her family from s'Hertogenbosch, Holland, to Kimberly, Wisconsin. 

An excerpt:

"I feel really badly and am crying as the boat leaves Holland. The shore is getting farther away and the people are getting smaller. We can see Pa and Pete moving on the shore, so we are still waving as long as we can see each other. Then a guy came on deck and told everyone to go inside."

Stop by the library and enjoy this firsthand account of one family's move to America.

Video Interviews Now Available

We are happy to announce the release of the Kimberly Memory Project Video Interviews collection!

Thanks to our awesome volunteer, Mary Lamers, the Kimberly Public Library is now the proud owner of 12 videos including interviews of Kimberly residents and slideshows of family photos. A search for Kimberly Memory Project in InfoSoup will bring up the list of available titles. People interviewed include:

  • Eugene "Maj" Schelfhout
  • Ned Wittmann
  • Jack Wydeven
  • Bob Remmel
  • Bernice Stuyvenberg
  • Marie Schneider Ruys
  • Carl & Rita (Josephs) Lemmers
  • Jo & Chris Verkuilen
  • Henry Cops
  • Elmer Marx
  • Ginny Couillard

Thank you to everyone who has participated in the Memory Project by interviewing or being interviewed. We appreciate Mary's hard work and for our wonderful residents who were so willing to share their stories. A piece of our history has been preserved and is available for us all to check out, learn, and remember.

Kimberly Memory Project Celebrates Local Heroes

Library volunteer, Mary Lamers, has been recording video interviews of Kimberly residents who can remember the early days of the Village. During her interviews, she made connections with many local veterans who shared a wealth of history not only related to the Village of Kimberly, but also regarding their experiences in World War II. Come and hear their stories and help us celebrate the lives of our local heroes! 

This program is part of the library's 2015 Summer Reading Program, Every Hero Has a Story.

Bernice Johnson Stuyvenberg, 1920-2012

Part of the Centennial Memory Project has been to collect video interviews of Kimberly residents who can remember the early days of the Village. Thank you to our wonderful volunteer, Mary Lamers, for her care and time spent gathering, creating, and editing the videos! Here are some clips from Mary's interview with Bernice Stuyvenberg. Bernice moved to Kimberly at the age of 9 and was born in 1920. She passed away at the age 91 on January 18, 2012. We are grateful to have been able to preserve her stories.

Bernice talks about coming to Kimberly at the age of 9 and her uncle's tavern.

Here, she talks about The Clubhouse.

Bernice shares her story about meeting her husband, Dickie Stuyvenberg, and the difficulties of religion and love. We hope to make the complete interview available on DVD for checkout at the library soon. Stay tuned!

Index for Kimberly: A Centennial History 1910-2010

Thanks to library volunteer Alexis Ludewig, the library is happy to make available an index for Jason Weber's book, Kimberly: A Centennial History 1910-2010. If you purchased a copy of the book, you may want to print the index, as it provides valuable, quick links to specific sections of the book. Check out the index. Thanks, Lex!

Lamers' Memories

The following is a post by Mary Ann Gossens Lamers.

Polio quarantine

I was eight years old in 1955 when all children were quarantined to their yard. We made it a game – volleyball, golf all over the yard, basketball, Simon Says, kick the can, and phone tag with the Lamers. We used tin cans and string to send messages across the alley tied to fences in each yard. My dad would always listen to baseball on the radio as we played. My mom chipped golf balls into an old fishing net with golf balls my brothers brought home from raiding creeks. We’d get two popsicles for 5 cents from Kokke’s .

Youth Center

Early 60’s the place to be was Youth Center, the gym on Main Street. Teachers supervised. Mr. Rundquist, Mr. Bohne, Mr. Nirschel are some I recall, each with their special trait, a smile, a coach, always helpful, ready to give us a basketball or ping pong paddles. They’d roll out the jute box from the side room, plug in and the girls danced The Twist, Jitter Bug, and Stroll. Basketball, shuffle board, and ping pong were games of choice. We’d run across Main Street to Red’s to buy candy, food, soda and talk. Danny Speering’s dad had a used car lot and Danny would drive different cars all the time. Guys loved to drive past and the girls loved it too. We’d jump in once in awhile and go off to have fun. Ronnie Blaze had a little car and once picked up a bunch of us and we took a ride to High Cliff. I remember the little car floating with us inside laughing. We of course went back to youth center only to walk home with friends. Curfew for me was nine.  Youth Center was open week days in the summer and weekends during school.

Moving

My husband Ralph (Sam) Lamers, Kimberly High School Class of 1965, and I married in 1968. We raised our four children, Kim, Luke, Mike and Joe in Kimberly. I laugh when I tell people I moved five times. First to Walnut Street, then 1st Street, then Paul Drive, then Ann or Anne Street depending what post you’re looking at, and now Thelosen Drive. I love Kimberly. The people are great, our leaders are the best, and I continue worship and thank God for the many blessing, parents, family and friends.

Mary Ann Gossens Lamers

Kimberly School

First School in Kimberly

308 North Main Street, Kimberly, WI

First school, grades 1-8. Pat Betters age 23 months. ca. 1926

Photo courtesy of Pat (Dietzler) Betters

Great news!

Congratulations to Jason Weber and the Village of Kimberly for receiving the Lillian Mackesy Historian of the Year Award for Kimberly: A Centennial History 1910-2010! The award comes from the Outagamie County Historical Society and is presented to an individual or group in recognition of research on some aspect of Outagamie County history. Primary criteria for the award are scholarship of the work, quality of sources consulted, quality of presentation, and contribution to the field of local history. The award will be presented at the Society's annual meeting and luncheon on Monday, February 21st.

K.R.A. 1952 Basketball Team

KRA 1952 BB Team

Kimberly, WI K.R.A. 1952 Basketball Team

Top row, left to right:
Dick Verbeten, Nig Van Dyke, Roy Vanden Heuvel, Jim Vandehey, Bill Goffard, Coach George Vander Zanden.

Bottom row:
Alan Dietzler, Pete Valentine, Lyle Hark, Wayne Kilsdonk, Butter Vander Wyst.

Photo courtesy of Theresa Vanden Heuve

Filling Station

Filling Station

Kimberly DX Station ca. 1937-38

Ted Maas, Harry Valentyn, Mr. Coene

In background: Ray Price

Filling Station

DX Filling Station

Kimberly DX Station ca. 1937-38

Rivals

Rivals

Kimberly Rivals baseball team
ca. 1908

Kimberly Club

Kimberly Club

Kimberly Club basketball team
ca. 1934

Left to right:
Honey LeMay, Marie Van Lieshout Gossens, Genrose Cavil Verstegen Staley, Alva Leniville Wildenberg, Monica Van Ryzin Wildenberg, Rose Ann Schwanke Freund, Jerri Van Ryzin Albers

The Catacombs

The Catacombs

The Catacombs - old bowling alley and pool hall.

Camel Vander Velden, Ted Lemmers, Jack Hanegraf, Albin J. Anderson, Hank Thien (small boy), Arnold Pocan

ca. 1905

Does anyone have some stories about the Catacombs? Please share them in the comments!

Birthday Party

Birthday Party

Birthday party at John Groen residence at 136 N. John Street, Kimberly, WI.

Children of the John Groens', Henry Williams', Fred Van Haelsts', and William Geenen Sr.

(no date given)