Dennis Meidam, florist, resident at Appleton, Wis., belongs to G. A. R. Post, No. 133, of which he is a charter member. He was born April 28, 1846, in Geldermallsen in the Netherlands. He is the son of John and Rijke (Van Smallen) Meidam, and came to America with them in 1851. The family landed at the port of New York and the father engaged in business relations in Erie county in the same State until 1853, when they located in Appleton, Wisconsin. Mr. Meidam was only fifteen years old when the country was involved in war and, as soon as he was old enough, he enlisted, enrolling Oct. 7, 1864, as a recruit in F Company, 12th Wisconsin Infantry, at Appleton for three years or during the war. He was honorably discharged July 16, 1865, at Louisville, Ky. He was examined at Green Bay and reported to the military authorities at Madison, whence he went to join the regiment at Lookout Mountain preparatory to proceeding to Atlanta, thence to connect with the force of General Sherman and march to the sea. He was a participant in all the important movements of that campaign and fought at Pocotaligo and at Orangeburg and was present at the final proceedings at Bentonville. He had his severest experience while on the way to Washington to take part in the closing scenes there. The march from Raleigh was particularly hard from the condition of the roads and the heat and dust. To Mr. Meidam, the occasion was particularly distressing from an injury to his foot which he sustained in youth and unusual exercise aggravated the trouble. The command had a rest near Arlington before crossing the Long Bridge to Washington.
After the war he returned to Appleton and was variously employed for some time, and finally assumed charge of a corps of men engaged in the construction of the Lake Shore railroad. When it was completed he engaged with Mr. J. E. Harriman, the superintendent of the Riverside cemetery at Appleton, where he conducts his business as a florist and has charge of the greenhouses. He has been thrifty and industrious and is a man of probity and stainless character, possessing the sturdy honesty and sound sense of his nation.
He was married June 9, 1870, to Martha, daughter of Dennis A. and Margaret (De Witt) Van Owen. Mrs. Meidam was born in the same town in Holland as her husband, came to America on the same ship with him and was married to him in Appleton. They have seven children named John H., Henry B., Dennis Jr., Kate, Jennie, Margaret and Stephen Willard. Mr. and Mrs. Meidam both belong to a race which possesses traits of patriotism and love of country which have made it prominent in its own and the history of other nations. Members of her family became soldiers in the civil war in this country; an uncle of his, named Antoine Meidam was all enlisted man in a Michigan regiment, and his brother, Stephen, whose sketch appears on another page, was also a soldier. Mr. Meidam's portrait on page 336 was copied from a photograph taken in 1888.