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The Chronicles of the Early Families of Nederland, Texas

A Five Book Series

Midcounty Chronicle, September 23, 1992.

Story of Nederland Told in Family Histories

W. T. Block, W. D. "Bill" Quick, Brenda Warren (librarian), and Marie Fleming

NEDERLAND - Early family histories completed by these local historians are now available at the Bob Henson Memorial Library in Nederland. W. T. Block, W. D. "Bill" Quick, Brenda Warren (librarian) and Marie Fleming show off the newly bound black and gold volumes which contain these records. Those wishing to have their family histories recorded in future volumes are asked to contact the library. A public reception at 10 a.m. Sept. 29, 1992 in the library marks the official dedication of the volumes to the city.

Yesterday is history. The popular teen-age saying is still true.

Recording family history is often left to older family members. When younger family members begin to ask about yesteryears, the memories may have faded to a blur.

Now, local historians have compiled a new source of information. A five-volume set of stories and pictures is available at the D. Bob Henson Memorial Library.

"So many of the good sources of early Nederland life and times, the priceless history, was being lost as the ones who lived it were dying off," said W. T. Block, a local historian. "The Nederland Historical society had collected many family histories, both written and voice tape recorded, so there was information available to start work on these chronicles," said Marie Fleming.

"Some of the histories were written by W. T. from tapes obtained from visiting with the older family members and just tape recording their recollections," said W. D. "Bill" Quick.

The trio spent many hours making phone calls and reviewing research to compile these volumes.

The Nederland Historical Society will host a reception in their honor at their regular monthly meeting on Tues. Sept. 29, 1992 at 10 a.m. at the D. Bob Henson Memorial Library at 1903 Atlanta Ave. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Brenda Warren, librarian, will formerly accept the volumes from the authors. The volumes are titled, The Chronicles of the Early Families of Nederland, Texas"

The authors names, W. T. Block and W. D. Quick, E.D.S. and a dedication also appear on the first page. The dedication reads, "With Special Gratitude to Mrs. Marie Rienstra Fleming and the Nederland Historical Society for use of their files and oral history tapes."

There are accounts of 125 families - from A-Z with photo illustrations taken for family albums and an array of other photos, untitled, depicting the people, life and times of early Nederland.

Block and Quick began their work in January 1991; the volumes were completed in April 1992.

Before the Nederland project, Block wrote a Port Neches history book, "Sapphire City of the Neches: A brief history of Port Neches, Texas from Wilderness to Industrialization."

"I started out writing the first three chapters of the Port Neches book for Celeste Kitchen. It wasn't until I took her the proofs to read that I realized she was planning for me to write a whole book. She didn't know it, but by the time I had researched for her first requested work. I was deeply in love with the project and relished the idea," Block said.

"After the Port Neches book, the Nederland project just seemed to follow," Block said.

"I want it known that W. T. did the lion's share of the work," Quick said.

"Bill certainly contributed to it," Block said.

"One thing about historical data, when an author or historian writes about some happening in their locale, the idea catches on with others to do the same project in their area. We hope this happens with this early family history," Quick said.

"We had a sense of urgency because old timers die off and there is no one left to tell the stories," Block said.

"These are personal memories of different people. The same events viewed through the eyes of different family members are not the same," Marie Fleming said. "My sister Anna Rienstra remembered the early school days of Nederland. When I look back at her life, Nederland had only been in existence for 5 years before Anna's recollections and stories began," Fleming said.

Block's mother called Nederland home in 1906 when the early Dutch settlers came.

"The historical society had begun collecting information prior to work on the volumes. There was a skeleton of information to work from," Fleming said.

The trio stressed that information in the volumes came from others' impressions of family members. Although none of the accounts are documented, they are recorded as they were told to the authors.

Block wrote the book, Quick reviewed it, and Fleming read every page. They said nothing in the volumes would hurt anyone.

"Perhaps we could spice it up and say people should come to the library and read what is said about their early families. Truth is there is nothing hurtful in these stories," Block said.

The volumes cannot be checked out of the library because they are reference books. The library paid to have the five volumes bound in the school colors of black with gold engraving.

"The books were used mostly during the Nederland Heritage Festival treasure hunt. People would spend a great deal time reading in hopes of finding the key to a clue. They often would come across some family history unknown to them and remark about the good job the authors did, Brenda Warren said.

People throw away valuable information when they throw away letters and papers to clean up. In this case, one person's trash is another's treasure.

A bill from an old store would be a treasure to a historian and may later prove ownership of a family business. Persons not knowing what to do with old family scrapbooks should check with the historical society before scraping fan letters and old clippings.

The society urges families write a current history including when they moved to Nederland, how many members in the family, family names, reasons for moving to the area, and their impressions of current life and times. What is new today, is history tomorrow.

The Historical Society collects information from families with a history that dates back to the early years of Nederland.

The books are published in three different formats:

  1. Kindle eBook
  2. Hardcover
  3. Paperback

One of the changes I made to the original manuscripts is to add a detailed index to make it easier for researchers to find information on the people written about in this series.

Recently, I (WT's son) published all five volumes on Amazon.

Link to Series on Amazon


Detailed Information

The following links are to pages for each book in the series documenting the table of contents and the index for the books including the page numbers as they appear in the printed books:

The Chronicles of the Early Families of Nederland, Texas Volume 1

The Chronicles of the Early Families of Nederland, Texas Volume 2

The Chronicles of the Early Families of Nederland, Texas Volume 3

The Chronicles of the Early Families of Nederland, Texas Volume 4

The Chronicles of the Early Families of Nederland, Texas Volume 5


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