THE CENTURY HOME
The Century Home is a beautiful two-story home built by the first mayor of Orange City in 1900. Virtually unchanged in over 120 years, the vintage décor and furnishings, many original to the house, date from 1900-1920 and feature a handcrafted pump organ. The peaceful grounds surrounding the home include trees planted when the house was constructed.
The house was built in 1900 by Antonie Betten Jr. for his second wife, Cornelia. Antonie came to Orange City from Pella, at the request of founder Henry Hospers, to manage the mercantile store for the early settlers. He was the first Sioux County Auditor, the editor of the local Dutch newspaper, De Volksvriend, and also the first mayor of the community. Cornelia was an instructor of classics at Northwestern Classical Academy (later Northwestern College).
Martin D. and Ethel Van Oosterhout
In 1929, the house was sold to a young Orange City lawyer, Martin D. Van Oosterhout and his new bride Ethel. Martin later became a judge and was appointed by President Eisenhower to the U.S. Eighth District Court of Appeals, where he later became chief judge. Ethel came to Orange City as the Iowa State Extension Home Economist and was active in the Federated Women’s Club, where she served as local, county, and president. It was the local women’s club, including Ethel, which was instrumental in starting Tulip Festival.