Night at the Museum: Presentation Given about Sioux County and the Great War

On Wednesday, October 3, the Sioux County Historical Society hosted a presentation entitled “Sioux County and the Great War” at the Sioux County Historical Museum and Dutch Heritage Center.

Part of the “Night at the Museum” series, the talk focused on World War I as a forgotten war, as well as specific Sioux county involvement during the conflict. Duane Jundt and Arlo Van Beek led the presentation.

Jundt, a historian who focuses on Theodore Roosevelt history, shared why World War I tends to escape our collective memory.

World War I, also known as the Great War, took place from 1914 to 1918, and there are no longer any veterans of the Great War to share their stories. In addition, we do not have iconic images of the Great War like we do of World War II. Although there is a national memorial and museum for World War I, it is located in Kansas City, Missouri, away from the other memorials that attract many visitors in Washington, D.C.

Arlo Van Beek, president of the Sioux County Historical Society, also spoke about specific Sioux County ties to World War I.

Letters and service dates of those that served from Sioux County were given by Van Beek.  Details were provided about John C. Pressman, who the local Pressman-Kosters American Legion Post was named after.

Other veterans profiled were Jacob Van Veldhuizen from Newkirk, Iowa, and David Heusinkveld from Sioux Center, Iowa. A nurse from Orange City, Iowa, Judith Vande Steeg, was also discussed.

The next Night at the Museum event is set for October 24, and will feature Doc Newman providing details about the museum’s Native American artifacts collection.