Find records: marriage
m. 21 Jul 1867
Facts and Events
Nettie was the youngest child of Henry and Ezubah Wilson. To supplement his farm income, Henry worked other jobs. While working at a furniture factory in Holland, he was allowed to make his own furniture after-hours. So he made a bedroom set for Nettie, whose pieces remain in the family.
After 1908 Nettie was the only child living with her parents on the farm. When she was 25, her father hired Dirk Hamstra as a farm hand. Nettie was not impressed with this teen-age farm boy who spoke English with a noticeable Dutch accent, and she would not eat at the same table with him. So she ate in the kitchen until her mother insisted she join them for meals in the dining room. Doubtless she was relieved when Dirk moved along to a different farm.
Nettie was 28 when her father died suddenly from a stroke (apoplexy). Apparently when Dirk Hamstra returned to help care for the Wilson farm he looked better to her. The farmer's daughter fell in love with the hired hand - Dirk and Nettie were engaged in 1917. Nettie began to make her wedding gown.
Their wedding plans were disrupted when Dirk was drafted in the fall of 1917. They were intending to marry when Dick (his army name) could get a leave from Camp MacArthur in Texas. Instead, Nettie received a telegram in early February that Dick's unit was being transferred to Camp Merrit in New Jersey to embark for France. Accompanied by her brother James Wilson and his wife Rose, Nettie traveled by train to Dumont, New Jersey. Nettie and Dick married on February 16. Dick boarded his ship on February 17 and the convoy departed for France an hour after midnight on February 18. Nettie, Jim and Rose returned to Allendale, Michigan.
While Dick was in Europe, Nettie and her mother Ezubah sold the Wilson farm and moved to Grand Haven. Nettie worked in a factory. When Dick returned he lived with Nettie and Ezubah in Grand Haven, where their first child was born. Soon they moved to Grand Rapids where three more children were born. Dick and Nettie bought a lot in Home Acres, a newly developed community in Paris Township (now part of of Grand Rapids). He built a house at 30 Maplewood (now Maplelawn) Street. After the first house burned he built a larger house with the help of his son. They also bought four acres of land about 1/2 mile Southeast of the house and operated a truck farm. Because of Dick's disabilities Nettie drove the truck to deliver the produce. During the 1930s Nettie's brother Uncle Jim Wilson and his family moved next-door. In the 1950s Nettie's oldest daughter and her family moved into the house behind on SE 43rd Street.
After Dick's death Hendrik Meijer built the first Meijer's store  in Grand Rapids on the land between Nettie's house and South Division Avenue. Hendrik's son Frederik  expanded the family's chain of supermarkets into a multi-billion $ midwestern chain of super-stores. For many years Frederik wanted to buy the houses belonging to Nettie and her daughter so he could expand the Home Acres store. In 1966, shortly before her death, Nettie and her family finally sold their property to Meijer's.
In her later years Nettie enjoyed extended car trips with her niece Myrtle Wilson. Together they visited people and places all over the USA, and they also collected information about their Wilson and Taylor relatives.
Nettie died peacefully in October 1966 from a quick series of heart attacks, possibly induced by the stress of moving from her home of over 40 years.
After Nettie's passing her oldest daughter organized Nettie's family history collection. In 1973 the daughter completed the Family Records.