Articles on Louis DeKraker, Civil War Veteran and Holland Butcher

Louis DeKraker was born February 1839 in Axel, Zeeland Province, Netherlands.
He served in the First Michigan E & M, Co. F. in the Civil War.

Holland City News

Published February 1919

80th Birthday

Mr. Louis De Kraker was pleasantly surprised Monday evening by his children and grandchildren, it being the occasion of his 80th birthday. A dainty luncheon was served. Those present were: Mr. and Mrs. Isaac De Kraker and family, Mr. and Mrs. H. De Kraker and son, Lewis of Grand Rapids, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Karel and family, Mr. and Mrs. James De Koster and family, Mr. and Mrs. Peter De Kraker and family, and Mrs. John Houting and daughter Geneva of Milwaukee.


Article from the Holland City News

Published February 10, 1922

Louis De Kraker Celebrates 83rd Birthday

Louis De Kraker celebrated his 83rd birthday Thursday. All the children and grandchildren were present to the number of 27.

Among those from out of town were Mr. and Mrs. Henry De Kraker of Grand Rapids and Mrs. John Houting and daughter Geneva of Milwaukee. Mr. De Kraker is a veteran of the Civil War and each year he still attends the state encampments. Even more remarkable than that he is still in active business, serving customers at the De Kraker and De Koster market with the efficiency of a man thirty years younger.


Holland City News

Published February 1923


Louis De Kraker of the firm of De Kraker and De Koster, celebrated his 84th birthday at his home at 62 E. 15th street.

Although he has passed the Biblical age of three score years and ten by 14 years, Mr. De Kraker has not yet retired from active business but may be found any day in his meat market on River Avenue taking his full share in the work and serving customers, some of whom he has served for half a century and more.

It is claimed on fairly good authority that Mr. De Kraker is the oldest butcher in the state of Michigan. He opened his meat market business immediately after the Civil War in which he served faithfully, and he has conducted it ever since, actively engaged in it in person.

On the occasion of his birthday his children staged a surprise for him and brot) sic with them a beautiful present.


Holland City News Article February, 1924

85th Birthday


Has Conducted a Market Continuously Ever Since the Civil War

Louis De Kraker, veteran of the Civil War and one of the city’s best known meat dealers, celebrated his 85th birthday anniversary on Sunday. A family reunion in honor of the event was held Monday evening.

Those present were Mr. and Mrs. Henry De Kraker of Grand Rapids; Mrs. John Houting of Milwaukee, a granddaughter; Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Karel, Mr. and Mrs. Peter De Kraker of Holland and Mr. and Mrs. Jas. De Koster.

Mr. De Kraker retired from business the day before Thanksgiving Day. The meat market on River Avenue has been purchased by Isaac De Kraker, and James De Koster and they will continue the business, the new owners taking possession Saturday. Louis De Kraker has conducted a meat market on River Avenue continuously ever since the Civil War.

In 1861, Mr. De Kraker answered the call for volunteers and for four years he served with Company F, 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics. He was never away from his company even for a single day. When the war was over he started a little market in Holland and Mr. De Kraker was on the job almost everyday until last Thanksgiving.

He probably holds the record in Michigan for length of service in the meat business. During all these years his meat market was located on River Avenue, although not always on the same site. But for many years he has been doing business in the building now occupied by the firm.

Mr. De Kraker was on the job every day, taking his full share of the work in spite of his advanced age. It was only once a year or so that he took a few days off to attend the encampment of Civil War veterans.

At the family reunion Monday evening, Mr. De Kraker remembered every one of his children with a substantial cash gift.


Published in the Holland City News

G. A. R. Encampment


The old gentleman, Louis De Kraker, who is well in the 80’s, still handles the cleaver and saw on the meat block in his market on River Avenue, has just returned from Milwaukee where he attended the G. A. R. encampment.

Louie has not missed an encampment in the last forty years and has practically been from coast to coast making his annual visit to whatever city might have been designated for the meet.

The most memorable G. A. R. encampment took place in Detroit 36 years ago. This is the time when the large Holland Drum Corps of sixty pieces took the entire A. C. Van Raalte Post of this city together with the Custer Post of six hundred from Grand Rapids.

This, it was said, was the largest encampment ever held for the reason that Detroit was centrally located. Louie De Kraker was also present at this gathering.

This year he took with him two grandchildren, the Misses Kathryn and Dora De Kraker and was further accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. John Wise of River Avenue.

Mrs. T. A. Boot past president of the State Department of the Women’s Relief Corps and Mrs. Clara Elferdink, delegate from the local Women’s Relief Corps were also in the "Garden City"

The entire delegation returned on Saturday night.


Misc. news articles about the G.A.R. Reunions

Holland City News

About 1921- Mr. Lewis De Kraker with his granddaughters Kathryn and Dora De Kraker and Jeanette De Koster, have returned from a trip South. They visited in Indianapolis, Louisville, Ky., and Mammoth Cave. Although 82 years of age, Mr. De Kraker was able to take the five mile hike on the first trip thru the cave.

LOCALS- Louis De Kraker and his three granddaughters, Jeanette De Koster, Kathryn and Dora De Kraker are attending the soldier’s encampment at Des Moines, Ia. They will be gone about a week.

(Trip to Detroit) Louis De Kraker, the veteran meat market man returned from Detroit where he attended a state encampment of veterans of the Civil War. He took his three grandsons, Louis Karel, Harry and Louis (De Kraker) with him.

(Trip to Indianapolis) Louis De Kraker left Holland for Indianapolis to attend the National encampment of the G.A.R. Louis the veteran butcher is 82 years old and is still on the job. De Kraker just celebrated his 55th anniversary as a meat cutter, never takes a vacation except when an encampment is on. Then business is a secondary matter and nothing could keep him home. Two granddaughters are on the trip with him.

Contributed by Peggy Stempfly
Created: 19 Mar 2007