Posts Tagged ‘Kalamazoo Gazette’

I dug into the bottom of a file drawer and pulled out a book I forgot that I had. It was put together by the Kalamazoo Gazette and featured photographs sent in by individuals of Kalamazoo from the past up to the early 1960s.

My grandfather, Adrian Zuidweg, is listed as one of the contributors, so I went through and tried to find the photos he might have sent in.

Definitely these two photos. The little boy in the check dress and straw hat is grandpa himself. And the little girl on the hammock is his cousin Alice Leeuwenhoek.

Those are the relatives sitting on the front porch. Gosh, I own that photo! I didn’t realize that was Richard Remine (though I can see right now that it is, of course, him)–or his children Therese, Harold, and Jane either. It would fit that the two little girls are Alice (next to her grandma Alice Paak) and Therese. With Harold behind the children. But Jane doesn’t really look old enough in this photo. According to my records, Jane was 14 years older than Therese. Something is off here. That big gap in age between Jane and Therese bothers me, and it always has. And if you recall when I wrote about Frank and Jane Tazelaar, I had been confused for awhile about if there had been 4 Remine children and 2 girls of similar names.  This photo must be somewhere around 1901, based on the assumed aged of the 3 little children. Jane was born in 1881 and is not 20 here!

The known people: back row is Aunt Jen DeKorn Leeuwenhoek, Richard DeKorn, Richard Remine. Front row is Lambertus (Lou) Leeuwenhoek, Alice Paak DeKorn, and then the little girl next to Alice definitely looks like Alice Leeuwenhoek, Jen and Lou’s daughter. It would seem plausible that the three other children belong to Richard Remine, but Jane could not have been that small.

What else? Here is Harold Remine big enough to go fishing at Long Lake. The other photo is not from my family, but it does show off a great collection of hats!

This is the Ladies Library building that Richard DeKorn was the mason contractor for.

But I don’t think that is one of our family photos.

One of these photos could have been taken by Joseph DeKorn and been submitted by Grandpa. It is very similar to the ones that I own.

Take a look at the captions for the downtown views. Does it make sense? It doesn’t make sense to me for some reason.

Most importantly, Grandpa autographed this book!

Here is a bonus photo. It isn’t from my family, but isn’t it a cool reminder of the kitschy business architecture popular in those days?

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As usual, the more I’ve learned, the more questions I have! Realizing that all the newspaper articles have not been properly entered into the Genealogy Bank database, I know I am probably missing more articles about Frank. Although it’s easy to always assume this with data entry of genealogical information, I can tell from the Gazette’s own files that this is true. There is an article where they repeat choice nuggets from the Gazette from 10-20 years previously and Frank shows up there, but the original article does not show up.

What seems to be great omissions are obituaries for both Frank and Genevieve (Remine) Tazelaar. Since Frank was so involved in the community, as the sheer number of articles attests, why wouldn’t there be an obituary for his wife in 1930 and for himself in 1950?

I don’t even have a death certificate for Frank and when I tried to order one, a website tried to steal take $60 from me!

Let’s see what I discovered through what I did find, though.

  • Frank was extremely involved in the Knights of Pythias and the Elks. He may have had a connection to the Masons.
  • He was not only involved in these organizations, but was frequently elected to the boards and organized dances and other activities. In 1916, Frank was made Master of Exchequer of the Pythias lodge. As chairman of the Pythias festivities for New Year’s Eve 1915/1916, Frank commissioned a streetcar to remain for the party stragglers so they would have a way to get home. For a party in 1916, Frank even made sure the ladies were presented with a “delicate” box of chocolates.
  • Frank was a sportsman who raced his mare Gas Light in the 1905-1906 period, which would have been just before his marriage. There was talk about the possibility of Gaslight being entered into the bigger races in Detroit and Chicago. Now I understand why the photograph of Frank with the horse and dog is marked “GASLIGHT.” That was the same horse!
  • Frank hunted for small game and birds.
  • Frank was a men’s clothing salesman of some repute.
  • Before his marriage, when Frank went on vacation, the Kalamazoo Gazette noted it.
  • When Frank changed places of employment, he was mentioned in the paper. In August 5, 1894, he worked for That Thomas clothing house. In 1896 (March 19)  he went to work at the brand new and elegant clothing house of Mr. Yesner as one of his three salesmen. In 1907, Frank went to work for Hershfield’s. See article below.
  • In March 1906, Frank bought a lot on Ranney Street from Mrs. Blanche Henderson and “is having a fine residence erected on it.” That house would be ready for his bride Genevieve less than 4 months later. Ranney is a small street off South Westnedge Ave.
  • On April 30, 1911, Frank was building an “elegant new home” at 122 North West Street (West Street later became Westnedge Avenue, according to Sharon Ferraro). The property is “for sale,” but of course when Frank had influenza in 1918, that is the house he and Genevieve lived at.
  • His “wife” is only mentioned once in the newspaper, related to the transfer of a piece of real estate to someone else for $1.

I also discovered another photograph of Frank. Are these riding goggles he is wearing?

Here are a sampling of newspaper articles with a couple of surprises.What does this theatre ad mean? Was Frank an actor? How could the entire cast be as presented at the Chicago Auditorium (read this link about this marvelous performance venue!), which was a 4,000 seat theatre?

I have to say that if Frank was an actor it would not surprise me at all. He had to have been a larger-than-life man, full of humor (2 or 3 times he’s quoted in a humor column), and loving a good time. He was quite young at the time this ad was placed. The date of 10 November 1901 is five years before his marriage. He was about 25.

A curious item was in the Society and Personal column two months after Frank’s marriage to Genevieve:

Was Frank the only non-Jew in this party to attend synagogue services? And who was Mose Dunstin and how did Frank know him? All I have learned so far (of value to me for my curiosity) about Mose was that he was Moses Dunstin, born in “Russian Poland,” and his father’s surname was Danskin. He died 4 April 1910 in Kalamazoo at the age of 52. Cause of death was Angina Pectoris (chest pain) and contributing factors were influenza and albuminaria. Notice that for Moses I was able to get a free death certificate. So unfair . . . . Anyway, when Moses invited Frank to attend services, Moses was only 48.

Because the date of the article was 21 September 1906 I wondered if the event involved the High Holidays, but it seems that Sukkot began on September 21 (probably evening of September 20), so maybe it had to do with that holiday instead.

In 1907, Frank went to yet another clothier:

Notice it says Frank was with “That Thompson Clothing House” for 9 years. If he went with Yesner in 1896, that would mean he had been had the previous one since 1887. Since he was born in 1876, that would be impossible. What makes sense to me is that he left That Thomas for Yesner, left Yesner, and went back to That Thomas. Or the paper has the nine years wrong, which is also very possible. Note: I don’t yet know what year the Tazelaars immigrated to the U.S.

On January 29, 1914, the 80th birthday of Frank’s mother, Adriana Bek Tazelaar, was noticed. I prefer to post the whole Society column for this one. The mention is on the right side, the sixth paragraph down. In this paragraph there are mention of Adriana’s descendants, which is useful for locating Frank within his own family tree.

Later that year, on June 25, there is a somewhat humorous article about the fishing teams of the Knights of Pythias lodge. Frank is one of the team captains.  This article is notable for sharing Frank’s photo. He was about 39 here . . . .

This article is ALSO notable for mentioning my great-grandfather’s fish market! Referring to the fish caught in the contest, the article says, “All fish must be delivered at Zuideweg’s [SIC: should be Zuidweg’s] market in Eleanor Street by Monday noon . . . .” So you know the connection, Genevieve Remine Tazelaar was the first cousin of my great-great-grandfather Richard DeKorn whose son-in-law was my great-grandfather Adrian Zuidweg who owned the fish market. Now the most important part: Richard DeKorn built the Pythian building known as Pythian Castle and, earlier, as the Telegraph Building. The link explains about the building.

I’ve posted a photo of the fish market in the past.

Fish Market on Eleanor Street with Adrian Zuidweg and helper

Seven years later, there is a notice that Frank needs to have a frame house moved from a lot.

April 3, 1921
Kalamazoo Gazette

When Genevieve died in September 1930, the couple were living at 423 S. Westnedge Avenue, so it stands to reason that Frank wanted to sell a frame house on new property so he could build a new house. It would be at least the third house he built for himself and his wife. Her parents probably lived there with them, as well. It might sound funny to move a house, but when I was little I watched a house being moved down the street while I was holding my grandmother’s hand. I never forgot that first image of a house on wheels, although I did see a similar scene much later in life.

The last article of any note I could find was on 29 September 1922.

From being the toast of the town to an arrest! For shooting ducks after sunrise yet, which is very unsportsmanlike. Maybe it was his companions who steered him wrong ;). At least he didn’t catch undersized bass like Mr. Denner!

All kidding aside, while I loved getting to know Frank, I am really ticked off that Genevieve’s life is completely erased, as if she never existed. This could be because it is so difficult to research the lives of women and also because Frank was so outgoing. I hope that she had a pleasant life.

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Some of you might remember the beautiful scrapbook of photographs that I was given by a very kind stranger. It belonged to one of the two adult daughters –Rhea or Lela–of my great-great-grandfather’s sister Jennie DeKorn Culver.

At least one of the three Culvers moved from Kalamazoo to Seattle on August 20, 1918. If only one Culver moved at that time, it wasn’t long before all three were living in the state of Washington. I have not been able to figure out exactly how the move occurred–or why–but it doesn’t stop me from being fascinated with the photos.


Although the majority of the photographs in the album are from 1917 and 1918, this one is marked 9-4-1915. It says it is on Riverside Drive. But what are those initials after the street?

In 1910 Jennie lived with her two daughters at 59 Kalamazoo Avenue in Kalamazoo. She was a seamstress in a corset factory. Rhea was 19 years old and a stenographer in a “paper stock company.” Lela, 21, was a teacher in a public school. I would really love to find out if Lela went to Western Normal School to become a teacher.

So is this Riverside Drive in Kalamazoo or elsewhere? According to Mapquest and Google, there is a Kalamazoo Avenue in Kalamazoo, but not Drive. Both Kalamazoo Avenue and Riverside Avenue are on the east side of Kalamazoo. There’s a famous Riverside Drive in NYC. I’m going to make a guess that those initials say N. Y.–New York City. Do you agree?

And is this one of the sisters? Unfortunately, I would say NO as both sisters had narrow faces. My guess is that this is a friend of the scrapbook owner.

On a slightly related subject, I just wanted to say:


They are undefeated this season!!!! This is my alma mater. This is the alma mater of so many of my relatives. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you want to get hyped up, watch the video and ROW THE BOAT!


Related articles

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I’ve heard that Uncle Lou (Lambertus Leeuwenhoek) loved to play games–and was very good at them. Where and when he passed away is fitting, in that context.


Uncle Lou “died at 3:15 Wednesday afternoon at the YMCA immediately after suffering a heart attack. He had just finished a game of checkers.” I bet he won the game.

I need to research where the Y was located.

He died on Wednesday, April 20, 1949. Coincidentally, my father-in-law passed away in 1984 on April 20. Notice that Uncle Lou and Aunt Jen were married on May 20. My birthday is July 20. My cousin was born January 20. I always notice the number 20.

Here is the funeral announcement in the newspaper:

And here is a beautiful memorial book from Uncle Lou’s funeral. I wish I knew how to create a slideshow that allows a reader to enlarge each photo, but I don’t know if there is a way on WordPress.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What I find particularly useful from a genealogy standpoint are the names of the visitors on the last two pages. They are as interesting as the names in the obituary, if not more so.

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OK, we’re going to try this again. You might have seen my post last week about this–which I subsequently deleted when it became obvious I’d missed a clue.

My great-great-grandfather’s sister Jennie DeKorn Culver (divorced) and her two adult daughters moved from Kalamazoo to Seattle at some point. All three women died there. Only Lela seems to have married–at the age of 63.

Two weeks ago, I posted the photo that gives the exact date the Culvers moved to Seattle. Here it is again with the date of August 20, 1918 written on it. One of the Culver daughters is in this photo.


I also posted a photo of all three Culver women–Aunt Jennie DeKorn Culver and her daughter Rhea and Lela–with some identified travelers or perhaps people seeing them off on their travels.

After much searching I did find one newspaper “jotting” that mentions the move. It was posted in the Kalamazoo Gazette on August 13, 1918.


Of COURSE, the mystery deepens. Why does it mention only Rhea and not her mother or sister? I can’t believe they wouldn’t be mentioned if they did, in fact, move at the same time.Maybe Rhea went with the other people in the photo? If so, when did Jennie and Lela move?

I will say that Jennie does look as if she is dressed for travel (she is the 3rd from the left). Do you agree with me? The other daughter, the one in the striped silk could be dressed for travel–or not.

In 1918, Rhea (born 1890) was 28 years old. She was single and a grown woman. I wonder if she went with any of the Culver family or she went with a religious group. Lela was also single and 30 that year. Jennie was 61. I will be 61 this summer. I can’t imagine making that move with my two daughters if I didn’t know anybody else in Seattle.

Also, this new information sheds light on that photo of the young Culver woman with the older woman (above). Maybe that is Rhea and she IS going with that woman to Seattle.

This is where it gets even more confusing.

In the 1920 census, Rhea, stenographer, is living in Kalamazoo with a cousin and the cousin’s husband, Charles Pierce, and daughter! The cousin is Cora DeSmit Pierce, the daughter of Jennie’s sister Mary. WHAT? So Rhea left for Seattle on her own and came back to Kalamazoo? Homesick?

Cora DeSmit Pierce

But wait.

Also in the 1920 census, Jennie and Lela (teacher) were living in Seattle! So Rhea moved to Seattle, according to the paper. It doesn’t say she joined her family there. It sounds as if she is the first Culver to move to Seattle. But how did the others end up in Seattle and Rhea NOT by 1920?

Can this get any more confusing? I will have to study the photo album more to see if I can find any other clues in there. I would like to examine yearly city directories in both Seattle and Kalamazoo, but even if I could, it still might not divulge what happened.

What do you think? Did Rhea move first and the rest of her family come later? Any ideas on where to research next?

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Henry (Hank) Waruf and his wife Carrie (Paak) Waruf owned the resort Ramona Palace and Ramona Park, as well as many cottages and their own home, at Long Lake in Portage, Michigan.

Since Carrie is one of the Paak sisters, and her sister Alice Paak DeKorn was my great-great-grandmother, I’ve focused more on the Paaks. But Henry Waruf is a very interesting character in Kalamazoo’s early history.

Adri van Gessel was so kind to do some research on the Waruf family. Henry himself appeared to be a bit of a dead end because the name Waruf seemed to come out of nowhere. But Adri broke through that brick wall and discovered Henry’s origins.

Who Was Hank?

Henry was born Hendrik Walraven on September 7, 1863 at Kloetinge, the Netherlands. Apparently Koetinge is part of Goes. Big shock there since the majority of my mom’s ancestors seem to have come from Goes.

He was married on June 2, 1882 at Kalamazoo (MI) to Cornelia Peek (Carrie Paak), daughter of Teunis Peek and Jacoba Bassa.  Cornelia was born on May 8, 1862 at Lexmond and died in January 1957 at Kalamazoo (MI).  Henry died on November 29, 1945 at Orlando (FL).

I don’t know if Henry was on vacation in Florida, living there part of the year, or if the couple (who had no children) had moved there and Carrie went back to Kalamazoo after his death. I could try to research this through city directories, phone books, etc. The research I have done was mainly through newspapers, and I discovered that, although Henry (or Hank) usually spelled his last name “Waruf,” sometimes it shows up as “Warruf.” Still, it looks to me as if Joseph is the one who changed the family surname to Warruf/Waruf in the United States from the original Walraven.

Henry had one sister,  Maria Walraven, born March 3, 1866 at Goes, but she died before 1870 in the Netherlands.

Henry and Maria were born to Joseph Walraven (Joseph Warruf), son of Hendrikus Walraven and Elisabetha Resch, who was born on October 13, 1837 at Goes, died on December 11, 1910 at Kalamazoo (MI).

Joseph was married on May 21, 1863 at Goes to Melanie de Munck (Mary), daughter of Jan de Munck and Maria Joseph Bataille.  Melanie was born on October 16, 1840 at Goes and died on March 18, 1914 at Kalamazoo (MI). Joseph, Melanie, and Henry immigrated to the U.S. in 1868, when Henry was 5 years old.

A Bataille Connection

Notice the name Bataille. I’ve previously written about a Bataille ancestor in these posts:

An Update on the Bataille Family

A Familial Occupation

How Did Etaples, France, Show Up in My Family Tree?

Hank Went into Business

As I mentioned, “Hank” (Henry) and Carrie (Cornelia) were married in 1882, when he was 19 and she was 20. By 1885, he was advertising a business selling guns in the Kalamazoo Gazette, where it’s noted that he took over the gun shop of W. Blanchard.

Sept 17, 1885 Click the link and scroll to the bottom for the ad. By September 1886, Hank added “gunsmith” to his name on the ads.

I was astonished to discover, in an 1897 Polk Directory, that Henry Waruf owned the gun shop in partnership with Richard “Ro-mine” who I take to be Richard Remine. Richard “Dick” Remine was Hank’s brother-in-law. He was married to Carrie’s sister, Mary, another sister of my great-great-grandmother. Richard was born in 1857 and so was six years older than Hank. I’ve written before that the person who inherited the Long Lake resort was Therese Remine, Richard’s daughter. So there might have been another reason that she was the sole inheritor of that property–because her father had been in business with Waruf. How long were they partners? I am going to guess that Waruf was the true businessman of the two–and an ambitious man.


Richard Remine

Hank Was a Man of Many Talents

Hank shows up often in the Gazette, and I was able to see that he became a talented shooter, a prize-winning breeder of English Spaniels (no wonder my grandfather’s family always had this breed of dogs), and a collector of real estate. He reported regularly to the State Board of Fish Commissioners on the fish in Long Lake.

Here is an article where he literally won all the prizes at a shoot. Sept 7, 1899. There are many articles about the shoots he attended and referreed. He also represented Kalamazoo at a state shoot in Bay City.

The award-winning dogs owned by Henry show up in publications by the American Kennel Club, The Field Dog Stud Book, and The Fanciers’ Journal. I traced the beginnings of this sideline to a Gazette article that mentions that Hank was going into the business of raising hunting dogs and had brought in a fine pointer from Lowell with a pedigree going “way back.”  Click the link for the article–right side about 1/3 down.Feb 28, 1899.

In 1919, there is a newspaper article about the houses that Waruf was selling. These houses were all on the north side of Kalamazoo. I know that he also owned all the cottages near the resort at Long Lake, so he was used to being a landlord. I wonder if he had been renting out all these houses or if he was flipping them. I suspect he had been renting the houses. Here is the article. April 2, 1919

Finally, on August 30, 1904, Kalamazoo Gazette published a cute story. A Gazette reporter climbed the water tower at the asylum. This is the tower that my great-great-grandfather Richard DeKorn built (click here). From that vantage point he was able to see all the way to Gull Lake in one direction and Long Lake in another. He mentions a great many notable people and what he claims he saw them doing at the time. About Waruf, he wrote, “‘Hank’ Waruf shining up his guns at Long Lake for the duck season.” The details in the article conjure up a Breughel painting, so I find it a little impossible, but definitely amusing. Here is the article: Aug 30, 1904



Here are some images I have previously published on The Family Kalamazoo:

Carrie (Paak) and Henry Waruf

Home of Hank and Carrie Waruf, Sprinkle Road

Home of Hank and Carrie Waruf, Sprinkle Road

I’ve written about the place and the people here:

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Mystery solved!!!!

Yvette Hoitink at Dutch Genealogy has done it again!  She led me to the answer of whose house burned down and when.   I first wrote about this in my post A Series of Disasters.

A newspaper clipping, saved by my family, reported the story of a house fire.  A George Paake of Trimble Street in Kalamazoo, Michigan, lost his house.  He was ill, his wife had recently died, and he had 5 children ages 14 and under at home.  The unidentified paper called their recent lives a “series of disasters.”

I wasn’t sure if this was Teunis Peek, the father of my great-great-grandmother Alice Paak DeKorn (are you confused yet by Paake/Peek/Paak?  I am!!  Oh, and there is Pake, too. They are all the same name . . .) or someone else as I had no idea when the fire took place.

Through Yvette’s research, she was able to determine that George Paake who lost his house was actually Joost, the “missing” son of Teunis and brother of my great-great-grandmother.

His wife Lucy passed away in 1900, leaving 5 young children.  George/Joost was 50 at the time he was left a widower.

With Yvette’s research results, I was able to get a better notion of George who had married a Dutch woman Lucy Kliphouse and had five children with her and was buying the house with a mortgage with the Building and Loan Association.

In Genealogy Bank I had not been able to locate a Kalamazoo Gazette article about the fire, but after Yvette narrowed the fire down to just past 1900, I used the search terms “fire” “Kalamazoo” and “Trimble,” rather than using George’s name.  In that way I did find the Gazette article, which deems Mr. Paake “a worthy man.”

The fire happened on Wednesday, September 3, 1902, and the Gazette reported it the next day.

Within two years (1900-1902) George lost his wife and then his house.

Is it any wonder that in 1906 he married Ester Cook?  Unfortunately, after living in Kalamazoo for one year with George, Ester too passed away.  One more disaster in the series for George (and for Ester).

In 1908 he married Addie Amelia Giffos (probably Gifford) Wilder.  When he married Addie his children were ages 10-20.  I have no idea if this was a love marriage or a marriage of convenience, but it would be understandable that he would have liked some help raising these children.  Also, it appears that Addie had at least a 5-year-old daughter at the time of her marriage to George.

One last comment: if you have family history trails that run back to the Netherlands, you will want to contact Yvette.  She can break down those research barriers you think will never open to you.

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Last week I wrote about my grandfather’s cousins, the Van Liere boys of Kalamazoo.

After I published that post I was given supplemental information by the very kind Adri Van Gessel, so I would like to add a little information and eventually I will go back and update the earlier blog post.

Marinus van Liere was born in 1874, not 1875. Goes is the correct location. His birth date was September 29, 1874, and his parents were Jacob and Katharina. Marinus was the 3rd boy named Marinus born to the couple, but the first two had died as infants. Out of 12 children, only five lived into adulthood. Pieter also immigrated to the United States. Here is the info on Pieter:

          Pieter Marcus van Liere (Peter), son of Jacob van Liere (I) and Katharina Barbier, was born on March 9, 1868 at Goes, died on January 8, 1953 at Kalamazoo (MI).

Pieter was married on July 31, 1890 at Kloetinge to Pieternella van Haveren (Nellie), daughter of Cornelis van Haveren and Pieternella Louisse. Pieternella was born on October 20, 1871 at Wolphaartsdijk, died on January 13, 1941 at Kalamazoo (MI).

From this marriage:

1  Catharina Van Liere was born on May 29, 1893 at Goes.

Catharina was married on May 6, 1915 at Kalamazoo (MI) to Dirk Goldschmeding (Dick), son of Johannes Leonardus Goldschmeding and Gijsbertje de Haas. Dirk was born on August 2, 1891.

2  Cornelius Van Liere was born on November 8, 1895 at Goes, see III-A.

(Peter has emigrated with his wife and his two children to America on March 13, 1909. He was a painter).

The question is if this Pieter is the same Peter Van Liere who shows up in the Kalamazoo Gazette. Because there are several articles spanning a period from 1888 to 1911, it becomes clear that the Peter Van Liere in the paper is older than Pieter and was already causing a ruckus in Michigan before our Pieter was married in the Netherlands.

As a reminder, here is the photo of the sons of Marinus and Johanna (my great-grandfather’s sister).

The Van Liere Brothers

From left to right they are:

Eugene (the tallest), Luke, Jake, Jim, John, Renny. Jane wasn’t sure about the last two, but if the others are correct perhaps Adrian and then Peter.

Here is updated information on dates. This changes the birth order to Eugene being 3rd born, not Adrian. Adrian is #4. It also adds a sad note to the family history by noting a stillborn baby in 1913.

1  Jacob Van Liere (Jake) was born on April 14, 1902 at Goes, see III-B.

2  Johannes Van Liere (John) was born on April 23, 1903 at Goes, see III-C.

3  Eugene Van Liere (Curly) was born on June 28, 1904 at Kalamazoo (MI), see III-D.

4  Adrian Van Liere (Ade) was born on October 7, 1905 at Kalamazoo (MI), see III-E.

5  Peter M. Van Liere was born on October 24, 1907 at Kalamazoo (MI), died in October 1965.

Peter was married on May 2, 1936 at Kalamazoo (MI) (1) Louise Watson, daughter of William Watson and Bertha Stanley. Louise was born in 1916.

Peter was married on July 2, 1948 at Kalamazoo (MI) (2) to Lorraine J. Mentor, daughter of Frederick C. Mentor and Irene Johnson. Lorraine was born on October 2, 1910 at Kalamazoo (MI), died in March 1981 at Lawton (MI).

6  Lucas Van Liere (Luke) was born on August 7, 1909 at Kalamazoo (MI), see III-F.

7  James Van Liere was born in 1912 at Kalamazoo (MI), see III-G.

8  N.N. van Liere was stillborn on August 25, 1913 at Kalamazoo (MI).

9  Marinus Van Liere (Renny) was born on September 23, 1915 at Kalamazoo (MI), see III-H.

There are some other details, but rather than getting too mathematical again ;), I will pass them on to the Van Lieres by email.

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As I grew up, relatives would say to me that we were related to this family or that family, but any description of the connections seemed vague. One of those names I heard I was related to was VAN LIERE. I think I even went to school with a Van Liere or two.

After all these years and lots of research, I now understand how I am related to the Van Lieres. They are my grandfather’s cousins!

This is how the connection works:

In My Grandfather’s Story Part II, I described how, when he was a child, his family lived two houses over from Grandpa’s aunt’s house on Burdick Street in Kalamazoo.

His father’s sister, Johanna Geertruida Maria Zuijdweg was born in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands on 23 December 1873. On 10 May 1900, she married Marinus van Liere in Goes. Marinus was born in 1875 in Goes. He was the son of Jacob van Liere and Katharina Barbier.  When he married Johanna, he was a shoe maker.

Johanna Zuijdweg VanLiere and Marinus VanLiere with son Jacob

Johanna Zuijdweg VanLiere and Marinus VanLiere with son Jacob

They had two boys and then immigrated to the United States in 1904.

They lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan and had another six boys, for a total of eight. Here is a photo of the family with the first three boys, taken in Kalamazoo.

Johanna has not only gained weight with the birth of the 2nd and 3rd children, but she seems to have aged. In a very short period of time she not only had the three boys, but also left her country and started a new life in Kalamazoo.

The Van Lieres

The Van Lieres

I believe Marinus may have had a shoe store in Kalamazoo because I found an ad for the store, dated 30 Oct 1917, and it was on Burdick Street. In the 1910 census the Van Lieres lived at 1338 S. Burdick St. The store is 1208 S. Burdick St. 

Marinus passed away 22 November 1941 in Kalamazoo, and Johanna died on 14 July 1947 in Kalamazoo.

Here is a photo shared by Jane Van Liere of the eight Van Liere boys, sons of Marinus and Johanna (Zuijdweg) Van Liere. NOTE:  THESE ARE THE FIRST COUSINS OF MY GRANDFATHER, ADRIAN ZUIDWEG. Click on the photo so you can see it enlarged!

The Van Liere Brothers

The Van Liere Brothers

From left to right they are:

Eugene (the tallest), Luke, Jake, Jim, John, Renny. Jane wasn’t sure about the last two, but if the others are correct perhaps Adrian and then Peter.

This is how we get a lot more Van Lieres in Kalamazoo than Zuidwegs: Johanna took her husband’s name and had eight boys who then kept their last names, whereas Grandpa was an only child of the only surviving Zuijdweg boy (his father Adrian).  By the way, we do have another Adrian Zuidweg in the family as my cousin’s son shares Grandpa’s and Great-Grandpa’s name.

So the Van Lieres might be Van Lieres, but they are also Zuidwegs!

Here is the information we have collected so far. There are no doubt large gaps and most likely children missing in this list.

JACOB (Jake), the oldest Van Liere boy, grew up to be a fireman for the City of Kalamazoo.  He was born 14 April 1902 in Goes, the Netherlands, and died May 1968 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

He married Margaret Lucas (1911-1971). Jake and Margaret had a son, Charles Robert (born 28 Jul 1933 in Michigan and died 29 may 1957 in Kalamazoo), and a daughter Jean Kilgore.

I believe this photo was taken of Jacob when the family still lived in Goes.

Jacob Van Liere

Jacob Van Liere

JOHN, son #2, owned a shoe repair near the family home on Burdick Street, across from the ice cream shop. The shop has been called Mathews, but it could have been Mursch’s ice cream shop.  The ice cream was made in the back of the store.

John was born 23 April 1903 in the Netherlands, most likely Goes. He died 7 January 1974 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

He married Trinet Van Tichelt (born 22 Jan 1906 in the Netherlands and died 28 Mar 1989. John and Trinet had a son, John. He was their only child. John married Jane and they have 7 children and 16 grandchildren.

This is the branch of the family that provided me with the photograph and with information about the boys.

ADRIAN (this name goes back far in the Zuijdweg family), son #3, was a golf instructor. He was born 7 Oct 1905 in Michigan and died 16 Apr 1984 in Brevard, Florida.

He married Vivian or Violet Irene (born 7 Feb 1908 in Michigan and died 21 Apr 2007 in Belmont, Kent, Michigan). Adrian and his wife had a daughter, Betty (born c. 1928 in Michigan).

Here is Adrian’s 8th grade graduation notice in the Kalamazoo Gazette on June 16, 1920.

EUGENE (Curly), son #4,  lived in Las Vegas. He was born around 1905 in Kalamazoo and married Lydia B., who was born in1906.

PETER, son #5, owned Van Liere Tile in Milwood. He was born 24 Oct 1907 in Michigan and died in Oct 1965. He married Lorraine. Peter was a member of the Elks. He played a lot of golf.

LUCAS (Luke), son #6, worked for The Upjohn Company. He was born 7 Aug 1909 and died 12 May 2001, both in Kalamazoo. He was married twice, first to Sadie and then Myrteen A. Wolcott.

On 27 August 1922, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported on Luke’s golf game in this article. Start reading about half way down on the left column.

JAMES (Jim), son #7, worked for The Upjohn Company in Arizona. He was born in 1913 in Michigan.

MARINUS (Renny), son #8, worked for The Upjohn Company. he was born in 1915 in Michigan. He married Dorothy.

In looking for articles on the Van Lieres in the local newspaper, I happened upon two other Van Lieres at the turn of the century. One was Peter Van Liere, who was somewhat regularly in the newspaper. I did not find a connection with our Van Lieres, although a familial connection is still possible.

The other was a Cornelius Van Liere, who died in 1902. The Probate Order (5 June 1902), as well as related information, is in the newspaper. What is worth noting is that Marinus Van Liere is mentioned in the Probate Order. This is two years before Marinus and Johanna immigrated to the U.S. Was Cornelius an uncle of Marinus? There’s always another mystery . . . .

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation is begging Western Michigan University not to destroy history–its own, that of the Kalamazoo area, and that of higher education. There are four old buildings which represent the origins of the university which those who head up the school want to demolish.  Here‘s an article that Mom clipped and mailed me. It was printed in the Kalamazoo Gazette on June 27, 2013.

Click here for the Kalamazoo Gazette article

Click here for the Kalamazoo Gazette article

Click here for the Kalamazoo Gazette article

Click here for the Kalamazoo Gazette article

I keep asking myself  the question, “What kind of people want to destroy history?”

My family has graduated from Western Michigan University for four generations. As I explained in a previous post “Western State Normal School, Kalamazoo, Michigan: A Personal View,” my grandmother, L. Edna Mulder Zuidweg, graduated from the school when it was Western State Normal School, a teacher training school. Both my parents, my aunt, my brother, and yours truly also graduated from WMU.  In addition, my husband graduated with a BBA degree, as well.  And at least one member of the most recent generation–my cousin’s daughter– has graduated from Western.

Because my husband and I both got business degrees (I also majored in history and he did so in political science) in the late 70s, we spent a lot of time on the oldest section of the university–East Campus, which housed the business school.

If you follow this link you will read a good history of the old campus.  They have some beautiful photos posted, too.

State Normal Kalamazoo front


1.  Be an advocate for smart adaptive re-use!  Tweet, display yard signs, display bumper stickers,write letters, TELL YOUR FRIENDS and ASK THEM TO HELP!  ACT NOW.  Click here for  Action Plan

2.  Join our “cast of thousands!” 
     Click here for details of our quest to post pix of you holding the Save East Campus sign for Youtube

3.  Click here to get your printable pix-poster for Youtube video

4.   Express your concerns to WMU’s Board of Trustees [go HERE to email the Board]

5. Express your concerns to elected officials:
Governor Rick Snyder
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909

State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker

State Representative Margaret O’Brien

State Representative Sean McCann

Mayor Bobby Hopewell

6.  Express your concerns to WMU’s Board of Trustees [go
 HERE to email the Board]

7. Sign a petition here 

8. Write to news media in support of the FOHEC request for a moratorium and community input.

9. ASK:  How much will taxpayers/students have to pay to demolish the buildings?  How much will taxpayers/students have to pay to transport resulting debris to landfills?  How much will taxpayers/students have to pay to pave over historic East Campus to create the proposed parking lot?  How much does it all add up to?  

10. ASK:  How much will it cost to save the buildings and make a serious survey of ways they could be used to serve and educate students?

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