Buried for nearly a century beneath the soil the headstone of Maggie YPMA has now been restored to its original glory. But who was Maggie YPMA and what did she do in life?
Geb. 15 Apr. 1882
Overl. 4 Sept. 1902
Zalig zijn de dooden die in den
Born 15 April 1882
Died 4 Sept. 1902
Blessed are the dead who die
in the Lord.
Maggie YPMA was 20 years old when she passed away from acute meningitis. She was born in Friesland, Netherlands to Tjeerd YPMA and Aukje POSTMA. Maggie worked as a laundress. Her final residence was 37 Third Avenue in Grand Rapids. The 1900 Federal Census shows Maggie, then 18, living with her father, Tjwerd [sic], age 42, a widower and day laborer; her sister, Tena, age 13; her brother, Jacob, age 21, also a day laborer; and her grandmother, Eakka [sic] (Idske Tjeerds Veldema).
The family emigrated in either 1887 or 1888 (both dates marked on same Census). Maggie is listed as Margaret. Maggie’s grandfather, Jakele Ypma, appears on the 1890 City Directory. It appears Jakele “Jake” Ypma died on 2 November 1893. He is buried in the Oakhill Cemetery Potter’s Field in an unmarked grave.
In 1900 the family lived in the rear of 37 Third Avenue. In 1912 the street name was changed to Grant and the number to 335. This house was between Grandville and Century avenues. It is long gone.
According to the 1893 City Directory Maggie’s sister worked for Millards Laundry on Bridge Street. Maggie appears in the 1898 City Directory working for the Gardiner & Baxter Laundry on 55 Monroe which in time for the 1901 City Directory had become the Baxter Laundry Co. at 89-93 N. Ottawa.
Source: Westdongeradeel 1878 Marriage Registry: Tjeerd Ypma and Aukje Postma, 9 Nov 1878, Act 48
Source: 1900 Federal Census, Tjeerd Ypma household, Grand Rapids 4th Precinct, 11 June 1900, enumeration district 48, sheet 10 and 11