Pietje Durks Offringa
|A remarkable woman at the
beginning of the 20th century was
Pietje Offringa, born abt. 1905 and probably in Westernijkerk (data of
birth is not yet public for privacy reasons). She was the
youngest of the six children of Durk Durks Offringa and Durkje Minnes
Zijlstra. Pietje was characterized as a resolute, independent woman who
could wag her tongue very well if necessary. A forerunner of the
At the age of 18 year she wandered through the U.S.A. where,
amongst others, she visited three of her brothers who had emigrated to
In 1927 she was called to the Court of Justice in Dokkum(*) as
a witness. In September of that year there was a case against the, at
that time, 58 year old stock farmer Jan Oeges Monsma (1869-1939)
from Rinsumageest. He was widely known by the nickname "the farmer from
Rinsumageest" and many hundreds of patients were said to had relief by
his curative methods. But this practising of medicine was not allowed
and he was fined
twice costing him fl. 300,-- each time. Apparently the profits
met up to the fines because again he was prosecuted and had to appear
in court. He was charged with a number of cases, one of them being that
given Pietje Offringa medical treatment on or abt. April 28, 1927. She
had problems with a knee. Monsma had "examined her water" and gave her
medicines for internal and external use. Against payment, of course.
First witness to the court was Pietje Offringa herself, 22 years young
shopkeeper in Marrum. What happened next was an amusing question and
answer game between the judge (in Dutch) and Pietje (in Frisian).
And that was the end of the examination. A second witness didn't show up. The Prosecution demanded fl. 300 from Monsma or 50 days detention.
Despite the plea of the defending counsellor (mr. R. Polloma from Leeuwarden) and the testimony of Pietje, Monsma was convicted to a fine of fl. 75 or 25 days imprisonment. The sentence was based on the following considerations: "that the accused has exercised medicine without legal qualification by recommending polkawater and salt to Pietje Offringa, checking the urine and has accepted payment ; considering that the accused has confessed, thus accepting money for treatment for which he was not lawfully qualified ; considering that Pietje Offringa has stated as a witness that she visited the accused at several occasions ; considering that the accused was fined in the past for fl. 600 as a ransom ; considering that the objections have not been invalidated by witnesses to the defence ; considering that the accused is punishable ; however, considering that the verdict should be much lower than demanded by the Prosecution and that the accused for the greater part has acknowledged the facts.
will remember Pytsje Offringa best as the wellknown, cigar smoking
female taxidriver. In 1953 the Leeuwarder Courant paid attention to her
jubilee by means of an article(**) and headlined "Female driver
from Marrum thirty years behind the wheel". It was 30 years
ago that Pytsje Offringa, daughter of shopkeeper and town councillor
Durk Offringa started her own taxicompany. At first she started with a
rather biscuit tin type of vehicle which her father used to deliver
groceries. Later, such as in 1953, with a comfortable, shiny and
streamlined dark-red Pontiac.
After her health was going downhill she stayed at the
senior-citizen resort / nursery home "Foswert" in Ferwerd where she
passed away on April 5,
1976. Pytsje was burried at the graveyard of Westernijkerk.
* Archives Leeuwarder Courant, September 13, 14 and 27, 1927
** Archives Leeuwarder Courant, September 17, 1953