Posts Tagged ‘Kalamazoo Gazette’

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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Remember Lambertus Leeuwenhoek (Uncle Lou), husband of my great grand-aunt Jennie DeKorn Leeuwenhoek?  He’s the one who owned the Bibles I showcased in one post.  He and Aunt Jen owned a general market in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Grandpa gave me this photo of Uncle Lou’s younger brother Gerrit/Garrett (five years apart in age) and told me Uncle Lou and Gerrit were orphans, and that they both lived in Kalamazoo. Years later, I wondered why there were no more recent photos of him or stories of who he married or children he might have had.

In doing a newspaper search for the name Leeuwenhoek in Kalamazoo on Genealogy Bank, I discovered why.

He was a war hero who met an untimely death at age 21. (Yes, another family hero!)

As the July 26, 1898 Kalamazoo Gazette article states, Gerrit, who was born to Arie Leeuwenhoek and Mary Hoogedoom Leeuwenhoek in the Netherlands, had only been in the United States for a year when he heard the whistles blow in Kalamazoo that war had been declared on Spain (Spanish-American War).  He immediately enlisted in the army, was sent to Cuba, where he died of malaria.

Notice that it mentions Uncle Lou in Kalamazoo, but it also mentions two brothers and two sisters left behind in the Netherlands, as well as a brother who is in the Holland regular army in the East Indies.

I think it’s possible that my grandfather did tell me that Gerrit died in the war, but that I didn’t remember it and, if I took notes, I don’t know where they are.

His death even made the news in the Muskegon Chronicle on the same date.

On August 17, 1898, the Kalamazoo Gazette published a letter Uncle Lou received of his brother’s service and death.

To put the letter in the context of Uncle Lou’s life, he’d been married 26 months, and his daughter Alice was 15 months old, when he got word his young brother had died.

This letter makes it look as if Gerrit was buried in Cuba. Here is the interment control form which I found on ancestry.com.

Garrett Leeuwenhoek interment control form

What I suspected from this form is confirmed in the following article in the Kalamazoo Gazette on April 5, 1899.

Garrett’s body was re-buried in 1899 in Kalamazoo.  There are conflicting reports of his death date and name of his Company, but I feel pretty confident about the date of July 23, 1898 as the day he died.

Today he is honored with a brick at the Rose Park Veterans Memorial Park–a memorial park which my father Rudy Hanson and the Kalamazoo Sunrise Rotary Club were instrumental in bringing to the city.



If you would like to see first-hand newspaper accounts of the war from a Michigan newspaper, these links to articles in the Ludington Appeal show the general climate in Michigan at the time Gerrit decided to enlist.  These were provided by Jose at Enhanced News Archive.

Newspaper : Ludington Appeal – Apr 28, 1898
Ludington Appeal – May 5, 1898

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I just discovered an article which explains the Telegraph building in Kalamazoo.  As I’ve mentioned before, it was built by my great-great-grandfather Richard DeKorn.  In my earlier post today I wrote about him building the Pythian building.  From this article, I now find that the two buildings are the same.  The Telegraph building was for the Kalamazoo Telegraph, a rival newspaper to the Kalamazoo Gazette.  This article explains the history.

The building was first called the Telegraph Building and later the Pythian Building. Apparently it is also called the Park Building, according to the website of the Portage District Library.

Be sure to look at the article because it has a couple of great photos of the building, including one from 1881 where the front is festooned with striped awnings and garlands.

The building stood at 132 W. South Street, near the intersection of Rose, across from the Kalamazoo Public Library.

Does it still stand there?  I no longer live in Kalamazoo, so I don’t know.  I looked on a Google satellite map, and this is what I found.  Is this a new building or a remodel of the old building or am I at the wrong address?  Does anyone know?  BREAKING NEWS:  the Miller Canfield building was built on this property.  Great-great-grandfather’s building was probably demolished in 2005 or 2006, according to reader Kathryn Lightcap.

So once again, here are the photos I’ve published on here of the Telegraph building site and then of the finished building, eventually known as the Pythian or Park building.

Telegraph Building

Telegraph Building

Pythian Building

Pythian Building

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