Jacob S. DeVries came to America from the Netherlands, at the age of fourteen, with his father, two brothers, and two sisters, settling first in Orange City, Iowa.
As a young man, Jacob worked for farmers in Iowa, coming to North Dakota to work the harvest fields near the Litchville and Marion areas, then returning to Iowa in the winter.
In 1906, he came to Marion, North Dakota to farm. He broke prairie land fourteen miles north of Marion. He was a great horseman, and enjoyed working with horses. Still, he had long, tiring days plowing, with one lay plow, driving the horses with the reins around his neck and his hands on the handle bars of the plow, and walking all day. A nephew, Jim Jasper, from Iowa, stayed with him part time to help on the farm.
In 1908, he married Rena Roorda, daughter of Peter Roorda. Rena had come with her parents, two brothers, and one sister, from Archer, Iowa in 1905, settling first near Litchville, then moving to a farm eight miles east of Ypsilanti.
Jacob and Rena DeVries had nine children: Anna, Agnes, Steve, Peter, Clara, Jessie, Henrietta, Jennie, and Hattie.
Anna married John Dykstra. Agnes married Joe Miedema. Steve married Tracy Miedema. Peter married Hattie VanDyke. Clara married Leonard Welken. Jessie married George Boom. Henrietta married Frank VanDyke. Jennie married Alvin VanEnk. Hattie married Walter Piehl.
Jacob DeVries was on the board of directors when the Ypsilanti Equity Elevator Company was organized in 1917. Both Jacob and Rena were charter members of the North Marion Reformed Church when it was organized in 1908.
Mrs. DeVries passed away of World War I flu in 1920, at the age of thirty-three. She was buried in the North Marion Reformed Church Cemetery. At the time of her death, her youngest daughter was only eleven months old.
In 1925, Jacob DeVries married again, to Margaret Palenstien, who was from Winnipeg, Canada. She passed away in 1955. Jacob S. DeVries died in 1959.