Mr. & Mrs. John Burgraff and family arrived here a short time ago from Minnesota and intend to reside here in the future. They are welcomed to the town and here’s hoping they think there is no other place as good as Lynden. – The Lynden Tribune 19 January 1905.”1
John, Mary, Peter, William, Maggie, Elizabeth, John Jr., Janie, Hugo, and Albert quickly settled into life in Lynden. Mary’s parents and siblings had arrived in Lynden in about 1900 and were living nearby. The community has a familiar feel to the Burgraffs as many of the people that settled in Lynden in the late 1890s and early 1900s are families from Sioux and Marion Counties. I have been told that it was not unusual to hear Dutch spoken in town while shopping.
John Burgraff a recent arrival from Minnesota has purchased 170 acres of land adjoining the Bow ranch. – The Lynden Tribune 2 February 1905.2
Arie Isaac (Ike) was born 22 October 1908 in Lynden.3 While he is named for his older brother Little Arrie, the family never called him anything but “Ike.” Perhaps he was called Ike because calling him Arie was too painful of a reminder. His older brother A. Peter married just a few days after his birth and moved out of the family home. I wonder how he felt about the recycling of the name.
Bastjaan (known as Bert) was born 21 Jun 1909.4 Bastjaan was named for a younger brother of Mary Kortlever who did not survive to adulthood. Bert was quickly followed by Marion who was born 8 July 1910.5 Marion was one of the most popular male names of the day, but I have no basis for its origin.
Sadie Cornelia will be the last of the Burgraff children born and one of only two with a known middle name. Sadie arrived on 8 June 1912 and is named for older sister Little Sadie, who died in 1899.6 Sadie recalled being about 7 years old when she found the death certificate for her older sister Sadie and being absolutely devastated. She recalled that it took a lot of reassurance from her father that she wasn’t a “replacement child.”
John would work hard during these years to build up the farm – although his children recalled that they were the ones who worked hard and he spent a lot of time driving around looking at land. Sadie recalled that as the boys got older, the more land he acquired. She also told me her parents bought the last place a little farther out of town to keep the boys out of the pool hall.
1. “Local News,” (Lynden) Lynden Tribune, 19 Jan 1905.
2. “Local News,” (Lynden) Lynden Tribune, 2 Feb 1905.
3. Whatcom County, Washington, (Family History Library, Salt Lake City), 1908, Burgraff, Boy; FHL microfilm 1,711,751.
4. Whatcom County, Washington, death certificate no. Record No. 1, Registered No. 107 (1 Apr 1938), Bert Burgraff; Washington State Vital Records, Olympia.
5. Social Security Administation, “Social Security Death Index, Master File,” database, Ancesty (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 8 Jul 2009), Marion Burgraff, death 23 Apr 2007, born 8 Jul 1910, 537-07-0880; Social Security Administration.
6. Family Group Sheet of Sadie Burgraff, Burgraff-Scott Family Archives; privately held.