(Roelof Klazes Lamring)

by Karen Davis

My great-grandfather, Harry Lamring, was born om January 21, 1872, in a section of the Netherlands known as Friesland. When he was nine years old, he moved to America with his mother, Josie, his father, Nicholas and his three brothers: Henry, Labe and Abe.

When they arrived in the United States, they settled in a section of Paterson, then known as Bunker Hill. While attending the First Christian Reformed Church of Paterson, he met Katie Post, who later became my great-grandmother. They were married on April 25, 1894 and moved into a house in Prospect Park. A few years later they decided to buy a house in Fairlawn, which still stands at 44 Fourth Street today. They were blessed with four children, Nicholas, August, Josie and Gertrude (my grand-mother). All of the children later married, giving my great-grandparents a total of ten grandchildren.

At the age of twelve, my great-grandfather started working at the Nicholson File Shop in Paterson. After working there for twenty-nine years, he quit and started his own diary business. At first he had only one cow, which he kept in his back yard at his home on Fourth Street. As his diary business improved, he decided to buy thirteen acres on River Road in Fairlawn. Although there was a house on the property when he bought it, my great-grandfather had to build a barn for his cows. This barn, which still stands today, was built with stones which he and his children gathered from the fields. When the barn was completed, my great-grandfather bought thirty more cows, making his diary one of the largest at that time. Because of its size, the diary was impossible for one man to handle by himself. Each member of the family had his own chores and responsibilities. All of the milk had to be pasteurized and put into large forty gallon cans, which were then used to deliver milk to each individual family. The milk had to be delivered by horse and wagon because my great-grandfather never learned how to drive a car.

My great-grandfather was in the diary business for thirty-four years, and in all that time he had only one two-week vacation. Although he had to work seven days a week, he still found time to be active in his church as a member of consistory and also as a member of the Board of Directors of the Riverside Christian School.

At the age of seventy-five, he retired, leaving the business to his son August. Due to his poor health, August was forced to sell most of the land, which was later used for a housing development. My great-grandfather died November 6, 1954 at the age of eighty-two. I never knew him but he must have been a wonderful man, a loving father and a cheerful servant of the Lord to be so dearly remembered by his children and grandchildren.

Today one can see the house and the barn on which the sign “Lamring’s Dairy” still stands as a tribute to a great man, my great-grandfather, Harry Lamring.