HOLLAND TOWN AND TOWNSHIP HISTORY
We now enter upon a subject, perhaps the most interesting and truly historical of any that will occur in the History of Ottawa County. For we are now to attempt to describe a movement, unique in its form and its results. How a few hundred Hollanders, generally poor and unskilled in the arts of the back-woodsman and pioneer, have through varied fortunes risen to be a power in Ottawa, and also in Allegan, Muskegon, Kent and other northern counties, and with their descendants in about a generation, or one-third of a century, number perhaps 20,000 souls. They form the great majority in the two southern tiers of townships in Ottawa, and the two northern tiers in Allegan, they are half the population of Grand Haven city, and number hundreds in Muskegon city, Grand Rapids, Manistee and other places. They are gradually encroaching upon the towns near them, and with their habits of thrift, sobriety, energy, and their deep-seated love of principle and morality are seemingly destined to leaven western Michigan with their ideas and habits. Of course a reactive process is going on and the new generation are becoming modified Americans. Let us hope that the good qualities of both races will be preserved in the contact.
The chief centre of civilization was Holland City, which is pleasantly situated at the head of Black Lake, a beautiful sheet of water with low banks, into which a sluggish stream, too slow for mill sites, empties. Holland has a quiet, steady, substantial air, with gaps made by the fire Oct. 1871, a most disastrous conflagration, which occurred from brush fires the same night as the Chicago fire, and swept away seventy-six business houses and two hundred and forty-three dwellings, but by the energy of the inhabitants most of the traces of that black day have been effaced.
Tow railroads centre here. It has one bank, two bakeries, six butcher shops, eight dry goods and grocery stores, six boot and shoe stores, four hardware stores, four merchant tailors and one clothing store, two book stores, two jewelry stores, three hotels and three livery stables. Its manufactories are five blacksmith shops, two wagon shops, one pump shop, one foundry, one machine shop, two saddle and harness shops, one shingle mil, two planing mills, one stave and heading factory, two tanneries, and other minor industries. The sawmills, stave and heading, and tanneries employ about $250,000 or $260,000 capital, and turn out about $500,000 to $575,000 of product. There is also a ship yard here for the building and repair of sailing vessels.
Holland bids fair to be a great fruit growing region along the shore of Lake Michigan north of Black Lake. It has already assumed large dimensions and bids fair to be still greater. The grape and peach flourish well, and the annual product is about $4,000. Over 20,000 trees are said to have been planted.
THE CITY OFFICIALS.
Holland was incorporated as a city in 1867, and the officers have been as follows:
Mayor, Dr. Bernardus Ledeboer, . . . . . . . . . 1867
Recorder, H. D. Post, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Marshal, Teunis Keppel, . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mayor, Isaac Cappon, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1868
Mayor, Edward J. Harrington, . . . . . . . . . . 1869
Mayor, John Valandigham, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1870
Mayor, B. Ledeboer, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1871
Mayor, E. J. Harrington, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1872
Supervisor, D. te Roller, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer, H. Doesburg, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marshal, A. Woltman, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
School Inspector, C. Scott, . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mayor, E. J. Harrington, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1873
Clerk, C. F. Post, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer, A. Flietsta, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mayor, I. Cappon, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1874
Supervisor, D. te Roller, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mayor, J. Van Landegand, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1875 Supervisor, D. te Roller, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Clerk, G. Van Schelven, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mayor, J. Van Landegand, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1876
Clerk, John A. Roost, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Supervisor, D. te Roller, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mayor, K. Schaddelee, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1877
Clerk, J. A. Roost, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Supervisor, D. te Roller, . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mayor, K. Schaddelee, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1878
Clerk, J. A. Roost, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Supervisor, G. Van Schelven, . . . . . . . . . .
Mayor, I. Cappon, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1879
Clerk, Geo. H. Sipp, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Supervisor, G. H. Van Schelven, . . . . . . .
Marshal, J. Vaupell, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mayor, E. Vanderveen, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1880
Clerk, G. H. Sipp, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Supervisor, G. Van Schelven, . . . . . . . . . .
Treasurer, L. T. Kanters, . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mayor, John Roost, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1881
Supervisor, K. Schaddelee, . . . . . . . . . . .
Clerk, G. H. Sipp, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Treasurer, D. R. Meengs, . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Marshal, Pieter Koning, . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Aldermen, W.H. Beach, . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
J. Beukema, . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Pieter Winter, . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Jacob Kuite, . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
THE FOUNDER OF THE HOLLAND COLONY.
In this work will be found a fine steel portrait of Dr. A. C. Van Raalte, the founder of the Holland Colony, contributed at the expense of two of his admirers, Isaac Cappon and R. Kanters. It will be appropriate to preface the history of the Holland Colony by a biographical sketch of the man who was its guiding spirit. This we are enabled to do by a carefully prepared biography from the pen of one intimately acquainted with the subject.
DR. VAN RAALTE.
Rev. Albertus Christiaan Van Raalte, D. D., the founder of the large settlement of Hollanders in these counties, was born in Wanneperveen, in the Province of Overyssel, Netherlands, on the 17th day of October, 1811. His father was a clergyman of the Reformed Church, a man of considerable local reputation. His mother was of good family from Amsterdam. He grew up in the enjoyment of the advantages which the better European circles afford. He received the usual University course, and graduated in theology at Leyden's famous school in 1834.
His connections were such that nothing needed to prevent his obtaining an advantageous position in an establishment in which, as elsewhere, patronage is a chief element in success. His father was a man of more than ordinary ability, and of exemplary godliness, and was intimate with not a few of the more influential men of the church, counting among his intimate friends some of the most eminent of the learned circles. Through his mother's acquaintance he had the entree into the best society of the metropolis. His home brought him into contact with men of station and wealth. So there seemed naturally to open for him, as a young man of much native talent and force and of good education, a career of profit, comfort and reputation, in the profession to which his parents had early dedicated him.
His life, however, was entirely different from this, and that by his free choice.
Naturally of a lively disposition, with strong feelings, profound in his convictions, determined in will, impatient of restraint, fearless of self-assertion, active, and with a relish for hard work, he was one of the men fitted to feel the peculiar influence of his surroundings, as they called to self-denial and to an attempt to get out of the rut of his day.
Two years before his graduation his thoughts were led to a more serious contemplation of humanity and its needs, and the special demands of his time and country. Indifference and formalism were rife everywhere. Rationalism had crowded out truth from nearly every pulpit. The spiritual and social life of the common people was void of hope. The tremendous influence of an escape to those shores of liberty and of equal chance for improvement had not yet begun to act upon the European masses. Everything was at the dead level of an enforced submission. Van Raalte felt the need of more liberty for truth and of greater concern for the neglected masses.
In the meantime these needs became also gradually more apparent to the class most affected by them. A constantly larger number became restless under the existing state of affairs. Inquiry after truth grew prevalent. In many parts of the land appeared the signs of a powerful revival of religion. Young preachers were found to voice the demand for truth, as applicable to the every-day wants of men. Most of these were acquaintances and fellow students of Van Raalte, but a little his seniors. His father, rapidly declining in life, strengthened him in these nobler thoughts and aims, though he did not live to see his son actively at work.
When Van Raalte left the University he found the religious movement, whose spirit he shared, already well started. He was known as one of its sympathizers. This was enough to lead to the unworthy obstruction of his career by the ecclesiastical authorities through technical difficulties. He had satisfactorily passed the necessary examinations, and held the diploma which made him a licentiate. Hindered in the regular exercise of his calling, he gladly gave himself to those who had, by this time inaugurated a movement for a more independent ecclesiastical organization, and was ordained as a regular minister by the first Synod of the Free Church of the Netherlands, and stationed as pastor of the combined churches of Genemuident and Mastenbroek.
Before assuming this charge he was married to Miss Christina Johanna de Moen, of Leiden, a woman in every way fitted to share his eventful life.
In this first charge he labored under great difficulties but with abundant success. The demand for gospel labor among the masses increased rapidly; the men to supply it were few. To Van Raalte gradually fell the spiritual care of the whole province of Overyssel, and his time was spent in almost daily preaching in different sections; organizing new churches and superintending their affairs. This necessitated his removal to a more central point, from whence he could more conveniently reach all parts of his large field, and in 1838 he removed to Ommen, where he lived for six years.
The religious movement in which he and others were then engaged encountered not only the antagonism of the established church, but the enmity of the government, which sought to crush it by force. Van Raalte also abundantly experienced the hardships of those trying times. Often were his audiences scattered by an armed constabulary or the military power. Frequently he was cited before local courts, which punished what were declared to be illegal assemblages by fines. More than once he was imprisoned. The insults of the mob and the contumely of the better classes were ordinary experiences. Obedience to his convictions required the sacrifice of nearly everything that he had highly prized or hoped for, and the acceptance of what was at best a life strange and distasteful to one brought up in his circumstances.
Gradually the surroundings improved somewhat. Violence exhausted itself. The field winded. This new movement promised permanency. Preachers must be supplied. To some extent this had already been attempted by giving some theological training to men who, with ardent piety, united natural gifts and showed aptness to speak in public. But in 1844 a more regular system of training was begun in the opening of a school for theological instruction at Arnhem, of which Van Raalte was to be one of the teachers. In consequence of this he removed to this place in the year named.
This school naturally became the centre of the new denomination. Its prospects, difficulties and needs were there most fully known. No one concerned himself more earnestly with these matters, or understood the real difficulties of the situation better than Dr. Van Raalte. The spiritual difficulties of the time were complicated with material wants. The new church was almost exclusively confined to the working classes. The close contact between this part of society and their young and educated leaders disclosed to these latter a great and increasing misery. The decline in material prospects among the middle classes was steadily increasing. Men sighed daily more wearily under the burden of taxation, made necessary by the huge debts contracted through the destructive wars of the previous generation. Competition among the over-crowded population, which had not yet found an outlet, grew constantly more injurious. Land became more scarce; labor, under the first effort of the introduction of machinery, more superfluous; food, especially after the development of the potato rot, more expensive; the threats of political revolution more alarming; the demands upon charity and upon the sober, sound advice of leading men became daily more urgent.
Dr. Van Raalte was the very man to give himself entirely to these burdens. His sympathetic nature and enthusiastic character made him a patient listener to all kinds of complaints, and a willing laborer at attempts to remove them. Evidently he did not fully understand the hopelessness of all effort to relieve the troubles of his timely charity. Only experience could teach him and others that. He enlisted others in his work. He spent a very considerable fortune on enterprises designed to help the laboring classes by furnishing them work. In that way, however, he only exhausted his resources, while he left the cause of the misery unremoved.
Such troubles were not confined to his own country. All European people shared them to a greater or less degree. But the remedy was beginning to be found in the neighboring nations, in a distribution of their numbers to the less settled parts of the world. He was one of the first in his country to see the fitness of that cure, and enthusiastically adopted the idea. Loth at first to break all the ties which bound him to his land and people with their glorious history in the cause of freedom and enlightenment, he at first made the attempt to direct the stream of immigration to the rich possessions of Holland in the East Indies. His object not being merely material relief, he thought he might there also find a fit field on which to use profitably the moral and spiritual power of the people, whose cause he now for a number of years served and to a great extent directed. The government was not favorable to the idea. It evidently dreaded the contact of men whom it had taught to think for complete liberty of thought and action, with the races by whose enforced labor and oppression its own wealth was to be increased. A guarantee for complete religious liberty was denied by the government. Nothing then remained but to bid farewell to the past, and follow the emigration setting in toward America.
[The biography here enters into an interesting account of the founding of the colony, but as we give that in a separate article, we have taken the liberty of omitting it from the sketch.]
Dr. Van Raalte spent some time in promulgating the new plan, which was favorably received by many, resulting in the formation of different associations for the promotion of emigration and plans of colonizing. Dr. Van Raalte was the pioneer in these movements. In September, 1846, he set sail with his family and a ship load of emigrants and landed in New York in November.
Upon the material development of the settlement, other influences besides his had a controlling effect, but upon its moral development, his influence was during his life unsurpassed, and in this his real greatness is best seen. He proved his sagacity by three things which should stand as historical monuments among the people who he safely led.
1st. From the beginning he tried to make his people understand that they had broken with the past and with the old world; that their real interest lay here in the land of their adoption and with its people. He set the example at once of being at home here, seeking always larger connections, adopting as rapidly as possible the language and customs of his new father-land himself and in his family. He encouraged the same thing in others, and it is largely due to his influence that the English language became exclusive in the common schools. Keeping up, of course, his intercourse with his friends in the old country, he made them understand that he was an American by choice, and impressed a younger generation in this land with the necessity of losing all clannishness and becoming true patriots in this land of their birth and youth, to seek its best interests and suffer for its integrity. No one was a more ardent lover of his country during its days of danger, no one took a livelier or more enlightened interest in all that concerns its welfare and glory.
2d. His keen eye saw the danger of isolation to the people whose peculiar experiences in the fatherland had made them unnecessarily suspicious of other men, and somewhat resentful towards differing views. History has often furnished instances of the danger that men, who have obtained liberty of thinking at great expense, become intolerant towards others in a disdainful isolation. Dr. Van Raalte early took measure to obviate this danger by connecting the spiritual interests of his people with those of an American church. He himself was no man of narrow theological views, or inclined to Pharisaical exclusiveness. He could be at home with Christians of different sects. He tried to teach his people the value of this wider Christian communion. His influence was sufficient to make them trustingly follow his lead, and by June, 1850, through his mediation, an ecclesiastical union was perfected between the churches of this emigration, eight in number, and the Reformed church in America.
3d. Very early he undertook to bring this connection to bear upon the intellectual development of this people. As an educated leader, he knew this to be their weak spot. The hardships of the pioneer State passed, the material progress of this people was to him merely a question of time, which could be safely left to natural influences. To their intellectual growth, however, he knew that special efforts needed constantly to be put forth. The value of learning is not understood by the class among whom it was his destiny to labor. The love of learning is among them a thing of slow growth. Their very prosperity is its insidious foe, since time spent in the acquisition of learning, when it might be employed in the accumulation of wealth, seems lost. He was prepared to encounter opposition and indifference, and set it before himself as a life task to be among the people as an apostle of education. To it he gave freely of his means and never suffered an opportunity favorable to its advancement, to pass unimproved.
After having availed himself of the advantages of the public school system, by organizing different districts, he turned his attention to the introduction of higher education. He spent much time and labor in enlisting the cooperation of prominent men in the Reformed church in this interest, and by the Fall of 1851, mainly through his instrumentality, a Latin school was opened which grew into what is at present Hope College. Much of his time was occupied in attending to its wants. Everything had to be provided -- teachers, buildings, students, most of whom needed to be supported by systematic charity sought from day to day. Of this machinery, Dr. Van Raalte was long the only director. This, besides his large pastoral charge, the care of the growing immigration between whose spiritual wants and the American church he was long the mediate agent, and his own large material interests as the owner of large tracts of land, made his life for many years exceedingly laborious.
In 1867, owning mainly to increasing physical disability, he resigned his charge as the pastor of the 1st Reformed Church of Holland, and engaged in a particular effort to encourage and direct the immigration, which after the war of the rebellion set in with new force. He spent some time in visiting various parts of the South, and finally decided upon a new enterprise in Virginia. A good location was found in Amelia County; and in 1869 he removed his family thither, retaining, however, his interests at Holland. Some of the residents of the colony in Michigan were induced to move thither, but the main reliance was upon immigrants brought directly from the Netherlands. These however proved unfit for an independent work in a part of the United States where the effects of the recent war and the peculiar Southern institution were still powerful. Two churches were started, and a school for higher education was here also undertaken. Though something was accomplished which still remains, it cannot be said, upon the whole, that the attempt was a success. In 1870, Dr. Van Raalte returned to Michigan, his health gradually declining. In 1871 the two great trials of his life came upon him in the loss of his wife and the destruction of the greater part of Holland by fire. By this latter he was also involved in the general material loss from which the place has not yet recovered. After this year he slowly succumbed to the disease which had long troubled him and which filled his last days with excruciating suffering. As he was able, he devoted his time to the general interests of the people and especially to the institution, of whose council he was the President until his death, which took place on the 7th of November, 1876.
In summing up a brief description of the man, we may say, he may fairly be classed among the remarkable men of Michigan. No one ever came in contact with him without carrying away the impression that there was an unmeasured degree of force in him. Small of stature, his presence was still noble. He had a fine face, regular in its outline, with deep lines of thought, and a twinkle in the bright eye, generally stern and direct -- which hinted at a latent humor. Almost always serious and in terrible earnest, he could at times unbend and prove himself a most agreeable companion. He had the faculty of attaching men to him and impressing himself upon them. By his force he silenced opposition where he did not conquer it. By his enthusiasm he often made men believe what they did not fully comprehend. By his marked oratorical gifts he was able to persuade men who differed from him, and fire the hearts of those who believed in him. He was a truly eloquent preacher of the gospel; never trivial, often above the comprehension of uneducated people not accustomed to his way of putting things, but very popular with his regular hearers. As an extempore speaker, when warmed up on his favorite subjects of education or the extension of moral influence, he had but few equals and always carried the day. His capacity for work was great. His views were large and broad. Though he had an impatience of details which sometimes endangered the successful accomplishment of his designs, and a hopefulness of realization which was not always warranted by the circumstances, yet his work in the main was well done and will stand. His name will long be remembered among those who were a real acquisition to this new and great land.
HOLLAND COLONIZATION HISTORY.
The colonization of the region around Black Lake by Hollanders, is an important item in the History of Michigan. Begun in the spirit of the old Puritans, its results so far have been felt in the Netherlands and in America.
Some account of the movement which resulted in the settlements in Michigan, is given, on the authority of the Rev. Vander Meulen, in connection with the sketch of the history of Zeeland. For the early history of Holland we have availed ourselves of the laboriously prepared paper of G. Van Schelven, Esq., read July 4, 1876. Mr. Van Schelven has zealously and carefully collected his information; it has stood the test of criticism, having been delivered to the public and published in the papers.
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF HOLLAND AND COLONY.
By G. Van Schelven.
In the winter of 1845-6 a meeting of the leading men, favoring emigration was held in Amsterdam. The times were exceedingly hard, and growing more and more oppressive for the laboring classes, with little or no prospect of their improvement, and it was felt that something should be done for their relief. The meeting appointed a committee to wait upon the Government with a proposition to colonize in the Dutch East Indies, and locate upon the highlands of Java. The reply was that the Government had no authority to sanction such a movement upon the religious basis on which it was proposed. The Cape of Good Hope was the next point which received their attention, and lastly America was considered.
During the spring of 1846, and before any organization or system of emigration had been perfected, two persons, Messrs. A. Hartgerink and J. Arnold, started for this country. Their friends fitted them out for the voyage and the deacons of the church collected money and clothing for them. They were sent out to make a preliminary examination here and report to the brethren in the old country. Dr. Van Raalte gave them the necessary letters of introduction to Dr. De Witt and others. After their arrival they forwarded an extended account of their trip and observations here, which account was favorably received in Hollnad. It was a voluminous document, the postage on the same amounting to eleven guilders.
In the summer of 1846, the Rev. Thomas De Whitt, D.D., of New York, was sent by the General Synod of the Reformed (Dutch) Church of America, on an official mission to Holland. The extent to which this visit has been instrumental in turning the projected emigration towards America, is difficult to ascertain. Judging from subsequent events, however, it must have had a marked effect upon the enquiring minds of the leaders. In his report to the General Synod, in 1847, he says: "When in Holland I received information of a rising spirit of emigration to America, and especially among the (Afgescheidenen) seceders from the established church. Soon two important colonies from this class will be founded in the west."
Emigration to American now began to be generally discussed and agitated, and the mind was permanently fixed upon "the West." Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa were among the favorite localities.
On the 14th day of September, 1846, an American brig, the "Southerner," of Boston, Capt. Crosby, weighed anchor at Rotterdam, and carried across the Atlantic the first emigrants destined for this settlement. As they constituted the first Holland pioneers of this colony, we have secured the names of nearly all of them:
Albertus C. Van Raalte, Hendrick Oldemeyer, Frans Smit, Jan Laarman, Egbert Van Zee, Jan Karman, Jan Klaasen, Hendrick De Kruif, Bernardus Grootenhuis, J. Dunnewind, William Notting, Vanden Boogaart, Evert Zagers, Egbert Freriks, Harm Kok, Herman Lankeet, Dirk Plasman.
Most of them were heads of families. After a voyage of forty-seven days they arrived at New York on the 4th day of November, 1846, from where they left by steamer for Albany; thence via Buffalo and Cleveland to Detroit. Here they partly scattered for a time, in order to enable Dr. Van Raalte to decide upon his location.
In New York Dr. Van Raalte was welcomed by Rev. Dr. De Witt, Mr. Forrester and others friendly to the Hollanders and their cause. The same can be said of many more in the different cities along his travels; Rev. Drs. Wyckoff, of Albany, and Bethune at Brooklyn; Rev. Dr. Duffield, Hon. Theodore Romeyn, Rev. Mr. West, Gen. Cass and Hon. C. C. Trowbridge, at Detroit; Rev. Mr. Hoyt, at Kalamazoo; Judge Kellogg, at Allegan, and others.
Owing to the close of navigation, and satisfactory information obtained at Detroit, it was resolved to abandon the heretofore quite prevailing preference for Wisconsin and proceed to western Michigan. The motives leading to this selection on the part of Dr. Van Raalte are perhaps best described by himself in a translated extract from his oration delivered in 1872, on the quarter-centennial celebration of the settlement of the colony.
"Although the Americans recommended the localities near rivers, and in general deemed it too great a hazard to settle here; although the Hollanders avoided the forests, occasioning a great struggle to subject my family and myself to the inconveniences of such pioneering; nevertheless, the combination of so many advantages, although at first they could be but slowly developed, left me no doubt as to what my duty was. I knew that the rich forest soil is better fitted for the dairy, and for winter wheat; that owing to the manufacturing interests and navigation, by far higher market prices could be obtained here than at any place in the west; and that the country near the shore of Lake Michigan was protected by the water from severe frosts, and pre-eminently a region adapted for fruit. I could find no place where similar to those regions along the inhabited rivers, lined with manufacturies and mills, where the tens of thousands could find work without danger of being scattered, and where, at the same time, we were certain of an opportunity to continually secure land, without any interference, for a group of settlements. I chose this region, with such decision, on account of its great variety, being assured that if the Holland emigration should develop into a power, we ought to remain together for mutual support, and ought to have this variety for labor and capital, especially for future growth. The object of my settling between the Kalamazoo and Grand Rivers was to secure the advantages of both these rivers -- for we could not get along without the settled regions -- and at the same time to establish a center for a united and spiritual life and labor for God's kingdom."
In company with Judge Kellogg, of Allegan, and an Indian guide, following an Indian trail, Dr. Van Raalte arrived here for the first time, in the latter part of December 1846. They landed at the house of Rev. G. N. Smith, a Presbyterian missionary among the Indians, located upon section 3, of the township of Fillmore. At this time, the only white settlers in this entire neighborhood, beside Dr. Smith, were I. Fairbanks, Esq., and G. Cranmer. Their nearest neighbor was Mr. A. Shorno, on section 29, township of Fillmore. Mr. Fairbanks lived next to Dr. Smith, and Mr. Cranmer on the farm now owned by Mr. Gerling, northeast of the "Nykerk" Church.
Having satisfied himself as to the exact location of lake, river and harbor, and having determined upon the site for the village, Dr. Van Raalte, in January 1847, returned to Detroit to collect his little band. During his absence he had procured work for the men at St. Clair, where a steamboat was being built. His own family had remained at Detroit. That same month they packed up and proceeded via Kalamazoo, to Allegan, where they met with great hospitality, especially at the hands of Judge Kellogg. After remaining here for a few days making the necessary preparations for their outfit, the party started for Black Lake. The women and children remained at Allegan with the exception of Mrs. Grootenhuis, who volunteered to be the cook for the party. They were again accompanied by an Indian guide and Judge Kellogg. Mr. Geo. Harrington, Sr., also came down with them and drove the ox-team. This trip from Allegan to Rev. Mr. Smith's house was made in one day. Here they arrived, as near as we can ascertain, on the 12th of February, 1847. Rev. Mr. Smith received these men with the greatest of hospitality, and , together with Mr. Fairbanks, aided materially toward fitting these pioneers for the difficult and unknown task before them.
Arrangements had been made at Allegan, through Judge Kellogg, whereby in a few days they were followed by a party of Americans, who were to remain a while, and teach them how to chop trees, build log houses, and make roads, many of them not even knowing how to connect the ax with the helve. The Indian church, located near Rev. Mr. Smith's house, served as lodging place.
The first work was the opening of a road from Mr. Fairbanks' place to the head of Black Lake. They followed a line running between sections 33 and 34, and 28 and 27, T. 5 N., R. 15 W. At the latter place, they found that the cedar swamp was a serious obstacle in their way, and they resolved before proceeding any further to put up their quarters on the hill near the house of Mrs. Van Der Haar, on section 28 of same town. Two log sheds were built 16x30 feet, with brush roof. This hill is among the most interesting spots of our early history. Here they lost the first member of their little band; here the first child was born to the colonists, and for a long while afterwards these sheds served as receiving barracks for the newcomers.
The women and children who had been left at Allegan, were now sent for, and they also took up their quarters in the log shanties. It is but proper and just to mention the favors and kindness bestowed upon these families during their stay at Allegan, and it is not without regret that we have failed to ascertain their names. During that same winter another small party of emigrants had reached Albany, N.Y. They were advised to come on west, and reached here about the 10th of March, 1847. They numbered some fifteen strong, and among them we find the names of G. J. Hofman, W. Kremer, Plasman, Kolvoort and Slaghuis. For weeks and months, now, the colonists applied themselves to the making of roads. From the log sheds, the road was continued along the farm of Dr. Van Raalte, through the present city to the head of Black Lake and the "Indian Village," so-called.
The next arrival was also in the month of March. A party of immigrants, numbering nearly one hundred, had arrived at St. Louis, and were anxiously awaiting the development of the colonization schemes then pending in Michigan and in Iowa, not only for their own guidance, but also for the information of the hundreds who were to follow that year. This St. Louis party appointed a committee of three to come out here and prospect, and selected as such, Messrs. T. Keppal, H. Van Der Haar and J. Binnekant, with the understanding that the others were to join them immediately, or as soon as they could, having in charge all the women and baggage. The three men going ahead went on foot from Chicago, arriving in Holland March 17, 1847; the remainder came in a sailing vessel from Chicago to Grand Haven, by wagons to Port Sheldon, where they arrived about the same time that the other three did in Holland. The women remained some days at Port Sheldon while the men went to the settlement to aid in building homes and constructing roads.
The names of this last party were Walter Van Der Haar, Jan Visscher and family, Evert Visscher and family, Albert Bloemers and family, Johannes Visscher and family, Jannes Vrieze, Paul Stevas and wife, Mrs. J. Binnekant and Peter Zalsman. At this time there was but one family residing in what is now Holland Township, that of Gilbert Cranmer. In the spring of 1847 Dr. Van Raalte built his house and brought his family from Allegan. The winter they had just passed was a severe one; the snow had averaged over two feet deep. The supplies during that time were principally brought in from Allegan. Towards spring most of the colonists began to look up lands and locate for themselves.
Before we break off this part of our sketch, we will give the following incidents connected with that memorable winter which they passed in these log sheds. The first child was born in the family of Mr. Laarman; the second was born in the family of Mr. Jan Schaap. Both were baptized together, by Dr. Van Raalte, in the open air in front of his house. The first death was that of Mrs. Notting; seven others died that winter at the log sheds. They lie buried, as near as can be ascertained, near the barn on the farm of Mrs. Van Der Haar. The first marriage was that of Lambert Floris with Jantje Meyerink.
The spring and summer of 1847 brought hundreds of immigrants from the old country, and it was extremely difficult to keep supplied with the necessities of life. What few gold "Willems" were still scattered between them went but a short way to provide for the first wants. Lumber had to be rafted at Saugatuck and floated down all the way along Lake Michigan and Black Lake. Provisions were brought in and carried on the back for a distance of ten and twenty miles.
As early as the summer of 1847, the colonists commenced to build their log church, and finished it in part, that same fall. The building was located in the southwest corner of the present cemetery. It was built with logs, with a shingled roof, and was 35x60 feet. Its location there was in order to accommodate the people settling in the country, and perhaps also owing to the old country idea of having the church in the cemetery. When, a few years afterwards, the present First Reformed Church was built, it took considerable argument to have it located in the village, where it now stands. The log church was also used for school and public meetings.
From the very beginning the settlers organized a system of public meetings, and the latter constitute a prominent part in the history of Holland Colony, partaking somewhat of the character of the historic town meetings in the early history of New England. The proceedings of these meetings, during the winter of 1848, form a very interesting chapter in this sketch. For, inasmuch as the first township organization did not take place until 1849, and whereas for want of citizenship and the right to vote, Hollanders were excluded from all active participation in public matters until the Spring of 1851, they relied on these meetings for an expression of their views and a discussion of matters generally. They desired some kind of government in which the various interests represented by them would receive due consideration in the spirit of their immigration; hence they resolved themselves, as it were, into a small democracy, governing according to what the majority of them deemed to be promotive of the greatest good to the greatest number. These meetings, known as "Volksvergadering," took cognizance of all the religious, educational, social and public interests of the colony and the people. Roads and bridges were built, church and school organized and provided for, personal grievances settled, labor and wages regulated.
The proceedings of these meetings during the year 1847 are supposed to be lost, at least they are not within my reach. Many incidents of historical interest must have been recorded in that year.
The majority of the colonists who arrived in 1847 and 1848 landed at the mouth of Black Lake. Many of them made the entire trip from the old country here, by water, leaving New York via the Hudson River and Erie Canal to Buffalo, and thence around the lakes by steamers or vessels. Of the very first lumber brought in, enough was appropriated at the harbor to put up a large building ordered by the "Volksvergadering," as a sort of receiving depot for the accommodation of newcomers. This building was put up just south of the "old channel," under the direction of Messrs. T. Keppel, Rensink, and H. L. Hesselink. Mr. C. Van de Vere was appointed agent to receive them and forward them to town. Many of those who arrived then did not remain, but went to Wisconsin and other points.
It was soon evident to the colonists that what little ground had been cleared up during the Spring would not begin to raise sufficient supplies for their support during the next Winter. Hence every cleared spot and old Indian clearing within a range of ten to fifteen miles was explored, and at public meetings details were organized under some competent men to cultivate them. The Port Sheldon clearings were assigned to Mr. George Harrington, and they were used in this way for two seasons to raise potatoes, corn and buckwheat, the bulk of which was carried in on the back. Dependent to a great extent upon outside assistance for almost everything in the way of information and instruction, the colonists availed themselves of every opportunity which was offered. This it was ordered by the "Volksvergadering" that Mr. R. Schilleman should go to Saugatuck to inform himself of the American way of fishing.
In June, 1847, word was sent from Albany that a large delegation from the province of Zeeland, under the leadership of Rev. C. Vander Meulen and Mr. J. Van de Luyster, Sr., had arrived, and that after long and serious meditation, they had decided to locate in Michigan. Several long sheds for their reception were put up at the head of Black Lake. They numbered about four hundred, and arrived here in the month of July, coming all the way by water, and occupying the quarters assigned them, where they remained during the balance of the season in tents and sheds. After prospecting and examining the territory east of us, they concluded to locate in township 5, range 14. Thus they laid the foundation of what is now the prosperous village of Zeeland.
The arrivals during the summer began to increase. A sharp rivalry in recruiting had sprung up between this colony and other localities in Wisconsin and Iowa, where the Hollanders were settling. And right here allow me to state that it can never be truthfully said that as far as the present development of this colony and of the Hollanders is concerned, it is no wise to be accredited to either the wealth or the intellectual attainments of the masses whose lots were cast here; but, to the contrary, let it be recorded as history, that the material prosperity, the intellectual development and social elevation, which has transferred the immigrant of 1847 into the American citizen of 1876, is due largely to the energy, forethought and general leadership of the founder of this colony.
By this time there was quite a population scattered along the shores of Black Lake. The Indian village, near the southeastern limits of the city, was a prominent landing place. The log houses built by the Indians were of great service to the newly-arrived immigrants; and, as it appears, there never has been trouble between the Red Man and the Dutchman.
As the colonists increased, the demand for provisions and supplies became greater. In view of this fact and the coming Winter, a public meeting of all the settlers, including the Zeelanders, was held, to devise ways and means in that direction. It was proposed to appoint a suitable committee to go East and buy a large stock of provisions, dry goods, groceries, hardware, stores, etc. All the colonists were to contribute, according to what each had left, and thus organize a sort of apostolic stock company. The details how each was to be represented in this company and be secured for his investment, were all agreed upon, and quite a large sum of money was collected -- enough to pay fifty per cent down on a stock of several thousand dollars, and have enough left for another object which we will mention below. All this was resolved upon, ordered to be carried out, and begun. Messrs. B. Grootenhuis and Elder Young, of Grand Rapids, were selected to go to Albany and New York and buy the goods. A store was built near the head of the lake, to sell and disburse these goods. This was called the "colony store." Mr. B. Grootenhuis was appointed general agent, and served as such for about a year. When the money received from sales of pork and flour were again bought at Allegan, through the agency of Mr. H. D. Post, who was there at that time also getting ready to locate here. Part of the goods bought East remained on the way all Winter, and did not reach here until the next Spring. However, this was only a beginning of the disappointments.
In connection with this supply business and "colony store," it was also resolved to buy a "colony vessel." The object was not only that this vessel should carry on the trade between the new colony and other points, and bring in this stock of goods; but it should also be known abroad, and especially in the Old Country, that the colonists had a vessel of their own, to carry immigrants from Buffalo, Chicago, Milwaukee, and other points along the lakes. As far as we can learn, the purchase was made by J. Van de Luyster, Sr., Mr. Stegenga and Capt. Clausen. The vessel was of 100 tons burthen, called the A.E. Knickerbocker, and bought from Mr. Walton, of Chicago. About the career of this vessel we have not been able to ascertain much, only that it managed to bring over a part of this stock of goods from Chicago; also that it carried over a few of the immigrants who refused to pay for their passage on the broad and general ground of its being a "colony vessel." It failed to give satisfaction to those whose money had been invested in its purchase, and she was subsequently sold to outside parties. It ran one season and was sold.
But to return to the store business, Mr. J. Van De Luyster, Jr., succeeded Mr. B. Grootenhuis as agent or manager of the "colony store," and in the course of the year following, amidst all sorts of troubles, complaints, alleged irregularities of one kind and another, the "colony store" was wound up, leaving the largest stockholders minus their investment.
The first year was in every respect a severe test of courage and perseverance of the colonists. Sickness among them was fearful, and the death-rate became alarming. In some localities malarial disease had broken out, and for a while it occupied about all of the time and attention of the able-bodied to attend to the wants of the sick and dying, and to the burial of the dead. Among the colonists was only one doctor, J. S. M. C. Van Nus. The services rendered by Dr. Van Raalte as physician, in those dark days, are among the many noble deeds clustering around his career as a leader. And how could the condition of the people be otherwise? Think of the causes that led to diseases, and contributed to their misery. A strange climate, a malarial atmosphere, undrained marshes, unwholesome food, and insufficient shelter; want of experience in the nature of their diseases, as in everything else; no refreshments or delicacies for their sick; nothing but the coarsest of victuals, and that without the necessary facilities for preparation or cooking; quacks coming from outside palming themselves off for doctors, throwing upon the hands of the few able-bodied an army of convalescents, with poisoned systems, aching bones and rattling teeth. We will let Dr. Van Raalte describe those trying days in his own words:
"The difficulties to contend with were many, still, the singing of psalms in the huts and under the bushes was something inexplicable to the superficial beholder; with many there was a faith in God, and a consciousness of a noble purpose. * * * In the latter part of that first summer our trials reached their climax, for the whole colony became one bed of sickness, and many died through the want of comfortable dwellings and well-prepared and suitable food. Physicians were summoned from abroad, and paid out of the colony funds. The condition was heart-rending and discouraging, and required, in opposition to man's sensitive nature, a painful sternness. Never was I nearer to the point of despair than when I entered those crowded huts and saw the constant mingling of household duties amid sickness and death; and dressing of corpses in those huts where each family was forced to accommodate itself to a limited space of a few square feet. No wonder that we could notice an increase in the despairing indifference in that hour of sore affliction. God granted a change! The sick were restored to health. The fall was a most beautiful one, and the winter was so extraordinarily mild, that everybody could build and perform out-door labors, and even partake of their meals in the open air. The majority left for the country, and to a great extent the weak and needy remained near the landing-place." * * *
The great mortality of that season among the colonists had left them with many orphans on their hands, who were promptly taken in by other families and cared for. Their constant increase, however, led to the building of the orphan house, a project in perfect keeping with the spirit in which they had started out. One Sunday morning, a few months after the partial completion and occupation of the log church, Dr. Van Raalte suggested to his people the necessity that something of this kind should be done, and that forthwith. He urged it with all the power and force of language at his command. The result was the opening of a subscription list, and the pledging of money, labor and material.
The building was begun in May, 1848. Mr. W. J. Mulder was principally charged with the superintending of its construction. It was not completed until the year following; owning to various reasons, it has never been occupied for the purpose for which it was built. It was afterwards used for a parochial school, town house and Holland Academy, De Hope printing office, and is now unoccupied.
During the fall of 1847, the village of Holland was platted. The first surveys were made by E. B. Bassett, county surveyor of Allegan County. The administration and sale of the village lots was placed in charge of a board of trustees elected by the people of the Volksvergadering, of which Dr. Van Raalte was the head. As members of said board, we find the names of J. Schrader, J. Verhorst, J. Vanderveen, O. D. Van Der Sluis and B. Grootenhuis. We cannot go into all the minute details of those early real estate transactions. In their character they partook of the mutual spirit in which all the business of those days was transacted. The price of the village lots was first fixed at $10 and $15, but was soon raised to $40 and $45. This was found necessary in order to obtain funds for the building of church and school, the opening of roads, payment on the land, taxes, support of the poor, salaries of the dominie, doctor and teachers, and diverse other purposes. In 1849, matters pertaining to those village lands, became quite complicated. There was a heavy indebtedness incurred, which had to be met -- payments of the land were due, an unpaid balance on that stock of goods of the "colony store" was presented, and many other causes of a financial character led the people to resolve that the village lands should revert to Dr. Van Raalte; coupled with the condition that he was to assume all the indebtedness incurred to date.
The opening of roads and building of bridges across creeks and swamps, was a tremendous work in those early days, and it occupied about one-half of the time and attention of the settlers. Want of experience was a great draw-back. In 1847, the State made an appropriation of four hundred acres of land for the building of a bridge across the Black River, commonly termed the "Grand Haven Bridge." No contractors could be found to take the job, and so the colonists, as a body, concluded to take the job themselves. How this was done, and in what manner the work was regulated, will be seen from the proceedings of the Volksvergadering. The work was begun in the winter of 1848, but towards the last the work began to drag, when Dr. Van Raalte and J. Binnenkant took the job of finishing it. In the building of this bridge, Hon. F. J. Littlejohn, of Allegan, represented the State.
The post office was established in 1848, and named "Black River." Mr. H. D. Post was appointed post master. The first mail was a private route from Manlius, the nearest post office, and was brought in once a week. Mr. William Notting was the mail carrier, and brought it on his way back to his house, where his wife would carry it to town. Very soon routes were established to Allegan, Grand Rapids and Grand Haven. The first regular mail carriers and stage drivers were J. Trimpe, Jan Van Dijk, P. F. Pfanstiehl, and G. J. Haverkate.
The present cemetery was laid out, or rather designated as such, in 1848. Nevertheless, owing to the distance, and for want of roads and suitable burial arrangements, during the years 1847-8 many were buried in other localities, as necessity dictated. Besides those buried on Van Der Haar's farm, many were laid at the head of the lake between 3d and 4th streets, where the old man De Witt lived, who was the first sexton. A few are buried at Point Superior; several were buried at the mouth of Black Lake, on the hills north of the present harbor. The winds, however, so shifted those hills, that years ago these coffins became exposed.
Much that is interesting is centered around the first attempt at manufacturing by the colonists; also in their harbor, the improvement of which they considered as of primary interest; the organization of their first churches and their formal joining with the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of America, the opening of Schools, the Holland Academy and Hope College, the history of township and city government, the proceedings of the Volksvergadering, the settlement of Zeeland, and surrounding townships, the early history of Point Superior and of the Indian settlements, the development of our commerce and shipping interests, and many other local points of interest, each constituting its part of the history of this city and colony.
What we wish to call attention to now, as a sort of key to the past, is the great extent to which the colonists combined all their interests -- religious, educational, political and social -- into one, and placed them under one supervision; and how to that same extent the church and its religious interests was secondary to none, but, if anything, was made to underlie the entire network of their existence.
Finally, as we may dismiss from our minds the local events of those memorable years, 1847 and 1848, let it be in the words of him to whom we have endeavored to honor as the founder of this Holland Colony: "And this sweet fruition of independence and full liberty which we so bountifully enjoyed, gave joy and strength to our hearts. Especially was it the pleasure of the Sabbath, the invigorating power of God's truth, the united prayers and associated labor of many neighboring settlements, which gave enjoyment, support and courage, and caused us to persevere in a great and difficult undertaking. God's temporal deliverances were many; each settlement and each family has a history of its own."
THE GREAT FIRE OF 1871.
Up to the year 1867 the colony was a unit, and the close of the first score of years of the village severed its connection with the township and became incorporated as a city, electing its first officers in 1868. The citizens became metropolitan, roads began to point towards the rising city, and large numbers of citizens of other nationalities began to flock in, increasing the wonderful influx of wealth and population. Ease and luxury obliterated the traces of pioneer life. On the 8th of October, 1871, the Sabbath church bells sounded the alarm of fire. For several days there had been signs of fire in the heavens, yet no alarm was excited until noon, when the wind freshened and increased the fires in the vicinity, and by night all were out fighting fire. The churches were closed, clergy and people fought the fire demon's power side by side; but all was of no avail. At 2 o'clock in the morning following the cry was heard that the church was on fire and all hope was abandoned, despair seized upon all. In half an hour the city was a mass of flames, and with difficulty the people escaped with their lives from the fierce heat, the blinding smoke and the tempest of wind. In two hours the work of destruction was complete; Holland was in ashes; 248 houses with 76 business places were consumed. The toil of years was undone, and at first the feeling of despair for the future brooded upon the minds of the agitated sufferers. But this feeling soon passed away, and with heads stout and brave they prepared for future trials and triumphs.
Joseph Wakazoo's band of 800 Ottawa Indians were on the payroll of the United States agent. Rev. Smith was the Presbyterian missionary, and Isaac Fairbanks, J. P., of Holland, was the farmer who taught them the art of agriculture, and they had some land cleared and planted in corn. They had a village three-fourths of a mile below Holland City, of which no traces now remain, as their structures were simply bark shanties and an old frame church. In 1848 they removed to Little Traverse and their empty huts were used by the Hollanders until better could be had. The Indians were chiefly Ottawas and the priest visited them periodically. They were generally quiet and orderly.
On a beautiful rising ground, is a noble institution of which not only the Hollanders should feel an honest pride, but all classes of citizens should regard as an important factor in the improvement of society. It is the only institution of the kind in western Michigan, and being central to the population of 300,000, with close and rapid communication by land and water, it offers educational advantages of a high order. In 1843 the general synod of the Reformed (Dutch) church began a movement for training western young men for western work, and the emigration of the "Colony of the pilgrims" from Holland to Ottawa Co. led to further agitation of this subject by the Synod. Dr. Isaac Wycoff was sent to Michigan to investigate the situation of affairs, and in 1850 Rev. Dr. John Garretson made an official visit to the Holland colony, and upon his return to the East drew up a plan of a High School whose object should be "to prepare sons of the colonists from Holland to be educated at Rutgers, and also to educate daughters of said colonists, etc."
In pursuance of this plan, active measures were taken for the establishment of the school. Dr. Van Raalte to whose Christian zeal and undaunted industry the college owes so much and whose memory is precious to all friends of Christian education, donated five acres of land for a site, and Dr. Garretson devoted himself to the work of getting the school started.
To transmit to successive generations the story of the hardships, sacrifices and holy patience of these godly men, who endured and suffered that posterity might enjoy a blessing, is a duty not to be neglected; and in the enjoyment of the rich blessings of the present the illustrious examples of devoted heroism and sacrifice of the past should not be lost sight of.
In October 1851 the school was begun, and placed in charge of Elder Walter T. Taylor, of Geneva, N.Y. He was assisted by a son and two daughters, and remained two years. In 1853 Mr. Taylor resigned and was succeeded by Rev. F. C. Beidler, of South Bend, Ind. It was in this year that the first plan of the school was changed somewhat by the General Synod taking the school into its care, and committing it to its Board of Education. When Mr. Taylor entered upon his work in 1851 the only school in the place was an ordinary district school, and to this he added the germ of the ecclesiastical academy, but it was found that this plan could not be successfully continued, hence the change in 1863.
Rev. Beidler continued in charge of the school until 1855, when he was succeeded by Rev. John Van Vleck, a graduate of the theological seminary of New Brunswick, N.J. Mr. Van Vleck was a scholar of marked ability and his administration was attended by a good degree of success. In 1857 Holland Academy was separated from the public school, and the Synod appointed a Board of Superintendents, consisting of a minister and an elder from each Classis in the Synod of Chicago, to conduct examinations, etc.
Up to 1851 the five acre lot donated by Dr. Van Raalte, was the only property of the school. At this time the needs of the school demanded a building. Dr. Van Raalte made three tours East for the purpose of collecting money for building, and succeeded in raising $12,000, which was expended on a three story brick building 50x40 feet. The building was constructed under the personal supervision of Mr. Van Vleck. The building still remains upon the college campus and is used as a residence and dormitory.
In 1859 Mr. Van Vleck was obliged to resign his position on account of ill health. He was succeeded by Rev. Phillip Phelps, Jr., of Hastings-upon-Hudson, N.Y. Mr. Phelps began his work with thirty-three students, and among the first things he did was the work of classification. It was during this year that the campus was enlarged by the addition of eleven acres, making in all sixteen acres. In 1860 a building to be used as a dwelling house was erected, and in 1862 a gymnasium was built. The building is now used for a chapel. In this year the first college class was organized.
In 1863 a more complete Board of Superintendents was organized by the General Synod, to consist of two ministers and one elder from each of the Western Classes. In 1864 two new professors were added to the corp of instructors, Rev. T. Romeyn Beck, of Chicago, and Rev. P. J. Oggel, of Pella, Iowa. The same year a plan was inaugurated for raising an endowment fund of $100,000. In 1865 the work of raising this money was undertaken. Another teacher, Rev. John Mason Ferris, of Grand Rapids, was added this year.
In 1866 Hope College was incorporated, and the first college class of eight members graduated in July of this year. The college Faculty was organized with Rev. P. Phelps, Jr., D. D. as President, Rev. P. J. Oggel, Rev. T. Romeyn Beck, Rev. Charles Scott, Rev. Cornelis Crispell, as Professors, and Cornelis Doesburg and H. B. Gilmore as Tutors. The same year the Faculty were authorized to give instruction to a class in theology.
In 1867 two new buildings were erected, and Rev. C. E. Crispell was appointed Professor of Theology by the General Synod. In 1869 the theological department was regularly constituted by the Synod, and the Faculty made up from the clerical teachers in the College. Near the close of this year Prof. Oggel died. From 1859 to 1867 the affairs of the college were not interrupted by any special event. The prosperity of the institution was good, and the people of Ottawa County gave to the school a good deal of support.
In 1867 Dr. Van Raalte donated the College 70 acres of land within the corporate limits of Holland, and thirteen more were purchased. In 1869, 837 acres at Point Superior, on the north side of Black Lake, was purchased. Toward the payment of the last tract, James Suydam, of New York, donated $5,000. The object of this purchase has never been clearly apparent, as it has been a burden rather than a help to the institution. Of late, however, an effort has been made with some success, to dispose of a portion at least of this unfruitful possession.
In 1877 the College was found to be heavily in debt, and the theological department was suspended. So much money had been invested in land and in the publication of De Hope and printing office, that the operations of the College were crippled. In 1878 the affairs of the College were investigated by the General Synod and it was found to be over $30,000 in debt. A committee was appointed to receive the resignation of the faculty and to reorganize the Council or Board of Trustees. The Board was reorganized under a new constitution. The former professors were reappointed with the exception of Drs. Phelps and Crispell. Rev. G. H. Mandeville, D. D., of New York, was appointed President with special charge of the finances, and Rev. Charles Scott, D. D., Vice President and acting executive officer. In 1880 Rev. Mr. Scott was appointed to succeed Mr. Mandeville, and is at the present time at the head of the College. Nearly one-half of the debt has been paid, and during the present year it is hoped that the balance will be liquidated.
The suspension of the theological department was a severe blow to the friends of the College, but unfortunate as it may have been, was an unavoidable circumstance. In 1878 females were admitted to the institution. The present number of students for the year 1881 was one hundred and ten, which is a very flattering increase. Under the present wise and careful management of the College, it is enjoying a good degree of prosperity and is certainly deserving of encouragement and support. It should be a source of pride to its friends in Ottawa County that such an institution has endured and surmounted the obstacles that beset its early history, and has attained to such a degree of excellence and prosperity.
THE ACADEMIC FACULTY.
REV. T. ROMEYN BECK, D. D. -- Professor of the Greek and Latin Language and Literature. In charge of Logic and the Elements of Criticism.
REV. CHARLES SCOTT, D. D. -- Professor of Chemistry and Natural History. In charge of History, Mental and Moral Philosophy, and Constitutional Law.
CORNELIS DOESBURG, A. M. -- Professor of Modern Languages and Literature.
WILLIAM A. SHIELDS, A. M. -- Professor of English Language and Literature, and of Rhetoric. In charge of Latin with the Freshman Class.
GERRIT J. KOLLEN, A. M. -- Professor of Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and Astronomy. In charge of Political Economy, Business manager of De Hope.
THE GRAMMAR SCHOOL FACULTY.
Prof. Cornelis Doesburg, Prof. William A. Shields, Secretary of the Faculty; Prof. Gerrit J. Kollen, Henry Boers, A. B., teacher of Latin, etc., in the Preparatory Department; John H. Kleinheksel, A. B., teacher of Mathematics, Greek, etc., in the Preparatory Department. The Professors assist in this department as they find opportunity. Rev. D. Van Pelt, in charge of Sacred Literature, and of the religious instruction of the students.
REV. CHARLES SCOTT, D. D.
Rev. Charles Scott was born Dec. 18, 1822, at Little Britain, in the township of New Windsor, Orange County, N. Y., and was the second son of Alexander and Miriam (Buchanen) Scott, both of Scotch-Irish descent. Francis Scott, the grandfather of Alexander, came to America from Longford, Ireland, in 1729, with Col. Charles Clinton, and after marriage with Eleaner McDowell, settled as a farmer at "Blaggs Cove," Orange County. Robert Buchanen, the grandfather of Miriam, immigrated about the same time, perhaps a little earlier with his father James, and settled on a farm adjoining the "Clinton Place." This is a well-known historical spot -- the homestead whence came Gov. George Clinton, Gov. James Clinton, and still more celebrated Gov. De Witt Clinton, the originator of the Erie Canal (Clinton's Ditch).
Alexander Scott was also a farmer in moderate circumstances, and hence Charles enjoyed only the advantages of a common school education in the country. He succeeded, however, in fitting himself for college, and in Sept. 1840, became a freshman at Rutgers, in New Jersey. The same year he was appointed to a cadetship at West Point, but declined. He graduated in July, 1844, with the highest honors in a class of twenty-four.
Starting out with a design of traveling into Mexico and South America, Mr. Scott engaged to spend the winter of 1844-5 as private tutor at Adams Run, near Charleston, S. C. Here in the "Pine Land," he was converted to Christ in the spring of 1845, and the religious profession which followed gave a new sense of duty and changed the whole tenor of his life. Remaining at Adams Run until the beginning of 1847, he then opened a school or academy at Aiken, S. C., a noted health resort among the hills near the river Savannah. The undertaking proved a success, and during the second year the number of pupils steadily increased. But coming to the conviction that he should prepare for the gospel ministry, he transferred the school to a friend in Nov. 1848, and entered the Theological Seminary of the Reformed (Dutch) Church, at New Brunswick, N. J.
While thus teaching in South Carolina, Mr. Scott had several flattering invitations to take charge of Academies, and in 1848 was offered the presidency of a female college in Georgia. He was thrown into association with several of the leading men of the State including Governors Hammond and Aiken, and Senators Calhoun and Butler. Had he continued to reside in the south, he had every prospect of a career gratifying to a young man's ambition.
After licensure by the Classis of New Brunswick, in June, 1851, he accepted a call to the Reformed Dutch Church of Shawangunk, in Ulster County, N. Y., and was there ordained by the Classis of Orange, Sept. 9, 1851. This church had existed for more than a century, and the house of worship and the parsonage, both of stone, dated from 1750-53. The congregation was very large and pastoral labors severe, but the charge (and it was a pleasant one) continued for fifteen years with mutual satisfaction. About three hundred were added to the communion of the church. In all religious or benevolent efforts for the good of men, whether in County or Township, the pastor and his people were ever found ready to cooperate.
When the great civil war of 1861 burst upon the Republic, he became active in support of the Union, and although a Democrat in the midst of a Democratic community, no locality in the country gave better proof of patriotism and loyalty. Among the volunteers from his congregation, the death-toll numbered thirty-seven. When the "Bureau of Military Statistics" was organized, after the end of the conflict he was appointed for Ulster, and served in that capacity until his removal to the west.
In 1865, arrangements had been made for the incorporation of Hope College, at Holland, Mich., as the western institution of the Reformed Church. In December of that year Mr. Scott, with no application or knowledge on his part, was elected professor of Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and Astronomy therein. Resigning therefore his charge at Shawanguck, he removed to Holland in Sept. 1866, and entered upon his new avocation. By request, however, he accepted the Professorship of Chemistry and Natural History instead of the Chair originally designated, and has continued in charge of that branch of instruction up to the present time.
In 1866, the General Synod of the Reformed Church authorized the introduction of Theological instruction into Hope College and in 1869 constituted a Theological Department, which continued until 1877. In this Department Prof. Scott was appointed by Synod "Theological Lector" in Church History, Church Government and Archaeology. At the same time he also lectured to the college classes on History. In 1878 a change was made in the constitution and management of the College. Rev. Phillip Phelps, D. D., resigned the Presidency and was succeeded by Rev. G. Henry Mandeville, D. D., of New York City; with Prof. Scott as Vice President in actual charge of the administration, and the Chair of Mental and Moral Philosophy.
The finances of the Institution were very much embarrassed, the annual income had failed to meet the expenses; a large debt had accumulated and it was no easy matter to overcome all obstacles to success. But the new President labored faithfully in the east, seconded by prudent cooperation in the west, and for over three years the current expenses of the school have been promptly met, while the debt will soon be liquidated. The average number of students has also been upon the increase. In July, 1880, Rev. Dr. Mandeville resigned his office, after a service of two years, and Prof. Scott was thereupon elected in his place. Since no professorial duties were dropped, the cares and responsibilities thus falling upon him as the acting executive officer have been burdensome and unrenumerative, but these four years from 1878 to 1882, must ever be regarded as a turning point in the history of Hope College.
In June, 1875, Prof. Scott was elected President of the General Synod, and in the same year he received the honorary degree of D. D. from the University in the city of New York. He has also received other appointments, etc., which it is not necessary to mention.
In July, 1850, Mr. Scott was married to Miss Maria R. Stelle, the daughter of Peter R. Stelle, Esq., of Piscataway, N.J. Their permanent residence is on 9th Street, Holland. Of their children six survive, viz: Henry P., city editor of the Colorado Springs Gazette; Gertrude E., wife of Rev. Daniel Van Pelt, of Hope Church, Holland; Charles B., assistant of Charles A. Ashburner, Esq., superintendent of the second survey of Pennsylvania coal fields, Philadelphia; Alexander W., druggist, Grand Rapids; Edward B. and Maria E. still at home. In private life he has been esteemed by his fellow men, and in business matters would rather sacrifice his own interests than prove negligent of any trust put into his hands.
The largest establishment of any kind is the CAPPON & BERTSCH LEATHER CO. In connection with the leather interest which has grown to such proportion, it will be well to state that the first tannery was erected by P. F. Pfanstiehl, being composed of several log buildings and located near the site of Central Wharf Warehouse. In 1857, Messrs. Cappon & Bertsch became convinced that a tannery would pay; their capital consisted largely of two pairs of willing hands, perseverance and economy, and thus commenced in the old log building.
In 1863 they erected a new building 44x72 where their present tannery now stands. Soon after the addition of twenty feet in width was made, making 64x72 feet, all of which, together with a large amount of bark was consumed by the fire of October 9, 1871, making a total loss to the firm of $70,000 and no insurance. After this terrible blow, Messrs. Cappon & Bertsch, nothing daunted, commenced rebuilding, and the next season saw a new building erected. A year later a large drying house was built, and new improvements have been added, until at the present time, the largest tannery in the State has taken the place of the shanty and old house of 1857.
The establishment at the present time (1882) is made up as follows: on 9th Street a building of 405x66 feet in size is used for the vats, 880 in number, and the tannery proper. The bark room and leaches occupy a building 220x66 feet. The engine house 24x50 feet, contains the machinery that furnishes the motive power for the several building, the engine is of fifty horse power.
The drying house, fronting on 8th Street, is 40x125 feet in size, and five stories high. The first story is devoted to packing, rolling, and splitting sole leather. The second story is where the finishing of the upper leather is done. Harness leather on the third floor. The fourth and fifth stories are used as drying lofts. The building is furnished with an elevator. The bark "houses" which consist of large piles of bark are on the west side of their lots, and extend for two blocks. They use annually from 5,000 to 6,000 cords of hemlock bark, costing $6 per cord. The company employs, on an average, ninety men, and with a capital of $200,000, do a business annually of over a half million dollars. They secured the gold medal for manufacturing the best non-acid sole leather in the United States, competing at New York City in 1880. Mr. J. Bertsch has charge of the purchasing of hides and selling the leather at Grand Rapids, wile I. Cappon takes charge of the tannery, assisted by John Nyland foreman in the tannery, and P.J. Doyle foreman in the currying shop.
HOLLAND STATE FACTORY was built in 1859 by Pfanstiehl & Backes, burned by the fire of 1871, and re-built in 1880 by Joseph Fixter, of Milwaukee, who still operates it. The main building is 24x50, surrounded by additions 16 feet in width. There are six buildings each 6x50, containing steam boxes, dry kilns 42x22, ware house 24x60, sheds 100x20, cooper shop 16x30, all of which is situated on River Street, between 5th and 6th, being furnished with a side track. The machinery consists of a heading machine, stave cutter, heading planer, jointer, circle and heading lathe for butter tubs, etc., and propelled by a thirty horse power steam engine. This factory employs about twenty-five men, and does annually about $75,000 of business. James Koening, Superintendent.
THE BUTTER TUB FACTORY on River Street, at the foot of De Witt Street, was formerly a saw and shingle mill. In February 1880, G. Van Putten & Co. rented the mill and put in the necessary machinery for manufacturing butter tubs. Subsequently G. Van Putten sold his interest to J. Van Putten, and now the firm is J. Van Putten & Co. The machinery, consisting of a turning lathe, a bottom lathe, a planer, a stave saw, splitting saw, two cross-cut saws, a piercing saw and heading saw, is propelled by a forty horse power steam engine. The factory employs about twenty-five men and does a business of over $50,000 annually, using 900 cords of bolts.
HOLLAND MANUFACTURING CO. was organized June 20, 1881, more especially for the manufacture of Palmer's Self-regulating Windmills, capital stock $10,000, and bids fair to be one of the leading interests in Holland. Present officers are J. Roost, President, J. Kuite, Vice-President, H. D. Post, Secretary, H. Walsh, Treasurer, J. R. Kleyn, Director.
THE TANNERY OF GEO. METZ'S JR. was established in 1870, employing twenty men, and doing a business of $150,000 annually. The tan house, 425x50 feet, contains 150 double vats with a capacity of seven tons per week of sole leather. The several houses are a dry house 40x60, containing elevator and two sole leather rollers, engine house and bark rooms 30x55 feet, sheds that cover the leaches 20x150 feet, hide house 30x50 feet.
PHOENIX PLANING MILL, on the corner of River and 10th Street, was built in 1871 by H. W. Verbeck & Co., and purchased in May 1879 by R.E. Werkman & Co. who still operate it. Besides being general dealers in lumber they are manufacturing doors, sash and blinds, moldings, etc. The machinery, propelled by a twenty-five horse power engine, consists of two planers, a planer and matcher, a re-sawing machine, a tenoning machine, a sticker shaver, a scroll saw, two rip saws, a cut-off machine and panel raiser. The mill employs ten men summer and winter, doing a business of about $20,000 annually.
HOLLAND CITY GRIST MILL, located on 8th Street, is a three story building 58x26, with an addition, of 58x14, was built in 1874 by Geerling, Becker & Co. In 1877 Becker & Beukema purchased the interest of Geerling, and still own and operate it. The mill consists of one four feet buhr, one three and a half feet, and two three feet buhrs, propelled by a sixty-five horse power steam engine, and turns out daily twenty-five barrels of flour besides doing custome work.
PLUGGER MILLS, consisting of a saw and grist mill, are the oldest in this locality. The saw mill was built in 1851 by R. Den Blyker, grist mill was built in 1856, and purchased in 1869 by Pauels, Van Putten & Co., who still own them. The building for the grist mill is a three story structure 40x60, and operates four run of four feet buhrs, propelled by a forty horse power engine, with a capacity of 200 bushels of wheat and a like amount of feed every twelve hours. The saw mill, 30x50, is run by a separate engine of thirty two horse power, with a capacity of 15,000 feet daily.
HOWARD'S SAW MILL, situated on the north side of the lake, on section 30, was built in 1856. In 1866 it was purchased by John Van Dyk and operated for a year, when John Roost became a partner. In 1879 Fillmore Bird obtained Mr. Roost's interest and the firm is now operated by Van Dyk & Bird. The machinery is rum by a thirty-five horse power engine, with a capacity of 15,000 feet in twelve hours.
W. H. BEACH'S GRAIN ELEVATOR, near the depot, is a building 44x32, so constructed on a side hill with an elevated driveway that wheat can be unloaded and easily spouted into the car. Mr. Beach has also a warehouse nearby, 20x32, for coarse grain with a capacity of 2,000 bushels.
FLIEMAN'S WAGON AND BLACKSMITH SHOP. This establishment employs some ten men, and turns out some sixty wagons and carriages, besides cutters, sleighs, etc. Size of wagon shop is 24x30, and of the blacksmith shop, 24x60. Paint shop occupies the second story.
HOLLAND CITY FOUNDRY was built in 1859 by W. H. Deming, who still owns it. The main building is 20x36, other buildings 22x32 and 22x36. A five horse power steam engine is used for propelling the machinery necessary for finishing work.
BOONE & CO.'S SAW MILL is located on section 23, between Holland and Zeeland, and was built by the present owners in 1866, burned out in 1871, rebuilt, again burned in 1877, and again rebuilt. The machinery is run by a forty horse power engine and has a capacity of 10,000 feet of lumber each ten hours. In connection with the mill they own two steam tow tugs, plying on Black River and Lake.
HOLLAND PUMP MANUFACTORY was established in 1871, and owned by Peter H. Wilms. Located on River Street between 10th and 11th, and turns out about 500 pumps annually. The machinery consists of an eight horse power steam engine, a planer, cross cut and rip saws, turning lathe, two pump boring machines, a chucking machine, a rod machine, gig saw, mortising machine and boring machine.
BRICK MANUFACTURE. In connection with the business interests in the vicinity of Holland, the brick manufactury of B. J. Vaneklasen & Sons, on section 13, between Holland and Zeeland, holds quite a prominent place. They employ about fifty men and make annually 5,000,000 bricks, which are distributed in various localities; the accommodations for transportation are first rate, being furnished with side tracks, etc.
CITY HOTEL, located on the corner of 8th and Cedar Streets, was built in 1872 by H. M. Boone & Co., and is a structure 42x80, three stories and basement, and containing some forty rooms. The rooms are large and airy being ten to twelve feet in height. The hotel is kept by Geo. N. and E. M. Williams, who have re-furnished it in good style, run a free bus to and from all trains, and make a genuine home for the traveling public.
Of the (Dutch) Reformed churches in the city there are three. The First church is an imposing pillared wooden edifice on Ninth St., at present without a pastor. The Second is the English speaking congregation of Hope Church, Rev. Van Pelt, pastor, and there is the Third Church on 12th Street, Rev. Broek, pastor.
There is also a Methodist Episcopal, Rev. M. D. Terwilliger, pastor, and an Episcopal church at present vacant. There are thus three English and three Dutch churches. There have been organizations of the Wesleyan Methodists and Presbyterian, but they did not take root.
HOPE CHURCH. The Second Reformed Church, of Holland, Mich., or Hope Church, holds services in the English language entirely, and its membership consists of the American element of the Holland City population largely. In 1854 the first preaching in the English language was commenced by the Rev. F. P. Beidler, teacher in the Holland Academy (now Hope College) under the auspices of the Board of Domestic Missions of the Reformed Church, in the "red school house," since converted into a parsonage for the True Reformed Church. Subsequently the services were continued by several clergymen, connected successively with the Holland Academy, either as principals or assistants. This mission was organized into a church by a committee of the Classis of Michigan, July 30, 1862. The first consistory was composed of B. Ledeboer, M. D., and B. Grootenhuis, elders, and Wm. B. Gilmore (now pastor of Reformed Church at Havana, Ill.), as deacon. The membership then numbered 12. It has since reached the number of 119.
The Sunday-school was organized in 1860, and has had the following superintendents successively: Rev. Philip Phelps, W. B. Gilmore, Prof. Charles Scott, Wm. B. Cropley, J. F. Bangs, and at present, Albert H. Dutton.
The first church was built in 1864. Rev. Dr. A. C. Van Raalte donated four village lots, the present site. The sum of $800 was subscribed in the place, and donations were received from abroad. It was 30x50, and built principally by Messrs. A. Neerman and P. Nagelkerke. The parsonage was built in 1869, at a cost of $3,000. The great conflagration of October 9, 1871, destroyed the church building, but, as by a miracle, the parsonage was saved.
The Rev. Dr. Philip Phelps, Jr., after the church was organized in 1862, occupied the position of its missionary pastor. But the Academy developing into Hope College, with Dr. Phelps as its President, he could not do justice to the growing needs of the church and of the college at the same time, either position requiring all of one man's time and devotion. So it was felt to be expedient to have a pastor regularly settled over the church. The Rev. Abel T. Stewart (subsequently D. D.), pastor of First Reformed Church, Tarrytown, N.Y., was called, and installed as first pastor of Hope Church May, 1866. Dr. Stewart died in the Spring of 1878. In the fall of the same year the present pastor, Rev. Daniel Van Pelt, was called, and installed on January 14th, 1879.
The present building was begun in the fall of 1872. The plans were drawn by Carl Pfeiffer, an architect of New York city, under the supervision of J. Masterson, Esq., of Bronxville, Westchester Co., N.Y., and by him presented as a donation. The first superintendent was W. G. Robinson, of Grand Rapids, and subsequently Mr. J. B. Kleyn, of this city. Builder, J. W. Minderhout; painters, B. Grootenhuis & Sons; building committee, B. Grootenhuis, T. E. Annis, M. D., H. D. Post, Esq., and Prof. Charles Scott, D. D. The furnace was put in by Van Landegend & Melis, of this city. The whole cost of the building, including furnace was about $11,000. Before the formal dedication of the house the pastor announced an outstanding indebtedness of $600, of which over $500 was immediately assumed by the congregation then present, and the balance, $100, more or less, was assumed by the pastor, Dr. Stewart. To this beloved and lamented minister of God the church was under great obligation for his incessant labors in obtaining the funds required for this costly and beautiful edifice, the greater portion of which was obtained through his personal efforts among the friends of the denomination in the east. The present value of the property of Hope Church, including the real estate, church building and parsonage, can safely be put down at $16,000. The style of the building (built of brick walls eight inches through) is "rural Gothic." Outside dimensions are, 55 feet front, including tower at southwest corner, 75 feet depth, and three class-rooms in rear 44x31 feet; height of the main part, 40 feet; height of tower, 80 feet; the lower 20 feet solid masonry, with open bracketed belfry surmounted by a slated spire of 91 feet. The inside audience room is 42x73 feet, with 92 pews capable of seating 500 persons. The pulpit niche is in the form of a half octagon, forming an arch overhead. Height of ceiling inside is 20 feet; windows are of stained glass, diamond work. The dedication of the church, as thus rebuilt after the fire, took place on Sunday, May 4th, 1874, at 3 o'clock P.M.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH. The Holland circuit was first organized in 1861 by W. C. H. Bliss, and after about a year was attached to Kelloggsville circuit, where it remained till 1866; since which regular meetings have been held in Holland City. The society numbered, in 1866, forty-five members. D. S. Bacon was its first pastor for three years, since which the following have been called to the charge: G. E. Hollister, T. R. Wilkinson, W. A. Bronson, B. F. Daugherty, Francis Glass, Wm. M. Coplin, W. H. Spumate, and M. D. Terwilliger.
The first Board of Trustees were Isaac Fairbanks, John Roost, John Bakker, Jacob Flieman, Francis Hall, Martin Clark, James L. Fairbanks, Robert Symonds, and Andrew Anderson. The present trustees are I. Fairbanks, Thos. J. Boggs, Thos. S. Purdy, Exra E. Annis, Isaac Thompson, Geo. S. Harrington, Wm. Bakker, Nels Hansen, and Elmore E. Annis. Present membership, 100. Members of Sabbath school, 158.
The present church edifice, 70x33 was built in 1872. A small church was built in 1868, and in 1870 a church about the size of the present one was partly completed, both of which were destroyed by the fire of October 9th, 1871.
LAKE SHORE WESLEYAN METHODISTS meet in a school-house on Sec. 22. The society was established in 1867, with a membership of 16, James A. Crofoot, pastor. Mr. Thompson is the present pastor. Membership, 16; Sabbath school in connection.
NORTH HOLLAND (DUTCH REFORMED) CHURCH was first organized in 1859. There was no pastor, and the services were conducted by the elders, having, in all, about 20 members. The present church, 40x60, was erected in 1864. The first minister, C. E. Oggel, was called March 19, 1866, remaining three and a half years. In 1870 Rev. B. Van Ness was called and still retains the charge, and has a congregation of 140 families, with a large Sabbath school of 208 members.
FIRST REFORMED DUTCH CHURCH. The organization, in fact, was brought with the colony in 1847. Regular services were held in such places as the people could command -- in private houses, in the open air when the weather would permit -- till the fall of the same year (1847), when a log church was erected on Sec. 28 (Dr. Van Raalte's farm), in which services were held till 1855, when a large church, 50x110, was built in Holland City.
Dr. Van Raalte preached till 1869, when the Rev. R. Pieters officiated until his death, in 1879; since which there has been no pastor. Present membership, 324. A large Sabbath school of 270 members meet each Sabbath.
THE HOLLAND CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH is the result of a secession from the original Dutch Reformed about twenty years ago, in which Mr. Krapshuis and a few others were the leading spirits, who first took the name True Dutch Reformed, but adopted their present name in 1879. In 1867 they built their church, a wooden structure on Market and 11th streets, 44x60 feet, with gallery, costing $3,000. The parsonage adjoining, costing $1,400, is a two-story building, 36x24 feet. They held their first meetings in the school-house and private dwellings. In 1867 they had about fifty members, and secured a pastor, Rev. De Beer. After six months, Rev. Mr. Hulst came, and remained three years; then Rev. Nordweir for five years; and, after a vacancy, Rev. Hooksma ministered until his departure for Muskegon, Nov. 1, 1881. They now claim about 100 families, with a congregation of 500 and about 200 communicants. They have a Sunday-school with about 100 pupils, Mr. De Van Leenen, superintendent.
THIRD REFORMED CHURCH. This church was organized Sept. 9, 1867, with a membership of ninety-seven. The first pastor was Rev. Jacob Van der Meulen, who began his labors Feb. 16, 1868, and continued in them about three years and a half. The first house of worship was dedicated Feb. 14, 1868. The same year a brick parsonage was built. The whole was consumed by the great fire of Oct. 9, 1871, and nearly all of the families of the church, living in the burnt district became homeless and penniless.
The church was then vacant, Rev. J. Van der Meulen having left a few weeks before the fire took place. Under these circumstances, Rev. Henry Uiterwyk was called to become their pastor. The call was accepted, and he began his labors Jan. 21, 1872. With great energy, self-denial, and perseverance, he encouraged the people , and with considerable help from churches east and west, succeeded in erecting the present church edifice. The church was dedicated with appropriate services Nov. 24, 1874. The style of the building is known as "Norman Gothic." The outside dimensions are 55x90 feet. The audience room is 53x72 feet, and will seat 700 persons comfortably. The steeple, when finished, will be 125 feet high. The cost of the building is at least $10,000. At the same time a parsonage has been built, which is a two-story frame building, and though not quite finished, has a cost thus far about $2,000.
Rev. Uiterwyk resigned his charge in April, 1880, and the present pastor, Rev. D. Broek, was called as his successor, and began his labors Nov. 14, 1880. The congregation numbers at present (November, 1881) 120 families and 220 members. The Sunday School, of which Hon. Isaac Cappon is the Superintendent, numbers 254 scholars.
GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH. The first Episcopal service was on Aug. 13, 1866, by the Rev. R. Wood, of Kent County, in the school house, and an association was then formed to conduct a select school with H. & W. Walsh, M. D. Howard, W. E. Doud, R. R. Heald, and Joseph A. Gray as trustees, and they put up a small building. The second service was by Rev. J. Rice Taylor, of Grand Haven, on June 21, 1867. On the following November, the association assigned its property to the Protestant Episcopal Church, and in May, 1868, Mr. Taylor became missionary rector. In 1877 he resigned, and in 1879 Rev. E. W. Flower acted until 1881. There are now no services held. There are about twenty communicants with a congregation of about fifty. The church on 11th Street was consecrated June 12, 1874.
UNITY LODGE, NO. 191, F. & A. M.
A meeting of Mastor Masons was held at the store of J. O. Doesburg. Jan. 23, 1866. Present -- George Lauder, George G. Steketee, Otto Breyman, Jacob O. Doesburg, Geo. N. Smith, Wm. K. Joscelyn, Joshua Myrick, Wm. L. Hopkins, Joseph A. Gray, B. R. Platt, and Gerrit Van Schelven.
On motion, George Lauder was appointed chairman, and G. Van Schelven, secretary. The object of the meeting was to effect the organization of a lodge of F. & A. M., at this place. The following were elected as the three officers to be recommended in the application for dispensation, viz: George Lauder, W. M.; Geo. G. Steketee, S. W., Otto Breyman, J. W.
Petition for dispensation was drawn up, signed by those present, and placed in the hands of Geo. G. Steketee. Meeting adjourned to reassemble on receipt of dispensation, which was Feb. 15, 1866, at which time the lodge was regularly installed, and the W. M. appointed the remaining officers for the year, viz: Gerrit Van Schelven, Secretary; Joseph A. Gray, Treasurer; J. O. Doesburg, Senior Deacon; Geo. N. Smith, Junior Deacon; B. R. Platt, Steward; Wm. L. Hopkins, Tyler. A committee consisting of Geo. G. Steketee, J. O. Doesburg, and Otto Breyman, was appointed to draft by-laws; also a committee on finance, viz: Geo. G. Steketee, J. O. Doesburg, and B. R. Platt. The by-laws were adopted, and room rented at the next communication, Feb. 28th.
The lodge prepared in a very satisfactory manner till 1871, when it lost its all by the great fire. It numbered at that time sixty-four members. Soon after the fire it received liberal contributions from brother lodges, and very soon was on its usual footing, and after the erection of E. J. Harrington's brick block on 8th Street, rented in it a very convenient room in the third story, 20x60 feet, which it still occupies. It has a large membership, and a well-furnished hall, the furniture of which is insured for $500. The present officers are: H. C. Matrau; W. M.; T. McMaster, S. W.; G. Leopple, J. W.; E. Herold, Treas.; D. L. Boyd, Secy.; A. Huntley,
S. D.; J. Huntley, J. D.; H. Koenigsberg, Tyler; D. Bertsch and E. J. Harrington, Stewards.
HOLLAND CITY LODGE, NO. 192, I. O. O. F.
The brethren in the City of Holland and vicinity belonging to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows by card, and as Ancients, having in personal conversation deemed it advisable in order to further the fraternal interest of the order and each other to organize a lodge, held their first meeting at Masonic Hall on the evening of March 26, 1872, for the purpose of taking preliminary steps towards organizing the same. The following brothers were present: A. J. Clark, C. Van Landegend, S. L. Morris, Millard Harrington, John Kramer, W. I. Scott, T. D. Powers, and Otto Breyman. S. L. Morris was made Chairman, and Otto Breyman, Secy. The following, being eligible, signed the petition for an organization of a lodge of I. O. O. F. in this city: S. L. Morris, A. J. Clark, Millard Harrington, John Kramer, C. Van Landegend, Otto Breyman, and T. D. Powers. The following were named in the petition to be its first officers: S. L. Morris, N. G.; A. J. Clark, V. G.; M. Harrington, Secy.; John Kramer, Treas. S. L. Morris and M. Harrington were designated a committee to forward the petition to the Grand Master. For the basis of organization, the constitution and by-laws of Richland Lodge No. 32 was adopted.
On the evening of July 18, 1872, the lodge was duly organized. Most Worth Grand Master, F. H. Rankin, called the Grand Lodge to order, and appointed David E. Rose, of Ottawa, Grand Warden; W. N. Angell, of Ottawa, Grand Conductor; J. C. Breyton, of Ottawa, Grand Secy.; W. Griggs, Grand Marshal, at which time Holland City Lodge, No. 192, I. O. O. F., was regularly instituted. At the same meeting the following persons were elected to become members of the lodge: Gerrit Doesburg, N. W. Bacon, R. K. Heald, Charles Chambers, Ira Woltman, John Alling, John Everhard, and Allen Wilton, of whom the first six were duly initiated, receiving all the degrees. The receipts of the evening were $114. The present officers are: Wm. H. Rogers, N. G.; A. McDonald, V. G.; M. Harrington, Recoding Secy.; Otto Breyman, Treas. Since the organization of the lodge two deaths have occurred -- Cornelis Blom and John Alling, who were interred according to the rites of the order. In connection with the lodge, the Euretha Lodge of Daughters of Rebecca was effected Oct. 26, 1877, by W. N. Bacon, Dept. Grand Master, assisted by other proper officers. Its first officers were: A. J. Clark, N. G.; Mrs. Euretha Clark, V. G.; Mrs. J. A. Higgins, R. S.; Mrs. Olive Blom, Treas.; Thomas McMaster, Warden, Mrs. Mary Odell, Conductor; George Coder, O. G.; John Krusinger, J. G.; Mrs. Mary Coder, R. S. to N. G.; William Blom, L. S. to N. G.; Mrs. Annie Krusinger, R. S. to V. G.; Mrs. Mattie Butkau, L. S. to V. G.
Mr. I. Marsilje, Clerk of Holland Township, has published in the City News of July 25, 1874, a history of School District No. 2 of Ottawa Township, which then included Holland, from which we extract the following:
The original warrant calling the first district meeting is addressed to John Binnekant, notifying him that the school inspectors have organized a new school district, No. 2, and requiring him to notify electors to attend the first meeting in the Holland Church on Section 29, on the 29th of June, 1848, and was signed by the present Senator Ferry as Clerk. At this meeting the officers elected were A. C. Van Raalte, Moderator; H. D. Post, Director; W. J. Mulder, Assessor.
July 17th, a meeting was held to select and arrange for building a school house. Dr. Van Raalte, on behalf of the Trustees of the village of Holland, offered to donate a site, which offer was accepted and $800 voted for a building; but after, it was found to be illegal to raise more than $300 in any one year. On Aug. 22, the Board were authorized to employ teachers to keep school in the church until the school was built. The first teacher was Ira Hoyt; school census, 179.
On March 21st Miss E. H. Langdon was engaged as teacher at $5 per month. On Sept 29th the census shows sixty-nine families in the district. The average cost of tuition was $1.50 per quarter for each pupil. The Legislature in 1850 authorized the borrowing of $1,200 for building the school. In 1851 the school yard was fenced and trees planted. In 1852 W. T. Taylor, of Geneva, N. Y., taught the school. H. Doesburg was elected Director in 1853, and in 1854 J. Van Luyster was Moderator, Dr. Van Raalte Director, and T. Keppel Assessor. E. P. Pitcher, teacher; school census, 178. Rev. J. Van Vleck, assisted by E. Winters, taught in 1856, and C. Hofman was elected Director and C. Doesburg Assessor. The latter, now professor of modern languages at Hope College, was teacher from 1856 to 1866. Prof. Downie, of North Muskegon, was principal several years. The present principal is Prof. I. Bangs, who has held the position since 1878.
The High or graded school was organized in 1860. The first Trustees were Dr. Van Raalte, T. Keppel, A. Plugger, C. Doesburg, G. Wakker, and J. Binnetka. The fine new school house was built in 1880. School-tax in 1880, $4,500. School census, in 1879, 895; in 1880, 911.
There are now two hand fire engines and two volunteer fire companies, Eagle, No. 1, and Columbia, No. 2. The Eagle engine is a Button machine, piano box, purchased before the fire of 1871, by George Lander, then chief, for $400. The Columbia engine is also a second-hand engine purchased by John Kramer for $500. The fire engine was brought out in the great fire, which was like Mrs. Partington trying to sweep back the Atlantic with a broom. The city has been free from fires for the last few years. There are no water works, although the question of such works is discussed; they now depend upon drive wells and cisterns. The Chiefs were: George Lander, John Kanters, Leonard Kanters, and now John Beukema. The foreman of Co. No. 1, is R. E. Werkman, Jacob Van Putten, Asst. Foreman; -- of No. 2, P. Kleiss, with G. J. Dunkeloo, Assistant.
THE RAILWAY STATION was built in the summer of 1881, the station master is Henry C. Matrau, en efficient and obliging officer who has been in office for over ten years. The first agent was Martin W. Rose, the next J. R. Keun. The train despatcher is F. O. Nye.
THE POST OFFICE was established in 1848 with Mr. DeBruyn as first post master, who was followed by H. D. Post, John Roost and Wm. Verbeck, who took office Nov. 13, 1866, and still remains in office. Money Order Branch established August, 1870.
THE LYCEUM was incorporated April 9, 1879, for library, lyceum and scientific purposes, for which was erected a commodious building on 8th St. The first officers were R. H. McBride, President, G. Van Schelven, Secretary. The present officers are J. Kuite, President; J. C. Post, Secretary, and C. L. Waring, Manager. They have a stage, scenery, and a seating capacity of 500. They have had several lecture courses but have as yet no library.
Holland is well supplied with newspapers, having three Dutch and one English newspaper, one of the Dutch papers being the College organ, De Hope, which is also the exponent of the Reformed Church, established 1866 by the Council of the College, and first edited by Prog. Oggel, now by an editorial committee with Prof. Doesburg as managing editor. It has a very wide circulation.
Next comes the Hollander, first issued in 1850, with H. D. Post as editor of the English part, and the Dutch part by G. Van der Wall, and published by Hawkes & Bassett. In 1851 H. Doesburg bought the office and the paper was edited by Doesburg and Van der Wall, but in two months Van der Wall went away to study for the ministry, and became afterwards a professor in Hope College, and is now a preacher in South Africa. The paper is now conducted by Mr. Benjaminse.
De Grundwet, established in 1859 by Roost & Hoogesteger, as a Republican organ, afterwards published by Hoogesteger & Mulder, and now by the latter gentleman Karl Mulder.
The Ottawa Register was published for years by H. D. Post; De Wachter was begun in Holland and transferred to Grand Rapids; De Paarl had also a transient existence in Holland.
The De Wachter is the religious organ of the Christian Reformed Church, and is conducted by a church committee.
The Holland City News was commenced immediately after the great fire of 1871 by Dr. S. L. Morris, an ex-army surgeon, who conducted the paper until Jan. 17, 1874, when G. S. Doesburg & Co., became publishers, and G. Van Schelven editor; the latter becoming publisher also in July, 1875. On May 1, 1876, Otto J. Doesburg purchased the paper. He is a practical printer, and does the main run of English printing, and his reputation as a job printer draws work from a large portion of the surrounding Country. The paper was originally started as a Republican organ, but ever since the first change it has remained independent. The circulation is slowly but steadily increasing, necessarily slow on account of the large foreign element in the community. In Feb. 1882, Mr. Wm. H. Rogers purchased the paper.
Holland Township was organized as a township by act of Legislature March 16, 1847. The first town meeting was held at Dr. Van Raalte's on Monday, April 2s, 1849. H. D. Post was elected Chairman of the Board of Inspectors, and James Walker and Wm. Z. Bronson, Inspectors, and Charles D. Shenick, Clerk. The following ten were all of the voters: H. D. Post, Josiah Martin, Wm. Z. Bronson, Ira Manley, Asa Haynes, Benjamin Brist, H. G. Post, Alvin V. Benham, Jas. Walker and Charles D. Shenick. The reason there were so few was that the Hollanders were not naturalized.
The following became first officers: H. D. Post, Supervisor; Wm. Z. Bronson, Clerk; Hoyt G. Post, Treasurer; James Walker, Asa Haynes, Josiah Martin, H. D. Post, Justices of the Peace. Twenty-five dollars was ordered to be raised by tax for town expenses. The same officers were reelected the following year, when there were but three voters present, the Messrs. Post and Bronson.
At the next election over 200 deposited votes. The officers were: Supervisor, H. D. Post; Clerk, Elias G. Young; Treasurer, Robbertus M. De Bruyn; Assessors, E. G. De Young, Aldert Plugger, H. Vaneyk; Commissioner of Highways, Bernardus Grootenhuis; School Inspectors, A. C. Van Raalte, H. D. Post; Justices of the Peace, Moses Hawks, James Walker, H. D. Post; Constables, F. Kieft, H. Van Eyk, J. Den Hond; Directors of Poor, A. Hartgring, T. Keppel. It was decided to raise nothing for roads or bridges, or town expenses, and the next meeting was held in Zeeland. Mr. Post was continued as supervisor in 1852-3-4-5. In 1856 he retired, and Hendrick Van Eyk was elected and Jacob B. Bailey, Clerk. In 1857, the vote on County Seat showed 169 for Grand Haven, and 46 for Eastmanville, and the supervisor was reelected.
In 1858, there were 337 votes cast, a majority of which were for John Roost for Supervisor, who was reelected in 1859-60. In 1861 Bernardus Ledeboer was elected Supervisor, 421 votes being present, and Mr. Roost, Treasurer. Ledeboer was reelected in 1863-4-5-6. In 1867 B. Grootenhuis was elected Supervisor, and was reelected in 1868-9. In 1870 Wiepke Diekema became Supervisor, and reelected in 1871-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-80-81. In 1881 the officers were: Wiepke Diekema, Supervisor; Isaac Marsilje, Clerk; Daniel Youker, Treasurer; John Ten Have, School Inspector; Rense A. Hyma, Superintendent of Schools; Charles Schilleman, Justice of the Peace; Tammo Dykema, Commissioner of Highways.
The first settler in the township was Gilbert Crammer, now residing near Kalamazoo, who came in before the Hollanders. Isaac Fairbanks came in 1845 within three miles of Holland, in Allegan township. Rev. Smith, the Indian Missionary, got well paid for entertaining the Hollanders when they came. H. D. Post came in Aug. 20, 1847.
The township is similar in size to Olive, being ten miles from east to west and six from north to south. It lies on the lake shore south of Olive, and contains Black Lake. It has Ventura P. O. in the northwest corner, North Holland in the northeast, and New Groningen in the east, and in the northeast corner Noordeloos P. O. It contains 37,000 acres. It is essentially a "Holland" township. The land north of Black Lake is pine and hemlock; in the east and south the land is higher, and bears hard wood. At the last census Holland had 3,064 inhabitants.
The first religious worship was held in the open air, a large hemlock stump answering for the pulpit, while the trunk and limbs answered for seats for the audience. During the summer and fall of 1847 the colony was so reinforced as to number several hundred, with six church organizations and several schools. The first wind mill was built in 1852, by W. K. Flietstra, at the head of Black Lake, to drive a saw mill, and had tolerable success, but it cost too much to repair.
Two cities were projected at the mouth of the Black Lake, where it was thought trade would center. On the south side "Portsmouth" was merely a paper organization. On the north eastern capitalists, with Capt. Macy at the head, in 1835 commenced to found the city of "Superior," built a road to Grand Haven and to the mouth of the Kalamazoo river, put up a steam mill, ship-yard, built a schooner, and H. Knox built a tannery; but Macy was killed at Kalamazoo and the town died, the machinery was removed from the mill, and the inhabitants "folded their tents like the Arabs, and as silently stole away."
The settlers were at first held together by a strong religious sympathy, and Van Raalte was their leader, both temporal and spiritual, his preaching nerving them to endure. In 1848 they erected their church, and the same year Oswald Vanderhuis, a wealthy Hollander, put up a saw mill at the head of the lake, and Wm. Flietstra erected the famous wind mill that would not work, to carry a gang of saws; a grist mill was also put up between Holland and Zeeland. At this time the colonists were under the greatest obligations to Alfred Plugger, a noble-hearted Hollander, who advanced money to help others, to be repaid when they could. He lost nothing by this in the end, and died Nov. 1, 1864, with the love and benedictions of all.
In 1847 the settlement in North Holland began. Van Raalte told J. Vantongeren that the Indians reported good land to the north, and directed him to search for it. He, with Jan Van Dyke, after following the trail for five miles, found the land and returned to report. In the winter of 1849-50 Jan Vantongeren, Gerrit Van Dyke, his sons Jan, Jacob, Albert and Otto, and his two daughters, all unmarried; Coenrad Smidt and family, Jan, Peter, Coenrad, William and Arent, and Jan Stag Sr. and Cars Weener, came in and built log houses, bringing in one stove, four men drawing it on a hand-sled. Next year Jan Spykerman and Jan Veldheer followed. They cut a road from Holland the first winter. The first church was a small frame, now part of the parsonage. In 1856 Herman Grebel, of Grand Rapids, taught their first school. Arent Smidt says he took two days to come from Holland with a team, which stuck in the mud the first night.
In 1860 the first church was built, but the church had been organized since 1851. E. C. Oggel was first pastor, in 1866. In 1870 B. Van Ness succeeded. Then there were 80 families, now there are over 130. The settlement has, by industry and thrift, been a success.
G. J. Boone, Frank
R. Brower, A. M. Burgess,
Wm Butkau, Isaac Cappon,
Michael J. Clapper,
John Coatsworth, John
Cochran, Wm Cochran,
Benj. H. Crofoot, James A. Crofoot, Martin DeBoe, Wm H. Deming, P. J. Doyle,
Chas A. Dutton, J. Elferdink, George B. Gillett, Edward J. Harrington, Wilson Harrington,
Anneus J. Hillidrands, Manly D. Howard, Darwin C. Huff, John Hummel, G. W. Joscelyn,
R. Kanters, Teunis Keppel, James Koning, James Kuite, L. Lawrence, George T. McCluer,
Christopher Nichols, Aaron J. Nyland, F. J. Ort, Henry D. Post, John Roost,
Roelof Schouten, Peter Slooter, E. F. Sutton, Hein Van De Haar, B. L. Van Lente,
B. J. Veneklasen, Arend Visscher, R. E. Werkman, Albert Zuidema
R. KANTERS was born in the Netherlands Jan. 6, 1826; settled in Holland, Mich., Sept. 26, 1862. Not only Mr. Kanters, but his father and grandfather, were engaged in jetty work for the government before coming to the United States, which occupation he has followed since his immigration here. It was he who made the jetty breakwater in Lincoln Park, Chicago, and now (1881) has a large government contract on the same line in Texas. He has been largely identified in the government of Holland City, and is thoroughly known throughout the community for his liberality, business and social qualities. He married April 5, 1849, Christina Roos, who was born May 20, 1822. They have eight children: Margaret T., born June 21, 1850; Abraham M., Aug. 10, 1851; Leendert T., March 19, 1853; Maria C., May 7, 1855, died Oct. 29, 1869; Rokus A., Feb. 23, 1857; John D., March 15, 1858; Gerardus A., Jan. 21, 1864; Jennie R., June 21, 1866; Adrianis K., adopted son of Girardus Roos, born Jan. 15, 1849.
ISAAC CAPPON. Among the self-made men of this locality, no one is entitled to greater credit for his untiring energy and perseverance than the subject of this short sketch. Born in the Netherlands Jan. 13, 1830, he early sought a home and his fortune in the United States. He found his way to Rochester, N.Y. in 1847, and remained a year, when in 1848 he settled in Holland, Ottawa County, Mich. In 1849 he was a laborer in the tannery of Mr. Pfanstiehl. In 1856 he commenced the same business on his own account (see history of the Cappon & Bertsch Leather Company) and now owns the principal interest in the largest tannery in the State. Mr. Cappon has been largely identified in the government of the township and city, having been Mayor several terms, on the Harbor and School Boards, etc. He was married Sept. 18, 1854, to Catherine De Boe, who was born in the Netherlands Feb. 5, 1835.
JOHN ROOST, the present Mayor (1881) of Holland City, was born in Harderwyk, Holland, Oct. 9, 1823. He left his home in the Netherlands about the same time as so many of his countrymen were seeking their fortunes in the new world, for in 1847 we find him enrolled as a citizen of Holland Township, Ottawa County, Michigan. By trade, Mr. Roost was a wheelwright, which he followed at Holland and Grand Rapids for two years, then carried on the wagon making and blacksmith business at Grandville till 1854, when he settled permanently in Holland and engaged in the same business. In 1858 he was elected Supervisor for Holland Township, and reelected in 1859-60. In 1861 he was elected County Treasurer on the Republican ticket in a strong Democratic County. He was appointed post master in 1861, and in 1862 was appointed U.S. Enrolling Officer and Assistant Assessor. In 1870 he was a member of the State Legislature.
MANLY D. HOWARD, the subject of this sketch, was born in Herkimer County, N.Y., Aug. 31, 1817, and moved to Chautanqua Co., in 1826. He graduated at the State Academy at Fredonia, in 1835. He read law in the office of O. W. Moore, of Ann Arbor, and although was never admitted to the Bar has ever done a large amount of legal business. In 1854 he made Ottawa County, Mich., his home and followed lumbering, being the owner of a saw mill till 1867. Since which time he has followed his profession coupling with it insurance and real estate agencies. He was Representative for two terms in the State Legislature, and a Justice of the Peace for a number of years, and at present is the owner of quite an amount of real estate. He married in 1846 Sarah Stevens Bardwell, daughter of a prominent silk merchant of London, England. Mr. Howard traces his genealogy to Earl Douglas Howard, of Vermont, who settled in Herkimer County, N.Y., in about 1800 and died in 1820.
WM. BUTKAU, born in Germany May 25, 1830. Settled in Holland City, Michigan, in 1867, engaged in the manufacture of boots and shoes. In the same year he was burned out losing his all, barely escaping with his family. Rebuilt the next year and was again burned out in the great fire of 1871. Rebuilt and commenced the butchering business, which he still continues, owning the large city meat market on 8th Street. He has enjoyed a large share of the confidence of the citizens of Holland, for he has held the several offices of Constable, Marshal and Alderman. He married Dec. 22, 1854, Mary Schrader, who was born March 30, 1827, and died Aug. 17, 1858. Second marriage Dec. 27, 1859, to Mary Lutzan, who was born in Germany Oct. 17, 1827, and died Aug. 16, 1873. Third marriage, Dec. 28, 1878, to Meta Wieck, who was born in Germany March 28, 1840. He has four children.
MARTIN DE BOE was born in the Netherlands March 19, 1837. Emigrated to Holland, Michigan, in 1847. He was a carpenter by trade. In April 1861, he enlisted as private in the 3rd Michigan Infantry, discharged on account of wounds received at Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862. Recovering from his wounds he was soon after elected 1st Lieutenant in Company I., 25th Michigan Infantry. Promoted to the Captaincy February 1863, was wounded at Nashville, Dec. 16, 1864, but served until the close of the war, in all over four years. Upon his return he resumed his trade and is now engaged with Cappon & Bertsch. He married Nov. 2, 1859, Jane Goodluck, who was born in the Netherlands Feb. 12, 1838.
AREND VISSCHER. The father of this subject, Jan Visscher, was born in Genemuiden, Province Overisel, Netherlands, on the tenth day of May, 1817, and his mother, whose maiden name was Geesje Van Der Haar, was born in the same place on the fifth day of Aug. 1820. These were united in marriage on the second day of May 1841, and thereupon for some four or five years they engaged in mercantile business in the native place. Restraint in the free exercise of their religious convictions, want of advantages for the liberal education of their children and the reasonable certainty that remaining where they were neither they nor their children could rise above their present condition, caused them to look around for a home and country which would in these respects offer them better facilities. Their attention was drawn to America, wither also their former pastor, A. C. Van Raalte was intending to go, and as they believed, under Divine direction, they set sail on the fourth day of October 1846, accompanied by five of their brothers and sisters, and after a voyage of seventy-two days arrived in Baltimore, Md., late in December of that year, whence they proceeded to St. Louis, where they remained some six weeks and where another party of Holland emigrants united with them. While here they received correspondence from Rev. Van Raalte, who requested them to join him in Michigan, whither they proceeded and arrived there during the latter part of March 1847, since which time they have fully identified themselves with the colony, being especially interested in the religious and educational interests of the community. They readily availed themselves of the opportunities Hope College offered them, where by their united and untiring efforts they had the pleasure to see their four sons, William, Arend, John and Johannes W., graduate, who each of them afterwards have been enabled to take a professional course. Their daughters, Lemmie, Mary and Senie, likewise received a liberal education. The parents now reside in Holland Township, one mile south of Holland City.
Arend Visscher was born Oct. 3, 1849, at Holland Township, on section 34, graduated from Hope College in the year 1872, and completed his legal course at Michigan university, from which he graduated the 25th day of March, 1875, when he opened a law office in Holland City. On the 27th day of November, 1879, he was united in marriage with Miss Annie Van der Sluis, of Holland City, a daughter of one of the early settlers, but who, owing to her father's early death, was kindly offered a home by her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. K. Schaddelee, from which she has taken to present home about one mile south of Holland City.
B. J. VENEKLASEN was born in the Netherlands June 24, 1828, settled in Holland, Ottawa County, June 14, 1847, on section 27. He and his father were the first to establish brick making in the then Holland Colony, in 1850, which he still, in connection with his sons, carries on, on section 13, making 5,000,000 bricks annually. He married Feb. 29, 1852, Alberdina Woording, who was born August 15, 1831. He has ten children:
Jan, born Dec. 10, 1853; Roelof, born June 10, 1856; Albertus, born August 10, 1858; Hendrik, born March 10, 1861; Pieter, born June 17, 1863; Lydia H., born August 29, 1865; Benjamin, born Sept. 12, 1867; Albert, born July 17, 1870; Gerrit, born April 21, 1873; Maria G., born Oct. 16, 1875. His father, Jan Hendrik, was born March 25, 1799, and died in Holland, Michigan, November 15, 1875.
TEUNIS KEPPEL was born in the Netherlands, June 9, 1823, arrived in Holland, by way of St. Louis and Chicago, March 17, 1847, having made the journey from Chicago on foot. He was among the first settlers known as the Holland Company in this part of Michigan. He followed farming until 1872 when he became a dealer in lumber, lath and shingles, which he still continues. He was the first City Marshal for Holland, has been a Justice of the Peace for years, and on the school board for 19 years. Mr. Keppel has been twice married, first May 7, 1848, to Geertrue G. Blommers, who died Sept. 23, 1873. Second marriage, May 31, 1876, to Mrs. J. M. W. Oggel, daughter of Dr. A. C. Van Raalte.
EDWARD J. HARRINGTON. George Harrington, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Onondaga County, N.Y. Nov. 17, 1807, he married Margaret Van Alstine, of Holland descent, who was born in Charlestown, near Albany, May 27, 1810. As early as 1846 he settled in Fillmore Township two and one-half miles south of Holland City, where the old people still reside. E. J. Harrington was born July 30, 1832. Being one of the first settlers and having been reared in this locality, his popularity may be known by his having been Supervisor, Township Treasurer, Justice, etc., of Fillmore Township, and Mayor of Holland City. He has been prominently identified in all the improvements of his city since the building of the first house. It was he who built the first brick store in the city, also the first steamboat dock on the lack, and in this building up of the city in every direction he has done as much as any other man. He has also been a large real estate dealer, having handled as much as 18,000 acres. He married Sept. 6, 1853, Matilda Harrington, who was born June 27, 1832. He has five children.
HENRY D. POST came to Holland shortly before the Hollanders, when it was a dense wilderness, and was of great service to the colony, acting for many years as Supervisor of the township, Justice of the Peace, and in other official capacities. He has ever been foremost in all that could advance the welfare of the city and vicinity. He is still actively engaged in business, and enjoys the confidence and respect of the whole community. He has a Collection, Insurance and Real Estate Agency, and is U.S. Commissioner. His son, John C. Post, has a law office in the same place.
E. F. SUTTON was born in Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 14, 1842. He settled in Allegan County, Mich., in 1869, and in connection with a brother owned and operated a saw mill till 1973, when he settled in Holland, Ottawa County, owning and operating the City Brewers till 1879, when he sold out and now carries on the City Bottling Works in connection with a saloon on 8th Street. He married May 31, 1877, Emma Burnett. They have three children.
ROELOF SCHOUTEN was born in the Netherlands Dec. 5, 1835. He graduated at the Haarlem Medical College June 29, 1865. Soon after he engaged as a physician on board a vessel, in which position he remained three years, visiting the East Indies and other places. In 1869 he sought a home in the United States, settling in Holland, Ottawa County, Mich., where in connection with the drug business, he is still practicing his profession. Not contented in traveling the beaten paths of his profession, Dr. Schouten has discovered and is the sole proprietor of the very popular family medicines known as Dr. Schouten's Compound Syrup of Rhubarb, Cough Balsam and Anti-Bilious and Expectorant Pills, which are being introduced very rapidly in all sections of the country. Dr. Schouten has been four years city physician, and three years health officer in Holland. He appears to have sprung from a race of physicians, for his grandfather on his mother's side was not only a physician but a professor elect in the University of Amsterdam. Also his father, two uncles and four nephews belong to the profession. His father, who was born in the Netherlands, April 18, 1809, is still practicing in his native country.
J. ELFERDINK was born in the Netherlands April 2, 1835, and settled in Holland City, Mich., in 1854. His first labor was in glass furnace, but for a long time has worked in a tannery and at present is engaged in the Cappon & Bertsch tannery. He married Dec. 4, 1859, Mrs. Elizabeth E. Smith, of Oswego County, N.Y.
PETER SLOOTER was born in the Netherlands Nov. 6, 1834, and settled in Holland in 1854. He followed sailing on Lake Michigan till 1874, and was master of the schooner Mary, schooner Woolen, schooner Tri-color and schooner Arrow. He is now working as tanner and currier with Cappon & Bertsch. He married Feb. 1, 1861, Dina DeBoe.
JOHN HUMMEL was born in Germany, March 16, 1839, and settled in Chicago in 1865, following the occupation of tanner. In 1867 he settled in Holland and is an owner in the Cappon & Bertsch leather company. He married April 7, 1869, Hannah Jaeger, who was born in Germany March 12, 1840.
ALBERT ZUIDEMA was born in Erie County, N.Y., Sept. 1, 1857. He early learned the trade of a currier, which he follows with Cappon & Bertsch at Holland, Ottawa County, Mich.
P. J. DOYLE was born in Dublin, Ireland, Aug. 6, 1831, and settled in New York April 1852, engaging as tanner and currier. In 1853 he went to Boston, Mass., and in 1856 settled in Holland, Mich., and is engaged as foreman in the currying department of Cappon & Bertsch. He married Jan. 23, 1854, Adelia Fagen, who was born in Ireland March 17, 1832, and has seven children.
R. E. WERKMAN was born in the Netherlands June 24, 1855. He settled in Holland City in 1867. He engaged in 1871 in the planing mill of which he is half owner, and also has a fruit farm a mile west of Holland. He is foreman of Fire Company No. 1, and president of the Lyceum Hall Association.
A. M. BURGESS was born in Waukegan, Ill., March 30, 1837. In 1868 he learned the trade of photographer, which occupation he still follows, having an extensive business on 8th St., Holland. He married in 1871 Kate E. Thomas.
JAMES KONING was born in the Netherlands Nov. 2, 1833, immigrating to Holland, Mich., in 1848. He has been engaged for a term of years in the mercantile business, but is now foreman in the large stave and heading factory of Joseph Fixter. He married Nov. 8, 1855, Cecilia Albers.
F. J. ORT was born in the Netherlands July 23, 1848. He was educated at the University of Utrecht and obtained the degree of Doctor of Roman and Modern Law. He also received a classical education at his native place. He settled in Holland, Mich., in 1874, and is following his legal profession.
FRANK R. BROWER was born in the Netherlands Jan. 10, 1835, and settled in Ottawa County, Mich., in 1847. By occupation is a sailor. At present he is the owner of the steam tug Twilight, and is having a steamer built in Grand Haven, the "Henry F. Brower," to ply between Holland City and the mouth of the Black Lake, for the accommodation of excursion parties. She is 68 feet long, 14 feet beam, 6 1/2 feet depth of hold, propelled by a forty-horse power engine and capable of carrying with safety a hundred passengers. Mr. Brower has been twice married, first Oct. 1, 1858, to Jane E. Benstead, who died Jan. 15, 1962; second, in Nov. 18, 1862, to Louisa E. McKnight.
JOHN COATSWORTH was born in Missisquoi County, Quebec, July 3, 1815, and settled in Ingham County, Mich., in 1839. He engaged in milling and merchandise till 1865, when he settled in Holland, Ottawa County, Sec. 30, and is engaged in cultivating all kinds of small fruits.
WILSON HARRINGTON was born in Onondaga County, N.Y., July 10, 1838, and settled in connection with his father's family in the vicinity of Holland City in 1846. He has always followed farming and dealing in real estate, and now lives about a mile south of Holland. He married Dec. 15, 1861, Lucy A. Green.
JOHN ALBERTI was born in the Netherlands Sept. 5, 1837, and settled in Iowa in 1856, and in Holland, Mich., in 1864. He worked on a farm till 1868 when he commenced the livery business, which he still follows on 9th Street, Holland. He married May 31, 1865, Antji Broersma.
Wm. H. DEMING was born in Columbia County, N.Y., Oct. 19, 1817. He settled in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1856, building and operating a foundry. He settled in Holland in 1859, and built his large foundry on 10th Street, where he is still operating, being the only foundry in Holland.
G. J. BOONE was born in the Netherlands Feb. 28, 1831, and settled in connection with his father's family in Holland, Mich., in 1847. He engaged in general work till 1855, when he purchased a farm. In 1857 he purchased and ran the first eight-horse power threshing machine introduced in the Holland Colony. In 1866, he and partners built their saw mill on Sec. 23, where he continues to do business. He married Nov. 27, 1859, Jantji Broek.
CHAS. A. DUTTON was born in Windsor County, Vermont, Mrch 12, 1828. He settled in Erie County, N.Y., in 1851, and engaged in wagon making; thence in 1864 to Niagara County, N.Y., and engaged in raising small fruits. In 1872 he settled on Sec. 33, Holland Township, and is engaged in farming and raising all kinds of small fruits. He married Aug. 2, 1854, Martha Sleeper, who was born in Stanstead, Canada, Dec. 27, 1831, and died in November, 1881.
GEORGE T. McCLUER was born in Kent County, Mich., Nov. 6, 1846; worked on farm till he was twenty years old, then learned and worked at carriage painting till 1874; since which time he has been engaged in the sale of Singerís sewing machines, having charge of the business in Holland and vicinity. Enlisted Jan. 13, 1865, in the 21st Michigan Infantry, and served till the close of the war. Married Feb. 13, 1867, to Amelia P. Anderson. His father, Orrin McCluer, was born in Rutland, Vt., and settled at Grand Rapids in 1836, and now lives at Berlin, Ottawa County, Mich.
HEIN VAN DE HAAR was born in the Netherlands, Nov. 25, 1821. In 1847, in connection with the large emigration of his countrymen, he settled in Holland, Mich. In 1853 he went to California, remaining till 1864, when he visited Europe, returning to Holland in 1865, when he engaged in the butchering business, which in connection with selling paper he still continues on 8th Street.
JAMES KUITE born in the Netherlands, Oct. 24, 1838. Settled in Holland, Mich., May 12, 1849. Labored at general work till 1858, when he engaged in lumbering on his own account. In 1864 he purchased a schooner, and acted as mate on her for three years. In 1871 he commenced butchering, which he still continues, running a market on 8th Street, Holland. He has been Dept. City Marshal, Constable, and is at present an Alderman in Holland City. Married in 1857 to Jennie Slooter.
ANNEUS J. HILLIBRANDS was born in the province of Drenthe, Netherlands, March 7, 1821. Having received a liberal education in his native country, he early entered the profession of teacher. In 1845 he visited Rochester, but returned to the Netherlands and was married Dec. 31, 1846, to Johanna M. Maassen, who was born Oct. 28, 1820. He and his wife returned to the United States and settled in Holland, Ottawa County, Mich., in 1848. In 1851 he went to Sheboygan County, Wis., and taught at Oostburg six years. Returning, he continued his profession in Holland till 1871, at which time he retired from his profession.
Mr. Hillibrands has been largely identified in the interests of his locality, having been Township Clerk, Justice of the Peace, and is at present a Notary and Post Master in his village, New Groningen, situated between Holland and Zeeland. He has been very unfortunate in his family, for out of ten children only one survives, Anneus C., born Sept. 28, 1861.
CHRISTOPHER NICHOLS was born in Page County, Virginia, Jan. 5, 1818. Settled with his father in Clark County, Ohio, in 1821. Enlisted in the 151st Indiana Vols. in 1865. Served till the close of the war. Settled in Holland Township in 1867. Has been married twice -- first, in 1846, to Elizabeth Pence, who died in 1855, leaving three children. Second marriage occurred Oct. 7, 1856, to Adalante French, who was born in Clark County, Ohio, Jan. 29, 1842.
JOHN COCHRAN was born in Summit County, Ohio, Dec. 8, 1829. Settled in Holland Township, Sec. 21, in 1862. Married Aug. 26, 1855, to Miss L. M. Carrier, who was born in Sterling, N.Y., May 26, 1834. Two children -- J. D., born Nov. 20, 1861 and Wilbur E., born Sept. 16, 1870.
JAMES A. CROFOOT was born in Cayuga County, N.Y., July 30, 1817. Married in 1840 to Elizabeth Jane Horton, of Ulster County, N.Y. As early as 1842 Mr. Crofoot commenced to preach. Settled in Kalamazoo County, Mich., in 1854, and in Holland, Ottawa County, in 1858. Continued as a local preacher till 1865, when he entered the regular ministry, which he still continues. Lives on Sec. 10, Holland Township. His eldest son, James Henry, enlisted Jan. 3, 1864, and died June 25th of the same year, at Chattanooga. His family consisted of four sons and two daughters.
BENJAMIN H. CROFOOT was born in Oswego County, N.Y., Feb. 12, 1847. Settled in Holland Township in 1858. Now lives on Sec. 14, a farmer. Married April 29, 1873, Ada Wartenby, who was born May 8, 1857. Two children -- Jefferson H. and Delilah E.
MICHAEL J. CLAPPER was born in Columbia County, N.Y., April 14, 1808. Early learned the trade of carpenter and joiner. Subsequently practiced medicine in the Botanical School for fourteen years. Settled in Holland Township, Sec. 9, January, 1859. Besides being engaged in farming, Mr. Clapper has during his whole life acted as a local preacher in the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Married first April 5, 1832, to Mary Ann Phillips, who was born June 8, 1814, and died May 31, 1868, being the mother of ten children, only two of whom are still living. Second marriage Nov. 22, 1869, to Elizabeth Perrin, who was born May 3, 1824. One son, Martin, who was born Jan. 18, 1836, was killed at the battle of Bull Run.
GEORGE B. GILLETT was born in Delaware County, N.Y., Dec. 20, 1826. Settled in Portage County, Ohio, in 1857, remaining till 1863, when he made Holland, Ottawa County, his home. Married Jan. 13, 1859, to Elizabeth A. Moore, who was born in Mahoning County, Ohio, March 31, 1833. One child, Nettie A., born October, 1859, and died Jan. 16, 1879.
G. W. JOSCELYN was born in Seneca County, N.Y., Oct. 16, 1821. Settled in Holland Township, Sec. 4, in 1859. Engaged in farming and lumbering. It was he who built the first saw mill in the western part of the township. Has been Justice and is the present Post Master at Ventura. Married Jan. 13, 1842, to Maria Davis, who was born in Delaware County, N.Y., Dec. 23, 1824.
GEORGE CASWELL was born in Wayne County, N.Y., March 25, 1820. Settled in Ionia County, Mich., in 1856, and in Holland, Ottawa County, in 1861, on Sec. 9, where he now lives. Married Dec. 8, 1853, Sarah M. Crofoot, who was born Oct. 7, 1822. One son, Geo. M., born Nov. 26, 1857.
AARON J. NYLAND was born in the Netherlands Oct. 9, 1828. Settled in Buffalo, N.Y. in 1848, remaining seven years; then settled in Kalamazoo, Mich., and engaged as a tanner; remained a year; lived in Van Buren County two years. He then, in 1858, settled in Holland, and engaged in farming for five years, when in 1863 he engaged as foreman in the tannery of Mr. Albee, of Grand Haven, remaining two years, when he commenced tanning on his own account in Grand Rapids; was burned out, and subsequently engaged as foreman for Harlem & Juelott, Milwaukee. In 1873 he engaged as foreman for Cappon & Bertsch, in their tannery at Holland, where he now operates. He was married June 22, 1851, to Dinah Schowenaar, who was born in 1831.
B. L. VAN LENTE was born in the Netherlands Sept. 2, 1821. Settled in Holland, on Sec. 32, August, 1847, and now lives on Sec. 12, farmer of 180 acres. Has been Constable, Assessor, School Director, etc. Married April 14, 1840, to Minnie Baarscher, who was born Feb. 21, 1824. His father, Frederik Van Lente, died Feb. 13, 1876.
WILLIAM COCHRAN was born in Summitt County, Ohio, July 3, 1842. Settled on Sec. 15, Holland Township, in 1864, where he still lives. Married Feb. 14, 1864, to Maria Carley, who was born in Vermont Oct. 1, 1838. Two children -- William, born Sept. 14, 1866, and Frederik B., born July 22, 1869. Mr. Cochran's father, Robert, died in California in 1853. Mrs. Cochran's father, Wm. Carley, was born in Vermont in 1795, and died Dec. 19, 1878.
DARWIN C. HUFF was born in Shiawassee County, Mich., Dec. 5, 1841. Settled in Holland Township, Sec. 3, in 1859. Enlisted Aug. 6, 1862, in the 25th Michigan Infantry as musician. Served three years in the 23d Army Corps; wounded in the hip and thigh at Atlanta; gets a pension. Married Jan. 4, 1866, to Mrs. Melissa A. Green, whose maiden name was Crofoot. Mr. Lyman T. Green, the former husband of Mrs. Huff, was born in New York State, in 1835, and died in the army at Vicksburg, in 1863.
L. LAWRENCE was born in Alamo, Mich., June 1, 1858. Settled with his father in Holland in 1859, on Sec. 9, where he still lives. Married April 24, 1881, to Eliza Nash.
Transcriber: Leslie Coulson
Created: 26 August 2006