Lambertus Julles Halsema Biographical Notes
by Doug Halsema
Lambertus Halema and his brother John immigrated to America from Hoom Province Gronining Holland May 1866 situated on the North Sea. Settled in New Brennen, Ohio briefly with John. Traveled on to St. Marys, Ohio to begin a new life. He purchased property on the Reservoir adjacent to the town. Engaged in fishing and agriculture. Eventually Larnbertus met a young school teacher and she taught him the English language. After a courtship, Margaret Axe Eyanson (a widow) were married in Holy Rosary Church St. Marys, Ohio on Sept. 13, 1870. Later, he applied for American citizenship at Wapakoneta, Ohio Sept. 14, 1876 and was naturalized. Three sons were born - Julian Clement 1871, George William 1973 and Justus Selentine 1875. Three daughters were Maria Anna 1876, Maria Helena 1880, and Rose Agnes April 1883, who survived four months and died August 1883 of brain fever. Anna and Helena died at birth. Their Mother, Margaret, passed on June 17, 1883. She was born June 1843. All are resting in St. Marys, Ohio Catholic Cemetery. Margaret's first marriage to John Eyanson, May 7, 1867, and deceased. Only child, Joseph Axe, survived and died of Yellow Fever in the Jacksonville, Fl epidemic 1886.

After the death of Margaret, the bereaved husband realized a problem to rear the boys. So as the days went on Larnbertus chose to visit friends in Minster, Ohio and met a young German girl and proposed marr iage. Mary Agnes Duwel and Lambertus were united in marriage in Minster, Ohio in the Catholic Church February 26, 1884 and lived in St. Marys, Ohio. Bernard, the first son, was born January 15'h, 1885. A daughter Elizabeth Agnes, Aug 17, 1886, did not survive, died Aug. 23, 1886. Lambertus was advised by a Doctor to a warm climate. So all departed on a covered wagon train to Florida and arrived at Cowford - now Jacksonville, Fl. He purchased, a dairy farm on the old Kings Road on the Northside. Julian and stepbrother peddled milk in the town. He also invested in real estate in North Shore on Trout River. Granddaughter, Mary Halsema Fitzpatrick Bullard, bought a home on the river. On the property deed she was surprised to see her Grandfather's name on the property deeds. An infant daughter born in Jacksonville died at birth. Dissatisfied and on the move to Bushnell, Florida down state.

Bushnell proved to be a desolate area - primitive and undeveloped country then. On arrival, he opened a store to accommodate the natives. Yet the family not happy at the situation. Second son, Anthony, born July 30, 1889 in Bushnell, Fl. The following year, pregnant again, she became frustrated and homesick for Ohio and the developed farmlands, etc. Plans completed and accompanied by Benny and baby Tony, she boarded the train enroute to Minster, Ohio to await the birth of Henry, June 6, 1892. During the family's stay in Ohio, Larnbertus was scouting around and informed of a Catholic Community in San Antonio, FI about 50 miles south. On their return they were overjoyed to learn there would be a change in residence. A Catholic Church, Convent, Parochial school, St. Leo College for boys and Holy Name Academy for girls. It was ideal and paradise compared to Bushnell, Fl. Julian remained in Jacksonville, Fl. The boys attended St. Leo, including George and Justus. Ben, after graduation, attended Ohio State. Employed at Willson Toomer in Jacksonville and was in San Francisco, Ca earthquake April 8, 1906.

Lambertus' health improved in the sunny south during the 27 years residence in San Antonio, Fl. He had a well-established business, the most profitable in Pasco County. Three sons - Bert, Joseph and John - were born in San Antonio. Ft. One by one the boys left home. George and Justus each married. Ben and Tony in St. Petersburg, Fl. In the construction business before moving to Miami (The Magic City) to continue business. Ben, after dissolving partnership, accepted a job as building inspector in Miami until his retirement. Bert assisted his father until he enlisted in WWI and went overseas as did his brother Henry. Lambertus' health worsened and he passed on July 24, 1916. Joe and John were not qualified to carry on the business. The estate was sold. Reported that Lambertus was a wealthy man.

Bert returned to the Sates and following an appendectomy, died in old St. Vincent's in Springfield (formerly De Soto Sanitarium) Sept. 12, 1920. Lambertus' wife, Mary Agnes, lived with Ben in Miami until she passed on Oct. 27, 1934. All are gone and in St. Marys Catholic Cemetery in Jacksonville, FL. In 1909 Lambertus and Mary Agnes had gone abroad accompanied by son Justus to celebrate Silver wedding anniversary.

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Updated Thursday, October 12, 2006