You are on page 1of 163




FOREWORD The story of the Dutch American entrepreneurs described herein is essentially a compilation of material gathered by the author from a variety of sources. Not much is written about the individuals covered in this book in previous book publications with a few exceptions. There is, however, a fair amount of coverage of the individuals, who make up this story, on the world wide web. And it is safe to stay that without the web based information it would have been difficult to compile the material and to write this book. One of the problems with web based material is the degree of authenticity of each source. Some of the material originates directly from the individual or from organizations with whom the individual is involved. In other words there is bound to be some bias in some of the sources. But this book is not intended to be an exact historic representation of the individuals and their accomplishments, but rather the story of what they achieved. This does not imply that I have not been careful to ensure the validity and accuracy of what is described in the book. The book is intended to look at the positive aspects of the individuals, and their respective accomplishments. Some of the criticisms that one can dig up on nearly any historic figure is omitted or only mentioned in a cursory form. Each chapter covers a specific group of commercial activities or related firms. At the end of each chapter is a reference to brief biographical profiles of the individuals who appeared in the descriptions of their respective activities. In some of the cases there will be some overlap of the material covered in the chapter and in the biographical profiles. Duplication is difficult to avoid, because shortening a biographical profile too much takes away from the message about the individual. The 50+ individuals covered in the book and their life stories cover a period of about 400 years. The first individual covered is the captain of the ship that arrived with the first settlers for New Amsterdam in 1624. His name was Cornelis Jacobszoon Mey, still remembered until today by New Jerseys Cape May, named after him. More recent members are the two musical rock stars, Eddie Van Halen and Bruce Springsteen, who were still actively touring the country with their respective rock bands in early 2008. So nearly a 400 year period is covered in the book. Although the time span of the book covers 400 years, most of the individual entrepreneurs became successful and lived during the twentieth century, with a sprinkling living during the nineteenth century. But then one could argue that the real opportunities for becoming a successful entrepreneur did not really arrive until the nineteenth century. In conclusion the book should be considered a chronicle of the accomplishments of the entrepreneurs covered in the book. The material is not based on primary sources, unless one considers some of the web based material a primary source, which it seldom is. The book is about the admirable accomplishments of what members of a group of ambitious Dutch Americans were able to accomplish in the land of opportunity, the United States of America.


[The names listed under each chapter consist of the main personalities covered in each chapter. Click CHAPTER N to view your selection.] CHAPTER 1. Introduction CHAPTER 2. Overview of Book THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURY CHAPTER 3. New Netherland and Its Directors Cornelis Jacobszoon Mey Willem Verhulst Peter Minuit Wouter Van Twiller Willem Kieft Petrus Stuyvesant CHAPTER 4. Rensselaerswyck and New Netherland Killian Van Rensselaer Stephen Van Rensselaer III CHAPTER 5. Colonial EraThe Van Cortlandts Oloff Stevense Van Cortlandt Stephanus Van Cortlandt Jacobus Van Cortlandt Pierre Van Cortlandt Philip Van Cortlandt

TRANSPORTATION PIONEERS CHAPTER 6. Construction of the Erie Canal DeWitt Clinton Gouverneur Morris Simeon De Witt Stephen Van Rensselaer III CHAPTER 7. Water and Rail TransportationThe Vanderbilts Cornelius Vanderbilt William Henry Vanderbilt CHAPTER 8. Freight Transportation and Logistics---The Bekins and Jansen Families Martin Bekins Henry Jansen CHAPTER 9. Air Transportation Developers---Fokker and Neeleman Anthony Fokker David Neeleman INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER 10. Successful Entrepreneurs---The Koch Brothers Frederick Koch, Sr. Charles Koch David Koch William Koch Frederick Koch, Jr. CHAPTER 11. Three Midwest Manufacturing Families Peter and Lucille Kuyper Gary Vermeer Edgar Prince

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELPOPMENT CHAPTER 12. Infrastructure Construction---The Kiewit Family Peter Kiewit, Jr. Peter Kiewit, Sr. MERCHANDISING AND SERVICE DELIVERY CHAPTER 13. Two Michigan Merchandising Firms Hendrick Meijer, Sr. Frederick Meijer Hendrick Meijer, Jr. Doug Meijer Richard DeVos, Sr. Doug DeVos Richard [Dick] DeVos, Jr. Jay Van Andel Steve Van Andel CHAPTER 14. Merchandising, Entertainment, Real Estate and Services Wayne Huizenga John Jacob Astor IV INNOVATION AND DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER 15. Consumer Related Commercial Innovators Gilbert C. Van Camp John Scheepers Alfred Peet CHAPTER 16. Innovators and Developers---Electric and Electronic Technology Thomas Alva Edison Lee De Forest

CHAPTER 17. Contemporary Innovators and Developers Willem Johan Kolff Ray Noorda Hubert J. P. Schoemaker

ARTS, CULTURE AND EDUCATION CHAPTER 18.Directors and Producers---Movie Industry Cecil B. De Mille Daryl F. Zanuck Clint Eastwood Paul Verhoeven CHAPTER 19. Modern Music Producers and Performers---The Bands Eddie L. Van Halen Alex Van Halen Bruce F. J. Springsteen CHAPTER 20. Religious Book Publishers Peter Zondervan Bernard Zondervan William B. Eerdmans Herman Baker Louis and Robert Kregel CHAPTER 21. Higher Education Promoters Henry Rutgers Stephen Van Rensselaer III Cornelius Vanderbilt William Hofstra




This book intends to give the reader an understanding and appreciation of the contributions by Dutch Americans for: 1. The founding of New Netherland, part of which eventually became the core of New York State, 2. The establishment of settlements in New Netherland, and especially along the Hudson River, during the seventeenth century, and 3. The development and growth of the American economy from the seventeenth century until the present time. BACKGROUND The 2000 Federal Census showed that about 4.5 million Americans have Dutch social characteristics, and as a result can be classified as Dutch Americans. To be sure the number of 4.5 million self-reported Dutch Americans only amounts to less than two percent of the American population. The figure of 4.5 million is difficult to verify because the interest and study of ones genealogy has only became fashionable during the past few decades. And I suspect that many Americans with Dutch backgrounds have no idea that they have those backgrounds, and can be viewed as, and considered to be, Dutch Americans. As a result of the above, the 4.5 million Dutch Americans reported in the 2000 Census is probably significantly understated. More recent Federal Census estimates seem to verify the above to some extent. The 2006 Census estimate of the number of Americans with Dutch social characteristics has increased to 5.2 million. The number still seems to be understated, if we consider that Sarah Rapalje, the first woman of European origin born in New Netherland, has produced descendants estimated to number at least one million. There is some indication that others also question the Federal Census estimates. The Dutch Embassy in Washington, D. C. reports that eight million Americans are of Dutch origin. The Dutch are easily and quickly merged into the American culture. If there is one national group that fits the notion of the melting pot, the Dutch fit it to a tee. As a result it

2 may only take one generation for the notion of being a Dutch American to fade away. In contrast some other national groups such as the Italians, the Greeks, the Irish, the Polish, the Germans and others have strong attachments to their nationality groups. And they also frequently support strong local and national associations and festivals celebrating their national culture. The only exception to the above for the Dutch Americans is the custom of holding annual Dutch cultural festivals, usually associated with the tulip season, in some communities which have high concentrations of Dutch Americans. Examples of this are Holland, Michigan, Pella, Iowa, and Lynden, Washington, among others. The one strong association with a Dutch background is ones family name, if the name is truly of a pure Dutch origin. But that only applies to patrilineal names, and they only comprise, at best, half the population of Dutch Americans. The Netherlands has been a haven for refugees as far back as the sixteenth century. As a result there are many nonDutch sounding names, whose bearers are also of Dutch background, because their ancestors may have lived in the Netherlands for a century or more. Also many Dutch names may be very similar to German names, and even to some English names. The only Dutch name that is virtually guaranteed to be Dutch is the name that is preceded by the three letter prefix,van. And there are many of those. So when the census taker, or census form, poses the question: What nationality, other than American, do you associate yourself with?, the answer will typically be a guess by most people who have no strong interest, identification or association with their ancestral background. The other problem is of course the mixture of many nationalities among ones ancestors. If your ancestors go back six or more generations since they came to the United States, your ancestral background may contain many different nationalities. This is especially true nowadays. In the distant past there was a tendency for people to marry more within their own national, ethnic or community groups. So if you know that there are three nationalities in your background, you can identify yourself as being associated with each one of the three nationalities. With the growing interest in genealogy, one would assume that there also would be an increasing interest in becoming identified or associated with ones national background or backgrounds. This book is intended to provide those of Dutch American ancestry with information about the history of at least some of the more prominent Dutch Americans. These Dutch Americans may, in some cases, be their ancestors or distant relatives. And specifically the book will enable the reader to become familiar with what their prominent ancestors and contemporaries have accomplished over the years. GENERAL HISTORY OF THE DUTCH IN AMERICA Except for the Native Americans, all Americans, or at least their ancestors, came from a different country, or geographic region. As a result, nearly all of us are hyphenated Americans. That is we all have some identification with another country or geographic region. For many of us that may mean that we can be identified by more than one country or geographic region.

The Dutch in America came over in two waves. The first wave consisted of the original settlers who came over during the seventeenth century and settled in what was then named New Netherland. New Netherland consisted of what now constitutes most of Eastern New York State and parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland. The first wave of these Dutch settlers is generally referred to as the old Dutch. They came over in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. For some of the early settlers that is nearly 400 years ago. The Dutch during that period generally maintained their Dutch association and identity, and variations of their Dutch culture, for more than two hundred years. In addition they also continued to speak their Dutch language. This was especially so in the smaller rural communities of New Netherland. Dutch was spoken until the late 1800s. President Martin Van Buren still spoke Dutch when he became the eighth United States president in 1837. To be sure, his day to day language was English, but he was brought up in a Dutch language home environment, and we can be sure that Dutch was spoken during family gatherings. The second wave of Dutch settlers came over in the nineteenth century, about 200 years following the first wave of immigration in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. This new wave of Dutch immigrants decided to settle largely in western Michigan, around Grand Rapids and Holland, Michigan, and in various parts of Iowa and Wisconsin. This wave of immigration produced what is commonly referred to as the new Dutch. As a matter of fact, all Dutch immigrants since that time are referred to as the new Dutch, to contrast them with the old Dutch. The two groups had several things in common, although their arrival on the American scene was separated for some by as much as several hundred years. Both groups, at least in the early years of each wave, had strong interests in agriculture, largely because, during the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, agriculture was the main economic activity. The members of the two groups, at least up until about 100 years ago, were virtually all members of the Dutch protestant church, the Dutch Reformed Church, or of some offshoot of the Dutch Reformed Church. The only exception was a group of early settlers in Wisconsin who were Roman Catholics. During the early years of colonial settlement, the Dutch Reformed Church in The Netherlands actually controlled the American Reformed Church. But that changed quickly as more people settled, and the American Reformed Church became independent from the control of the home church in The Netherlands.

EARLY EXPLORATIONS IN NEW NETHERLAND As was made clear above, Dutch nationals, and Dutch residents who had fled from religious persecution elsewhere, made up most of the original settlers of what was once widely known as New Netherland. New Netherland, as was stated above, comprised most

4 of the lands of what is currently New York State, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and parts of the states of Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland. The Dutch explored and traded in the Hudson River valley, and especially in the estuary of the Hudson River, during the early 1600s, and perhaps as early as the late 1590s. They had become attracted to the area because of the availability of beaver pelts they could buy from the Indians, and then resell them on the prospering Dutch and European markets for considerable profits. So the original purpose for travel to the New World was motivated by trade and exploration and not by settlement. All of the above occurred several years before the pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts in 1620. As a matter of fact the pilgrims probably went to Massachusetts because the Dutch had explored and mapped most of the land of what is currently considered to be New England. Since the pilgrims left from Delfshaven, one of the Rotterdam, The Netherlands ports, and many had lived in The Netherlands for several years, they probably were well aware of the opportunities available in the new world. While the Dutch were involved in a profitable trade for beaver pelts with the Indians, they had become fascinated with the Hudson River. The Hudson River is quite impressive in terms of size and water flow at what today is New York City. And based on the reports that the fur traders had brought back to the Netherlands, the government authorized trading agency, the Dutch East India Company, with the approval of the Dutch government, had become interested in exploring the Hudson River. The Dutch East India Company [DEIC] had been interested in finding a shorter way to their distant spice colony, the Dutch East Indies. The voyage by sailing ship from The Netherlands to the Dutch East Indies had to cover an enormous distance around the southern tip of Africa, and then east to the East Indies. So the DEIC had sponsored exploration of a northern route in a western direction by way of Hudson Bay. As the name implies Captain Henry Hudson was the captain of the ship that explored that northern route in 1607. Hudson ran into ice and he and his crew were fortunate to escape before becoming stuck in the ice. Two years later, in 1609, the DEIC decided to explore the northern route in an easterly direction. The Halve Maen, under the command of Captain Henry Hudson travelled north around the northern land reaches of Norway, and eventually arrived at the island of Nova Zembla. Ice proved again to be a serious problem as it had been during the exploration of the Hudson Bay route. So Captain Hudson decided to turn around and head west. He and his crew were fortunate again to escape from the ice around Nova Zembla. Instead of returning to his home port in the Netherlands, Captain Henry Hudson decided to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and explore a route to the Dutch East Indies in the westerly direction. He eventually arrived at the mouth to the Hudson River and decided to explore the Hudson River to see if it provided a shortcut to the East Indies. The Halve Maen, under the command of Captain Henry Hudson, reached what is currently Albany, New York in the late summer of 1609. Not far north of Albany the ship ran into shallow water,

5 and Hudson decided to not go any farther. The shallow waters clearly indicated that the notion of a short cut to the Dutch East Indies was not going to be found by way of the Hudson River. There may also have been other motivations to explore the Hudson River. Only two years before 1609, in 1607, the British established their first colony at Jamestown. Since Jamestown was located in what is now Virginia, it was quite a distance south of the Hudson River Valley. So the Dutch probably had plans to lay claim to the northerly lands, before the British did. Also exploring the northerly part of the Hudson River gave the Dutch a measure of control over the Hudson River, the source of their beaver fur trading activities.

OTHER COLONISTS DURING THE HUDSON RIVER EXPLORATION Why did it take so long for the Dutch to explore the Hudson River? After all they had been trading with the local Indians for years for beaver pelts along the shores of the lower Hudson River. Economic considerations probably explain the answer. The motivation for traveling across the Atlantic Ocean was essentially profit oriented. In the case of the Hudson River visits by the Dutch, those visits were all for trade, and only to a lesser extent for exploration. And traders are not necessarily interested in land settlement unless there is a profit motive. Sea farers along the eastern seaboard of what would become the United States were nearly all trade oriented. And the trade had been going on for years. The earlier settlement at Jamestown, begun in 1607, was established by a British company, the Virginia Company, to find gold and silver, which the principal financiers of the Virginia Company expected to find in Virginia. Needless to say they were disappointed when no gold or silver was ever found there. The reason the Virginia Company had expected to find gold and silver in Virginia was because the Spanish, in 1570, had established a settlement near the location that would become Jamestown to search for gold and silver. That Spanish settlement was wiped out by the Indian natives, possibly because they knew of the bad experiences their fellow Indians had had in Middle and South America under the Spanish. The Virginia Company financiers mistakenly assumed that the Spanish knew that there was gold and silver in the area of Jamestown, Virginia. And that most likely was the reason for their sponsorship of the Jamestown venture. There was also an earlier settlement on Roanoke Island, 110 miles south of Jamestown by British settlers in 1580, ten years following the annihilation of the Spanish settlers in 1570. But the British settlers did not fare much better than the Spanish settlers. They were wiped out by diseases, and possibly also by Indian raids. So when the Virginia Company-sponsored settlers arrived in Jamestown in 1607, they must have been concerned for their own safety.

The Jamestown settlement in 1607 turned out to be almost just as disastrous as the earlier Spanish and Roanoke Island settlements. The 1607 Jamestown settlers arrived in May 1607. By September of that year, only about four months later, over half of the colonists had died from diseases or possibly starvation. And by the following year, in January 1608, only 38 of the original 104 colonists were still alive. The Virginia Company did not give up. Apparently enough capital had been raised to continue the project of searching for gold and silver in Virginia. New recruits arrived during 1608, and by the end of 1608, the population in Jamestown had increased to about 200 souls. During the following year, in 1609, another 600 people were sent over but many did not survive a hurricane that the convoy, which brought them over, encountered. By the spring of the following year, in 1610, the survivors at Jamestown numbered about 60 people. All the others had not been able to survive the diseases and the apparent deplorable conditions at Jamestown. Based on the above, one can understand why there was not much interest to settle on the lands of what would eventually become North America. The first Dutch settlement took place in the area near what is now New York City, in 1613. Captain Adriaen Block had been exploring the area for the Dutch East India Company. During their exploratory work, their ship named Tijger caught fire in the Hudson River, and had to be abandoned by its crew. The crew established a camp on shore and even built a number of dwellings to live in. They decided to wait for the next Dutch explorer or fur trader to arrive, and one did. Within a year, another Dutch ship came up the Hudson River, picked them up and returned them home to the Netherlands. As a result that first settlement had been rather brief, but it established the date of the first Dutch settlement, in what would become New Netherland, as 1613. The next settlement was the establishment of Fort Nassau on Castle Island, an island in the Hudson River near Albany. It was built in 1614, and would become the official first Dutch establishment in New Netherland. In that same year, 1614, the Dutch had claimed the territory of New Netherland for the Republic of the United Provinces, the official name then of what would become the Netherlands. The Dutch claim of the New Netherland territories was then internationally recognized. It required, however, that the claimer settle the lands. And that requirement mandated that the Dutch government begin to organize and to encourage settlement. But it would take another ten years before actual settlement took place as discussed below. The lands around what is now Albany, New York would not be settled until 1624, when Fort Orange was established. Initially Fort Orange did not have any settlers, only military personnel. In 1624, the ship Eendracht, brought over the first small group of settlers, sponsored by the Dutch West India Company [DWIC]. The DWIC was a trading company set up for trade in the West Indies and in North America, and the approved contractor for the Dutch government to develop, settle and manage the New Netherland colony.

THE PILGRIMS ARRIVAL IN MASSACHUSETS Eleven years following Henry Hudsons exploration of the upper Hudson River, the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts in 1620. The captain of the ship, the Mayflower, which brought them over from the Netherlands, was familiar with the area along Cape Cod and the Massachusetts coast. He had travelled there before, during earlier trips to the American east coast. The first landing of the Pilgrims occurred at what is now Provincetown on Cape Cod in late November 1620. The weather had already turned wintry and the settlers decided that the Provincetown location would not suit them. The sandy conditions of Cape Cod probably also did not make a good impression on them, because you can not grow much in sand. The settlers re-embarked the Mayflower, and then voyaged to what would become Plymouth, Massachusetts, were they disembarked. The soil was obviously of better quality, and they could visualize raising a crop there during the following year. It was already December 21, 1620, when they arrived at Plymouth, so the winter had set in, and surviving their first winter must have been quite a challenge. As opposed to the 1607 Jamestown settlers, the Pilgrims did not have to deal with the numerous diseases encountered at Jamestown, and the natives were apparently much friendlier.

THE DUTCH SETTLERS ARRIVED IN NEW NETHERLAND The first official Dutch settlers would not arrive in New Netherland for another four years following the Pilgrims arrival. In the first half of 1624, the DWIC sent two shiploads of immigrants, or rather settlers, to various locations in what it claimed to be its territory, and in what it had named New Netherland. More immigrants arrived in the following year, in 1625. The New Netherland settlers were let off at several locations. Most were let off on Noten Eylant, currently Governors Island, just south of Manhattan, part of New Amsterdam, what is currently New York City. A small number were apparently also dropped off at Fort Orange, in what is now Albany, New York, and at locations in what is now Connecticut. There is some controversy as to whether the 1624 group settled on Noten Eylant in its entirety or whether some were dropped off elsewhere. What is definitely clear is the fact that some were dropped off at Fort Orange and locations in Connecticut during the 1624-1625 time period. So who were those settlers? What motivated them to come to a country that provided none of the comforts that were then available in the old country? In addition, many of the settlers had to leave their families and loved ones behind. Many of the settlers were apparently the adventurous types, but many others were also apparently destitute. So if you are hungry and have no resources, the opportunity to go to a new country, at no cost

8 to you, is an attractive alternative. But even with those incentives, there were not many who were willing to go.

Many of the early settlers were people who had escaped to the Netherlands because of persecution, usually religious, in their home land. If you review the passenger lists of the first voyages, you will find that there were quite a number of Walloons, from Belgium, Huguenots from France and Norwegians. Some of the Walloons and the Norwegians had apparently come to the Netherlands for better opportunities, and as such were already migrants when they left Amsterdam for their trip to the new world. The early days of the new colony of settlers in the new world were difficult. The small group at Fort Orange in Albany had at least the protection of the fort, and many people chose to live within the walls of the fort or at least in close proximity, so they could flee to the fort in case of danger. Although the fur traders had been trading with the Indians for a number of years, and the Indians were familiar with the new settlers, there always was a possibility of attack by the Indians. The group of settlers in the New Amsterdam area, although larger, did not have the benefit of protection by the military, at least not in the early days. The first group of settlers in 1624, which landed on Noten Eylant, now Governors Island, was provided at least a modicum of protection from the unpredictable American Indians by being located on an island. The first group of new settlers also came over without animals, and farming without animals is difficult to do. This was corrected, however, in the following year, in 1625, when the DWIC sent over several boatloads with more settlers and animals for use by the new settlers. In any event life was hard and difficult for the early settlers. The news apparently got back to the home country how difficult it was to make a living in the new country, and that news made it even more difficult to attract new settlers. The DWIC decided to study the problem of attracting settlers to their new lands in New Netherland. The DWIC knew that it had to establish settlements, because it was the only way to establish ownership of the lands through occupation of the lands, and presence of the settlers.


The history of the new Dutch is not nearly as rustic as the history of the early Dutch settlements in the seventeenth century. Because of very poor economic conditions in the home country in the early 1840s some individual families had begun to migrate to the United States. Van Raalte was the organizer of one of the first groups of Dutch immigrants who decided to migrate to America. They arrived in the United States in 1846, more than two hundred years following the arrival of the first settlers on Noten Eylant. The sea voyage of the Van Raalte group was probably not any more pleasant than

9 that of the 1624 settlers. Both the 1624 group and the 1846 group of Dutch settlers came over on a sailing ship, and the speed of travel was probably as slow in 1846 as it had been in 1624. To be sure, in 1846 there was an alternative to sailing ship travel. The steamboat had been invented, and it provided much faster travel than the old technology sailing vessel. But time was money, even then, and virtually none of the early settlers had the financial resources to afford to travel by steamship. So on October 2, 1846, Van Raalte, accompanied by 53 others, including his own family, departed from Rotterdam on a ship named the Southerner. The Southerner was headed for New York City where they arrived on November 17, 1846, 46 days after their departure from Rotterdam. Travelling the north Atlantic at that time of year seldom provides a tranquil voyage, and I am sure the Southerners voyage in the late fall of 1846 was no exception. Upon their arrival in New York City, the group of Dutch immigrants was warmly welcomed by two ministers of the Reformed Church in America consisting of Reverend Thomas De Witt of New York City and Reverend Isaac Wyckoff of Albany, New York. Having a welcoming party upon their arrival must have been a comforting feeling to the group of new immigrants, especially following a harrowing voyage across the woolly North Atlantic. From New York City the group travelled to Albany, probably by river boat. Their welcoming party urged them to stay in the Albany area during the upcoming winter, before proceeding to Wisconsin, their chosen destination. After enduring the long and arduous voyage, the group had become impatient, and had little interest in delaying their departure to their chosen destination much longer. So as a group they decided to move on immediately. One can imagine how frustrating that must have been to their advisors, who were well aware of the American winter weather, and the folly of trying to travel as far as Wisconsin during the late fall and early winter. But they persisted to move on. From Albany the group travelled by way of the newly completed Erie Canal to Buffalo, New York. From Buffalo they were able to book on a passenger steamer to Detroit. But by that time it was getting quite late in the season, and they were probably lucky to make it all the way to Detroit in late 1647. But as they arrived in Detroit, it became clear to them, probably by the weather conditions, that Detroit was as far as they would go, at least until the spring arrived. While the group stayed in Detroit during the long winter, they had plenty of time to reassess their plans. The Detroit area was then still largely a rural area, and the area must have impressed them. It was located on the Detroit River, and in many respects may have reminded them of their native land with plenty of rivers and canals. It was also flat land and had many opportunities for agricultural development. So after considerable discussion and evaluation, the group under the leadership of Van Raalte decided to stay in Michigan, but not in the Detroit area. The Detroit area was then already fairly well developed in terms of agriculture and land costs were probably prohibitive. So the group

10 decided to settle in western Michigan instead. Western Michigan was only lightly developed and land costs were considerably lower than in the Detroit area. The group of immigrants travelled to the area in western Michigan which is now centered by Holland, Michigan and decided to settle there. Once the Holland colony was established it became a magnet for attracting other Dutch settlers. Within three years of the arrival of the first group in the spring of 1847, the Dutch population in western Michigan had exploded to 5000 people. Just in 1847 alone, 2600 people left the Netherlands to join the initial 53 people who had settled in and around Holland, Michigan in the spring of 1847. Van Raalte remained the leader of the new colony in Holland, Michigan. Van Raalte became the founder of churches, schools, and even a college and seminary which became present day Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Van Raalte was also involved in numerous other enterprises. He established several Dutch newspapers such as, De Hollander, De Hoop, and Holland City News. Van Raalte also authored a number of Dutch language books, presumably for consumption by his fellow settlers. To this day, the area around Holland and Grand Rapids, Michigan has retained a high concentration of Dutch Americans.

THE OTHER TWO DUTCH NEW IMMIGRANT GROUPS The other famous leader of Dutch immigration to the American Midwest is Hendrik Scholte. He and his followers followed the Van Raalte group a year later, in 1847. Scholtes group decided not to compete with Van Raalte, and he took his followers to central Iowa, where they settled in a town which they named Pella. Scholte was also a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church, as was Van Raalte, and that probably explained why Reverend Scholte preferred to strike out on his own. Scholte also had a lot more financial resources at his disposal. He had inherited a small fortune from the sale of his familys manufacturing business, and was able to move to a more established area. Whereas the members of the Scholte group were probably financially not much better off than the members of the Van Raalte group, Scholte personally had enough financial resources to not only live well himself but also to provide aid to his followers, at least to some degree. Scholte did not accompany his group during their Atlantic crossing in a sailing ship. He travelled in style with his family on a steam ship named Caledonia. Scholtes Atlantic voyage took only 13 days. The sailing voyage of the Scholte group members took over 60 days. During their spring voyage the four sailing ships they travelled on encountered a violent Atlantic storm, which fortunately all four ships survived. The four ships were named, Nagasaki, Pieter Floris, Catherina Jackson, and Maasstroom. The Scholte group was also much larger than Van Raaltes group, numbering 850 immigrants. Upon the Scholte groups arrival in Baltimore, Maryland in late May and early June, 1847, they travelled by road, railway, and Ohio River steamer to St. Louis, Missouri,

11 where they settled temporarily. The leaders of the group, led by Scholte, then travelled to central Iowa, where they purchased 18,000 acres of land for $1.25 per acre, and then contracted with a contractor to have log cabins built on the purchased land for the settlers. The entire group of 850 souls arrived in what is now Pella, Iowa, at the end of August 1847, and found that the log cabins had not been built. So the settlers dug holes in the ground and built temporary shelters from whatever materials they could find. So the first winter for the Iowa settlers must not have been a pleasant one. But the group survived and the log cabins were eventually built, and the group prospered, after the initial difficult years. Scholte, with his financial resources, was able to purchase an existing log cabin upon his arrival. Scholtes family lived in the log cabin until their house was built, a house which apparently was substantial. The house has remained until this day, and is currently a monument to the original settlement in Pella, Iowa.

THE WISCONSIN GROUP OF DUTCH IMMIGRANTS The third of the 1840s Dutch immigration leaders was Reverend Theodore Van Den Broek, a Roman Catholic priest. He was the leader of a group of Dutch settlers to the United States in 1848. Reverend Van Den Broek had arrived in the United States in 1833, when he was sent over to be a missionary. Initially he was assigned to churches in Kentucky and Ohio. But he apparently did not like the challenge of being a missionary in developed communities, and asked to be transferred to a more remote location so he could minister to the American Indians. He got his wish and was transferred to the area around Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1834, apparently only one year following his arrival in the United States. Initially, he served the small church in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he also was able to minister to the local Indians. In 1836, he was transferred to Little Chute, Wisconsin where he was able to serve the Indians not only in terms of spiritual help but also in terms of education. Within two years of his arrival, he built a log cabin church for church services as well as for school classes. For the next several years he continued his missionary services in Wisconsin, serving several communities in Fort Winnebago, Fond Du Lac, Prairie Du Chien, and Calumet, among others. During the late 1840s, economic conditions in Van Den Broeks native country had worsened. The economic depression was taking its toll. In 1847, he was able to find a priest to take his position in his parishes, and he traveled back to his home land. While in the Netherlands he advertised for people willing to immigrate to Wisconsin under his leadership. There apparently was considerable demand, and in 1848, he was able to return to his adopted land with three shiploads of Dutch settlers. The entire group of immigrants settled in the areas around the communities of Little Chute, Holland Town, and Green Bay and other locales in Wisconsin. To this day, the people living in the areas around those three communities are known for their strong Dutch American ties.


Reverend Van Den Broek, as did his counter parts, Reverend Van Raalte and Reverend Scholte, provided enormous assistance, both in terms of social and spiritual support, for the new immigrants. To this day the three pioneer founders of the respective communities in Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin are still revered for what they were able to do for the ancestors of the present day population of these three Dutch American communities. The two waves of immigration from the Netherlands during the last four centuries has generated a Dutch American population now numbering at least 5.5 million and perhaps closer to 10 million members. The strongest association with the Dutch nationality is probably held by the Michigan Dutch centered in Holland, Michigan and in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and by the Iowa Dutch centered in Pella, Iowa and Sioux Center, Iowa. But among the old Dutch there is still a fairly strong association with the Dutch nationality as shown by the several Dutch American associations still active today. There also is a strong presence of Dutch Americans in the greater Los Angeles, California, area, made up largely of first generation Dutch immigrants. Then there are concentrations of Dutch Americans in a number of communities across the country. One of the stronger communities is probably Lynden, Washington. But then there is also Clymer, New York, the Wisconsin communities discussed above, and the Dutch Americans of Chicago, consisting of quite a large number. If there are others I overlooked, please accept my apologies.

REFERENCES References for the above material will follow in the subsequent chapters




The book covers contributions by Dutch Americans to a variety of economic related activities and organizations and therefore considerable thought went into the organization of the material. The order of presentation the author arrived at may not necessarily be the optimal one, but it provides a reasonable coherent organization of the material. As a result the book is organized in a variety of themes that provides a reasonable flow to guide the reader through the book. The theme grouping also allows the reader to jump from one theme to another without missing the overall gist of the book. In other words the book does not need to be read in sequential chapter order. It can be enjoyed by reading it in any order the reader decides. The material covered in the seven themes will be summarized below. But first the order of the themes will be presented. They are: I. The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries II. Transportation Pioneers III. Industrial Development IV. Infrastructure Development V. Merchandising and Service Delivery VI. Innovation and Development VII. Culture and Education The summaries of the seven themes follow below.

THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES The three chapters under this theme describe New Netherland which officially was a province of the Netherlands from about 1624 until the British took it over in 1664. At that time New Netherland included most of eastern New York State and parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland and Delaware. The period during which a part of North America was officially and legally a Dutch province was rather

2 brief, lasting only for a brief period of 40 years. But during this 40 year period the geographic area that now comprises New York City, including its surroundings, and the lands along the Hudson River to Albany, New York, as well as the rural areas around the present Albany, were developed and populated by European settlers. When the British took control of this area, in 1664, the designation of the area as New Netherland did not disappear. It remained New Netherland, initially in the eyes of the local citizens, but later the area was officially designated as New Netherland, a fact that not many members of the current population are aware of. New Netherland, as a province of the Netherlands, had as many as six directors, and three interim directors, who only served as temporary replacements. The term director-general is also used to designate the title of the directors. In this book the term director will be used. During the first few years of the New Netherland colony, most of the governing activities in the new province were located in New Amsterdam. But even there the governing activities were minimal. The first directors of New Netherland, appointed by the Dutch West India Company [DWIC], and approved by the States General in the Netherlands, were not of high status, or were given the job in addition to other responsibilities. As a matter of fact, the first director was Cornelis Mey, whose primary job was serving as a captain of an exploration ship. It was Captain Mey who did exploration work along the New Jersey coast, and as a result of his explorations, Cape May was named after him. As a director of the New Netherland province, Mey only served for one year, from 1624 to 1625. Willem Verhulst took over as director of New Netherland in 1625, but his performance was apparently deemed unsatisfactory. He was replaced in 1626, after only one year in the job, by Peter Minuit. Peter Minuit became famous for buying the island of Manhattan from the Indians for about $24. But Minuits performance as a director apparently was also superior to his predecessors, and he remained a director of the new colony for six years until 1632. In 1633, after one year under the direction of an interim director, the new director, Wouter Van Twiller, arrived in New Amsterdam to take over command of the New Netherland province. Van Twiller remained the director of the colony until 1638. He served for a period of five years. Director Willem Kieft arrived in 1638, but because of his inability to get along with the Indians was sacked in 1647. The last and sixth director, and also the more famous of all six directors, was Director Petrus Stuyvesant, also known as Peter Stuyvesant. He served as director of the province from 1647 until 1664, when the British took over. The next chapter under this theme is Rensselaerswyck and New Netherland. Rensselaerswyck was a large estate comprising all or part of three counties adjacent to what is currently Albany, New York. It was established by Killian Van Rensselaer after he became the first patroon of Rensselaerswyck in 1630. Rensselaerswijck was a patroonship, which was established by the Dutch West India Company, [DWIC] to manage the settlement of immigrants on the lands that comprised New Netherland.

3 Patroons were granted large sections of land by the States General, or its agent, the DWIC. By accepting the land grant, the patroons were responsible to recruit immigrants, transport them to the patroonship, and then support them to become sharecroppers on the lands. Van Rensselaer, who was also a director of the DWIC, had proposed the patroonship concept, and his patroonship proposal was accepted by the DWIC. The patroonship concept has been criticized as a get rich quick scheme for the patroons who became big landholders. But the patroonships were necessary because at that time it was the only way to provide incentives to settle on the lands. Immigrants could not afford to come over on their own. They were not able to afford the transportation cost to the new lands, and after they landed, they needed support to become established. But even if they had the resources, there was no place for them to go and settle. Even if they managed to get to their destination, they were well aware that they would be infringing on Indian territories, and the Indians did not always welcome intruders. So as a result the idea of the patroonship was one way to attract potential immigrants. In the early years of Rensselaerswyck, the growth was minimal. In 1642, twelve years after the first settlers had arrived, the Rensselaerswyck population had grown to only about two hundred settlers, and most of them were congregated around Fort Orange, in present day Albany. Even at that time, the new settlers were afraid to live by themselves for fear of attack by the Indians. In the long run, the patroonship plan for Rensselaerswyck worked magnificently and the descendants of Killian Van Rensselaer became extremely wealthy, because over time the value of the lands that their ancestor had acquired through a land grant, had increased enormously in value. Also the patroonship system allowed people of minimal means to come and settle and begin a new life. Not all patroonships worked out. Several others failed. The third chapter covers the Van Cortlandts. The Van Cortlandts were another Dutch American family that became enormously wealthy but not through patroonships. The first Van Cortlandt was Oloff Van Cortlandt, who had arrived in New Amsterdam as an employee of the DWIC. The DWIC essentially was the agent for the Dutch government to run the colony of New Amsterdam. So when Oloff Van Cortlandt arrived in New Amsterdam, in its early years, he was a DWIC employee. Shortly after his arrival, Oloff Van Cortlandt became the collector of tariffs for the DWIC, which then was essentially the government agency governing the New Amsterdam colony. Tariffs were the main source of government income, and as such Oloff Van Cortlandt was essentially the colonys tax collector. Apparently Oloff became successful as a tax collector, and as a result was compensated well. He was able to build up enough assets to start a business, which eventually grew into a number of businesses in such fields as manufacturing, beer brewing, construction, real estate and transportation. Oloff Van Cortlandt became one of the wealthiest residents of the New Amsterdam colony. And after the colony was taken over by the British, he continued to prosper in his business activities. Two of his sons became mayors of New

4 York City. So clearly the Van Cortlandts were well wired into the political as well as business networks in the commerce capital of the new world. Later generations of the Van Cortlandts became involved in land speculation as well as in land ownership. As a result, the Van Cortlandts became even larger land owners than the Van Rensselaers, but the Van Cortlandt lands were apparently not acquired through patroonships. The family name of Cortlandt is imprinted on two communities in New York State. The two communities are the town of Cortland in Westchester County and the city of Cortlandt in central New York State, south of Syracuse. So the descendants of the people who originally founded New Netherland, an original province of the Netherlands, not only played a major role in the development of New York City, but also contributed to the development and growth of the remainder of New York State. The region around Albany, New York, still bears many names that can be traced back to the patroonship of Rensselaerswyck. And in and around New York City there are many names that were associated with the original New Amsterdam.

TRANSPORTATION PIONEERS The first major infrastructure development of the newly independent United States was the construction of the Erie Canal. The project took nine years to complete, and stretched 363 miles from Lake Erie, at Buffalo, to the Hudson River at Albany. It required a lot of digging and earth moving, but also a lot of construction. A total of 83 locks and 18 aqueducts were constructed. The locks were necessary to take the canal boats from one elevation to another. The Appalachian mountain chain had to be traversed, and the 600+ feet drop between Lake Erie and the Hudson River had to be surmounted for the ships going west. The canal construction project was started on July 4, 1817 and was completed in October 1826. The major driving force behind the eventual building of the Erie Canal was DeWitt Clinton. He became the Erie Canal Commissioner in 1808, having been appointed by the New York State Legislature. Two years prior to the appointment, the New York State Legislature had authorized and provided funding for a survey for the construction of the canal. The idea of a canal linking Lake Erie and the Hudson River had been around since the early 1790s. But lack of money and interest by the New York State Legislature had not moved the idea forward until the 1808 Erie Canal survey funding decision. DeWitt Clinton, as Erie Canal Commissioner, moved the idea forward and eventually convinced the New York State Legislature to provide funding for the canal construction start in 1817. The original Erie Canal was critically referred to as Clintons Ditch during the digging phase and following its construction. Literally speaking it was not much larger than a ditch. It was only four feet deep and 40 feet wide. But it was able to accommodate loaded flat bottom canal boats up to 75 tons. The economic impact was dramatic. Freight rates between Buffalo and New York City dropped from $110 per ton for road transportation

5 to $10 per ton for canal transportation. It also made New York City the largest port on the eastern seaboard easily surpassing Boston, the previous leader. The Erie Canal was extremely successful. The canal tolls were able to repay the cost of the canal in 9 years. And in 1836, only ten years following its opening, the canal was expanded and modernized so that it could accommodate canal boats up to 240 tons. The Erie Canal also opened up the American Midwest, especially the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. The low cost transportation made it more profitable to grow grains for the eastern seaboard markets, and agriculture in the Midwest boomed as a result of the low cost transportation the Erie Canal provided. The Vanderbilts, and especially the senior Vanderbilt, Cornelius, also dubbed Commodore Vanderbilt, were the pioneers in the development of low cost and high quality water transportation on the eastern seaboard, but also in long distance sea transportation. Later, the Vanderbilts sold off their water transportation assets and became the pioneers in the development of rail transportation. Cornelius Vanderbilt started his first water transportation venture by providing passenger and freight transportation in the lower Manhattan and Staten Island areas. He became successful because he provided transportation at lower cost and with better or at least equal quality of his competitors. Over time Vanderbilt continued to explore other passenger and freight operations and eventually became the dominant provider of ferry and riverboat transportation on the Hudson River, in Long Island Sound, and eventually along the entire eastern seaboard. He continued to use the business format that initially made him successful. He was willing to take on almost any competitor and then competed on the basis of price and quality of service. To be able to do that one must also be an extremely able manager. And apparently Cornelius Vanderbilt knew the business he was in and was able to compete very successfully. When Vanderbilt expanded to sea transportation, he focused on the New York City to San Francisco market. This market was very lucrative during the California gold rush. Again Vanderbilt was able to compete successfully on price and service, and in addition on speed. By the 1840s, Vanderbilts shipping fleet had grown to over 100 steamships, and the company became the biggest employer in the United States. By the 1860s Vanderbilt became aware that the future in transportation was in the railroads. About that same time his son William Henry Vanderbilt joined him in managing the railtoad business. The Vanderbilts went after existing weak railroads and acquired them, and then developed and modernized them. Within five years of their decision to go into the railroad business they made $25 million in the railroad business. The founder, Cornelius Vanderbilt passed away in 1877. His son William also had to retire early, in 1883, because of ill health. But by that time the Vanderbilt railroad system consisted of ten railroads, including the New York Central Railway system, a sleeping car company and the Hudson River Bridge.

The two freight transportation pioneers were Martin Bekins and Henry Jansen. Martin Bekins founded Bekins Van Lines, prominent movers and shippers all through the United States and Canada. Martin Bekins started a local moving company in Sioux City, Iowa in 1891. In addition to local household moving using horse and wagons, he developed the system of national moving household goods by using the railways for long distance transport and local movers for delivery and pickup at local destinations. As highway systems developed the moving business eventually moved to all-truck transportation. At the present time the Bekins Company is still active in moving but it also has moved into the business of providing complex logistics services to American and Canadian industry. Lynden Transport was founded by Henry Jansen during the 1940s in Lynden, Washington. Initially his transportation business was focused on milk hauling by tanker trucks from the dairy farms to the milk processing plants. During the 1950s, after the upgrading of the Alaska Highway, also called the Alcan Highway, from Alberta to Alaska, he decided to go into the trucking business between the lower 48 states and Alaska. The trucking business, operated by Lynden Transport from the lower 48 states to Alaska was successful and when Alaska was hit by a major earthquake in 1964, Lynden Transport was able to supply the necessary supplies and services quickly. In the early 1970s work was started on the Alaska oil pipeline, and again Lynden Transport became a major supplier to the contractors on the pipeline. Along the way Lynden Transport expanded to sea transportation to reach some of the Alaskan territories that were not accessible by land transportation. And eventually, Lynden Transport went in the air transportation business supplying both their Alaskan customers and the American military where ever the military called for air transportation. At the present time Lynden Transport has over 1500 employees and consists of 12 subsidiaries serving the transportation needs of Alaska but also the needs of some of their original customers, including the dairy farms near Lynden, Washington. The final transportation pioneers are the air transportation pioneers and developers. The most famous of the two is Anthony Fokker, who singlehandedly developed the airplane industry during the early airplane building period in the 1910s. Fokkers planes flew in the First World War, and continued to be operational well past the Second World War. He initially started building planes in Germany, then following the First World War, he moved back to the Netherlands, and eventually to the United States. Following Fokkers early death in the 1930s, his planes continued to be built. The last company that carried his name was Fokker Aircraft of the Netherlands which initially built a twin engine propeller driven jet and then went into production of a pure twin jet seating about 100 people. Unfortunately the competition drove the company into bankruptcy in the 1990s, and it ceased to exist. Its planes are currently still flying.

7 The other air transportation pioneer is of a later era than Fokker. His name is David Neeleman, who was the founder of Jet Blue, the upscale but low cost passenger air travel provider. Neelemans concept of an upscale but low cost air transportation provider appeared to work well initially. But then a winter weather problem at Jet Blues major hub, JFK Airport in New York, created an enormous delay and bottleneck. The way Jet Blue handled the delays and the bottleneck created an enormous amount of bad publicity which forced the company to enter into a major and costly promotion campaign in order to alleviate the bad publicity. Eventually the company recovered but Neeleman was asked to step down from his top leadership position. The overall concept of Jet Blue appeared to be sound. The problem was that there were no plans in place to handle a major weather catastrophe such as they encountered during that winter snow storm. This concludes the four transportation stories of Dutch Americans during the period from the early 1800s to the present. The two most impressive transportation feats were the eventual building of the Erie Canal, and later in the nineteenth century the development of sea and rail transportation by the two Vanderbilt, Cornelius and his son William Henry.

INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT Of all the Dutch Americans covered in this book, the most successful contemporary entrepreneurs must be the Koch brothers. The Koch brothers are Charles, David and William Koch. The three Koch brothers are the grandchildren of a first generation Dutch American, Harry Koch. Harry Koch arrived in Quana, Texas in 1888. Harry was modestly successful as a publisher and printer in the small frontier town of Quana. The local paper that he founded there over 100 years ago is still being published today, albeit following a merger with another local competing paper. Harry did well enough that he was able to send his son Frederick Koch for his higher education to the quality Rice Institute, currently Rice University, in Houston, Texas. Frederick Koch became interested in chemical engineering while at Rice, and while there found out that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] was going to offer a program specializing in chemical engineering. Frederick forthwith transferred to MIT, and earned his B. S. degree in chemical engineering from MIT. Following graduation, Frederick went to work for an engineering firm, providing advisory services to the oil industry. After acquiring enough practical experience, during the 1930s, he opened his own engineering advisory firm, and developed a more efficient way to refine crude oil. Since the major oil firms already had their oil refining systems in place, they refused to have anything to do with Frederick Kochs new more efficient oil refining method. Frederick Koch did not capitulate but found out that the Russians were interested in his new refining method, and he ended up spending the next several years in Soviet Russia,

8 developing Russian refineries. Eventually he became appalled by the Soviet system, which mistreated its own people and he returned to the United States. He then went into the oil business himself, largely as a small oil refiner and as a provider of oil field services. As his sons grew older, they all decided to follow in his foot steps, and each one ended up going to MIT, studying chemical engineering and graduating with chemical engineering degrees, and some even with graduate degrees. The three sons of Frederick Koch all went into technical and management consulting activities following their higher education. And as the father, Frederick, grew older, and less well, the three sons joined the Koch family business in the oil industry. Following the fathers death, the Koch firm continued to expand. One of the sons, William left the firm and decided to start out on his own. But Charles and David decided to stay in the family business and developed it into what is today the largest family owned business in the United States, with about $100 billion in annual revenues. William developed his own oil servicing firm and his business has also grown to substantial size. Each one of the three brothers who followed their father in the oil business is a billionaire according to Forbes Annual Billionaire Survey. The three Midwest manufacturers described below are a little more modest in size when compared with the Koch Brothers multi-billion dollar empire. Two of the three firms are in Iowa, and the third one was in Michigan. The two Iowa firms are Pella Windows, founded by Peter and Lucille Kuyper in Pella, Iowa, and Vermeer Manufacturing, founded by Gary Vermeer, also of Pella, Iowa. The third firm is Prince Manufacturing of Holland, Michigan. The Prince firm is the youngest of the three firms, having been founded in 1965. It was founded by Edgar Prince, and grew into an automotive parts supplier. Upon Edgar Princes death the firm was sold to Johnson Controls, also a large automotive parts supplier. The oldest of the three firms is Pella Windows. It was founded in 1925, and has grown into one of the largest window and door unit suppliers for the home building and home maintenance industries. Pella Windows focuses on quality construction. Vermeer Manufacturing was founded in 1948. It began with manufacturing and sales of a mechanism to allow farm wagons to dump their load in the same way as a dump truck. The idea was simple but was quite timely, and on the basis of that initial product Vermeer Manufacturing has developed into a major developer, builder and supplier of farm and construction machinery. Prince Manufacturing began as a die cast machine manufacturing firm. The firm became successful with their die cast machines and then developed into a major automobile parts manufacturing firm. It became and still is the largest manufacturer in Holland, Michigan. The son of Edgar Prince is currently the owner and president of Black Water Corporation, the firm with the huge federal government contract to provide protective services in Iraq for the United States State Department. From the above we can see that small firms with the right products and proper management can grow quite large, become quite profitable and successful. The Koch

9 Brothers were especially successful by being able to grow a modest size oil services and refining firm into the gigantic Koch Industries firm of today. The fact that they were in the right industry during their period of growth probably helped them to quite an extent.

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT In this category there is only one firm, the Kiewit Corporation, one of the largest construction companies in the United States, and probably in the world. The origins of the Kiewit Corporation go back to the 1880s, when Pieter and Andrew Kiewit founded the firm as a local construction firm in Omaha, Nebraska. Andrew Kiewit left the partnership in the 1890s and Pieter Kiewit continued on his own. During its early existence the Kiewit firm remained a small local contracting firm. The economic health of the country was not strong during the last years of the nineteenth century. In 1912, two of the older children of Peter Kiewit joined the firm and the firm was renamed Peter Kiewit and Sons. After the founder, Peter Kiewit passed away in 1914, the two sons renamed the firm and it became Peter Kiewit Sons. The Kiewit firm got its first major contract in 1924, when it was successful in its bidding for its first million dollar contract. The contract was for the construction of the 10-story Livestock Exchange Building in Omaha, Nebraska. Shortly thereafter the firm was successful in its bidding for the building of Nebraskas State Capitol Tower, the Joslyn Art Museum and Union Station, all in Omaha, Nebraska. During the depression of the 1930s, the Kiewit firm went through a difficult period but managed to stay intact. In the 1940s, the war effort began to build and the Kiewit Corporation became one of the major builders for war time construction, building not only buildings but also air fields, military bases and even a bomber plant. While doing work in Wyoming, the firm also became involved in coal mining. Following the Second World War, the Kiewit Corporation became involved with the building of the United States Air Force Base in Thule, Greenland, for the Distant Early Warning Line. In 1952, the Kiewit Corporation was selected to build the $1.2 billion Gaseous diffusion Plant at Portsmouth, Ohio. And during the Eisenhower Administration the Kiewit Corporation became involved in the construction of the interstate highway system, building more lane-miles than any other contractor. During the past several decades, the Kiewit Corporation has remained one of the largest infrastructure constructors in the world. It is still quite active today. During its time in operation the firm has retained the Peter Kiewit name, and appropriately so. The original founder, Peter Kiewit lived from 1850 to 1914. His youngest son, also named Peter Kiewit lived from 1900 to 1979. Both devoted most of their lives to the firm, and the firm proudly carries their name to this day.



The first chapter in this section covers the two Michigan merchandisers consisting of the Meijer Super Center Chain, and the Amway Corporation. The former was founded and is still owned and managed by the Meijer family. The latter was founded and is currently still managed by the Van Andel and DeVos families. The one thing that both merchandising firms have in common is the fact that they were both started as family firms and are still so today. The Meijer firm was started in 1934, as a small local grocery store, and over time has grown into a large regional retailer using the medium of super centers to sell their merchandise. The Van Andel and the DeVos firm is the Amway or Alticor Corporation which markets its products through middlemen called dealers. The Meijer firm is involved in mass merchandising based on the Walmart and Target models. As a matter of fact, the Meijer firm introduced the concept of the super center store or also called hyper market. Although the firm was the originator of the super center store idea, the Meijer firm is much smaller and is a regional firm, as opposed to their national and international competitors. The Meijer super center chain sells its products through over 180 stores. Its stores are located in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. So it is definitely a regional chain with its limitations on size, but it is probably more manageable if specific problems develop. Since it is a private firm, its sales figures are not available, but are estimated to range from $15 billion to $20 billion annually. The two other families, the Van Andel and the DeVos families are the principals in the Amway Corporation, now known as the Alticor Corporation. The firm was founded by Jay Van Andel, now passed away, and Richard DeVos, Sr., in 1959. The firm sells household and personal care products through multiple levels of dealerships. Whereas Meijer has remained strictly a regional company, the Alticor Corporation has become an international merchandising giant selling their products in Canada and China as their biggest outlets, but also in Japan, Australia and in some of the European countries. The other two developers, merchandisers and service providers are Huizenga and Astor. Astor is the oldest, having passed away in 1912, well before Huizenga was born. So in terms of age the two have nothing in common. Astor was largely a real estate developer and manager, and most of his properties were centered in New York City. He did not develop his fortune, as it was inherited. But he managed it wisely. Huizenga is a developer and builder of companies, specialized in the service and merchandising industries. As a result Huizenga is much more diversified than Astor. What they have in common is the fact that they were both enormously successful. Astor is best known for the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, which he built in cooperation with his cousin who bore the name of Waldorf. Each owned a hotel on Park Avenue in New York City, and the two hotels were next to each other, and competed against each other. So they came to an agreement to join the buildings and form one hotel which they named the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The merger took place sometimes around the turn of the century. The present Waldorf Astoria is a newer hotel which was built in the 1930s on the site of the original Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

11 The other claim to fame John Astor has is the fact that he perished in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. He was still quite young, in his forties, when he ended up being left behind on the Titanic, and drowned after the sinking of the ship. His new wife who was pregnant at the time survived and left him a son posthumously. The sons name was appropriately also John Astor. During the hours preceding the sinking, John Astor was convinced that the Titanic was unsinkable, and he tried to convince his wife and servants of that. Unfortunately for him, he was incorrect. Wayne Huizenga was a builder of companies. The first company he built was Waste Management. The company even today is the nations largest waste hauler and waste manager. He built Waste Management up from his own small waste hauling firm into an international waste management giant. He then sold the firm and began to focus on his next project. His next project was in the movie rental business. He followed the same model as he had used for building waste management, and build a company named Blockbuster Entertainment into an international giant in movie rentals. As he was involved in the two projects above, he also consolidated automobile dealerships into the national automobile retail chain, Autonation. Following the above three successes, Huizenga built up a hotel chain, named Extended Stay America. He used a little different format for growth of the hotel chain, and built the chain by building the individual hotels. In all company development cases, he was not interested in managing the firms, and usually quickly sold most of his properties, or at least the majority ownership in the properties. And also along the way, he built up a small scale competitor for Waste Management, named Republic Services. In recent years he has become interested in owning sports teams, largely in the Miami market. At one time he held the three major sports franchises in the Miami market consisting of the Miami Dolphins, The Florida Panthers and the Miami Marlins, Miamis baseball team. From the above descriptions of the successful entrepreneurs one can see that the American economy provides many opportunities to become a successful entrepreneur. To be sure all of the above, except for Huizenga, were able to continue the development of their enterprises with a foundation provided through inherited organizations. But in each case all of the entrepreneurs above added substantially to what was left to them by their respective ancestors.

INNOVATION AND DEVELOPMENT In this section we will cover what eight inventors and developers accomplished during their respective productive life times. The first three are innovators for the consumer markets. They are Van Camp known for Van Camps pork and beans, Scheepers known for the Dutch tulip bulb imports, appreciation and distribution in the United States, and Peet known for introducing the American market to the quality coffee bean, and its resultant output, the quality cup of coffee.

12 The next two innovators are inventors and developers of products in the electrical and electronic product markets. They are Thomas Edison and Lee De Forest. Edison is best known as the developer of the electric light bulb and the developer of electric power distribution to provide the electricity for the light bulb. De Forest was the inventor and developer of an electron tube which allowed wider transmission of electronic signals for electronic radio communication. The third group of inventors and developers were Kolff, Noorda and Schoemaker. Kolff is the father of the development of artificial organs, and in particular the inventor and developer of the artificial kidney. He also established the first blood bank in Europe and located in the Netherlands. Noorda is considered to be the father of network computing, and also developed a large network technology firm, at one time employing as many as 12,000 people. Schoemaker was the co-founder of one of the first successful biotechnology firms, a firm that was eventually acquired by Johnson and Johnson for close to $5 billion.

Gilbert Van Camp was one of the first persons to develop the sealed metal can for storing and preserving foods over long periods of time without requiring salt or freezing. At the time, around the 1860s, Van Camp developed the sealed metal can, freezing was not an option. However, certain foods, including meats, could be preserved through storage in highly salted liquids. The ubiquitous metal can has survived until this day, and is now even widely used for storing and preserving liquids such as beer and soft drinks. John Scheepers is known for promoting, growing and importing the tulip bulb into North America. He promoted the bulb through the use of horticultural societies, tulip festivals, extensive use of flowering bulb displays at national and international exhibitions, and garden clubs. Along the way he became a grower and distributor of tulip and other flower bulbs through his company, John Scheepers, Inc., a company that is still active today in tulip bulb distribution. Alfred Peet grew up in a family that owned a gourmet coffee and tea distribution company in the Netherlands. As a result he became an expert in quality coffees and teas while still a young man. Following the Second World War he moved to the United States, and was appalled that you could not find a gourmet coffee shop anywhere. So he opened his first gourmet coffee bean and coffee shop in Berkeley, California during the 1960s. His business became successful and he soon expanded to a second coffee shop in the San Francisco Bay area. About that same time gourmet coffees became fashionable in the Seattle, Washington area. Starbucks heard about the Peet operation in Berkeley, and sent some of their people to train under Peet in the selection and brewing of gourmet coffees. Starbucks growth is history. A corporation named Peets Coffee and Tea was founded in the San Francisco Bay area, where it currently dominates the gourmet coffee market.

13 The most famous American inventor and developer is undoubtedly Thomas Alva Edison. He did not invent the light bulb, but he developed it to the point where it could be used economically. He then also developed distribution systems to distribute the electricity to light the light bulbs. Edison then developed his Menlo Park Research Laboratory into an electronic and electrical technology development operation. Numerous inventions and developments took place in the laboratory during his life time. Edison became the holder of over 1000 United States patents during his life time, plus many more in the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Lee De Forest had the benefit of an extensive and thorough education in electronics and electrical technology. He had both B. S. and Ph. D. degrees from Yale University in electrical engineering. Following graduation he went to work for Western Electric but only stayed there for two years. He then started his own company which he called the De Forest Radio Company. Within two years, in 1904, he received a gold medal for his scientific electronic contributions at the Chicago World Fair. One of De Forests major contributions was the Audion vacuum tube used in radio voice transmission. It was a triode vacuum tube as opposed to diode vacuum tubes which then had been in use. The triode vacuum tube was a major advance and improved radio signal transmission enormously. Willem Kolff was a medical doctor who practiced medicine in the Netherlands during the Second World War. He was instrumental in starting the first blood bank in the town where he was practicing medicine. It was not only the first blood bank in the Netherlands, but also in all of Europe. After he moved to the United States following the Second World War, he became involved in the development of artificial organs, including the artificial kidney. Later he became also actively involved in the artificial heart. Dr. Jarvik developed and built the first artificial heart using Kolffs principles. Ray Noorda was a second generation Dutch immigrant. Noorda worked most of his productive life for General Electric and for a number of California electronic firms. In the early 1980s when he was nearly 60 years old, he took over a struggling software development firm by the name of Novell. He was able to revive the firm and steer it in the direction of network computing. During the next 12 years the firm grew to over 12,000 employees, focusing on network computing. During the following 12 years the firm struggled to survive in what had become a highly competitive environment. Noorda left Novell in 1994, when he started up another firm in the computing field. Unfortunately, Noorda became incapacitated and had to turn over the management of the firm to his children. The last of the innovators and developers is Hubert Schoemaker. He was a first generation immigrant, and came to the United States as a college student. He studied chemistry and graduated from Notre Dame with a B. S. degree in chemistry. He then enrolled in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to do graduate work. He graduated with a Ph. D. degree in biochemistry from there. Some time following his graduation, he became one of the three co-founders of Centocor Incorporated, a biotechnology firm,

14 located in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. Centocor became one of the great successes in developing therapeutic biotechnology products for the treatment of diseases. In 1999, Johnson and Johnson acquired Centocor for $4.9 billion. Schoemaker then used his share of the proceeds from the sale of Centocor to establish a development stage biopharmaceutical company, named Neuronyx, Incorporated. Unfortunately, Schoemaker became a cancer victim himself in 1994, a disease that caused his early death in 2006, at the rather young age of 54. The eight inventors, developers and pioneers described above clearly made collectively an enormous contribution to the world in which they grew up. Although the enormity of each individuals contribution varies considerably, each one deserves to be recognized for what he has contributed. We shall let the future decide which one of the individuals made the greatest contribution to society.

CULTURE AND EDUCATION In this last section of the book we shall review the contributions to American society by twelve individuals in the fields of education, entertainment and culture in general. The first group consists of the directors and producers in the American movie industry. Their contributions occurred over a time period covering nearly a century. The four individuals are DeMille, Zanuck, Eastwood and Verhoeven. Each one has contributed in the area of direction and production. But Eastwood also has made significant contributions as an actor. The second group consists of the modern music producers and performers. Their music is performed with the assistance of a band. As a result the band is usually intertwined with the performance of the individual. The two principals are Eddie Van Halen and the Van Halen Band, and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The third group consists of the religious book publishers. They are also producers, but not performers. On the other hand they are very much involved in the diffusion of culture, the material used in religious culture in this case. The four publishers are Zondervan of Zondervan Publishing, Eerdmans of Eerdmans Publishing, Baker of Baker Book House and Kregel of Kregel Publishing. The fourth and last group consists of four education promoters whose family names, through philanthropy to higher educational institutions, became attached to the educational institutions they supported. The four promoters are Van Rensselaer and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, Rutgers and Rutgers University in Brunswick, New

15 Jersey, and last but not least Hofstra and Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island, New York. The most prolific movie director and producer is probably Cecil B. DeMille. He produced 83 films and directed 90 films during his film making career. He began his directing-producing career at the early stages of the movie production era, so the numbers of films may be inflated, because the early films were usually quite brief. The most prolific producer of films was definitely Darryl Zanuck, even surpassing De Mille. Zanuck produced over 200 films during his film making career. Zanuck was, however, not a film director. The remaining two producer-directors are Clint Eastwood and Paul Verhoeven. Eastwoods movie career was largely in acting. Later in his career, he became involved in both producing and directing. And he received considerable recognition for his directing, even more so than for his acting. Verhoevens film career began in his native the Netherlands. He initially directed a number of Dutch movies and television productions. Only later in his career did he come to Hollywood. Verhoevens film directing and producing career is definitely not as extensive as DeMilles or Zanucks. The two modern music producers, Eddie Van Halen and Bruce Springsteen are contemporaries. Both started their professional music careers in the 1970s. Springsteen is linked with the E Street Band and Van Halen is linked with the Van Halen Band. Springsteen is probably more vocally oriented, whereas Van Halens music is all centered around his guitar. Also the Van Halen Band definitely falls in the Rock and Roll category. It is not clear if the E Street Band and Springsteen would appreciate their band to be designated as a Rock and Roll Band. Both bands and their respective main performers were still active as of the late 2007s and early 2008s. Given that both started in the 1970s indicates that the two performers have strong durability. And it appears that they probably both will be around for a number of years into the future. The religious book publishers are all geographically headquartered in the same location, Grand Rapids, Michigan. They were all started by essentially two families, including the Eerdmans, who then produced the Zondervans, and the Kregels who then produced the Bakers. In other words, Pat Zondervan worked for his uncle William Eerdmans, and then left and started his own publishing house, which became Zondervan Publishing. And separately, Herman Baker worked for his uncle Louis Kregel, and then left and started his own publishing house, now known as Baker Book House. Each of the four religious book publishers started out as religious book sellers through book stores or in some cases through direct sales, or as wholesalers. Nearly all of them to this day still sell religious books at retail. But all of them have gone into religious book publishing. Some of them have gone into related areas, but for all of them religious books is still their main stay. They were able to start up because during their start up phase there was a considerable demand in their own market areas for religious books. And the demand for religious books has not abated even to this day. As a result each one of the four publishers has been able to grow and remain active in their respective area as book

16 sellers and publishers. Each one has also expanded over the years by buying out other publishers, and as a result their growth has not just been internal. The four higher education promoters are Van Rensselaer, Vanderbilt, Rutgers and Hofstra. Each one of the philanthropists was able to help out their respective institution at a time when their respective institutions needed critical financial help. Only Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was actually started because of the financial help provided by Stephen Van Rensselear, and he actually founded it. The other three institutions were already operational when the philanthropists entered the picture. Henry Rutgers donated a relatively small amount to revive a previous bankrupt college, named Queens College. And because of his largesse and also because of his name, they named the new college, Rutgers College, which eventually became Rutgers University. After Cornelius Vanderbilt committed half a million dollars to a nearly bankrupt Methodist college in Nashville, the trustees renamed the college, Vanderbilt College, upon which Vanderbilt doubled his donation to a million dollars. Eventually, Vanderbilt College became the now prestigious Vanderbilt University. William Hofstras donation of land and buildings to a small college extension of New York University in Hempstead, Long Island, was made from Hofstras estate following his death and the death of his wife. The Hofstra will specified that the assets in the estate were to be used in commemoration of William Hofstra. So the trustees of the Hofstra estate donated the entire estate to the college extension of New York University in Hempstead with the provision that the college be named Hofstra College. Eventually Hofstra College became Hofstra University, as it is known today. The above overview of the book concludes this chapter. In the subsequent chapters the reader will find more detailed descriptions of the organizations with which each one of the above pioneers and entrepreneurs was associated. Also at the end of each chapter is a reference to the biographic profiles of the individuals covered in the respective chapter.

REFERENCES References for the above material will appear in the detailed chapters to follow.




New Netherland came into its existence through the international trading and exploration activities of the enterprising Dutch during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Netherlands, as we know it today, also came into existence as an independent nation during the latter part of the sixteenth century. Prior to that time the Netherlands was made up of a number of duchies or dukedoms as well as major cities such as Utrecht, Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, Alkmaar, Delft, and others. The geographic area of what would become The Netherlands had been under the control of Emperor Charles V, but during the latter part of the sixteenth century the area became under the control of the Spanish king, Philip II, a son of Charles V. During the second half of the sixteenth century, the dukedoms and cities, in what is now the Netherlands, became rebellious and wanted more independence from Spain. In their quest to become independent the cities and dukedoms were led in their revolt by the Duke of Orange, better known as William the Silent. William the Silent to this day is considered to be, and is revered as, the founder and father of modern day the Netherlands. Interestingly, the Duke of Orange was named after a dukedom in southern France, named Orange. But that did not deter the Duke of Orange to fight for his compatriots in the north. In 1581, during the Eighty Year War of Independence, which lasted from 1568 to 1648, the dukedoms and cities were organized into the Republic of the Seven United Provinces, which was the initial title of what eventually would become The Netherlands. The leading province in the republic was named Holland, and as a result to this day The Netherlands is often referred to as Holland. The Republic of the Seven United Provinces was governed by a mixture of a parliament and a government cabinet, which went by the title of Staten Generaal, or in the English language, States General. As overall head of state of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces was the Duke of Orange or William I, and best known as William the Silent. The title he received was Stadthouder, literally translated as City Keeper, but more liberally translated as Head of State.

THE EXPLORATION PERIOD Even during the time while the country was under Spanish control, the Dutch were seafarers and explorers and were essentially driven by the opportunity of trade with foreign nations and territories. The Dutch model of trade and exploration was probably

2 Spain and/or Portugal, also seafaring nations, and traders, explorers and colonizers. After all, the control of Spain over the Dutch territory, brought the Dutch in close contact with the Spanish. The first major Dutch exploration company was the Dutch East India Company [DEI], and it was this company that sponsored the original exploration in North America during the early part of the seventeenth century. In 1607, the DEI sponsored expeditions, led by Captain Henry Hudson, to what is now known as the Hudson Bay to explore the feasibility of a northern route to the East Indies. The expedition discovered that, if there was a northern route, it was blocked by ice. But the DEI did not give up easily. So in 1609, Captain Henry Hudson was commissioned to explore alternative routes to the East Indies. Captain Hudson first attempted to find a route in the easterly direction by way of a northerly route. But again he quickly discovered around the island of Nova Zembla that ice was again a problem. He then turned around, crossed the Atlantic, and decided to explore the North American coast line along its eastern shore. Prior to that time, Dutch seafaring explorers and traders apparently had already been exploring and trading for fur pelts, and especially beaver pelts, in the lower area of the Hudson River. We must assume therefore that Captain Henry Hudson knew of the Hudson River. And in September of 1609, he arrived at the mouth of the Hudson River, and went upstream to see if it possibly led to a route to the East Indies. The mouth of the Hudson River was of course the present location of what is now the New York City anchored tri-state area. Captain Hudson decided to go north on the river for a distance of about 150 miles, or as far as navigation allowed. He ended up at what is today Albany, New York. It is not clear what the explorers did at Albany, but Albany, which the Dutch would later name Beverwyck, would within a few years, become the second most important center of Dutch influence in the new world. The voyage up the Hudson River also confirmed that expansion of the fur trade with the Indians offered considerable possibilities, and it is safe to assume that Captain Hudson returned to Amsterdam with a load of beaver pelts, a valuable commodity in the old world at that time. From 1611 to 1614, the territory and adjacent waters at the mouth of the Hudson River were extensively explored by Captains Adriaen Block and Hendrick Christiaensz. Based on their explorations, Adraen Block produced a map of the explored area. The area covers the east coast of North America from latitude 38 to 45 degrees north. Based on the map, the States General of the Dutch Republic of the Seven United Provinces, essentially the Dutch government, claimed the land in 1614 for the Republic of the Seven United Provinces. To implement their claim, the States General built Fort Nassau on an island in the Hudson River near present day Albany, New York. Fort Nassau became the first settlement, largely a trading post, in what was then named New Netherland.

3 THE ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW NETHERLAND From 1614 to 1618, a company named the New Netherland Company was chartered by the States General to expand the exploration of the claimed New Netherland area. Other companies became involved in the exploration during the 1618 to 1624 period. The initial motivation for all of the interest in the area was the treasured fur pelt, largely beaver pelts, but also pelts from other animals. By 1624, some of the exploration companies were merged with the Dutch West India Company [DWIC], and the States General designated the DWIC officially as the only company to trade in the area of New Netherland. The States General also designated DWIC to serve as the contractor for the Republic of the Seven United Provinces to explore and manage the newly claimed lands. The remaining exploration companies were prohibited from trading in the New Netherland area by the States General. And in 1624 the States General officially established New Netherland as a province of the Dutch Republic of the Seven United Provinces. Since the Dutch had been colonized themselves, they were apparently reluctant to call their claimed territory a colony. So naming it a province of the new republic was an easy way out. The northern border of the claimed territory was changed to latitude 42 degrees north, from the original 45 degrees north, so as to not interfere with some of the British land claims. Also the first immigrants, consisting of 30 Flemish and Walloon families arrived on Noten Eylant, now named Governors Island, located just south of the present Manhattan, in 1624. The basis for claiming New Netherland as a province of the Dutch Republic was based on the following three criteria. 1. The 1624 claim on the territory was made on the basis of the Law of Nations; 2. The area was discovered in 1609 by Captain Henry Hudson who was then in the employ of the Dutch East India Company, a company chartered by the States General of the Dutch Republic; and 3. The territory was taken in possession through permanent settlement.

ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST SETTLERS AND THE FIRST TWO DIRECTORS The year 1624 was therefore an important year in the history of New Netherland. It was the year that New Netherland was officially claimed and became part of The Republic of the Seven United Provinces. The first families to settle in New Netherland were brought over on a ship named, Eendracht, in early 1624. Some of he settlers were taken to what is currently Albany, New York, where Fort Orange was under construction. And others were left off at locations near the Connecticut River to establish a home base there. More settlers would follow that first group in the same year. The next group of 30 families came over on a ship appropriately named Nieu Nederlandt, several months following the arrival of the first ship, but still in 1624. The ship was under the command of Captain Cornelis Jacobsz Mey who would become the first director of New Netherland. The 30 families were let off at Noten Eylant, presently

4 Governors Island, just south of Manhattan Island, New York, City. This group comprised the new settlers for what would become the colony of New Amsterdam. The following year, in 1625, four more ships arrived bringing 30 more settlers, and their families, for the New Amsterdam colony, plus over one hundred horses and cows, and numerous pigs and sheep. The objective clearly was to begin agricultural activities immediately to provide for the needs of the new settlers. Also in that year, 1625, the new and more permanent director, Willem Verhulst, arrived. Verhulst took over the directorship duties from Captain Mey, who probably was more interested in doing more exploration than in managing the new fledgling colony.

THE NEXT FOUR NEW NETHERLAND DIRECTORS The directorship of the new colony, with Verhulst in charge, apparently did not work out well. He was accused of mismanagement and ineptness, and as a result he was replaced the following year, in 1626, by Peter Minuit. Peter Minuit became essentially the first permanent director, and served in that capacity until 1632. In his first year as director, Minuit purchased Manhattan Island from the Indians for miscellaneous supplies and tools useful to the Indians. The value of the supplies and tools was estimated at about 60 guilders or about $24. The purchase was needed because the States General was insistent that no lands should be taken from the Indians. Instead the land should be purchased from the Indians for whatever reasonable commodities the Indians found useful for themselves. During Peter Minuits directorship, the idea of the patroonships was developed by a few directors in DWIC. They probably saw it as a way to encourage settlement in the colony as well as a way to earn a good return on their investment. The States General approved the patroonship plan, and to a degree it had the expected results as envisaged. Those allowed to become patroons were assigned certain blocks of land which they had to purchase from the Indians. Upon ownership, the patroons then were obligated to populate their assigned lands with settlers. The following regulations were instituted for the patroonship system. 1. The patroons had to settle a minimum of 50 settlers over age 15 on the land; 2. The patroons had to stock the farms with implements, and could only charge modest rents; 3. The patroons had to provide a pastor and a schoolmaster for each settlement; and 4. The lessees of the farms had to sell their grain crops to the patroons. Although not mentioned above, the patroons probably also had to provide transportation from the homeland to the settlement in New Netherland, or at least lend funds to the immigrants for their transportation. Since not many of the settlers had the necessary resources to pay their own way to the new world, it clearly was an opportunity to move to a new promised land. Peter Minuits directorship ended in 1632 because of some dispute with the DWIC or the States General. Minuit was replaced by an acting director, Sebastaen Jansen Krol, who was in charge until the following year, 1633. In 1633, the new director, Wouter Van

5 Twiller, arrived from Amsterdam to take charge of the province. Van Twiller remained director until 1638, when he also was replaced. The new director, Willem Kieft, arrived in 1638, and served as director until 1647. His directorship was probably the worst of all the directorships. Kieft felt that to keep the Indians subservient and pliable, there was a need to be autocratic with them, and if that did not work to exterminate them. The result was that the Indians revolted and began to attack the settlers in outlying areas. The result was a massacre of the settlers by the Indians and vice versa. The settlers suffered enormously because of the lack of protection. From that point on Kiefts directorship was doomed, and he was forthwith replaced by the States General in Amsterdam. In 1647, director Petrus Stuyvesant arrived and took over as director. He served reasonably well, and became the director with the longest tenure. He served until 1664, the year the British took over control and possession of the territory. Stuyvesant had made efforts during his directorship to make peace with the British. Stuyvesant was the one who ceded the Connecticut River region to the British in 1650. The agreement to cede the Connecticut River region was part of the Treaty of Hartford in 1650. The Connecticut River territory consisted of the territory east of the river and also the territory west of the river for a distance of 50 miles. The DWIC did not recognize the Treaty of Hartford, but there was not much they could do about it. It is also not clear why there was such disagreement between Stuyvesant and his employer, the DWIC.

THE TAKEOVER OF NEW NETHERLAND BY THE BRITISH In 1664, the takeover by the British was relatively peaceful. Four English frigates appeared at the southern tip of Manhattan and demanded surrender. Since Stuyvesant had not been able to build up a defense force for lack of money, the province of New Netherland was defenseless. Also the population of New Netherland was not happy with the Stuyvesant administration, because it had been unable to provide protection against the Indians, and as a result was unwilling to defend the province against the British. During the 1672-1674 time period, the Dutch were again at war with the British. So they decided to organize a fleet and attempt to take back New Netherland. They sent a fleet of 21 ships to the British colony, and the British governor had no choice but to surrender. So in 1673, New York, formerly New Amsterdam, again came into the hands of the Dutch, who named it Orange. They appointed a director by the name of Anthony Colve. Colves directorship lasted only for one year, following which the British were able to take over New Netherland by treaty. The Treaty of Westminster, in 1672, ended the Anglo-Dutch War, and New Netherland was ceded to the British. Although the former Dutch province of New Netherland came under British rule, it remained Dutch in custom, language and culture until the first half of the nineteenth

6 century. Also a dialect, called Jersey Dutch, was still spoken in Bergen and Passaic counties of New Jersey until the beginning of the twentieth century. Below follows a listing of the six directors of New Netherland, during its official existence from 1624 to 1664. Omitted are the three interim directors, who only served either briefly, or were never appointed officially. They are: Adraen Van Joris, 1623; Sebastiaen Jansz Krol, 1632-1633; and Anthony Colve, 1673-1674. For more information on the directors of New Netherland click on to the brief biographical profiles of the six directors listed below in the order they served as directors of New Netherland during the period from 1624 to 1664. The six directors were: Cornelis Jacobszoon Mey, 1624-1625, Willem Verhulst, 1625-1626, Peter Minuit, 1626-1632, Wouter Van Twiller, 1633-1638, Willem Kieft, 1638-1647, and Petrus [Peter] Stuyvesant, 1647-1664.


Peter Stuyvesant. Willem Kieft, Director Generals of New Netherland, Wouter Van Twiller, Wouter Van Twiller, New Amsterdam, New Netherland, Peter Minuit, Willem Verhulst,

7 Beads and Manhattan, Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, New Netherland, New Amsterdam,

Painting of Peter Stuyvesant [1592-1672], circa 1660 .

Peter Minuit [1580-1638]

A painting of Wouter van Twiller [1580-1636] by Washington Allston

Reprint of 1650 map of New Netherland




The importance of Rensselaerswyck, and its associated patroonship, to the development and growth of New Netherland, should not be underestimated. At first view one may conclude that Rensselaerswyck, and its lesser known patroonships in New Netherland, were just means for enriching the already wealthy colonial exploiters. But in retrospect we have to remember that the concept of the patroonship was deemed necessary to provide a way to attract settlers to and help them get settled on the new lands of New Netherland. The Halve Maen sailed up the Hudson River, under the command of Captain Henry Hudson, and reached Albany in 1609, and following that exploration an unofficial claim was made by the Dutch Republic on the area comprising the lands along the Hudson River. In the early days following the Halve Maens visit there probably was little concern about settlement. The concern then was focused on the lucrative beaver pelt trade with the Indians, then living along the Hudson River. In 1614, the States General of the Seven United Provinces of The Netherlands laid an official claim to the lands comprising New Netherland, including among others all the lands along the Hudson River. At that time an official claim was only recognized by other nations if the claim was followed up by settlement. The initial settlement, in 1614, consisted of a fort built on an island in the Hudson River near what is currently Albany, New York. The fort was named Fort Nassau. Ten years later, in 1624 and 1625, the first permanent settlers arrived in New Amsterdam and in Beverwyck, a location on the western shore of the Hudson River at what is now Albany, New York.

2 Around the time of the arrival of the first settlers, a new fort was built at Beverwyck. The new fort was named Fort Orange, and it would replace the nearby Fort Nassau which was abandoned. Also in 1624, the States General re-affirmed their claim to the lands comprising New Netherland and named the New Netherland area a province of the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands. As was stated above, the first shipment of settlers were brought to the area during 16241625 by the Dutch West India Company [DWIC]. The first shipments of settlers were deposited at several different locations. Apparently most were destined for the New Amsterdam area but some also ended up in Beverwyck, near Fort Orange. The DWIC wanted to establish agricultural activities on the new lands and continue the exploitation of the fur trade. The DWIC was a commercial operation, authorized by the States General, the Dutch government, to be in charge of the New Netherland area. In that capacity the DWIC was also given monopoly control of the fur trade and did not need additional settlers. But the Dutch government, the States General, needed to settle New Netherland in order to maintain control of the claimed lands under international rules. In the early part of the seventeenth century, the then newly semi-independent United Dutch provinces were prospering. The war of independence from Spain, officially called the Eighty Year War [1568-1648], was still going on. But the commercial, cultural and social activities in the new republic were already developing, before reaching a peak later during the seventeenth century. As a result of the above, the Dutch populace was content and not eager to move too far away from family and to unknown areas of the world. In other words recruiting for emigration to New Netherland by the DWIC was difficult and not many prospects were to be found. The Dutch people, in general, refused to emigrate and could not be tempted to do so. As a result many of the early settlers were not Dutch citizens, but refugees from religious persecution in France, or were escapees from other areas in Europe where economic conditions were poor. So around the late 1620s one of the DWIC directors, Killian Van Rensselaer [15801644] came to the conclusion that strong incentives were needed to motivate the Dutch to immigrate to the new lands along the Hudson River. Van Rensselaer came up with the concept of the patroonship. A patroonship would consist of a large area of tillable farmland, and would be headed up by a patroon, who had been given a land grant by the States General of the Seven United Provinces. A patroon would be a person with economic means, who would have the financial capacity to develop large land holdings, estates, along the Hudson River. The financial capacity of the patroon would then be used to finance the transportation of the emigrants to the new lands, and to provide assistance to the original settlers so that they could become independent tenant farmers. In turn the independent tenant farmers would pay

3 part of their crops as land rent to the patroon for use of the land and the services the patroon provided.

ESTABLISHMENT OF RENSSELAERSWYCK AND ITS FIRST PATROON In order to encourage patroons to participate, the Dutch government would provide land grants to the patroons. And as the sponsor of the patroonship idea, Van Rensselaer agreed to become one of the first patroons. He had his eyes on the lands surrounding Fort Orange, probably because the fort would assure him of a reasonable amount of protection for his tenant farmers from the potentially hostile Indians. Also in recruiting for people to settle on his estate, the presence of a Dutch fort would provide some security assurance. Van Rensselaers decision to invest part of his fortune in New Netherland for the patroonship of Rensselaerswyck, and the resultant impact of these investments on the future developments in New Netherland, clearly qualify him for designation as one of the early Dutch American pioneers. Van Rensselaer was the only successful patroon during the early years. Four other patroonships were granted to other enterprising Dutch businessmen, but none succeeded in making their patroonships workable. Later the patroonships were somewhat modified to make them easier to implement. Eventually the patroonship concept was replaced by individual land grants to settlers, a method that continued in the United States until the twentieth century. In contrast to most immigrants, who arrived in the new world with little or no money in their pockets, Killian Van Rensselaer was probably one of the largest Dutch investors in the new world. Relatively speaking he was probably by far the largest investor ever as an individual. Killian Van Rensselaer was an eminent, educated and wealthy citizen of Amsterdam. He was a wealthy pearl and diamond merchant in Amsterdam and was involved in other businesses at a time when the Dutch Provinces were still in the middle of their war of independence from the hated Spanish oppressors. Van Rensselaer was also involved with the Dutch West India Company as a major investor, director and financier. His vessels were part of the supply fleet of the Dutch West India Company, and he extended credit to the DWIC especially at some financially critical situations. So what caused Killian to become interested in New Netherland? When the Dutch West India Company had established New Amsterdam, the hinterlands provided investment opportunities for Van Rensselaers enormous wealth. He started out with an agent to develop trade opportunities, but he quickly saw the opportunity for agriculture and land development. After he had acquired the land grants from the DWIC, his agents started buying up additional land and before long Killian owned land which presently comprises the counties of Albany, Columbia and Rensselaer in the region what is now Albany, New York. Although the DWIC had assigned the land to Van Rensselaer through a land grant, the new patroon still had to buy the land from the Indians as per Dutch law, which forbade just taking the land from the Indians. The cost of buying the land was usually minimal

4 because the Indians had little notion of the value of the land. The estate consisting of the acquired land that he acquired was named: The Rensselaerswijck Estate. Van Rensselaer then promoted emigration from the Netherlands where by new immigrants had agreed to rent the land for a portion of their crops, a form of share cropping. In other words, he facilitated emigration by providing transportation from the Netherlands to New Netherland, and then provided opportunities for settlement on tillable lands for poor immigrants, who would otherwise not have been able to pay for the costs associated with their immigration. He used his own fleet to transport the immigrants across the Atlantic and upon arrival he even provided the implements and other resources to work the lands. During the initial years of Rensselaerswyck the conditions were difficult for the early settlers. Although the settlers were not at war with the Indians, a sensitive relationship existed between them and the natives. It was understandable how the natives felt. It was one thing to just trade with the white man but it was something else to have him live in your midst. The safety condition was definitely a major reason why the early years were difficult for the settlers. A report on the settlement about six years after the arrival of the first settlers reported that only about 200 settlers lived in the area. Most of the settlers lived within or next to Fort Orange in order to have a measure of protection to ensure their safety. Also many of the settlers were involved in the beaver pelt trade or as hunters for beaver pelts. The beaver pelt business was apparently a lot more profitable than being involved in farming activities. On location in Rensselaerswijck, Van Rensselaer had a management structure to help the immigrants settle in. He also insisted that the immigrants either live in communities or near each other so that both social and church life could be established and maintained. Van Rensselaer managed to do all this in his rather short life. He passed away at the rather young age of 64. If he had lived longer, he probably would have traveled to his property in New Netherland to visit with the people, he was able to move there for their livelihood. He would have been able to view his estate as the Patroon of Rensselaerswijck. The Dutch word Patroon is a Dutch title which can be translated as Lord of the Manor, but is probably best translated as landowner or landlord.

THE SUBSEQUENT PATROONS OF RENSSELAERSWYCK Killian Van Rensselaer served as the first patroon of Rensselaerswyck from its inception in 1630 until his death in 1644. Following his death, his son, Johannes Van Rensselaer [c1625-?] took over the title as patroon. He served as patroon from 1644 to 1652. But since Johannes was under age upon his fathers death, the estate was managed by two guardians, all located in Amsterdam, until Johannes reached the age of majority. During the interim period local managers would manage the estate.

5 Following the arrival of Peter Stuyvesant in New Amsterdam as the new director of New Netherland in 1647, Stuyvesant felt that the DWIC should have more influence and control over the successful patroonship in Rensselaerswyck. Up to that time Rensselaerswyck had developed into a separate and autonomous community. So in 1648, Stuyvesant travelled up the Hudson River to Beverwyck, and was able to assert a measure of DWIC control over the Rensselaerswyck patroonship. In 1652, Jan Baptist Van Rensselaer [c1630-?], Killians second son and Johanness brother, arrived at Rensselaerswijck. He was the first Van Rensselear to arrive in the new world and visit Rensselaerswyck in person. Jan Baptist decided to remain in New Netherland, and took over the patroonship from his brother Johannes, who was then still in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Jan Baptist remained the patroon until 1658, when he retired because of the ongoing hassles with the Dutch West India Company, and with Peter Van Stuyvesant. Jan Baptist was succeeded by his brother Jeremias [1632-1674], the fourth Patroon. Jeremias Van Rensselaer remained in charge of the colony for 16 years, from 1658 until his early death in 1674. He was in charge when the British took over New Amsterdam and all of New Netherland, in 1664. Jeremias took the oath of allegiance to the Duke of York, and the British left the colony in peace. Based on the above, the first four patroons of Rensselaerswyck, in chronological order, were the father, Killian Van Rensselaer, who served as patroon from 1630 to 1644. He was followed by his three sons, Johannes who served as patroon from 1644 to 1652, Jan Baptist who served as patroon from 1652 to 1658, and Jeremias Van Rensselaer who served as patroon from 1658 to 1674. Jeremias Van Rensselaer was succeeded as patroon by his nephew Killian Van Rensselaer [c1650-?], son of Johannes, the second patroon of Rensselaerswijck. Killian served as the fifth patroon from 1674 until 1684. In 1685, the Van Rensselaer heirs in Amsterdam relinquished all title and rights to Rensselaerswijck, and in turn the Albany heirs relinquished all title and right to the possessions of the Van Rensselaers in the Netherlands. In 1684, Killian, Johannes son, died and was succeeded as patroon by Jeremias son, also named Killian Van Rensselaer[1662-1719]. He was the sixth Van Rensselaer patroon and the first patroon born in Rensselaerswijck. He served as patroon from 1684 until 1719. He was married to a Maria Van Cortlandt, daughter of Stephen Van Cortlandt. The seventh patroon was Stephen Van Rensselaer I [1674-1745], a son of Killian Van Rensselaer, the fifth patroon and a great grandson of the founder of Rensselaerswyck, Killian Van Rensselear. Stephen Van Rensselaer I served as patroon from 1719 to 1745. The eighth Patroon was Stephen Van Rensselaer II [?-1779], a son of Stephen I. He married Catherine Livingston, daughter of Philip Livingston, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Stephen II served as patroon from 1745 until his death in 1779.

Stephen Van Rensselaer III [1764-1839], the son of Stephen II and the ninth patroon, induced farmers to settle on his lands with extremely low rental rates. This policy allowed him to expand the Rensselaerswijck estate to 900 farms of 150 acres each under cultivation. Stephen Van Rensselaer III also became a major general and fought in the war of 1812. He was married to Margaret Schuyler, daughter of General Philip Schuyler, a scion from another famous Dutch American family. Stephen III was also a graduate of Harvard in 1782. Stephen III served as the last patroon from 1779 to 1839. In 1779, Stephen III was only 15 years old, so his uncle, Abraham Ten Broek, managed the Rensselaerswyck estate until 1784, when Stephen III was old enough to manage the estate on his own. The last person involved with mopping up the remnants of Rensselaerswijck was Stephen Van Rensselaer IV [1789-1868], son of Stephen Van Rensselaer III and Margaret Schuyler. During the anti-rent campaigns of 1839, the year of his fathers death, he sold off the remaining lands. Stephen Van Rensselaer IV also served as a major general in the militia. The original Killian Van Rensselaer must be given credit for his farsightedness in seeing the opportunities and challenges posed by his decision to invest in this new land in the new world. His investments and actions formed part of the foundation of what is now the United States of America.

For more information on the Van Rensselaers, click on to the biographical profiles of the two more important patroons of Rensselaerswyck. They are Killian Van Rensselaer [1580 -1644], the founder, developer and first patroon of Rensselaerswyck, and Stephen Van Rensselaer III [1764-1839], the last patroon of Rensselaerswyck. Killian was the founder and Stephen was the disbander of the Rensselaerswyck patroonship.

REFERENCES Van Laer, A. J. F., Van Rensselaer Bouvier Manuscripts, Being the Letters of Killiaen Van Rensselaer, 1630-1643, Albany: University of the State of New York, 1908, pp. 805-846.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Stephen Van Rensselaer [17641839], Famous Americans, Killian Van Rensselaer [1580-1644], Rensselaerswyck, Killian Van Rensselaer, Stephen Van Rensselaer,

Stephen van Rensselaer III [1764-1839]




It is frequently forgotten that the main purpose of early settlement was the commercial gain that could be obtained from such settlements. The establishment of New Netherland and New Amsterdam certainly fell in this category. One of the originators and the beneficiaries of those early settlements in the Americas was the Dutch West India Company. Benefits that were obtained initially consisted of the trade in beaver pelts, but later profits were made in the land settlements, and in the trade associated with those early settlements. The later beneficiaries of the early settlements were the entrepreneurs that sprouted up among the early settlers. One of those early settlers who became a successful entrepreneur was Oloff Van Cortlandt. There were others also, but Oloff Van Cortlandt, himself and through his descendants, left a particular mark on the commercial development of New Netherland, and especially of New Amsterdam, the main commercial center of New Netherland.

OLOFF VAN CORTLANDTTHE PATRIARCH Oloff Van Cortlandt arrived in New Amsterdam on March 28, 1638, 14 years after the arrival of the earliest settlers. He was a passenger on the ship named Haring, the same ship that brought New Netherland director Kieft to New Netherland. Oloff came over as an employee in the Dutch West India Company [DWIC]. Oloff came from a well to do family in Amsterdam, and he brought with him a family seal with the Van Cortlandt arms on it. It is not clear what his original position was with the company. Some historians claim he was a military officer, but that is not clear. He also might have been, and probably was an officer, or office holder, in the DWIC. Only one year after Oloff Van Cortlandts arrival, in 1639, he was appointed by director Kieft to be the Commissary of Cargoes, a customs officer. Four years later, in 1643, he was appointed by director Kieft to be the Keeper of Public Stores, which also involved the collection of tariffs on the many transactions that took place in the new colony of New Amsterdam. Since tariffs were essentially the only sources of income for the new colony, the position of tariff collector was an important one. The tariff collector was essentially the New Amsterdams, or in this case, the DWICs, tax collector. Oloff apparently was a successful tariff collector for the new colonys government which essentially was the Dutch West India Company. In his position he was also able to

2 discern which businesses were the most profitable. In addition the position of tariff collector provided income apparently in relation to the tariffs collected. In other words the more money Oloff generated, the larger was his compensation. From the government point of view, Oloff was apparently viewed as a successful employee, and eventually was rewarded with other government appointments. Some of the new government positions Oloff was appointed to provided him with more visibility and contacts, and also provided him with opportunities for economic gain. Along the way he became a member of the New Netherland Directors Cabinet, and this appointment gave him even more influence and visibility. After a number of years in government, in 1639, Oloff became a freeman because he decided to become an entrepreneur himself. He was probably motivated by the successful enterprises that he could observe as the colonys tariff, or rather tax collector. It is not clear what enterprise he went into first. But eventually Oloff became an influential businessman with interests and ownership in the fields of merchandising, brewing, manufacturing, money lending and shipping businesses. In other words Oloff did not become a specialist in a single area, but spread himself out over many businesses. As a result of the above, Oloff Van Cortlandt became one of the biggest beer brewers in the colony, and beer brewing was one of the most lucrative businesses to be in at that time. By the 1680s Oloff became one of the four wealthiest business owners of what had then become New York City. Along the way Oloff remained interested in the governance of the new colony of New Amsterdam. He was appointed to be a member of an advisory board to the Director of the colony in 1645, and served in that capacity for several years. In 1654 he was elected to be the Schepen, an alderman, of New Amsterdam. And in the following year, in 1655, Oloff was appointed to be the mayor of New Amsterdam, a position he retained until the British took over in 1664.

THE DESCENDANTS OF OLOFF VAN CORTLANDT Oloff Van Cortlandt arrived in New Amsterdam as a single man. He managed to find a spouse, a not so easy assignment, and got married in 1642. His spouse was Annetje Loockermans [?-1689], the daughter of another prominent Dutch American family. The couple had several children. Their best known children were Stephanus Van Cortlandt [1643-1700] and Jacobus Van Cortlandt [1658-1739]. Both Stephanus and Jacobus Van Cortlandt each served for several years as mayor of New York City, following the takeover by the British. Stephanus Van Cortlandt served as mayor from 1677 to 1678, and from 1686 to 1688. Jacobus Van Cortlandt, the younger brother of Stephanus, served as mayor from 1710 to 1711, and from 1719 to 1720. Jacobus Van Cortlandt is also the Van Cortlandt who purchased the land holdings, in 1694, in what is currently the Bronx, and in which the current Van Cortlandt Park is

3 located. But for some unknown reason the park was named after Stephanus Van Cortlandt, probably because he served as mayor of New York City before his brother Jacobus did. In addition to the Van Cortlandt Park, located in the Bronx, there are two other Van Cortlandt memorial sites. They consist of the two municipalities in New York State which are named after the Van Cortlandt family. The largest one is the town of Cortlandt located in Westchester County. It is currently a wealthy suburb of New York City and has a population of 38,467 people based on the 2000 census. The other municipality named after the Van Cortlandts is the city of Cortland [not Cortlandt], located in central New York State, south of Syracuse, along interstate 81. It has a population of 18,740 people, again according to the 2000 census. The city of Cortland is also the site of Cortland State College, part of the State University of New York system. It is interesting to note that the city of Cortland, the smaller of the two municipalities, is designated as a city, and the larger municipality, the town of Cortlandt, is designated as a town. The median household income in the town of Cortlandt, in Westchester County, is substantially higher than the median household income in the city of Cortland, amounting to $ 75,442. The median household income in the city of Cortland amounts to only $26,478, a little more than a third of the town of Cortlandts median household income. Both median income household figures are from the 2000 United States census. For more information on the Van Cortlandts, click on to the biographical profiles of the five more prominent Van Cortlandt personalities who lived in New York State since the early 1600s, and during the historic Van Cortlandt era. They consist of: 1.Oloff Stevense Van Cortlandt, the original patriarch who came over as an official of the DWIC during the early years of the New Netherland colony, 2. Stephanus Van Cortlandt, who served as mayor of New York City during its early years, 3. Jacobus Van Cortlandt, who also served as mayor of New York City during its early years, 4. Pierre Van Cortlandt, one of the founding fathers of New York State, and 5. Philip Van Cortlandt, a Revolutionary War general, and later one of the first United States Congressmen.


Judd, Jacob, Editor, Van Cortlandt Family Papers: The Revolutionary War Memoir and Selected Correspondence of Philip Van Cortlandt, Volume 1, Terrytown, N. Y.:Sleepy Hollow Restorations, 1976.

4 Judd, Jacob, Van Cortlandt Family Papers: Correspondence of the Van Cortlandt Family of Cortlandt Manor, 1748-1800, Volume 2, Terrytown, N. Y.: Sleepy Hollow Restoration, 1977. Judd, Jacob, Van Cortlandt Family Papers: Correspondence of the Van Cortlandt Family of Cortlandt Manor, 1800-1814, Volume 3, Terrytownn, N. Y.: Sleepy Hollow Restoration, 1978. Philip Van Cortlandt, Van Cortlandt, Philip [1749-1831], Pierre Van Cortlandt, Lt. Governor Pierre Van Cortlandt and Joanna Livingston, mily Jacobus Van Cortlandt, Significant Dates in the History of the Site, Van Cortlandt, Jacobus, Stephanus Van Cortlandt, Van Cortlandt, Oloff Stevense Van Cortlandt, Cortlandt, New York, Cortland, New York, Van Cortlandt Park,

Van Cortlandt Manor----Dutch English Colonial Style-----Built in 1665




DeWitt Clinton is best known for his efforts in gaining approval and obtaining the funds from the New York State Legislature, for the construction of the Erie Canal. Later, DeWitt Clinton, then as Erie Canal Commissioner, supervised the construction and completion of the Erie Canal. However, the construction of the Erie Canal was only one of DeWitt Clintons accomplishments during his long and extensive governmental career. DeWitt Clinton nearly became president of the United States in 1812, as a candidate for the Peace Party. He had the support of the Federalists and the Republicans, but James Madison narrowly defeated him. During his entire political and governmental career, DeWitt Clinton served as a New York State Assembly Man, as a New York State Senator, as a New York State Lieutenant Governor, as a New York State Governor, and as Mayor of New York City. Prior to running for the United States Presidency, he also served as a United States Senator. Not only was DeWitt Clinton in charge of construction of the Erie Canal, he also was its greatest advocate prior to the New York State Legislatures decision to finance the building of the canal. DeWitt Clinton became the first Erie Canal Commissioner in 1810, seven years prior to the authorization to build the canal. So for the seven years from 1810 to 1817, Clinton was promoting the canal, as well as convincing the New York State Legislature to provide support for its financing.

DUTCH AMERICAN SUPPORTERS OF THE ERIE CANAL In addition to DeWitt Clinton, there were a number of other Dutch Americans who were also strong advocates for the construction of the Erie Canal. Specific mention should go to Gouverneur Morris and Martin Van Buren, who later became president of the United States. Gouverneur Morris was quite a bit older than DeWitt Clinton, and as such had considerable more life experience than Clinton,, during the Erie Canal debate. But during the early 1800s, when the construction of the Erie Canal was extensively debated, Gouverneur Morris became one of its strongest advocates. Van Buren was initially against the idea of the Erie Canal, but apparently for political reasons. Later, Van Buren became one of its strongest proponents, and in addition to DeWitt Clinton, both Gouverneur Morris and Martin Van Buren deserve special mention for their extensive support of the construction of the Erie Canal.

2 The original Erie Canal Commission consisted of seven members including DeWitt Clinton. The other members were Gouverneur Morris, Stephen Van Rensselaer III, William North, Thomas Eddie, Simeon DeWitt, and Peter P. Porter. Two members were added shortly thereafter consisting of Robert Livingston and Robert Fulton, the creator of the Fulton steam engine. Four of the above nine members were Dutch Americans including DeWitt Clinton, Gouverneur Morris, Stephen Van Rensselaer III, and Simeon DeWitt. In addition, some were related to each other. Simeon DeWitt was an uncle of DeWitt Clinton, and Robert Fulton was a nephew of Robert Livingston. Also of interest is the fact that Robert Livingston had strong familial connections with several Dutch American families. During its remaining life, the Erie Canal Commission added and dropped members for various reasons. What is presented above is the original Erie Canal Commission established, in 1810, by the New York State Legislature. Based on the relatively heavy involvement of Dutch Americans in the planning and construction of the Erie Canal, one must wonder to what extent, the European Dutch experience with canals influenced their interests. This is a topic that has not been seriously raised with at least one exception. John Rutherford, the author of one of the first documents on the planning of the Erie Canal claims that the Livingstons visited the Netherlands, in the 1700s. They were amazed at the extent of canal transportation, and openly wondered why not more attention was being paid in the United States to that mode of transportation. It so happened that the Livingstons were heavily intermarried to the Dutch Americans at that time, and the topic of Dutch canal transportation, clearly must have been discussed on many occasions. We have to keep in mind that up to that time the idea of government financing of a major project or undertaking was a completely foreign idea. Private enterprise held strong sway, and the general feeling was that the building of the Erie canal was a private enterprise activity. After all, even the settlement of New Netherland was essentially a private enterprise activity undertaken by the Dutch West India Company under the authorization and supervision of the States General in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Hence asking the New York State Legislature to finance the construction of the canal was considered to be plain folly.

HISTORIC BACKGROUND OF ERIE CANAL DEVELOPMENT The idea of a canal connecting the Hudson River with the Great Lakes was an idea that had been around for a long time. The first time the canal idea was broached was in 1724. An individual by the name of Calwallader Colden proposed a canal linking Lake Erie and the Hudson River. Between 1724 and 1810, there were many discussions about improving the transportation systems between the Hudson River at Albany and the hinterlands. Initially the hinterlands were those areas west of Albany reaching as far as Oswego, New York. The least costly way to improve transportation was through the utilization of the Mohawk River. Specifically, in 1768 there was a letter written by a person named H. Moore to the Earl of Hillsborough which contained suggestions for a canal and locks around Canajoharie Falls on the Mohawk River.

In the years 1784 and 1785, a person named Christoffer Colles drew up a proposal for the speedy settlement of unutilized lands of the western frontiers of New York, and for improvements of the inland navigation between Albany and Oswego. The proposal led to a bill that was drawn up for consideration by the New York State Legislature for consideration. The bill proposed an act for improving the navigation of the Mohawk River, Wood Creek, and the Onondaga River, with a view to opening inland navigation to Oswego and for extending the same, if practicable to Lake Erie. There is no information about the cost of doing all or part of the above, and of who was supposed to finance it. Presumably it would involve some private enterprise. The above questions remain unanswered as the bill was defeated. Five years later, in 1791, the New York State Legislature passed an act to authorize a survey and estimates for improving utilization of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers and for Wood Creek. In the following year, in 1792, the New York State Legislature passed an act for establishing and opening navigation utilizing locks within the State of New York. Also later that year there was published a report of a committee to explore the western waters of New York State for the purpose of utilizing inland navigation. Apparently separately from the Legislatures action, a private company, the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company was incorporated to open a navigable waterway from Albany to Lakes Seneca and Ontario. Also in that year a private company built a lock to bypass Little Falls. It was the first lock built in the United States. So clearly private enterprise became interested in opening up the frontier for economic development. So from the above it becomes evident that there was considerable discussion and action on the development of water transportation in order to accelerate the development of the new frontier. But the visionaries also saw the opportunities that a waterway from the Hudson River to Lake Erie would provide in terms of other benefits. Other benefits include the commerce that could be created by improving transportation to the countrys newer and more distant frontiers including the territories covered by, among others, the states of Ohio, Michigan and Indiana.

APPOINTMENT OF DEWITT CLINTON AS ERIE CANAL COMMISSIONER The New York State Legislature was clearly bombarded by many petitions for a canal between the Hudson River and Lake Erie just prior to and following the turn of the century. And finally, in 1808, the New York State Legislature authorized and provided funding for a survey for the construction of such a canal. And then two years later, Dewitt Clinton was appointed to become the State of New Yorks first Canal Commissioner. Between the early 1790s and the time of DeWitt Clintons appointment as Canal Commissioner in 1810, there clearly was a lot of discussion of alternatives to solve the transportation system problems between the Hudson River and Lake Erie. And the Erie Canal alternative became the clear choice. The problem was how to finance it. The New York State Legislature was clearly hoping for an outside party to show up and take that

4 financial responsibility off their collective backs. Appointing DeWitt Clinton to Canal Commissioner may have been a wise move on their part. They probably hoped that the responsibility for financing the project would not become their responsibility. A year following the appointment of the Canal Commission, in 1811, the Canal Commission issued a report entitled, Report of the commissioners appointed to explore the route of inland navigation from Hudsons river to Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Again a period of inactivity followed. Finally in 1816, DeWitt Clinton drafted a statement that was signed by many citizens. It was entitled, Memorial of the citizens of New York, in favour of a canal navigation between the Great Western Lakes and the tidewaters of the Hudson. The report apparently impressed the New York State Legislature, and the legislators passed the historic canal law with authorization to build a modest canal.

CONSTRUCTION OF THE ERIE CANAL The legislators also provided up to $7 million to finance the construction of the Erie Canal. And on July 4, 1817 DeWitt Clinton turned the first spade to begin construction of the canal in Rome, New York. The first edition of the Erie Canal would take eight years to complete. It would be a modest canal, probably because of the modest funds provided by the New York State Legislature. The canal would be four feet deep and 40 feet wide. It would be able to handle a flat bottomed boat carrying up to 30 tons. The boats would be towed by mules, horses or oxen on a canal path which would extend along the entire canal length. The total length of the canal would be 363 miles with 83 locks and 18 aqua ducts for crossing rivers and ravines along its way. Eight years is a long time, and during the eight years of construction, complete sections of the canal went into operation immediately following completion. The first large section of the canal opened up only two years after the start of construction. A 96 mile section of the canal in the vicinity of Utica and Rome, New York opened in 1819. Three years later, in 1822, river boats began using a canal section from the Genesee River, at Rochester, to Pittsford, New York. And later that year, 180 miles of the canal opened between Rochester and Little Falls, New York. In October, 1823, a year later, the entire eastern section of the canal between the Genesee River in Rochester and the Hudson River in Albany opened for continuous navigation. Six months later, in April 1824, the Rochester to Brockport section of the canal opened. The Erie Canal, finally after eight years of hard work, opened in October 1826. The first passage from Buffalo, New York at Lake Erie to New York City was completed. The completed Erie Canal was 363 miles long as planned. It was 40 feet wide and only four feet deep. But it was able to accommodate river boats with 75 ton capacity, considerably more than the 30 ton capacity originally envisaged. There were 77 locks averaging 90 feet long and 15 feet wide. The total net drop from Lake Erie to Albany was 655 feet.

To celebrate the completion and the opening of the Erie Canal, DeWitt Clinton, who had then become Governor Clinton, governor of New York State, officially opened the canal by sailing the packet boat Seneca Chief along the Erie Canal from Buffalo to Albany. Two caskets of water were taken from Lake Erie to the Hudson River, and the water was ceremoniously dumped into the Hudson River as a commemoration of the historic project.

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF ERIE CANAL The impact of the Erie Canal was immediate and dramatic. Freight rates from Buffalo to New York City dropped from $100 per ton for road transportation to $10 per ton for canal transportation. Wheat transported from Buffalo to New York in 1829 amounted to somewhat less than 4,000 bushels. Eight years later this figure had grown to 500,000 bushels, and in 1841 wheat transported from Buffalo to New York City amounted to one million bushels. In other words the canal not only provided an economic boom for New York State but also for the wheat farmers living in the newly opened agricultural areas of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Erie Canal tolls recouped the entire cost of the canal in less than nine years. Within 15 years of the Erie Canals completion, New York City became the busiest port in the United States, moving tonnages greater than Boston, Baltimore and New Orleans combined. The impact of the Erie Canal also had some dramatic effects for New York State itself. It turned Buffalo into the nations largest grain transport and grain-related manufacturing city. Also upstate New York developed along the Erie Canal. Nearly all the major cities in upstate New York are located along or near the canal including Albany, Schenectady, Amsterdam, Utica, Rome, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. At the present time, nearly 80 percent of New York States upstate population lives within 25 miles of the Erie Canal. The original Erie Canal was so successful that an upgrade of the canal was begun in 1836, only ten years after its opening, and the work lasted until 1862. The upgrade consisted of widening the canal from 40 feet to 70 feet, and deepening the canal from four feet to seven feet. Also the locks were reduced from 83 locks to 72 locks. The resultant river boat capacity increased from 75 tons to 240 tons. The upgrade was necessary because of the increase in canal traffic and the emerging competition from railroads. With the increased capacity, the canal was in a much better position to compete with the railroads. During the second half of the nineteenth century the railroads began to compete with the canal. In 1903, a decision was made to build a canal with much larger capacity. It would also largely take its own separate route utilizing more of the existing water bodies such as the Mohawk, Oswego, Seneca, Clyde and Oneida Lake. Dams were built to create long, navigable pools, and locks adjacent to the dams were utilized to allow barges to pass from one pool to the next. By utilizing the pools, fewer locks were needed and the barges

6 had fewer delays to contend with. After the project was completed in 1918, the entire system was renamed the New York State Barge Canal. The maximum capacity of the barges was 3000 tons. So as a result the Canal was quite competitive with railroad transportation at that time. When the St. Lawrence Seaway Project was completed in 1959, the New York State Barge Canal system received a huge economic blow. Also both road and railroad transportation had become more efficient and competition from that side also began to negatively affect barge traffic. Today, the Barge Canal is essentially a body of water for recreational boating, and it has become a tourist attraction. The term barge canal is no longer used. It is now officially considered to be part of the New York State Canal System, and by many it is still referred to as the Erie Canal. So the driving force behind the Erie Canal, DeWitt Clinton, would not recognize his canal today. But his vision and determination to have the Erie Canal built has had historic consequences. It not only developed upper New York State, but also provided an impetus for the resultant economic development of the agricultural states west of New York State, which benefitted enormously from the canal, especially in its early years. DeWitt Clinton deserves to be remembered as a statesman for what he accomplished during his distinguished governmental career. For more information on the individuals covered in this chapter click on to the brief biographical profiles of DeWitt Clinton, Gouverneur Morris, Simeon De Witt and Stephen Van Rensselaer III.


Simeon De Witt, Gouverneur Morris, Gouverneur Morris, Gouverneur Morris, Rutherford, John, Facts and Observations in Relation to the Origin and Completion of the Erie Canal, New York: N. B. Holmes, 1825. Erie Canal Home Page. DeWitt Clinton,

The Erie Canal: A Brief History, Erie Canal Chronology and Bibliography, Cornog, Evan, The Birth of Empire: DeWitt Clinton and the American Experience, 1769-1828, New York University Press, 1998. DeWitt Clinton,

DeWitt Clinton [1769-1828]

George Harvey: Pittsford on the Erie Canal, 1837. [Courtesy: Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester]

Gouverneur Morris [1752-1816]

Simeon De Witt [1756-1834] [Painted by Ezra Ames]




Cornelius Vanderbilt [1794-1877], also known as Commodore Vanderbilt, and his son, William Henry Vanderbilt [1821-1885], form a twosome that has left a major imprint on nineteenth century transportation. The father was the founder, developer and chief management officer of the original transportation behemoth, known as the Vanderbilt system. But it was the son, who following his fathers retirement, took over the helm of the Vanderbilt organization, and built it into a railroad transportation system, serving the northeast quadrant of the United States, which was then generating the bulk of all economic activity in the country. And through the availability of effective and efficient transportation, the American economy was undoubtedly significantly enhanced. When Cornelius Vanderbilt passed away in 1877, at age 82, he was the wealthiest man in the United States. He had made his initial fortune through water borne shipping, and he became the greatest shipping tycoon in the country. When the railroads appeared, he quickly saw that the future of transportation would be by way of land, via the railroads, and not by water borne shipping as it had been until then. Water borne shipping was effective and efficient but it required waterways. Being solely dependent on waterways would leave large parts of the yet to be developed country without effective transportation. Hence, the future was in railroads. Prior to Cornelius Vanderbilts death, he decided to leave the bulk of his estate to his son William Henry, and only a modest amount of half a million dollars to each of his surviving nine children. One could argue about the unfairness of it all. But he apparently felt that his company would continue to grow and thrive if it remained under tight control of the one person he trusted to do that, his son William Henry Vanderbilt. Cornelius Vanderbilts judgment proved to be correct. In the eight years following the death of Cornelius, his son William Henry Vanderbilt, doubled the size of the original railroad system. And William Henry Vanderbilt, upon his death in 1885, only eight years following his fathers death, distributed his estate not only to his own offspring, but also to his surviving siblings.

GROWTH OF THE VANDERBILT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM So let us now take a look at how the Vanderbilt transportation system started, grew, evolved, and eventually became a huge and critical part of the American public infrastructure, and made a huge boost to the development of the American economy. Corneliuss father operated a small ferry service providing passenger and freight services

2 in the Staten Island area near New York City. Cornelius began to work in the familys transportation service business when he was only 11 years old. During the 1805 to 1810 period he worked initially for his father and later found work with other New York City and Staten Island passenger and freight services. In other words by the time he was 16, he was thoroughly experienced with the business of ferrying people and freight across the various bodies of water in the New York City area. So in 1810, when he was 16 years old, Cornelius convinced his mother to lend him $100 so he could buy a periauger type sailboat, and start his own passenger and freight transportation business. He decided to compete on the Staten Island to New York City route, because there was a large volume of business, but also much competition. Cornelius discovered early that price competition was the key to attracting customers. He competed on the basis of price, charging as little as 18 cents per ferry trip. He became a successful ferry operator, and was able to pay back his mother, and also pay her a substantial dividend, all within one year. Only two years following the start of his ferry business, the war of 1812 with the British broke out, and Vanderbilt was able to get government contracts to supply the military forts around New York City. Again, he was able to get the contracts because he won the bids for supplying the military bases on the basis of lower costs. His business was so successful that between 1814 and 1818, he was able to expand his business with additional schooners for freight and passenger services. His ferry and transportation services not only served the New York City area, but he was able to also provide services to Long Island Sound and in the coastal trade from New England to as far south as Charleston, South Carolina.

CONVERSION OF SHIPPING FLEET FROM SAIL TO STEAM The year 1818 was a critical year in the evolution of the Vanderbilt shipping empire. It also shows his vision in being able to see technological change as being inevitable. And a good manager must respond to technological change quickly. So in 1818, he sold all his sailing vessels, and became a steamboat captain and partner with Thomas Gibbons who operated a ferry service between New Brunswick, New Jersey and New York City. The Vanderbilt-Gibbons partnership charged only a quarter of the prevailing fares on that route, and as a result it became the dominant ferry service on the busy Philadelphia-New York City route. The partnership remained intact for almost 12 years from 1818 to 1829, and the main apparent reason it remained intact was because of its enormous profitability. In 1829, Vanderbilt decided to go on his own, and began passenger and freight service on the New York City-Peekskill Hudson River route. Again he competed on the basis of price and quickly eliminated most of the competition. He then expanded his service to Albany, New York, and as a result became the dominant Hudson River passenger and freight service. During that time he also expanded his service area to Long Island Sound, serving Providence, Rhode Island and the Connecticut areas.

3 By the 1840s, Vanderbilts shipping organization had grown to a fleet of 100 steamships, and the company had become the biggest employer in the United States. The Vanderbilt shipping and freight transportation services not only competed on the basis of price but also on the basis of comfort, size, speed, luxury and elegance in the steamship passenger transportation industry. During the California gold rush, in 1849, Vanderbilt began steamship service to San Francisco by way of Nicaragua. His competitors used the Panama route which was longer. Vanderbilt was able to shorten the trip to San Francisco by two days, and it was also 600 miles shorter. As a result the Vanderbilt system quickly became the principal transportation service provider on the New York to San Francisco route. It also was enormously profitable as it netted the business over one million dollars per year.

CONVERSION FROM WATER TO RAIL TRANSPORTATION In the 1860s Cornelius became aware that the future growth in the transportation industry was not going to be by way of water but by way of land via the railroads. Railroads were then still in their infancy, and although new railroads were sprouting out all over, little consolidation had taken place. So Vanderbilt decided to enter the railroad business through the acquisition of existing railroads. He also knew that expertise was necessary to become successful in any business, and he realized that he did not possess that experience in the railroad sector. So he began his railroad business by acquiring the bankrupt Long Island Railroad, followed shortly thereafter by the New York and Harlem Railroad and the Hudson River Railroad. Notice that all these railroads were in geographical territories where he had knowledge of the transportation needs and requirements. In 1867, he acquired the Central Railroad and merged it with the other railroads he already owned. As he had done with the shipping business, he focused on improving service and on upgrading capital equipment, while maintaining fares. He eventually merged all his railroad properties into what became known as the New York Central Railroad. It is estimated that Vanderbilt made $25 million during the first five years in the railroad business. Cornelius Vanderbilts son, William Henry Vanderbilt, joined the organization in the early 1860s. He was put in charge of the bankrupt Long Island Railroad, and was given the charge to reorganize it and make it profitable. William Henry, who had already shown in earlier ventures that he was a capable manager, was able to do just that. William Henry was able to revamp and reorganize the railroad and make it into a profitable operation with a strong financial footing. William Henry Vanderbilts success in rebuilding the Long Island Railroad was rewarded and he was put in charge of all Vanderbilts railroad operations. He essentially became the driving force behind the Vanderbilt railroad expansion and growth during the late

4 1860s, 1870s and early 1880s. William Henry greatly expanded the railroad operations, especially following his fathers death in 1877. Under William Henry Vanderbilts management, the Vanderbilt railroad system expanded by acquiring the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, the Nickel Plate Railroad, serving Chicago and St. Louis, the Cleveland Railroad, the Columbus Railroad, the Cincinnati Railroad, the Indianapolis Railroad, and many other smaller lines. He was also active in fighting against railroad regulation, and was not afraid to both initiate and fight freight price wars in order to expand the railroad business. By the time William Henry Vanderbilt retired, because of ill health, in 1883, the Vanderbilt fortune had doubled. The Vanderbilt railroad system then consisted of ten railroads, a sleeping car company and the Hudson River Bridge in New York City.

THE VANDERBILT FORTUNE FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF THE FATHER-SON COMBINATION By the time William Henry Vanderbilt passed away in 1885, the Vanderbilt fortune in relative terms exceeded by far any industrial fortune accumulated by todays wealthiest American billionaires. So the question arises to what degree the two Vanderbilts practiced philanthropy. Cornelius Vanderbilt apparently practiced very little philanthropy during most of his life. However, his second wife, following the death of his first wife, convinced him to donate a million dollars to what is now Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. A million dollars may not sound much in todays terms, but it was a fortune in the 1870s when the gift was made. William Vanderbilt, on the other hand, became quite active as a philanthropist. He gave substantial gifts to Vanderbilt University and to the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He also built a mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York, City, to display the art he had donated to it. In his will he also left bequests to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, the YMCA, and to several New York City churches and hospitals. The sums of money reported above may not sound all that impressive until one converts them to their comparative value in present day terms. The most logical way to convert the monetary values then to the present is to use the gross domestic product per capita [GDP/C] comparison. At the time of Cornelius Vanderbilts death in 1877, the GDP/C amounted to about $175. Todays GDP/C amounts to about $ 46,000, which gives a conversion ratio of about 262. Applying the conversion rate to the sum of one million dollars produces the substantial sum of $ 262 million. The value of Cornelius Vanderbiltss estate, valued at $ 105 million at his death, would be worth about $ 27.5 billion today. Both the father, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the son, William Henry Vanderbilt, had large families. Cornelius had 12 children and William Henry had 8 children. The children all inherited substantial sums following the death of either the father or the son, or both.

5 Hence, the children continued to be in positions to practice philanthropy following the death of the two wealth generators. One of the more well known beneficiaries of the Vanderbilt wealth is the Whitney Museum of American Art, in New York City. The donation was made by a grand daughter of William Henry Vanderbilt, and her husband. The donated sum to the museum was of such magnitude that the museum was named after her and her husband. Since the family name was Whitney, the museum was named the Whitney Museum. For more information on Cornelius Vanderbilt and William Henry Vanderbilt click on to the biographical profiles of the two Vanderbilts. The father and son built the Vanderbilt water and railroad transportation empires during the eighteenth century.

William Henry Vanderbilt [1821-1885]


William Henry Vanderbilt. William Henry Vanderbilt.

6 Cornelius Vanderbilt, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt Renehan, Jr., Edward J., Commodore---The Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, Basic Books, 2007.




The two Dutch Americans who established a name for themselves in North American freight transportation and logistics in the 20th century are Martin Bekins and Henry Jansen. Bekins was the older one and preceded Jansen by about 50 years, but both built up companies with national, and to some degree, international reach beyond the United States and Canada. Martin Bekins was the founder, in 1891, of a local moving company in Sioux City, Iowa. It did not remain local for very long and quickly became a national, and eventually an international moving firm with branches in all major cities serving the United States and Canada. The firm is presently known as Bekins Corporation or Bekins Van Lines, and its moving vans can be seen on the streets of any major city, or on the interstate highways crossing the country. Henry Jansen was the founder, of what today is known as, Lynden Incorporated or Lynden Transport. Lyndens transportation activities are focused on the state of Alaska, and it not only provides road transportation but also water and air transportation. The firm was founded by Jansen in Lynden, Washington in the 1940s. Initially the firm was a milk transporter, a trucking activity the firm is still engaged in today, although it comprises only three percent of its overall business.

MARTIN BEKINS AND BEKINS TRANSPORTATION BUSINESS In 1880, Martin Bekins became a teamster hauling freight in horse drawn wagons in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grand Rapids was the closest big city in which to find work as he had grown up on a farm near there. With his farm experience, he was of course familiar with horses, and becoming a teamster was a natural way for him to earn a living. He also got his brother John to join him in Grand Rapids, and John also became a teamster. After several years of hauling freight, Martin Bekins decided that it was time to go into business himself. However, Grand Rapids must have appeared to be too competitive, or perhaps too close to his home. So he and his brother decided to move to Sioux City, Iowa. It was there that the two brothers went into the household moving business, of course using horse drawn wagons, a niche in the freight business that they apparently liked or judged to be profitable.

The Bekins moving business started out with three horse drawn wagons, 12 employees and a warehouse. Business apparently was good and during the next 15 years the firm opened offices in Omaha, Nebraska, Los Angeles, California, and Chicago, Illinois. To be able to supply intercity moving services required the establishment of either branches or agents in the major cities. The only possible way to move over long distances at that time was through the use of railways. Horse drawn wagons were great in a city but somewhat useless over long distances. With the opening of branches in major cities, the locus of operations for the Bekins firm gradually shifted to California, which then was opening up, and many people began to move there. In 1903, Bekins was the first moving firm in Los Angeles to use motor trucks replacing the traditional horse drawn wagons. Bekins owned and operated two of the moving trucks, out of only 700 in existence then in the entire country. Horse drawn wagons would remain around until the Second World War, when they were completely replaced by motorized trucks. During the 1920s, Bekins opened local branches in most major California locations, including Berkeley, Fresno, West Hollywood, and Pasadena. During the 1920s Bekins also developed the porto-van, similar to the freight container, and the current pod, for transporting goods between cities where goods had to be moved by way of railway transport. With the porto-van the moving operations were much simplified. The porto-van would be loaded at the one location, then transported to the railroad depot, loaded onto a railroad car, taken to its destination city, and then taken to its final destination by truck or wagon transport. Bekins Van Lines is as prominent in Canada is it is in the United States. The Canadian branch of Bekins was established in 1924 by Daniel Bekins, Martins younger brother. Daniel had earlier, in 1903, established Bekins Northwest by opening a branch office and associated operations in Seattle, Washington. In 1935, Daniel Bekins retired and his five sons took over control of the Bekins Northwest branch, and the Canadian operations of Bekins Van Lines. In 1918, Martin Bekins children, Milo, Reed, Floyd and Ruth took over the Bekins organization and installed Milo Bekins as its president. It was this generation of the Bekins family that led the organization during the 1920s, 1930s, and probably the 1940s. It is not clear how the Bekins Northwest and Canadian branches cooperate with the original American Bekins branch established by Martin Bekins. With a common name, one would expect that close cooperation between the three main branches continues. In the 1990s, Bekins expanded to provide logistics services for storage, distribution and delivery of large manufacturers. For instance, one of its main customers was Eastman Kodak. Bekins took over the entire transportation, delivery, warehousing, inventory control, installation and billing operations for Kodaks high end copiers and printers. Based on the above example one can see that Bekins has evolved from a strictly

3 household moving operation, to a supplier of complex logistics services to American and Canadian industry.

HENRY JANSEN AND LYNDEN TRANSPORTATION BUSINESS Lynden Transport started out as Lynden Trucking in Lynden, Washington, a small town in north western Washington near the Canadian border. Lynden Trucking was a small trucking firm, owned by Henry Jansen and two partners. The firm was engaged largely in milk hauling by tanker trucks from the dairy farms to the milk processing plants. The two partners left the firm shortly after its founding, and Henry Jansen became the sole owner. He then renamed the firm Lynden Transport. In the 1950s, Jansen started to look for expansion, and became fascinated with Alaska. Although Alaska is not contiguous with the State of Washington, it is its closest United States neighbor state. As a result the two states have always had a certain type of cooperative relationship. It also so happened that the building of the Alaska Highway during the Second World War, had opened up the feasibility of road transport between the lower United States and Alaska. But Lynden, Washington was a long way from the southern terminus of the Alaska Highway near Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. But that changed with the opening of the Canadian Hart Highway during the early 1950s, connecting British Columbia and indirectly the state of Washington with the Alaska Highway. So in the early 1950s, Lynden Transport began to offer transportation by road from the State of Washington to Alaska. Its first truck load consisted of 36,000 pounds of fresh beef. With two truck drivers, the first trip was made in four days, a record time, and the first commercial road delivery from the lower states to Alaska was made. Two truck drivers were necessary for the trip to Alaska, not only for the driving, but also for the maintenance of the truck itself, especially for the maintenance of the tires. Truck tires in those days just were not designed to stand up to the rigors imposed on them by the Alaska Highway. On average 20 tire changes had to be made during a one-way trip, and in one case as many as 60 tire changes were necessary. The truck tire technology was still in its infant stage. The steel belted tire of today was not available then. In 1964, Alaska was hit by an enormous earthquake, and Lynden Transport was able to supply necessary supplies and services quickly. The company at that time also started trucking services within the state of Alaska, including mail hauling and parcel delivery, on contract with United Parcel Service. In the early 1970s, work was started on the Alaska Pipeline, and Lynden Transport became the major logistics supplier to the numerous pipeline construction contractors. Following completion of the pipeline, Lynden Transport continued to be the supplier of maintenance supplies for the pipeline maintenance contractors.

4 Along the way Lynden Transport also became involved with shipping goods and supplies to outlying regions, only accessible by water. Initially, Lynden Transport used maritime shipping companies and their services, but eventually Lynden Transport began to acquire and develop its own shipping fleet. At the present time Lynden Transport offers regular shipping services along the Alaska coast to communities only accessible by water. Also during that time, there appeared to be a need for airfreight services. Again initially Lynden Transport depended on air freight services by established airlines and air charter operations. But it quickly discovered that it could provide these services more economically through its own air fleet. At the present time, the Lynden Transport air fleet consists of five L-100s, also known as C-130 Hercules freighters. One of the planes serves the Alaskan market, and three of the other planes carry freight for the United States Air Force under a military contract. The fifth plane is rotated for routine maintenance needs. Lynden Transport has grown into a transportation giant generating well over a billion dollars in annual revenue with about 1500 employees. The company consists of 12 subsidiaries including Alaska Marine Lines, Alaska Marine Trucking, Alaska Rainbelt Marine, Alaska West Express, Alaska West Training, Bering Marine, Lynden Air Cargo, Lynden Air Freight, Lynden Expo Air, Lynden International, Lynden International Logistics, Lynden Transport, LTI, Inc., and Milky Way. Note that Milky Way, the local milk transporter, started it all, but today only contributes about three percent of Lyndens total revenue. Henry Jansen passed away in 2002, but the firm is still family controlled by Jansens descendants. Henry Jansen can be viewed as a true western pioneer. He saw opportunity in an area where he had developed expertise, in over the road trucking. He was not awed by challenges, especially considering the challenge of conquering the Alaska Highway, back in the 1950s, with poor road conditions, and having available only inferior equipment in comparison with today. Martin Bekins can be viewed as the western pioneer in long distance household moving. He was not awed by the problems of moving goods over long distances. Bekins utilized the railways in the same way the interstate highway system is utilized by todays long distance household moving companies. For more information on the two transportation pioneers, Martin Bekins and Henry Jansen, click on to the brief biographical profiles of the two freight transportation and logistics pioneers.


Lynden, Inc. keeps on truckin, by Christopher Key, Lynden, Lynden patriarch Henry Jansen dies at 84, Bekins Company, Bekins History, History, Bekins Family,

One of the Early Bekins Moving Vans

A Lynden Transfer Truck in the Early Days of Lynden Trucking.




Two Dutch Americans became enamored with air transportation while they were still relatively young. One became world famous as an aircraft designer and builder, while the other became a pioneer, and developer of low cost but high quality passenger air travel. The designer and builder of aircraft was Anthony Fokker [1890-1939], who designed and then built his first aircraft at age 20, and then taught himself how to fly it. Yes, he was successful and survived. The developer of low cost but high quality passenger air travel is David Neeleman [1959]. Neeleman was executive vice president and then president of a start up discount air line, named Morris Air, for ten years, from 1984 to 1993. When he first became involved with the management of Morris Air, he was only 25 years old. Neeleman, later became the originator, founder and developer of Jet Blue, the discount air carrier which provided upscale cabin service and comfort for its customers in brand new aircraft.

ANTHONY FOKKER AND THE DAWN OF AIR TRANSPORTATION Anthony Fokker attended high school in Haarlem, The Netherlands. While in high school he had already developed an interest in all things mechanical. So after graduating from high school, his parents sent him to Germany to study automobile design and manufacturing. While in Germany he became fascinated with, and involved with the design and manufacture of aircraft. At that time the aircraft design and manufacturing field was still only in its infant stage, and consisted of aircraft design by experimentation, flight testing and job shop production of one unit at a time. At the time of Fokkers birth, the first flight at Kitty Hawk by the Wright brothers had not yet taken place. In 1910, the year Fokker built his first aircraft, the Kitty Hawk flight had just taken place a few years before. So, Fokker did not have much external aircraft building experience to depend on, and the entire technology and design of aircraft was very much in the experimentation stage. As a result it was quite a feat for Fokker, when his first aircraft, the one he built in 1910, became the fastest and most stable aircraft in the world, at least during that time period. In 1911, with financing provided by his family, Fokker was able to go into aircraft production for the aircraft market. Keep in mind that in those days there was little or no difference between commercial and military aircraft. His first commercial design was named Die Spinne, in German, De Spin, in Dutch, and The Spider, in English. The

2 plane was a success, and immediately provided him with recognition in the world, and demand for the aircraft was brisk. At the start of the First World War in 1914, Fokkers aircraft were in immediate demand by the German Air Corps, and the Air Corps quickly became his biggest customer. The German government forced the big Junkers industrial firm to work with Fokker on the building of the Fokker aircraft designs. The success of the German Air Corps in the First World War provided the impetus for all national governments to realize the importance of adding aircraft to the defenses of their respective countries. Manfred von Richthofen, also known as the Red Baron, became the feared German Air Corps pilot, who downed many aircraft from the western Allies. What is not so well known is the fact that the Red Baron was able to accomplish his feats because the aircraft used by him were aircraft designed by Anthony Fokker, and built under Fokkers supervision. Following the First World War, in 1918, the German economy collapsed following the German loss of the war. Fokker was able to move most of his aircraft production facilities out of Germany to his home country, the Netherlands. He also quickly realized that the future of aircraft utilization and the needed production facilities were not going to be in Europe, but in the United States. So in 1922, he moved to the United States with the intent to start building aircraft there. He founded the Atlantic Aircraft Company which later became General Aviation Corporation. Along the way he also became a United States citizen. During his stay in the United States, Fokker designed and developed his now famous Fokker tri-motor aircraft. It became the workhorse of the rapidly developing air transportation industry. It was a United States Air Corps Fokker T-2 aircraft which made the first non-stop transcontinental trip across the United States from New York to San Diego. Also the explorer, Richard E. Byrd, used a Fokker aircraft to make the first flight over both the North and South Poles. Other famous exploits made with Fokker-built aircraft were by the flight pioneers Byrd, Amelia Earhart and Kingsforth-Smith. Richard E. Byrd made his first trans-Atlantic flight from New York City to Paris in 1927. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic in 1928. And Kingsforth-Smith completed the first trans-Pacific flight, also in 1928. All three successful flights were made by the same Fokker F.VII model aircraft.

DAVID NEELEMAN AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF QUALITY AIR TRAVEL We shall next explore the accomplishments of David Neeleman, an air transportation innovator and implementer of low cost, but quality passenger air travel. In 1984, Neeleman became the co-founder of Morris Air with June Morris in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since the airline was named Morris Air it seems reasonable to assume that most of the

3 initial capital was provided by co-founder June Morris and/or her family. Neeleman became the executive vice president, and four years later, in 1988, he rose to the presidency of Morris Air. In 1993, Morris Air was acquired by Southwest Airlines, and initially Neeleman was employed by Southwest. But soon thereafter he left the company. In 1998, Neeleman founded Jet Blue, a low cost air passenger carrier which planned to provide better quality in-cabin services than what was available then at other airlines based on economy fares. Jet Blue started out with brand new Airbus jets, equipped with leather seats and a small television screen for each passenger mounted in the back of the forward seat. With all that luxury, and at reasonable prices, the public responded favorably and enthusiastically. Jet Blue was an immediate success. Initially the service was limited to only a few destinations, the major cities in the east with fairly high New York City traffic patterns, and of course the Florida market. By the end of 2006, Jet Blues fleet had expanded to almost 100 planes, and the number of destinations had increased commensurately. Early in February 2007, a major snowstorm hit New York City, causing extensive disruption in air traffic operations. Most airlines were able to cope with the disruptions in a reasonable manner, but for Jet Blue it became a nightmare. Its lean management infrastructure was unable to cope with the disruptions caused by the storm, and passengers ended up sitting in planes for hours without going anywhere. To make matters worse, when the storm was over it took Jet Blue an inordinate amount of time to get their operations back on schedule. Responsibility for the disruptions fell on Neelemans shoulders, and Jet Blues board asked him to hand over the management of day to day operations to his chief operations officer. Neeleman, as one of Jet Blues major stockholders, remained with Jet Blue in a lesser capacity. The two individuals described above have made considerable contributions to the aircraft industry and to the travel-related portion of the industry. Fokker clearly will go down in history as the major aircraft design and build pioneer during the aircraft industrys early stages. His design and product contributions clearly speeded up the technological development of the early air travel period. Neeleman contributed to the evolution and growth of air travel through his innovative ideas, in the design and development of a new airline, which provided services for which the public was ready, and to which it reacted positively and quickly. His problems with Jet Blue in 2007 are a relatively minor blip, on an otherwise successful pioneering effort, to improve the quality of air travel for the common recreational air traveler. For more information on the two air transportation pioneers, Anthony Fokker and David Neeleman, click on to the biographical profiles of Anthony Fokker and David Neeleman.

Anthony Fokker [1890-1939]

Fokkers first airplane: De Spin [The Spider in English and Die Spinne in German]


Fokker, A. H. G., Flying Dutchman: The Life of Anthony Fokker, New York: Reprint Service, Inc., 1931. Dierikx, Marc, Fokker: A Transatlantic Biography, Washington D. C., Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997. Postma, Thijs, Fokker: Aircraft Builders to the World, London, Janes, 1979. Anthony Fokker, Fokker, Anthony Fokker, David Neeleman, David Neeleman, Jet Blues C.E.O. is Mortified After Flyers Are Stranded,

David G. Neeleman [1959]




When Harry Koch arrived in Quanah, Texas in 1888, 120 years ago, he may have hoped that he and his descendants would be successful in his new country, but he surely did not dream of the professional and financial success his grandchildren would achieve. Two of Harry Kochs grandchildren, Charles and David Koch, are reported to be worth about $19 billion each, and a third grandchild, William Koch is worth about $2 billion, as reported by the Forbes 2008 Billionaire Survey. Charles and David are the major owners of Koch Industries, Incorporated, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas. Koch Industries is the largest privately owned firm in the United States, and possibly in the world, with annual revenues of around $100 billion. William Koch started his own enterprise, the Oxbow Group, in the oil services industry. The oldest grandchild, Frederick Koch, Jr. decided to become a philanthropist.

HARRY KOCH, THE IMMIGRANT ARRIVED IN QUANAH, TEXAS Not many people will have heard of Quanah, Texas. It is a small town located in northern Texas, about 70 miles northwest of Wichita Falls, Texas, on highway 287, and less than 10 miles from the Oklahoma state border. The town was established in the mid 1880s by one of the then developing railroads. In other words it was frontier country. Quanahs population grew quickly and in 1890 it had close to 1500 residents. When Harry Koch arrived in 1888, the post office had been opened only two years before his arrival, and the first two churches, a Baptist and a Methodist church, were also established in that year. It was the time of the railroads, and Quanah at one time was served by three railroads, the Quanah, the Acme and Pacific, and the St. Louis and San Francisco. In the early days the town had three newspapers, the Eagle, the Chief and the Tribune. How did Harry Koch, a new immigrant from the Netherlands ever end up in Quanah, Texas? Little is known about that part of the family history. But railroads, at that time, advertised heavily for settlers for the new American western frontier. Also, a railroad from the Gulf of Mexico to northern Texas was financed by Dutch banking interests, and Harry might have been influenced by their advertising. Harry apparently did not have much farming background. He had been trained as a printer in the Netherlands through the apprentice process. So upon his arrival, he probably looked for work in that area. With three newspapers in Quanahs early days, there appeared to be a strong interest in reading material, and apparently he was able to get work in his own trade as a printer.

2 Within two years of his arrival, in 1890, Harry Koch was able to buy one of the newspapers, the Tribune. Four years later, in 1894, the Tribune merged with the Chief, and became the Tribune-Chief, apparently owned by Harry Koch. There is no information about what happened to the Eagle, but it apparently did not interfere with Harry Kochs publishing operations. As a publisher he did his own printing and also provided commercial printing services. Although no longer owned by the Koch family, the Tribune-Chief, is still being published at the present time in Quanah, Texas. Along the way Harry Koch got married, and his son Frederick Chase [Fred] Koch was born in 1900. Fred grew up in Quanah, Texas, which had grown, but remained a small town of less than 3000 residents, even though it had become the county seat of Hardeman County. When Fred had finished his high school years, he saw little promise and few opportunities in the town. He was technically oriented and his father was able to finance his college studies at the prestigious and private Rice Institute, now Rice University, in Houston, Texas. After three years at Rice Institute, Fred heard about the establishment of the first chemical engineering program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT] in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He applied to the program and was able to transfer to MIT. He completed his MIT studies in 1922, and graduated with a B. S. degree in chemical engineering.

FREDERICK KOCH, SR., THE FOUNDER OF WHAT BECAME KOCH INDUSTRIES Following graduation, Fred worked for several oil process engineering companies, and in 1925 joined two of his MIT class mates to form their own oil process engineering company, named Keith-Winkler-Koch Engineering. In 1926, the name of the firm was changed to Winkler-Koch Engineering after one of the partners left. Shortly thereafter, Fred developed an improved and more efficient process for oil refining. But his firm could not convince the established oil companies to adopt the new process, because the oil firms were already heavily invested in the oil refining process then used by the oil refining firms. So the two partners sold their services to install the new oil refining process to foreign producers, notably in the then industrially developing Soviet Union. So during the late 1920s and early 1930s, Fred Koch spent a large amount of time in the Soviet Union, where his engineering firm developed and helped install the new oil refining process in 12 oil refineries. In 1940, while still a partner in his oil service engineering company, Fred Koch also became a partner in Wood River Oil and Refining Company, an oil refiner in East St. Louis, Illinois, and was elected as its president. In 1943, Fred Koch merged the Wood River Oil Refining Company and his oil service engineering company, and named the new company the Koch Oil Corporation. He served as its president until 1959. In 1946, Fred Koch also acquired the Rock Island Oil and Refining Company in Oklahoma.

FREDERICK KOCH, SR., HIS FAMILY AND THE FOUR KOCH BROTHERS In the middle of his Soviet Union oil refining consulting activities, in 1932, Fred got married to Mary Robinson. During the next eight years the couple had four children, all sons. Frederick R. Koch was born in 1932, Charles G. Koch was born in 1935, and the twins, David H. and William I. Koch were born in 1940. The oldest son, Frederick Koch, had apparently no interest in the oil business. His interests apparently were in arts and letters. At the present time Frederick Koch is known as a collector of old manuscripts and prints, and has generously donated his collections to well known libraries, among others at Harvard and Yale Universities. Each one of the other three sons, however, followed their father in becoming technical experts in the oil industry. Also each one of them attended his fathers alma mater, MIT, and studied chemical engineering. Charles Koch majored in general engineering for which he earned a B. S. degree from MIT. He then decided to stay on for graduate work and earned a M. S. degree in mechanical and nuclear engineering, followed by a M. S. degree in chemical engineering. David Koch earned both his B. S. degree and M. S. degree in chemical engineering from MIT, and Davids twin, William Koch earned his B. S. degree, his M. S. degree, and his doctorate in chemical engineering from MIT. So needless to say, the Kochs are intricately entwined with MIT. In recognition of MITs contributions to the education of the three Koch brothers and the father, David Koch, in 2006, bequeathed a sum of $100 million to MITs engineering schools and other programs. Charles Koch had graduated from MIT in 1959, and following graduation went to work for the prestigious consulting firm, Arthur D. Little. He gained valuable experience at the consulting firm, and apparently thoroughly enjoyed the work there. But in 1961, his father summoned him home to help the father run the Koch engineering and oil service operations. The father had been experiencing health problems, and he threatened that he would sell the firm, if Charles did not come home to help him manage the firm. Charles got the message, and returned home to help his father manage the Koch Oil Operations. Charles was assigned to manage the engineering arm of the Koch collection of oil service firms, and served as its president from 1961 to 1971. During that time period, in 1966, the health of the father, Fred Koch, deteriorated and Charles was appointed president of the entire Koch organization, in addition to his responsibilities for the management of the engineering arm of the corporation. Fred Koch succumbed in 1967, and Charles was appointed to the position of chairman and chief executive officer [CEO] of the firm. At that time the name of the firm became Koch Industries, a name it retains until today. Although the firm was involved in a variety of different oil service operations, it was still relatively small in comparison with the large integrated oil firms. Its market value was estimated at close to $200 million at the time of Fred Kochs death. During the early 1960s, Charles brothers, David and William also joined the firm in various management and technical capacities. David Koch became the executive vice

4 president of Koch Industries, while Charles remained in the senior position of chairman and CEO of the firm. In 1980, the four brothers decided to break up the ownership of Koch Industries. It is not clear what brought this about, perhaps a disagreement of direction of the firm, or just a way to simplify decision making. Charles and David offered to buy out the shares of the two other brothers, William and Frederick. A sum of about $1 billion was agreed upon, and the four settled on that sum at that time. Later, William and Frederick went to court and asked for an additional $300 million, because they claimed that the original agreed upon sum of $1 billion was insufficient. The case dragged on for years in court and even went to the Supreme Court, where it was thrown out. Later, the four brothers apparently reconciled.

GROWTH OF KOCH INDUSTRIES The oil service business continued to grow, especially with the growth of the oil discoveries in Texas and surrounding states. And as a result Koch Industries grew rapidly. Also, Koch Industries became quite acquisitive and was able to acquire many companies in areas where Koch Industries had expertise. From an oil equipment engineering and oil service business, Koch expanded into fertilizers, chemicals, fibers, asphalt, and commodity trading. Commodity trading was especially a growth industry, as Koch Industries became involved in trading such commodities as oil, coal, pulp, paper, magnetite, cement, and other related products. The firm also became one of the largest traders on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Koch Industries biggest acquisition occurred in 2005, when it acquired Georgia Pacific, the giant pulp and paper products producer, for over $ 20 billion. With the Georgia Pacific and earlier acquisitions, Koch Industries became the owner of such nationally known products as Stainmaster[r], Lycra[r], Quilted Northern[r], and Dixie Cups[r]. At the present time, Koch Industries has annual revenues of, and is valued at, around $100 billion. All four brothers are involved in philanthropy, with David probably being the most visible. He is especially supportive of medical research, especially of cancer research, and of medical and higher education institutions. He serves on the boards of over 20 medical institutions, higher education institutions and fund raising organizations. David is a resident of New York City, and is reputedly its most wealthy citizen. Charles Koch, Davids older brother lives in Wichita, Kansas, where the headquarters of Koch industries are located. He also is involved with a variety of foundations, especially those involved in conservative and educational causes. In 1977, Charles was a co-founder of the libertarian think tank, the CATO Institute, of which his brother David is still a director. Apparently, the CATO Institute is still funded by Koch foundations. The Koch brothers also received wide publicity for activities unrelated to the firm. In 1980, David Koch ran for Vice President of the United States on the Libertarian Party ticket with a gentleman by the name of Ed Clark. The duo received close to a million

5 popular votes, a record for the Libertarian Party. William Koch was the financial sponsor of the Americas Cup sailing race in 1992, and his team won the Americas Cup with the sloop, America, beating the Italians soundly. Harry Koch, the grandfather of the four brothers, undoubtedly would be pleased of what his son and his grandchildren have been able to accomplish in his adopted country. For more information on members of the Koch family click on to the biographical profiles of Frederick Koch, Sr., the father, and his four sons, the brothers Frederick Koch, Jr., Charles Koch, David Koch and William Koch. The last two are twin brothers.


William Ingraham Koch, Bill Koch [businessman], Handbook of Texas Online: Quanah, Texas, David H. Koch, David Koch Libertarian, Charles G. Koch, Charles G. Koch, Historical Honors Award Recipient, Fred. C. Koch, 1992, Industrialist, Manufacturer Pioneer of Worldwide Oil Refining, Fred C. Koch, Fred C. Koch,

6 Koch, Charles G., The Science of Success: How Market Based Management Built the Worlds Largest Private Company, John Wiley and Sons, 2007 From Heinrich Schuetz to Henry Miller, Selections from the Frederick R. Koch Collection at the Beinecke Library, 20 April, 2001 to 14 July, 2001,

Frederick C. Koch [1900-1967], Father of the four Koch brothers

Charles Koch [1935], Chairman of Koch Industries

William I. Koch [1940], Founder and President of the Oxbow Corporation




The three Midwest manufacturing firms, founded by Dutch Americans, consist of the Pella Corporation of Pella, Iowa, the Vermeer Manufacturing Corporation, also of Pella, Iowa, and Prince Manufacturing of Holland, Michigan. Each one of the three companies was founded in the city where it still is located today, and the first two firms are still owned, or at least controlled, by the founders respective families. Prince Manufacturing was sold to Johnson Controls, a large automobile parts manufacturer in 1995, upon the death of its founder, Edgar Prince.

INITIAL COMPARISON OF THE THREE MANUFACTURING FIRMS Each one of the three companies was founded during the 20th century. The oldest company is the Pella Corporation, a well known manufacturer of window and door units for domestic and commercial buildings. It was founded in 1925 by Peter and Lucille Kuyper, a husband and wife team. The Kuypers either made an initial investment in, or purchased outright, a small Des Moines, Iowa company which manufactured window screens that went by the brand name, Rolscreen. A year following their investment, in 1926, they apparently owned the company outright, and moved it to their hometown of Pella, Iowa. Pella, Iowa is located about 30 miles southeast of Des Moines, so it was not such a dramatic or distant move. Vermeer Manufacturing was founded by Gary Vermeer in Pella, Iowa, in 1948. Vermeer came from a farming background. He either farmed himself, or lived on a farm as a young man. Vermeer was mechanically inclined, and clearly questioned why things were done a certain, and not always the obvious, way. One of the things he questioned was the unloading of farm wagons, loaded with corn or other products, by hand, or rather by a human operated shovel. He questioned why the load box of the wagon was not just tipped, so that the wagon could be unloaded by gravity. After all, in 1948, there were dump trucks, that were unloaded by hydraulically tipping the load boxes. Since farm wagons, at least at that time, did not have hydraulics, he came up with the idea, of tipping the load boxes mechanically. And so the mechanical wagon hoist was born. Initially, he only thought of doing it for his own farm wagons. But his neighbors envied his new labor saving invention, and asked him to also make mechanical hoists for their wagons. Vermeer complied, and Vermeer Manufacturing was born.

2 Prince Manufacturing was founded in 1965, in Holland, Michigan. Edgar Prince was a United States Air Force veteran, and had studied engineering at the University of Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. degree in engineering, probably mechanical engineering, around 1953. Following his discharge from military service, he went to work for the Buss Machine Works, a local, presumably Holland, Michigan, die cast machine manufacturing firm. Prince was ambitious, and had a fair amount of life experience, as well as considerable technical experience, obtained while serving in the United States Air Force. As a result, he rose quickly in the managerial ranks of the firm, and was appointed chief engineer of the Buss Machine Works. One would think that he could relax then, enjoy family life, and settle down. But Prince had significantly higher aspirations. So in 1965, he decided to strike out on his own and design and manufacture die cast machines himself. He convinced two of his fellow employees to join him in the new venture, and Prince Manufacturing was born. What are the commonalities, and what are the differences between the three entrepreneurial ventures described above? Each one of the three ventures was started by people at a relatively young, but mature age. We only know the exact age for Prince. He was 34 years old when he began his own company. But we have to keep in mind that he had served in the military, during the Korean War, and as a result had probably missed about ten years of potential managerial experience. The exact ages of the Kuypers and Vermeer are not known, but it is estimated that they were about 30 years old when they started their respective new ventures. Hence, similarity of age of the three entrepreneurs is interesting. The other similarity between the three entrepreneurs is the location they chose for their enterprises. Each new enterprise was initially located in its founders respective home town of Pella, Iowa or Holland, Michigan. The home towns were relatively small, and were and still are centers of their fellow Dutch Americans. It is not clear if the stress here should be put on the home town effect, the small town effect, or on the Dutch American effect. Probably all three effects had an influence on the choice of location. The three enterprises were probably started with relatively little capital, although access to some capital was necessary in each case, especially for the Kuyper and Prince firms. The fact of being located in familiar surroundings, their respective home towns, probably was a great help in raising the necessary start up capital.

PELLA MANUFACTURING We shall now look at the performances of the enterprises following their establishment. Pella Manufacturing was well managed, and in 1929, four years following its establishment, the firm doubled its plant size for the manufacture of window screens. In the tenth year of operation, in 1934, the company added a second product, the Pella Venetian blind, probably with wooden slats, since plastic had then not yet been

3 developed. In that same year, the company also significantly expanded its marketing reach, and established sales offices in 24 American cities and 15 foreign countries. In other words, Pella Manufacturing had been able to establish a local as well as a foreign market for its products. And all of this happened during the depression years of the 1930s, a significant feat for a relatively small and fairly young firm. Pella Manufacturing continued its growth. In 1937, it produced its first window unit, which consisted of a steel-framed casement with wood interior, divided window pane, exterior wash feature and a removable insulating glass panel. The window unit evolved into what was named the Deluxe Casement Window. It became the focus of future Pella products. Today, Pella is of course best known for its window and door units. During the Second World War years, from 1941 to 1945, Pella became an important supplier to the building, and expansion, of war time manufacturing facilities and other military-related construction. Following the war, a lumber shortage developed, and Pella built its own lumber mill to supply the raw materials for its own manufacturing facilities. In 1960, Pella introduced the sliding glass door, a major new product that is still popular to this day. Pella continued to grow, and is considered to be one of the major suppliers to the new as well as replacement, or maintenance, housing market. The firm currently has ten plants in operation. It also maintains about 75 sales offices, and its products are sold in its 350 window stores in the United States. Its products are also sold through such major retailers as Lowes and others.

VERMEER MANUFACTURING Vermeer Manufacturing has grown over the years, to a large equipment manufacturing firm with seven manufacturing facilities. Its product line has expanded widely from the days its only product was the mechanical farm wagon hoist. Vermeer now manufactures agricultural equipment, compacting equipment, environmental equipment, terrain leveler and surface excavation equipment, trenching equipment, hay balers, stump cutters, and numerous other types of equipment for farming and related applications. In 2007, Vermeer manufactured 125 different product models, and employed about 2000 employees. Its products are sold through a world wide independent industrial dealer network consisting of about 112 North American and 70 international dealer locations.

PRINCE MANUFACTURING Prince Manufacturing probably made the most dramatic product change, in comparison with the other two firms described above. It started with the design and manufacture of die cast machines, but then changed its major product line to original equipment automotive products that could, at least partially, be produced by the die cast machines.

4 One of the automotive products Prince Manufacturing produced was the lighted automobile sun visor, which allowed people, especially women, to view themselves in the sun visor mirror while it was dark outside. It is not clear if Prince came up with the idea or if the automobile companies provided the design and Prince Manufacturing supplied the finished products. In any event it became a major product line for Prince Manufacturing. Prince Manufacturing, of course, expanded to provide many more automotive accessories to the automobile firms. It is not clear if Prince continued to design and manufacture its die cast machines. The Prince firm became quite successful. It was able to thrive in an environment that is highly competitive. Also, in order to survive in this field, one must be able to supply quality products in a timely manner and at a low competitive cost. Apparently Prince was able to do just that. By 1973, just eight years after its founding, the firm employed hundreds of employees in its several divisions. In 1980, Prince Manufacturing operated several plants, and employed 550 people. By 1987, employment rose to 1500 employees. Unfortunately, only eight years later, in 1995, Edgar Prince passed away suffering from a heart condition. He was only 63 years old at the time. The estate decided to sell the firm, and Prince Manufacturing was purchased by Johnson Controls, one of the giant automotive parts manufacturing firms. The purchase price was apparently well in excess of a billion dollars.

PERFORMANCE COMPARISONS OF THE THREE FIRMS We shall complete the discussion of the three firms with another comparison. The earlier comparison occurred during the start-up phase of the three firms. This time we shall look at where the firms are at the present time. For the Prince firm we shall look at the ending period for the firm, 1995. Since all three firms are privately owned, and were privately owned during their respective life times, the statistical information available is rather scarce. Most of the statements that follow are estimates based on whatever information is publicly available. In terms of performance the three firms did comparatively well during their respective life times. The Prince firm, since it was established in 1965, did probably best in terms of growth during its relatively short life time, growing from an idea to a firm which was sold for over a billion dollars, in just 30 years. The oldest firm, Pella Manufacturing has also done well over time, but it is also over 80 years old now. Its annual sales are estimated to be over $1.5 billion annually, and its product line has a great reputation for quality and value. In other words it appears to have more growth in its future assuming solid management performance is maintained. The Vermeer Manufacturing firm also continues to do well. Its sales are probably around a billion dollars annually, and it is also well managed. Its products are ubiquitous, and can be seen whenever a public works or other project is under way. Hence, the one thing

5 the three firms have in common is their consistence in providing quality and in-demand products for their respective markets. Ownership of the two remaining privately controlled firms, Pella and Vermeer, is also interesting. Both Pella Manufacturing and Vermeer Manufacturing are still family owned, or at least with majority ownership held by the respective founder families. In the case of Vermeer, management is actually in the hands of the Gary Vermeer descendants, and it appears it will remain so in the future. For more information click on to the biographical profiles of the principal entrepreneurs involved in the three major midwest manufacturers, consisting of Peter and Lucille Kuyper, Gary Vermeer and Edgar Prince.


Hoovers, Pella Corporation, Pella News Release, History of Innovation, Vermeer Manufacturing, Edgar Prince,




The brothers, Peter Kiewit, Sr. and Andrew Kiewit, are the founders of what became the Kiewit Corporation, one of the largest construction companies in the United States, and probably also in the world. They would never have expected that their original venture, a building contracting firm, would eventually grow into the Kiewit Corporation of today. The brothers original business venture was founded in 1884, in Omaha, Nebraska, and their first breakthrough came in 1889, when they did the masonry work for Omahas Lincoln Hotel. Andrew Kiewit left the partnership at some point during the 1890s, and Peter Kiewit, Sr. continued the construction contracting firm on his own. The 1890s was a difficult period in the world, and also in the United States. A world-wide economic depression was in progress, and construction work, especially new construction work, was scarce and hard to find. Peter Kiewit, Sr. and his wife had to support a large family that eventually grew to six children. As a result the early years of the Kiewit family, and the Kiewit construction business was a difficult time, and the best they could do was to keep the ship afloat. In 1912, two of the older children of the Kiewit family, Ralph and George Kiewit, joined their father in the construction business, and the company was renamed, Peter Kiewit and Sons. Only two years later, in 1914, the father, Peter Kiewit, Sr. passed away, and the two sons, Ralph and George Kiewit, renamed the company, Peter Kiewit Sons. Under the second generation management, business picked up, and in 1924, Peter Kiewit Sons was successful in its bidding on its first million dollar contract. The contract was for the construction of the 10-story Livestock Exchange Building in Omaha, Nebraska. The younger son of Peter Kiewit, Sr., Peter Kiewit, Jr., had also joined the firm, and he became the project superintendent for the project. In 1924, one of the older brothers, George Kiewit, decided to leave the company, and the two remaining brothers, Ralph Kiewit and Peter Kiewit, Jr., became the joint managers of the firm. During the remainder of the 1920s, Peter Kiewit Sons, continued to grow and expand. Between 1927 and 1930, Peter Kiewit Sons build Omaha, Nebraskas State Capitol Tower, the Joslyn Art Museum, and Union Station.

2 THE DIFFICULT YEARS OF THE 1930S Following the period of rapid growth in the 1920s came a most difficult period during the 1930s economic depression. In 1931, the older brother Ralph decided to leave the business, probably because it was time to retire, or perhaps business was just too scarce. The remaining Kiewit brother, Peter Kiewit, Jr., reorganized the business and named it Peter Kiewit Sons Company. In that same year, in order to motivate key employees, Peter Kiewit began to sell shares in the company to his senior managers. Again that drastic action was probably also necessitated by the difficult economic times. Eventually, the companys name was changed to the Kiewit Corporation [Kiewit], and it became essentially employee owned as it is until today. Kiewit managed to survive the economic depression of the 1930s. In the late 1930s, Kiewit decided to look beyond the State of Nebraska for construction work. The companys first step in that direction was the opening of an office in Sheridan, Wyoming. That location was a central location for the western states, and that geographic area formed the new focus for Kiewit.

THE SUCCESSFUL WORLD WAR II YEARS In 1939, war construction began to pick up. Although the United States did not officially enter the war until the end of 1941, the country was heavily engaged in war preparation well before the year 1941. Kiewit bid successfully on a $ 7.5 million contract to build 760 barracks and related facilities in Fort Lewis, Washington. Shortly thereafter, the United States Army Corps of Engineers doubled the size of the contract. As a result that contract was the largest contract by far that Kiewit had ever executed. Also with that contract, Kiewit became a national construction contractor, as opposed to a regional construction contractor it had been until the execution of the huge army contract. Following the army barracks contract, Kiewit built many other facilities, including air fields, military bases, and even a bomber plant. During the Second World War, Kiewit was involved in construction projects in the Great Plains, Rocky Mountain, and Pacific Coast states. The original office in Sheridan, Wyoming, also led to an expansion of Kiewits scope of projects and activities. Kiewit began mining coal from the Big Horn coal mine in Sheridan, Wyoming.

POST SECOND WORLD WAR II YEARS Following the Second World War, Kiewit became active in the building of the United States Air Force Base in Thule, Greenland. The base was needed as part of the Distant Early Warning [DEW] line, which was intended to provide early warnings in case of any surprise attacks by the Soviet Union, especially for the protection of the United States and Canada. The monetary size of the contract is not known, but the project kept Kiewit busy in Greenland for 15 years.

In 1952, the Atomic Energy Commission awarded the Kiewit firm the contract for the construction of the $ 1.2 billion Gaseous Diffusion Plant at Portsmouth, Ohio. The size of this contract begs comparison with the size of Kiewits first million dollar contract, in 1924, just 28 years prior to the 1952 date, for the construction of the Livestock Exchange Building in Omaha, Nebraska. The early 1950s also saw Kiewit heavily involved in the building of numerous strategic defense facilities. Among these were three Strategic Air Command bases in the Midwest. Specific locations were at Minot, North Dakota, Glasgow, Montana, and Rapid City, South Dakota. In addition Kiewit was heavily involved in the building of the Titan and Minute Man missile launch facilities in the mid western states. During the Eisenhower Administration, the president proposed, and later signed into law, the construction of the Interstate Highway System. What not many are aware of is the fact that the system was originally proposed to facilitate the rapid movement of military forces across the country in case of war. Its eventual result was that, but its other benefits were the facilitation of the easier and lower cost movement of goods and people within the entire United States, and its economic benefits associated with that. The Interstate Highway System undoubtedly had a significant effect on the rapid development and growth of the economy during the post World War II period. Kiewit became involved in many of the interstate highway projects, over a period of many years. As a matter of fact, Kiewit built more lane-miles of the interstate highway system than any other contractor. Even today, Kiewit remains one of the largest transportation infrastructure contractors in the United States, and probably in the world. Kiewit also became heavily involved in water-related construction projects such as the Monticello Dam near Sacramento, California, the Flaming Gorge Dam on the Colorado River in Utah, the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, and a number of projects as part of the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway Project. In the 1970s, Kiewit became one of Canadas leading contractors through its participation in the building of the dam and the powerhouse facilities on the La Grande East Rivers in Northern Quebec, as part of the massive James Bay hydro-electric power project. This project became one of the major suppliers for electric power to the major cities in the northeastern United States, including Boston and New York. The primary personalities of the Kiewit Corporation are the father-son combination of Pieter Kiewit, Sr. [c.1850-1914] and Peter Kiewit, Jr. [1900-1979]. The senior Kiewit founded and launched the corporation and the junior Kiewit managed it during its great run from a minor construction contractor to one of the greatest and largest construction firms in the world. To be sure, there were other contributors, such as Andrew Kiewit, Peter Kiewit, Sr.s brother, and also Peter Kiewit, Jr.s two older brothers, Ralph and George. But none of the other contributors played as large and dominating a role as the

4 founder Peter Kiewit, Sr. and the manager during its greatest run to greatness, Peter Kiewit, Jr. For more information click on to the biographical profiles of the two major personalities of the Kiewit Corporation, Peter Kiewit, Sr. and Peter Kiewit, Jr. Both were responsible for the phenomenal growth of the Kiewit Corporation during the twentieth century.


Kiewit, Kiewit Corporation,




Dutch Americans established two major merchandising enterprises during the mid twentieth century in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. They are the Meijer Super Center chain and the Amway Corporation, now also known as Alticor. Although the two corporations are both merchandisers reaching out to the retail shopper, their methods of merchandising are distinctly different. The Meijer Super Center chain sells directly to the retail client through its numerous super center stores, while the Amway Corporation sells indirectly to its retail clients through a chain of middlemen or dealers. In terms of product variety there is also a vast difference. The Meijer Super Center chain sells virtually everything imaginable for a households daily and long term use, including hard goods, soft goods, clothing, appliances, groceries and more. The Amway Corporation has a limited array of products largely focused on household products, personal health care products and personal care products. In terms of size, both corporations are huge. The Meijer Super Center chain sells its products through about 190 stores, located in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. The value of products sold amounts to billions of dollars annually. Amway sells its products in the United States, but also in many foreign countries including Canada, Europe, South America, and Asia including Japan and China. Amways reported annual sales in 2006 were estimated to be $ 6.4 billion dollars, a large sum, but probably less than half of Meijers annual sales. The Meijer Super Center chain is the older company of the two. Although its super center concept of retailing was established in 1962/1963, its founders, the Meijer family, had been in the grocery retail business since 1934. Prior to switching over to the super center concept of retailing, the Meijer firm operated 14 retail grocery stores, all in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Hence, the Meijer firm had considerable prior merchandising experience when it switched to the super center concept of retailing. The Amway Corporation was founded, and launched, in 1959 by Richard DeVos, Sr. [1926], and Jay Van Andel [1924-2004]. The two individuals had been searching for a business start up idea for some time, and had actually tried several different types of businesses before they decided to launch their retail business, working through multiple levels of dealership. The two founders had tried operating a flying school, a drive-in restaurant, and a sales dealership in vitamins and supplements. None of the businesses apparently did well enough or satisfied their aspirations. Their last business, selling

2 vitamins and supplements, probably gave them the idea to try to set up a similar type of business for selling household products and personal care products.

THE MEIJER SUPER CENTER CHAIN The original founder of the predecessor of the Meijer Super Center chain was Hendrick Meijer [1883-1964]. He had emigrated from the Netherlands to the United States in 1907 with his father and sister. The threesome settled in eastern Michigan, in the Grand Rapids area, probably because it was the center of nineteenth century Dutch immigration. Hendrick worked in a variety of jobs, and eventually ended up owning a barbershop. His fiancee Gezina, who had remained in Holland in 1907, when Hendrick emigrated, joined him in 1912, and the two were married in that same year. During the next 20 years Hendrick earned a living in his barber shop, and also dabbled in small scale farming and other means to increase his income. When Hendrick was already 51 years old, in 1934, he and his wife Gezina, with the help of their son Frederick[1919] and their daughter Johanna, opened their first grocery store in Greenville, Michigan, a small town not far from Grand Rapids, Michigan. The year 1934 was the time of the economic depression, work was scarce, and times were difficult. But eight years later, in 1942, after the Second World War had started, the Meijer family opened its second grocery store, also in the Grand Rapids area. At that time their stores were named Thrifty Markets, and that name would remain their company logo for the future. The Meijer stores were successful, and during the 1950s the Meijers opened four more stores. By the early 1960s, the Meijer grocery store chain had grown to 14 stores, all located in the greater Grand Rapids, Michigan area. The senior Meijers, Hendrick and Gezina, had reached the advanced ages of the mid to late 70s by then, and their son Frederick was ready to take over the reins of the business. During that time period, in the 1960s, the idea of the super store had emerged. To be sure the discount stores were already beginning to spring up, but not many could be called superstores. At that same time, in Belgium, the notion of the hyper store developed. It was more than just a superstore, it was much larger, and carried a much wider variety of products, including a full array of grocery products. The Meijers, and specifically Frederick Meijer, decided to implement the idea of the hyper store in the United States. So in 1962/1963, the Meijer grocery store chain of 14 grocery stores built its first hyper store, which they named Thrifty Acres, probably because it was so huge that it covered an area of two acres. In 1964, Hendrick Meijer, the founder of the original Meijer grocery store, passed away, and his son Frederick Meijer took over the reins of the Meijer Corporation. By that time the Meijer Corporation had three super center stores in operation. There is little information what happened to the original 14 grocery stores. We must therefore conclude

3 that they were closed as more Meijer super center stores were opened near their location. During the remainder of the 1960s, Meijer continued to open additional super center stores in the Michigan area. An expansion into the Toledo, Ohio market area in the late 1960s proved not to be successful and was therefore abandoned. In the 1980s, Meijer opened its first Meijer super center store in Columbus, Ohio, and immediately captured 20 percent of the market. Meijer continued to expand to Dayton, Ohio where its super center stores were also successful. In 1994, Meijer entered the Indiana market and opened 16 super center stores in two years. During the remainder of the 1990s, Meijer continued its expansion and opened super center stores in Illinois, southern Ohio and Kentucky. By the year 2006, Meijer had 170 super center stores in operation, half of them in Michigan, and the remainder in the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. The Meijer chain competed directly in many of its markets with Walmarts and Targets super center stores. The management of the Meijer Super Center chain also changed in the 1990s. Frederick Meijer had reached the advanced age of 70 in 1989, and his sons were ready to take over the day to day management of the firm. Fredericks sons, Hank and Doug Meijer, were appointed to become the joint chairmen of the firm. Frederick Meijer continued his active involvement with the firm through the office of chairman of the executive committee. Fredericks youngest son, Mark Meijer, also served in upper management in an operations management position.

THE ALTICOE/AMWAY CORPORATION We shall next discuss how the Amway Corporation grew and developed over time. The story is a lot shorter, and is more focused on the management of the firm. The Amway Corporation is also quite different from the Meijer chain with its numerous super center stores. The Amway Corporation works through multiple levels of dealerships, and the focus in such an operation is how to motivate the dealers at the various levels of dealership . The Amway Corporation has to deal with many more, and different government levels, since it operates in numerous different countries, each with its own rules and regulations. For instance, in many of its markets, the product sourcing is tightly controlled by the respective local governments. Before Amway could enter China, it had to build its own supply operation because internal sourcing was required. In the China case they were also forced to go the joint venture route, which of course limits the freedom one has to run the organization. The local culture of a country also will dictate how one can sell through a dealership system, and the local regulations, in many cases, must be scrupulously followed. In Canada, the Amway Corporation ran into considerable regulatory problems, which it was able to eventually resolve, but at an enormous financial cost to the firm and to its principals.

4 In the 1990s, the founders of the Amway Corporation turned over the reins of the corporation to their respective sons. In 1992, Richard DeVos, Jr. became the president of the firm taking over from his father, Richard DeVos, Sr. And in 1995, Steve Van Andel became the chairman of the company, taking over from his father Jay Van Andel. In that same year, 1995, a new office of chief executive was created, and the new office would be held jointly by the second generation officers, Richard DeVos, Jr. and Steve Van Andel. In 2002, Richard DeVos, Jr. left the firm to become more involved in political affairs. His younger brother, Doug DeVos, took over the position of co-chief executive.

PHILANTHROPY With the success achieved by the three families involved in the two successful firms described above comes considerable wealth. Forbes Magazine, in its 2008 billionaire survey reported that the DeVos family falls in the billionaire family cohort. The Frederick Meijer family has also been identified by Forbes as falling in the multibillionaire category. So it is clear that the owners of the two Michigan merchandisers have become quite wealthy. With wealth comes the responsibility of stewardship, and the three families have been quite responsive to that challenge. The apparent major philanthropist is the Van Andel family, and especially the estate of Jay Van Andel. Van Andel has donated substantial funds to build the Van Andel Museum Center which houses the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Van Andel also donated a substantial sum for the building of the Grand Rapids Van Andel Arena. In the medical research area, Van Andel has donated $60 million to the Van Andel Medical Research Institute, much of it for the Institutes headquarters building. In addition, Van Andel has been quite active in support of political causes, largely supporting conservative politics. Richard DeVos, Sr. has also been active in supporting civic causes in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. He donated $20 million to the building of the DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He also made a generous donation to the Northwood University Business School, for which Northwood University named its business school the Richard DeVos School of Management. DeVos has also been a generous supporter of political causes largely in the conservative area. In the 1990s, Richard DeVos, Sr. acquired the Orlando Magic professional NBA basketball team. As of 2007, DeVos still owned the team which was managed by DeVoss son in law, Robert Vander Weide. Frederick Meijer has apparently not yet been quite as generous as his two fellow Grand Rapids philanthropists. At least his philanthropy has not been quite as visible as that by Van Andel and DeVos. However, one of the Grand Rapids sites to visit is the Frederick Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park. Meijer has also supported the establishment of the Meijer Public Broadcast Center on the Grand Valley State University near Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2006, Meijer made a major gift to Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, for the

5 establishment of the Frederick Meijer Chair in Dutch Language and Culture. Through that gift, Meijer made a major contribution to the field of Netherlandic studies. From the above one can see how the entrepreneurial spirit of three Dutch American individuals and their respective families has made major contributions to the economy of the United States, the State of Michigan, and the City of Grand Rapids. For more information on the people involved in the two corporations click on the biographical profiles of the individuals most responsible for the phenomenal growth of the two merchandisers, consisting of Hendrick Meijer, Sr., Frederick Meijer, Hendrick Meijer, Jr., Douglas Meijer, Richard De Vos, Sr., Doug DeVos, Richard DeVos, Jr., Jay Van Andel and Steve Van Andel.

Frederick Meijer [1919] with his wife

Richard DeVos, Sr. [1926]

Jay Van Andel [1924-2004]


Meijer, Hank, The Life of Hendrik Meijer, Eerdmans Publishing, 1993, Cross, Wilbur, Amway: The True Story of the Company that Transformed the Life of Millions, Berkley, 1999. Meijer, Meijer, Jay Van Andel, Jay Van Andel, Richard DeVos, Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, Richard DeVos, Orlando Magic,

A Meijer Super Center Store in Midland, Michigan

One of the First Meijer Stores in Michigan.

The Founders of the Amway Corporation, Jay Van Andel and Richard De Vos




The two Dutch Americans who stand out as developers and owners of service industryrelated businesses are John Jacob Astor IV [1864-1912] and Wayne H. Huizenga [1937]. The two lived nearly a century apart, but both put their respective stamps on the service industry. Astor was the real estate developer, hotel builder and hotel operator, and he and his family made a fortune in land and building development, and hotel operations in New York City. Huizenga is the developer and builder of large-scale enterprises. His five major developments were Waste Management, Block Buster Entertainment, Autonation, Extended Stay America, and Republic Industries. Three of the five companies belong to the Fortune 500 listing of large corporations in the United States.

JOHN JACOB ASTOR IVREAL ESTATE TYCOON John Astor is best known for the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. For many years it was the landmark hotel in New York City, and it has only been surpassed by more modern hotels in recent years. Astor was fortunate to have been born in a wealthy family, and as a result did not have to start amassing his eventual fortune from scratch. In 1897, he built the Astoria Hotel, adjacent to the Waldorf Hotel, which had been built by his cousin, William Waldorf Astor. Subsequently the two hotels were merged, and then emerged under the new name, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The present Waldorf Astoria Hotel was built in the 1930s, near the original Waldorf Astoria Hotel, on Park Avenue, New York City. To this day the Waldorf Astoria Hotel remains a landmark hotel and is a testament to the Waldorf and Astor families. Following the building of the Astoria Hotel, Astor built two other major hotels in New York City. They are the St. Regis Hotel, opened in 1905, and the Hotel Knickerbocker opened in 1906. Note that the Knickerbocker name was probably selected because it has become associated with the New Netherland population of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and made up of descendants of the original Dutch migration of the seventeenth century. In other words even John Astor had not forgotten his Dutch American roots during his lifetime. During the Spanish American War, Astor put his yacht, Nourmahal at the disposal of the United States government for use in the war. In addition, he also equipped a mountain battery with artillery for use in the war. He obviously felt very strongly about doing his

2 share to assist and support his country during the Spanish American War. In response for his support of the war, Astor was given a commission as a lieutenant colonel in the United States Volunteers. John Astor was not destined to live long. He became a victim of the sinking of the Titanic in April 1912. He had been on an extended honeymoon in Europe with his bride, Ava Shippin Willing. He had been divorced from his first wife, and he had then married Ava Willing, his second wife. While in Europe, they discovered that Ava Willing had become pregnant, and so the couple decided to return home to the United States in the spring of 1912. They booked on the Titanic so they could participate in its maiden voyage. As is well known, the Titanic hit an iceberg in the north Atlantic, sank and many, including John Astor, perished. Ava Willing survived and later bore a child which was named, John Jacob Astor VI, named after his father, John Jacob Astor IV. Since another Astor cousin already had taken the name, John Jacob Astor V, the new arrival had to settle for the name, John Jacob Astor VI.

WAYNE H HUIZENGAMAJOR BUSINESS CONSOLIDATOR Wayne Huizenga is known as the business consolidator. He is well known in the business world for his ability to take many small businesses in a given industry and merge them, or consolidate them, into a larger enterprise. Since this takes large amounts of capital, usually in the form of cash, Huizenga instead used equity in the large enterprise being formed, as a substitute for cash. His first endeavor, during the 1970s, was the merging of numerous small local commercial waste haulers, in numerous American cities, into a company that he named, Waste Management. The initial business for consolidation Huizenga focused on was garbage collection, or waste hauling. Wayne knew the waste hauling business, because his maternal grandfather operated a large waste hauling business in the Chicago area, and Wayne had worked in that business as a young man helping out his grandfather. Wayne started out for himself as a waste hauler in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area, the area where he had lived during part of his high school years. Huizenga began his waste hauling merger venture by merging his own waste hauling business with the waste hauling business of his grandfather, who had by then retired. One of his cousins was in charge of the grandfathers firm, so the initial merger transaction was within the family. The firm he thus founded grew into the international waste hauling firm, Waste Management Inc., also known as WMI Inc. Huizenga served as WMIs chairman for a number of years before selling the majority of his interest in the firm to outsiders. The successful waste hauling consolidation venture had generated considerable capital in the form of cash to do another merger venture in another industry. So in 1987, Huizenga decided to focus on video rental outlets. He purchased a small video rental chain, named Blockbuster Entertainment, with eighteen outlets for $18 million. He then injected

3 additional capital into the firm, expanded it, and then had it listed on the New York Stock Exchange [NYSE] in 1989. After listing Blockbuster Entertainment on the NYSE, he began acquiring other video stores and small video outlet chains, and paid for them with Blockbuster Entertainment stock. During the next several years, Blockbuster Entertainment grew to 3700 stores in 11 countries. After having built Blockbuster Entertainment to a large independent firm, Huizenga sold it to Viacom, in 1994, for $8.4 billion in stock. Following his successful waste hauling merger and video rental ventures, Huizenga had acquired considerable resources, to do another merger venture. So he decided to focus on automobile dealerships and named his new super auto dealership, Autonation. The problems he ran into with that venture were related to entering the territory of the major automobile companies, and especially the large foreign automobile companies such as Toyota and Nissan. They all feared that their control over their respective dealerships would potentially diminish, if the individual smaller dealerships were merged into a large automobile retail behemoth such as Autonation. But Huizenga prevailed, and his venture produced the largest nationwide automobile dealership corporation, named Autonation. Consolidating automobile dealerships did not go quite as smoothly as the waste hauler consolidation or the Blockbuster Entertainment formation. Automobile dealerships have a strong local orientation, and the economies of scale were not quite as lucrative as they were in the waste hauling business. He was therefore forced to focus on a limited number of large cities, such as Denver, Phoenix, Miami, Los Angeles, and others, instead of going nationwide. Acquiring dealerships was relatively easy, but managing the large number of dealerships provided quite a challenge. Apparently the economies of scale had their origin within a local urban area, and not from nationwide exposure. It became quickly clear that Autonation was the consolidation venture that created the most problems in comparison with the two consolidation ventures he had attempted up until that time. At one point Autonation had to close a large number of large-scale used car sales centers because of the lack of their viability. The closing of the outlets created a large one-time loss for the firm. Also the firm had to do a lot of adjusting to their operations and this created additional costs that were not planned for. So before too long Huizenga lost interest in the automobile business, and divested himself from most of the firm. For his fourth major venture, Huizenga decided to go into the hotel business, but not by buying up an existing hotel chain, but instead by building a hotel chain from scratch. The type of hotel he decided to focus on was the extended stay hotel. He named his new venture, Extended Stay America. As was usual with most of the Huizenga ventures, he likes to move fast. Within one year, he had 62 hotels in operation, and he kept expanding until the chain had 500 hotel properties in 2004. He then decided to sell the firm, and moved on to other ventures.

4 Along the way, Huizenga had reentered the waste hauling business with a company, named Republic Industries. He apparently felt that waste management was an area in which he had considerable expertise. Eventually Republic Industries grew to become the third largest waste management company in the country. At present, in 2007, it is not clear if Huizenga still controls the firm. From the above one may think that Huizenga was only interested in business ventures for making money. But he discovered that you make money and still can also have some fun. He accomplished that by becoming involved in the ownership of major league sports franchises. His first venture in professional sports was the Miami Dolphins NFL football franchise. In 1990, he acquired a minority interest in the franchise, and three years later, in 1994, he took full control of the franchise. As of 2007, he still owned a considerable part of the franchise, although there were rumors that the franchise was for sale. In 1991, he bought a baseball expansion franchise, the Florida Marlins for $95 million. And in 1992, he invested $50 million in the NHL franchise, the Florida Panthers ice hockey team. So in a period of just a few years he had become owner of three major league sports franchises. From the above we can observe that Huizenga founded five major enterprises, WMI, Inc., the waste management firm, Blockbuster Entertainment, the video rental chain, Autonation, the largest automobile dealer in the world, Extended Stay America, the hotel operator which focuses on long stay clients, and Republic Industries, another, but smaller, waste management firm. Most business entrepreneurs would be happy to have been the founder and developer of just one of the above firms. But Huizenga did it five times. In addition, he became the owner of three major league sports franchises. In doing so he apparently became the first person to own and control that many major league sports franchises. The only major league sports franchise missing in his collection is an NBA Basketball franchise. Perhaps, Huizenga is still searching for one.

COMPARISON OF THE TWO ENTREPRENEURS So how do we compare Astor and Huizenga? Both were enormously wealthy individuals. Astor was born in wealth, and all he really was challenged to do was to maintain the wealth his ancestors had accumulated. He was in essence the manager or steward of their wealth. Astor also had a relatively short life. When he perished in the sinking of the Titanic, he was only 47 years old. And as a result we do not know what he would have been able to accomplish if he had a few more decades to do so. Huizenga came from very modest beginnings. There was no fortune waiting for him to inherit. Whatever he accomplished was done with assets he had to accumulate himself first. But he was able to do just that, and the discipline and diligence to do so, probably supported him in the successful management of his future ventures.

5 What is especially interesting in Huizengas case is the fact that he did not stumble once. He never had to give up completely with any one of the ventures he began. Whatever he started, he eventually was able to complete successfully. Most people, in the circumstances Huizenga found himself, would have failed at least once. But Huizenga was able to make each venture perform as planned. The only venture where he may have stumbled somewhat was the automobile dealership venture. He and his associates found that consolidating a large number of auto dealership is not easy. Considerable adjustments had to be made to their original plans. What the above seems to indicate is the apparent fact that each one of Huizengas ventures was well planned, and the execution was apparently tightly controlled. Huizenga is sometimes dismissed as just a consolidator, a charge that apparently is not true. He spent considerable efforts at managing his enterprises, especially during the early stages of the companies, following the consolidation phase. Consolidating the many individual enterprises requires considerable management effort to ensure that the overall business functions successfully, and produces the desired results in terms of profits and customer satisfaction. For more information on the two individuals discussed above click on to the biographical profiles of the two merchandising, entertainment and real estate entrepreneurs, consisting of Wayne Huizenga and John Jacob Astor IV.


Geller, Judith B., Titanic: Women and Children First, New York: W. W. Norton Company, 1998. Notable Descendants of John Loockermans, John Jacob Astor, Wayne Huizenga, Wayne Huizenga, WayneHuizenga, DeGeorge, Gail, The Making of a Bockbuster: How Wayne Huizenga Built a Sports and Entertainment Empire, New York: John Wiley, 1996. RMS Titanic,

John Jacob Astor IV and Madeleine Astor, circa 1911/1912

The RMS Titanic Moored in the Port of Southampton, England, prior to its Fateful Voyage, on Good Friday, April 5, 1912.




The three Dutch American product innovators, Gilbert C. Van Camp, Sr., John T. Scheepers and Alfred H. Peet, to be discussed below were born over a nearly 100 year time period, from around 1830 to 1920. Their product innovations were in different areas, covering such products as canned food, tulip bulbs and gourmet coffee. Gilbert C. Van Camp, Sr. [c.1830-?] was the first person to manufacture a sealable container, made from metal, to conserve food over long periods of time. His name still appears on the Stokeley Van Camps pork and beans can. John T. Scheepers [1878-1938] was known as the Tulip King for popularizing the tulip in North America. The tulip importing and distribution company John Scheepers founded is still in operation today. And Alfred H. Peet [1920-2007] is widely credited with being the pioneer in the American gourmet coffee revolution. The coffee company he founded, Peets Coffee and Tea, is still in operation today.

GILBERT C. VAN CAMP, SR.SEALED CAN DEVELOPER Gilbert Van Camp is the originator, or at least one of the first originators, of canned food as we know it today. Most of the historical information available on him is lore, so we can not claim the statements below about him are authentic. In the 1860s, Van Camp operated a grocery store in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife Hester. Food store operators have to deal with food spoilage all the time, and especially in those early days when refrigeration was not available. So Van Camp, who had been a tin smith in his younger days, came up with the idea of putting spoilable food in a tin can, create a vacuum in the can, and then seal the can airtight. He experimented with the idea and came up with a solution, the tin can as we know it today. As lore has it, at that time the Civil War was in progress, and soldiers in those days were usually fed with pork, beans and bread. So Van Camp was presumably able to get a contract with the Union Army for the supply of canned pork and beans for consumption by the troops. And the idea, as well as the product of canned pork and beans, has survived until this day.

2 Van Camp apparently was able to establish a canning factory, which canned presumably other vegetables also, but his best known product remained pork and beans, under the brand name Van Camps Pork and Beans. The factory apparently remained in the Van Camp family for quite a long time. In 1933, the Van Camp canning factory and the associated brand name of Van Camp was sold to James and John Stokeley, and from that point on the brand name became Stokely-Van Camps Pork and Beans. Since then the company has changed hands, but the brand name of Van Camps pork and beans is still here today.

JOHN T. SCHEEPERS---THE TULIP KING The next innovator was John Scheepers. He was born in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Around the turn of the century, he immigrated to the United States, and in 1905 he became a United States citizen. Soon thereafter, he founded John Scheepers Incorporated, a bulb importer and bulb grower. The Scheepers flower bulb firm distributed tulip and other flower bulbs through a catalog which was published in hard cover format. The catalog contained colorful illustrations of the flowers which the purchased bulbs would produce. Other competitors would enter the business of bulb importing and bulb culture, but Scheepers apparently was the first to bring the colorful Dutch tulips, and other flowers to the attention of the American public. Over the years Scheepers literally won hundreds of awards for the colorful displays of his flowers at flower shows across the country, but especially in the New York City area. He also became a director of the New York Horticultural Society. At over 20 successive annual exhibits at the New York Flower Shows, Scheepers won hundreds of gold medal awards. The medals were awarded by the Garden Club of America, the Horticultural Society of New York, President Calvin Coolidge, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, and by many other organizations. During the 1920s and 1930s, Scheepers organized Garden Lovers pilgrimages from the United States to Heemstede, the Netherlands, during the peak of the tulip flowering season in the spring. In the late 1930s, just prior to his death, Scheepers convinced the Dutch government to donate a million bulbs to spruce up the grounds of the New York World Fair, held in the 1939-1940 period. And during that same time, Scheepers convinced the Dutch government to also donate 250,000 bulbs to the San Francisco Golden Gate Exposition, held in 1939.

ALFRED H. PEET---THE GOURMET COFFEE PIONEER Next we shall review the life of the American gourmet coffee pioneer. When did the American gourmet coffee revolution begin, and who was the driving force behind the revolution? Most people would immediately think of Starbucks. And to be fair, Starbucks

3 certainly mass merchandised the consumption of gourmet coffee. But the originator of gourmet coffee was a Dutch American by the name of Alfred Peet. Peet emigrated from the Netherlands in 1955. Peets family in the Netherlands was in the coffee and tea importing, processing and distribution business. So from the time he was a child, Peet had been immersed in the gourmet coffee and tea business. When Peet was 18 years old, his father sent him to work for a coffee and tea importer in London, England, to learn what the British were doing in the coffee importing, processing and distribution business. While Peet was getting coffee and tea processing and grading experience in England, the Second World War broke out. Peet, being of military age, probably participated in the war effort. Following the war, he apparently lived in Indonesia and New Zealand, probably observing how coffee was grown and processed. The Dutch and the British climates are not conducive to coffee production. Following his arrival in the United States, Peet settled in San Francisco. He again went to work for a coffee and tea importer. In 1966, he decided to go into business for himself, but at the retail level, selling gourmet coffee in drinkable form, as well as in bean form. He opened a coffee bean and coffee shop on Vine Street in Berkeley, California, near the Berkeley campus of the University of California. Up to the mid 1960s the quality of coffee had been mediocre in the United States. Peet, however, was going to focus on gourmet coffees of excellent quality, and he selected on the basis of his experience, accumulated over many years, only top quality coffees. Peets first coffee shop went well, and not long thereafter, he opened up coffee shops in Menlo Park and in Oakland, California. Prior to opening its first coffee outlet, in 1971, Starbucks sent several of its people to learn about the gourmet coffee business from Peet. One of the Starbucks people actually worked in Peets Berkeley coffee shop to learn the ins and outs of preparing and serving gourmet coffee. In the mid seventies, Peet had four coffee shops/stores in operation and his business became known as Peets Coffee and Tea. The Peets Coffee and Tea business head office was located in Oakland, California. In 1979, Peet sold the business, and stayed on as a coffee buyer and consultant. Peets Coffee and Tea was incorporated in 2001, and currently [2007] operates more than 150 coffee shops and stores in 10 states, mostly in the western United states. From the above we can see that the three individual innovators, described above, developed ideas, ideas they believed in, into products that contributed to the users enjoyment, and to the welfare of American society. To be sure none of the three individuals made large fortunes from their contributions, but they produced and sold products that clearly gave them personally an enormous amount of satisfaction, if not delight.

4 For more information on the three individuals click on the biographical profiles of the three consumer products innovators, including Gilbert C. Van Camp, John Scheepers, and Alfred Peet.


Van Camps, Tuna Turnaround,,9171,874707,00.html John Scheepers Flower Bulbs, Alfred H. Peet, 87, Dies; Leader of a Coffee Revolution, Starbucks,

Peets Original Coffee Shop in Berkeley, CA




The two Dutch Americans who were actively involved in the early stages of electric and electronic innovation, experimentation and development were Thomas Alva Edison [1847-1934] and Lee De Forest [1873-1961]. Edison, 26 years older than De Forest, was strongly focused on the early technological developments related to the use of electricity, and the development of products which depend on electricity for their operation. Edison was not so much an inventor, but rather a developer of invented ideas, which were then developed for practical use. For instance, Edison did not invent the incandescent light bulb, but he perfected it to the point where it became the lighting source which we still use up until today. As a result Edison is considered to be the founder of electric lighting the way we know it today. By the time De Forest came upon the scene, much of the electric lighting experimentation and development had already been done. As a result De Forest focused on electronics and contributed to the development of electronics in the same way Edison had contributed to the development of the uses of electricity. De Forest is given credit for improving the vacuum tube which was a critical component of wireless communication. He invented, and then developed, the triode vacuum tube which was a vast improvement over the diode vacuum tube which was then in use.

THOMAS ALVA EDISONELECTRIC TECHNOLOGY INVENTOR AND DEVELOPER The United States Congress has recognized Edison as the most visible American inventor by declaring that the annual national inventors day will fall on Edisons birthday, February 11. Edison is also the most prolific inventor-developer because he used his earnings from earlier inventions to establish the Menlo Park Research Laboratory. The Laboratory allowed him to work with a group of engineers and technicians on ideas that he had thought off or that were generated in the Laboratory. In other words Edison became an entrepreneurial inventor and developer. During his lifetime he became the holder of over 1000 United States patents, plus many more in the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Most of his patents were not for new inventions but for alterations or improvements to earlier patents and inventions by others.

2 Edison did not plan to become an inventor. In his younger years he was fortunate to be able to become a telegraph operator in New Ark, New Jersey. While a telegraph operator he came up with ideas to improve the system of telegraphy. His first idea was the automatic telegraph repeater, and other improvements in telegraphy followed. His first patented invention was a stock market ticker which allowed rapid communication of prices and price changes in stock and commodity markets. His first invention that gave him enormous publicity was the phonograph in 1877. The invention that allowed him to start the Menlo Research Park Laboratory was the Quadruplex telegraph. He sold the patent rights for the Quadruplex telegraph to Western Union for $10,000, a fortune in 1874, and used the funds to start the Menlo Research Park Laboratory. In 1878, when he had established a solid reputation as an inventor and developer, he was able to talk several financiers, including J. P. Morgan and the Vanderbilts, into forming the Edison Electric Light Company in New York City. In 1878, the light bulb had already been invented, but there was no easy available source of electric power. The Edison Electric Light Company was established to provide electric power for the city of New York, through generation of power, and through a distribution system for the electric power, to homes and businesses. At that time the incandescent light bulb was still experimental and not very efficient. But within two years, in 1880, Edison had improved the original incandescent light bulb to the point were it became a useful, efficient and effective light source. Also the improvements in the light bulb allowed for the mass production of the light bulb. The mass production of the incandescent light bulb lowered its costs and resulted in wider availability. From the above it should become clear that Edison was not a one-dimensional inventor. He focused on products that used electricity, but he saw the possibilities of electricity applying to many different areas. As was shown above, his first area of contribution was in the telegraphy area, which to a degree preceded the use of electricity for lighting and other purposes. His second important area of development was in the electric incandescent light bulb, which he developed so it became useful for practical purposes, and could be produced by mass production means. Mass production of course also substantially reduced the cost of manufacture, and the lower cost created the resultant growth of electric lighting. The third area of Edisons contribution was in the generation of electricity, as well as the development of distribution methods for distributing the electricity. In that area the founding of the Edison Electric Light Company was both critical and important for providing the infrastructure for effective and efficient electric power distribution. In 1880, the same year Edison patented his improved and practical electric light bulb, he also patented the first electric distribution system. Based on that patent, the first investor owned electric utility was opened in that same year. It was located on Pearl Street in New York City. Within that same year, 59 customers were connected to the electric power grid and were provided with 110 volt direct current electric power for their lighting needs. Edison was of course the major mover behind all of the above achievements.

Shortly following the establishment of electric power distribution in New York City, Edison was at work with Alexander Graham Bell on telephony. Edison and Bell formed the Oriental Telephone Company, and telephone communication began its rapid development across the country from that point on. Other significant contributions by Edisons Menlo Park Research Laboratory were the motion picture camera in 1891, the two-way telegraph in 1892, the motion picture studio in 1893, the movie projector in 1896, the electric battery in 1908, the commercial phonograph using bakelite records in 1912, and the Motion Picture Patents Company, which consisted of nine major film studios, in 1908. By 1912, Edison had reached the age of 65, an age considered appropriate for retirement. During his retirement years he became a botanist, and worked on the development of more efficient and effective rubber plants to improve the production of rubber. Rubber had of course become a necessary natural resource for the production of automobile tires.

LEE DE FORESTELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY INVENTOR AND DEVELOPER Whereas Edison was a self taught inventor and developer, De Forest was thoroughly educated and trained in electronics and in technology. He graduated with two engineering degrees, a B. S. degree and a Ph. D. degree, from Yale University. Following his graduation he worked for the Western Electric Company for two years. He clearly did not like the challenges at Western Electric, and in 1902 he started his first company, which he named the De Forest Radio Company. At the Chicago World Fair, in 1904, he received a gold medal for his scientific electronic contributions. Since De Forest had graduated with his Ph. D. in 1899, all of the above occurred within five years of receiving his Ph. D. degree. Based on his development work on vacuum tubes, it was clear that De Forests interests were in radio transmission and reception. In 1908, he demonstrated the power of radio broadcasting by using the Eifel Tower in Paris as a transmitter site. His Paris broadcast was heard as far as 500 miles away. In 1916, he made a similar demonstration by broadcasting from his own New York City radio transmission station. He broadcast music and the results of the 1916 presidential election. The broadcast was heard as far away as the mid west. One of De Forests major contributions, in 1919, was the invention of attaching sound to moving pictures, essentially the invention that made movies or moving pictures feasible. Up to that time the silent pictures had their day, but combining sound with moving pictures was a major breakthrough. To commercialize his new invention he formed the Sound-on-Film Company. Although his film-on-sound approach was not adopted right away by the film industry, it of course eventually was. De Forest received an Academy Award, an Oscar, for the sound-on-film invention, somewhat belatedly in 1959/1960.

4 Little is known to what degree Edison and De Forest knew each other. They were clearly aware of each others activities, and in some areas their technological interests certainly overlapped. But they differed by 26 years in age. So when Edison was at his highest level of output, De Forest was still a youngster. Their educational backgrounds also differed considerably but that may not have been that much of a barrier. There, however, is no question that each one made considerable contributions to the electric and electronic technology that we now accept as normal, and certainly not exceptional. In terms of volume of technological contributions Edison certainly stands out. Through the use of his Menlo Research Park Laboratory, he was able to increase his impact on the world of his day considerably. For more information on the two individuals, click on the biographical profiles of the two electric and electronic inventors, experimenters and developers, Thomas Edison and Lee DeForest.


Stross, Randall E., The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Edison Invented the Modern World, New York: Crown, 2007. Hijya, James A., Lee De Forest and the Fatherhood of Radio, Lehigh University Press, 1992. Lee De Forest, Thomas Alva Edison, A Descendant of Guillaume Vigne, Thomas Edison, The Complete Lee De Forest, Lee De Forest,

Thomas Alva Edison [1847-1931]

Thomas Alva Edison in one of his Workshops.

Lee De Forest [1873-1961]




The three individuals discussed below have several things in common in addition to being Dutch Americans. All three were born during the twentieth century, and lived to see the twenty first century, but not for long. Two of them passed away shortly after the turn of the century. Also all three were either first or second generation Dutch Americans. They are in order of date of birth, Willem J. Kolff [1912], Ray Noorda [1924-2006], and Hubert J. P. Schoemaker [1951-2006]. Below follows a brief paragraph on each of the three innovators and developers, to be followed up with a more in depth discussion. Willem Kolff deserves to be called, and by many people is recognized as, the father of the development of artificial human organs, and in particular the inventor or developer of the artificial kidney. In addition, Kolff has been instrumental in the development and use of many other artificial organs now in use. Kolff also established the first blood bank in the Netherlands, while he was a physician in the city of Kampen, the Netherlands, in 1940. It was also the first blood bank in all of Europe. Ray Noorda is by most people considered the Father of Network Computing, and is also credited with launching the Utah Information Technology Sector, the fastest growing industrial sector in the State of Utah, during the past few decades. Noorda was the primary mover behind several information technology companies during his technology career. The largest company Noorda founded was Novell, a computer technology firm, which grew from 17 employees to 12,000 employees during the 12 years he was with the company. Hubert Schoemaker was one of the three co-founders, and the leader, of Centocor Inc. of Philadelphia. Centocor was one of the first successful biotechnology companies during the early years of the biotechnology revolution. Under Schoemakers leadership, Centocor became one of the biotechnology industrys great successes. In 1999, Johnson and Johnson acquired Centocor for $ 4.9 billion. Unfortunately, at age 43, in 1994, Schoemaker was diagnosed with cancer. The cancer fighting drugs, expected from biotechnology, to save one of the great men of biotechnology research and development, had not yet been developed. Schoemaker passed away on January 1, 2006, at the all too young age of 54 years.

2 WILLEM J. KOLFF---DEVELOPER OF ARTIFICIAL HUMAN ORGANS Willem Kolff was a physician practicing medicine in the Town of Kampen, in the eastern part of the Netherlands during the 1940s. He was research oriented and had received his M. D. degree in general medicine from the University of Leiden in 1938. Kolff apparently was able to stay clear of the disruptions and ravages caused by the Second World War and the Nazi occupation, which raged during the early years of his medical practice. Shortly after Kolffs arrival in the city of Kampen, in 1940, he was instrumental in establishing the first blood bank in the city of Kampen, not only the first blood bank in his country but in all of Europe. In 1943, Kolff became motivated to develop an artificial kidney because one of his patients, a 22 year old man, was dying from renal failure. He was successful and his invention was not only the first artificial kidney in the Netherlands, but in all of Europe, and possibly in the entire world. So within five years of graduation with his medical degree, Kolff had achieved two firsts, the first blood bank in Europe and the first artificial kidney in the world. These discoveries also whetted his appetite for more education, and while continuing his medical practice in the town of Kampen, Kolff was able to continue his studies and earn a Ph. D. in medicine from the University of Groningen in 1946. The conditions for research and development were not promising in the Netherlands following the post-World War II period. The country had been destroyed, infrastructure was in disrepair, and the country was in extreme poverty. As a result, research funds were not available. So Kolff decided to move himself and his research skills to the United States. He accepted a position at the Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio, as the Department Head of Artificial Organs, and as Professor of Clinical Investigations. It was at the Cleveland Clinic that he was able to continue his research in artificial organs. He became interested in the artificial heart, and in 1957, his research had progressed to the point where they were able to implant an artificial heart in an animal. In 1967, Kolff moved to the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he became the Director of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering. It was at the University of Utah where he worked with Dr. Jarvik to develop the first functioning artificial heart. In 1982, the first artificial heart, developed by Dr. Jarvik, and based on Kolffs principles, was implanted in a human by the name of Barney Clark, a California dentist. The surgical procedure was performed by Dr. William C. De Vries, another American with a Dutch background.

RAY NOORDA---PIONEER OF NETWORK COMPUTING Ray Noorda, born of Dutch immigrant parents, was born in the State of Utah, in 1924. He graduated from the University of Utah with an engineering degree in 1949. He worked in the electrical and electronic engineering fields for other companies for over 30 years, before he decided to strike out on his own in 1982. He had then already reached the age of 58.

A start up computer soft ware company named Novell, was in financial trouble, and Noorda using largely his own funds, decided to take over the company, and try to revive it. The products Novell focused on were largely computer software products which were similar to the ones Microsoft then was also working on. So in essence Novell started competing with Microsoft. During Noordas tenure at Novell, Novells employment grew to as many as 12,000 people. Novell then made an error by acquiring a word processing firm, named WordPerfect. WordPerfect was also in direct competition with Microsofts Word processing software system. In any event Microsoft won the word processing software battle, and Novell suffered a costly loss. Noorda, as the chief executive, during that period received most of the blame, and was then asked to leave by the Novell Board of Directors. Noorda did leave Novell, and was able to divest himself of Novell for a considerable sum of money in 1994. In 1994, Noorda had reached the age of 70, usually viewed as a good retirement age, but not for Noorda. From the funds he had gained from the Novell divestment, he went on a buying spree and acquired numerous companies in the information systems technology field. He named the umbrella group for all the acquisitions the Canopy Group. Noorda did well with his new acquisitions during the following several years. But four years after his acquisitions binge, in 1998, he was forced to retire because of medical problems. During Noordas years in the information technology field, he was admired and revered as an innovator and developer of that industry. Upon his death many tributes were made, by his peers in the industry, to the man who had been instrumental in the growth and development of the industry.

HUBERT J. P. SCHOEMAKER---BIOTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPER Hubert Schoemaker was born in Deventer, an industrial city in the eastern part of the Netherlands. He apparently became fascinated with the opportunities available in the United States, and moved to the United States to complete his higher education. He attended Notre Dame University and graduated with a B. S. degree in chemistry. He then went on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT], and earned his Ph. D. degree in Chemistry from there. The degrees were probably granted during the 1970s. The exact dates are not available. Schoemaker was one of the three co-founders of Centocor, Inc., a biotechnology firm that grew rapidly because of its successful products. Schoemaker apparently had the strongest business and leadership skills, and probably as a result of having those skills, he became the leader of the firm. He ended up serving as chairman of Centocor until its acquisition by Johnson and Johnson in 1999. During his time with Centocor, Schoemaker was engaged in all major research decisions. He was also personally involved with the development of Remicade, a drug to treat auto-immune disorders such as Crohns disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

4 Following the acquisition of Centocor by Johnson and Johnson, Schoemaker founded Neuronyx, Inc., a development stage biopharmaceutical company. Schoemaker was first diagnosed with cancer in 1994. He underwent chemotherapy, had a bone marrow transplant, and had surgery. The treatments were able to keep him alive and mentally alert, but in 2006 death claimed its victim. From the above it is clear that the three individuals discussed above had many things in common. They were inquisitive, were challenged by problems that could potentially be solved by technological solutions, and they relentlessly pursued those solutions. Two of the three focused their energies on the discovery of ways to relieve human ailments. One was focused on the technological challenges brought on by the information technology revolution. Two were fortunate to be able to live rather long lives. Ones life was cut short, too short especially for someone who had so much potential in him to produce other life saving medications. For more information on the three individuals discussed above click on the biographical profiles of Ray Noorda, Willem Kolff, and Hubert Schoemaker.


Hubert Schoemaker, a Biotech Pioneer, Dies at 55, Hubert Schoemaker, Hubrt J. Schoemaker, Centocor Founder, Philadelphia Biotech Luminary Dies, pn_lk

Ray Noorda, Ray Noorda, Willem J. Kolff, M.D., Willem J. Kolff, M.D.,

Willem Johan Kolff,

Willam Johan Kolff [1912]




The movie industry is usually associated with the performing arts and the culture of a country. And it is. But the movie industry is also a major economic force, especially in the United States. Therefore it is important to recognize those people who have made above average contributions to the movie industry, and especially the leading people such as the movie directors and producers. And a number of Dutch Americans have made considerable contributions to the movie industry and indirectly also to the American economy. The four Dutch Americans who have been particularly influential in the growth and development of the American movie industry are Cecil B. DeMille [1881-1959], Darryl Zanuck [1902-1979], Clint Eastwood [1930], and Paul Verhoeven [1938]. Their names have been listed chronologically, and not in terms of importance or in terms of the contributions, each one has made.

CECIL B. DEMILLE---PIONEER OF MOVIE DIRECTION AND PRODUCTION Cecil B. DeMille was the earliest contributor. He was born in 1881, and was part of the birth of the film industry, and a major contributor to its early development. He was also the co-founder of what eventually became Paramount Pictures, a major movie production organization. His first participation in the production of a film was in 1914, when he and his two partners produced their first film, entitled, The Squaw Man. DeMille was the co-writer, co-director and co-producer of that first film with Oscar Apfel. In that same year DeMille also directed, co-wrote and co-produced 10 other films. The above contributions by DeMille in the early days of the American movie industry have to be taken in context. To be sure, in those early years all films were silent movies, and were all relatively short. In the following year, in 1915, DeMille was involved in various capacities in producing 14 additional films. During the subsequent years DeMille was involved in four to six films per year. In the 1920s, DeMille became involved with much longer films, the so called epic films. He favored biblical stories, probably because he was raised in a religious home. His father was an Episcopal pastor, and as a result he had been exposed to the biblical stories, especially the epic ones. His first epic film was The Ten Commandments, produced in

2 1923. The other epic films that followed were, The King of Kings, in 1927, The Sign of the Cross, in 1932, Cleopatra, in 1934, Sampson and Delilah, in 1949, The Greatest Show on Earth, in 1952, and a modern version of The Ten Commandments, in 1956. All the epic films were based on biblical stories, except The Greatest Show on Earth, which was based on the famous Barnum and Bailey circus performances. During his nearly half century movie career, from 1913 to 1958, DeMille was the writer or co-writer of 22 films, the director or co-director of 90 films, the producer or coproducer of 83 films, and the editor or co-editor of 30 films. He also acted in 10 of his films. Based on that performance, DeMille was the consummate contributor to and cofounder of the American movie industry.

DARRYL F. ZANUCK---PIONEER OF MOVIE PRODUCTION Darryl Zanuck was also one of the early participants in the American movie industry, but he began his movie career a little more than a decade later than DeMille. Zanuck was also more specialized in the production end of movies. He also did a fair amount of movie script writing. The time he has devoted to the movie industry was similar to DeMillss. Each one of the two movie moguls spent about 45 years in the industry. Zanuck began his movie career as a script writer. Initially he was not very successful, but in 1922, he was able to sell his first story to a Hollywood movie producer. With that initial success, he was able to get a position with Warner Brothers as a script writer. While at Warner Brothers, he wrote story plots for the then successful Rin Tin Tin movie series. In 1928, he was promoted to the position of studio manager at Warner Brothers. He later became chief of production, and in that position he was at the right hand of Jack Warner, the chief at Warner Brothers. At that time the studios were changing over to sound films, and Zanuck was instrumental in the successful conversion of film production to films with sound at Warner Brothers. In 1927, Zanuck as executive producer, initiated the sound era for Warner Brothers with the movie, The Jazz Singer. In subsequent years, he was involved in the film, Little Caesar, in 1930, The Public Enemy, in 1931, and, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, in 1932. Zanuck had been so successful by that time that he felt entitled to become a partner in Warner Brothers. He approached Jack Warner about becoming a partner in the business, and Warners answer was an unequivocal No. So Zanuck wondered what to do next. In 1933, Zanuck became the co-founder of Twentieth Century Pictures with the financial help of two partners. The trio then bought out the near-bankrupt Fox Studios, and formed a new company which they named, Twentieth Century Fox. Zanuck became the chief of production, and he would remain with Twentieth Century Fox for the next 35 years until the end of his movie career. In 1940, Zanuck was able to produce his first major film entitled, The Grapes of Wrath, based on Steinbecks book by the same name. It was followed in 1941 by How Green Was My Valley. After a quiet period during the war years, Zanuck produced, Twelve OClock High, in 1949. It was followed by All about Eve, in 1950. In 1956, he took a

3 sabbatical in Europe where he tried to do some movie production work, but not much is known what resulted from that. In 1962, he returned to the United States to take over the presidency of Twentieth Century Fox. During the 1960s, Zanuck had quite a productive period of blockbuster films. He produced, Cleopatra, in 1962, followed by The Longest Day, in the same year. In 1965, Zanuck produced, The Sound of Music, followed by Sand Pebbles, in 1966, Planet of the Apes, in 1968, and Tora!, Tora!, Tora!, in 1970. By the early 1970s, Zanuck had approached the age of 70. He then ran into a squabble with the management of Twentieth Century Fox, but he did not win the battle. He resigned from the studio, and probably felt it was time to let younger people take over. During his illustrious 45 year movie career, Zanuck had produced over 200 movies, wrote or co-wrote 57 movies, and directed or co-directed only three movies. During the 35 years at Twentieth Century Fox, he had been the major driving and guiding force in that company.

CLINT EASTWOOD---MAJOR MOVIE ACTOR, DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER Clint Eastwoods major contribution to the American movie industry has been as an actor during his illustrious movie career spanning over 50 years, from 1959 to the present [2008]. He is included among the directors, writers and producers because of his prowess at directing movies later in his career. As a matter of fact, his peers heaped more praise on him as a director than as an actor during his film career. He was nominated a few times for an Oscar as an actor, but was never able to win an Oscar. Upon becoming more active as a director, he has been amazingly successful in winning several awards including Oscars. As an actor Eastwood played in a number of memorable films. He starred in Kellys Heroes, in 1970, in Dirty Harry, in 1971, in Magnum Force, in 1973, and in The Enforcer, in 1976. In 1980, Eastwood starred in Any Which Way You Can, in Pale Rider, in 1985, and in Pink Cadillac, in 1989. In 1990, Eastwood starred in The Rookie, in In the Line of Fire, in 1993, and in The Bridges of Madison County, in 1995. The above is only a sampling of the films in which he has starred. Eastwood became involved in directing in the early seventies by establishing his own production company, named Malpaso. He directed Play Misty for Me, in 1971, High Plains Drifter, in 1973, The Eiger Sanction, in 1975, and The Outlaw Josey Wales, in 1976. In 1988, Eastwood directed Bird, White Hunter and Black Heart, in 1990, Unforgiven, in 1992, A Perfect World, in 1993, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, in 1997. Eastwood continued his directing following the turn of the century. In 2002, Eastwood directed Blood Work, Million Dollar Baby, in 2004, Flags of Our Fathers, in 2006, and Letters of Iwo Jima, also in 2006. Eastwood gained considerable recognition for his directing activities as was mentioned before. In 1989, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Director for the movie Bird. In 1992, he won the Academy Award, and in 1993 the Golden Globe Award, for Best Director for the movie, Unforgiven. The movie Million Dollar Baby won him the

4 Academy Award for Best Director in 2004, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Director in 2005.

PAUL VERHOEVEN---DUTCH BORN MOVIE DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER Paul Verhoeven, unlike his fellow Dutch American film directors and producers, is the only Dutch-born film producer and director. He has done most of his early work in the Netherlands. Verhoevens early work was largely on television productions. In 1971, he directed his first film entitled, Turkish Delight. The film Cathy Tippel followed in 1975, and Soldier of Orange followed in 1977. The film Soldier of Orange was a film about the Dutch resistance in World War II, and became a blockbuster success. It was nominated for the Golden Globe Award, and won handily. It was shown in the United States in 1979, where it also was a modest success. The success of Soldier of Orange enabled Verhoeven to try his work in Hollywood during the 1980s. His first film in the United States was Robocop in 1987. The next film, a blockbuster, was Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone, in 1990. It earned two Oscar nominations, and won the Academy Award for its dazzling special effects. Verhoevens next film, again a blockbuster, was Basic Instinct, starring Michael Douglas. Verhoevens film Showgirls, produced in 1995, was not enthusiastically accepted as it showed the shady side of Las Vegas. In 1997, Verhoeven produced Star Troopers, followed in 2000 by Hollow Man. Verhoevens latest film arrived in 2006. It was another film about the Dutch resistance during the Second World War, and was entitled, Black Book. It became a success in the foreign film category. The four film personalities described above collectively left a large imprint on movie making in the United States. As such they contributed greatly to the performing arts and to the economy of the United States. Their focus was on film direction and film production. But one of the four, Clint Eastwood, will also be remembered as a great actor. The time period during which they did their work spans the time period from the beginning of the film industry to the present. For more information on the four individuals discussed above click on to the biographical profiles of Cecil B. DeMille, Darryl Zanuck, Clint Eastwood and Paul Verhoeven.


5 Keesey, Douglas, Eastwood, Edited by Paul Duman, Taschen, 2006. Schickel, Richard, Clint Eastwood: A Biography, Vintage Books, 1997. Clint Eastwood,

Clint Eastwood Biography, Behlmer, Rudy, Editor, Memo from Darryl F. Zanuck: The Golden Years at Twentieth Century Fox, Grove Press, 1995. Custan, George F.,Twentieth Century Fox: Darryl F. Zanuck and the Culture of Hollywood, Basic Books, 1997. DeMille, Cecil B., Autobiography, edited by Donald Hayne, Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice Hall, 1959. Cecil B. DeMille, Darryl F. Zanuck, Paul Verhoeven,

Paul Verhoeven [1938], in 2006

Darryl F. Zanuck [1902-1979], in his office circa 1940.

Cecil B. DeMille [1881-1951], from the trailer for the Greatest Show on Earth in 1952.

Clint Eastwood [1930], in 2007




The two Dutch Americans who have done much to make modern music, and especially rock related music, popular are Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Van Halen. Neither one has done it on his own. Each one of them has benefited considerably from a successful band to accompany him. Springsteen was, and still is largely a vocalist, and Van Halen is the instrumentalist using the electric guitar. Van Halen also benefited from having his older brother, Alex Van Halen, with him during the evolution of his career. Eddie Van Halen is inextricably linked to the Van Halen Band. And Bruce Springsteen is inextricably linked to the E-Street Band. The genre of music also differs for the two performers. Whereas Van Halen and his band are strictly rock and roll music performers, Springsteen is more focused on light rock and popular music and songs. Springsteen is essentially a vocalist who also accompanies himself with a musical instrument. The two performers are about the same age. Bruce Springsteen was born in 1949, and Eddie Van Halen was born in 1955. Their respective musical careers and successes began in the 1970s and continue on until today [2008]. Both performers tour every now and then, usually with rather long intervals in between. Springsteen and Van Halen are still active performers, although both are no longer youngsters. In terms of popular and economic success, both performers and their respective bands are close. Springsteen has received considerable praise and awards as will be discussed below in more detail. Van Halen and his band have also received praise but have also done enormously well in selling their albums. Their album sales are now well in excess of 75 million copies. If they can keep on going for a while the Van Halen Band album sales are likely to exceed 100 million copies.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E STREET BAND We shall now look at each individual, starting with Bruce Springsteen, in more detail. Springsteen was born in Long Beach, New Jersey, and grew up in a lower middle class family. His father was of Dutch ancestry, and as a result Springsteen is considered a Dutch American. He considers himself a musician for ordinary people, as reflected in the lyrics of his songs. He frequently performs solo as a vocalist accompanied by his favorite guitar. But as a rule he likes working with his band, the E-Street Band.

2 The E Street Band has as many as nine performers, including Springsteens wife Patti Scialfa. The members of the band play a variety of instruments. However, Springsteen is the main performer doing all lead vocals, most lead guitar parts, some harmonica, and occasional piano. In other words he is a versatile performer. As a result of his involvement in the band and his versatility, his nickname is The Boss, a designation he does not particularly like but accepts. Bruce Springsteen became a well known and popular performer for the popular songs, Born to Run, and Born in the U.S.A., in the mid 1970s. Especially the latter song became so popular for a while that it even surpassed the national anthem as the symbol for the country. Even Ronald Reagan, during his presidential campaign, adopted the song as a way to define his campaign. This was much to the chagrin of Springsteen who was then not a Reagan supporter. During the 1980s, other popular songs became identified with the Springsteen name. The best known songs were, Dancing in the Dark, and Tunnel of Love. The standouts for the 1990s were Streets of Philadelphia, and The Ghost of Tom Joad. Since the turn of the century, Springsteen has remained very visible to the public, and especially to his fans with the songs, The Rising, Disorder in the House, Code of Silence, and Devils of Dust. During his active musical career, Springsteen has earned a number of valuable awards and recognitions. His most valuable and prestigious award was the Academy Award for Best Song, Streets in Philadelphia, which he won in 1993. In 2001, Springsteen and the E-Street Band won an Emmy Award for an HBO Special, Live in New York. And during the 1984 to 2005 time period, Springsteen won 13 Grammy Awards for his various songs. Also in 1999, Springsteen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

EDDIE VAN HALEN AND THE VAN HALEN BAND Van Halens musical career began while he was still a youngster in his native The Netherlands. The Van Halen parents, and especially the father, were quite musically oriented. So when their two children, Eddie and Alex, were still quite young they were both given piano lessons. So both Eddie and Alex became accomplished piano players at a rather young age. Eddie Van Halen was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 1955. His brother Alex had preceded him in 1953. So only two years separated the two boys, and as a result they grew up as brothers but also as close friends. The Van Halen family moved to Los Angeles in 1962 while both boys were still in elementary school. By that time they already were quite adept at the piano, and they continued their piano playing following their arrival in their new country. The influence of the piano clearly formed the foundation of their future musical careers.

3 The invasion of the British rock movement in the late 1960s apparently mesmerized the two Van Halen brothers. They abandoned their pianos and began playing drum and guitar. Initially Eddie was the drummer and Alex was the guitar player. Shortly thereafter the two brothers switched instruments. It turned out to be a wise move because Alex became a better drummer than Eddie, and Eddies prowess and fame as a rock guitarist is legendary history. Eddies development as a hard rock guitarist did not occur in a vacuum. Hard rock guitarists such as Eric Clapton and Jimmie Page clearly influenced Eddies development as a performer. However, most sources give Eddie the credit for pioneering the way for the modern Rock and Roll Show, where the guitarist generally is the most prominent player. Eddie is also considered to be the most imitated guitarist of his generation. Eddie also received the ultimate recognition for his performances as a lead guitarist when he was named the best rock guitarist during the 1979 to 1983 time period by the influential Guitar Players Magazine. That recognition was never attained by any other guitar player before or since then. Eddie Van Halen was not only a phenomenal guitar player, but he also became a guitar developer and builder. During his professional career he always played on custom-built guitars. These custom-built guitars were either designed and/or built by him. Some were modifications of existing guitar models. During the early years of his career he did much of his own designing, modifying and building of the guitars he used in his performances. After he became more successful, a guitar technician would accompany him during his performances, and work on adaptations and changes in the guitars he used for his performances. As a result of his prowess as a guitar designer and expert, Eddie began to work actively with the guitar manufacturers. In the 1980s he became involved with Kramer Guitars. He later shifted to the Ernie Ball Company for whom he created his own line of guitars. In the mid 1990s he again switched to Peavy and still later became involved with Charwell. Eddie Van Halen, and the Van Halen Band, left an enormous foot print on the rock and roll music scene. During its 2007 tour the band proved to be a solid crowd attraction at the various major city stops it made. Since its inception the Van Halen Band has sold over 75 million albums. Eleven of the top studio albums reached the top 20 on the Bill Board music charts. Also the Van Halen Band has the most #1 hits on Bill Boards Main Stream, a record that is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. Based on the above descriptions of the two star performers, Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Van Halen, both accompanied by their respective bands, we must conclude that they not only contributed to the American musical and cultural scene, but also to the American economic scene. The economic contributions by the performing arts are not always well recognized. The huge Hollywood movie industry is probably the only one that stands out as an economic contributor. But we must not ignore the enormous contributions that are

4 made by such organizations and performers as the Van Halen brothers, Bruce Springsteen as well as their respective bands, the Van Halen Band and the E-Street Band. For more information on the individuals discussed above, click on to the biographical profiles of the three performers. They include Eddie Van Halen, Alexander Van Halen and Bruce Springsteen

REFERENCES Sanchez, Abel, and Brian May, Van Halen 101, Author House, 2005. Christe, Ian, Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga, Wiley, 2007. Alex Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen, Van Halen, Van Halen Band, Santelli, Robert, Greetings from E Street: The Story of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Chronicle Books, 2006. Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen Tour,

5 -

Eddie Van Halen [1955], at the 1993 Emmy Awards

Bruce F. J. Springsteen [1949]




The few things that the four religious book publishers discussed below have in common is the fact that they initially were book sellers, and that their respective businesses were all launched in or near Grand Rapids, Michigan. The first Dutch American to become a religious book seller in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1909, was Louis Kregel [1890-1939]. Only two years following the beginning of Kregels religious book selling operation, in 1911, William B. Eerdmans [c1880-1966] started his book selling business. There would be a long gap before the third religious book seller appeared. In 1931, Peter [Pat] Zondervan[1909-1993] started up his book selling operation. He had worked for his uncle, William B. Eerdmans for many years in his religious book business. As a result Pat Zondervan knew the religious book business well. And it would be another eight years before Herman Baker [1911-1979] would open his book business in 1939. Baker was also an experienced religious book seller. He had worked for his uncle, Louis Kregel, for many years. Louis Kregel was the pioneer of the four religious book sellers and publishers. He saw the need for religious books in the Dutch language, and began importing religious titles from the Netherlands in 1909. He then began his book business by selling from his home. He quickly saw that the cost of his books was a real impediment to his sales. He canvassed a number of college professors and ministers to see if they had any books that they were willing to sell to him. And they did, and that started Louis Kregels used book business, in addition to the sale of new books. Within a few years from starting up his book business, Kregel opened a retail book store. To this day Kregel Books is still selling religious books in the Grand Rapids, Michigan market. The second book seller/publisher was William B. Eerdmans. In 1911, only nine years following his arrival in the United States, in 1902, as a Dutch immigrant, he decided to go into the book selling business with his partner Brant Sevensma. Eerdmans had been a seminary student in Calvin Theological Seminary before launching his book business, and had been able to at least partially support himself by selling books in his spare time. So when he started selling books full time, he had had some experience in the book selling business. The partnership lasted only for four years, when Sevensma decided to leave the partnership, and Eerdmans became the sole owner. In it is not clear how quickly Eerdmans went into publishing books, but his book business became quickly known as the William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Peter Zondervan, also known as Pat Zondervan, learned the book selling and publishing business from his uncle William B. Eerdmans. Pat had gone to work for his uncle in 1924, and worked for him in the book selling and publishing business for 7 years, until 1931. He then got the itch to become a co-owner of the Eerdmans firm. But his uncle became upset with Pats audacious proposal, and dismissed him promptly. Pats uncle apparently had never thought of the idea that his nephew might want to become a partner in the book publishing business. So in 1931, Pat and his brother Bernard Zondervan [1910-1966], also known as Bernie, decided to strike out on their own as book sellers. To keep cost down, they initially worked out of their mothers house, using their bedroom as a book storage area. They made a trip to New York City to visit the large book wholesalers, and bought up all the remainder books they could find, and which they felt were sellable in their home city of Grand Rapids. After one year selling books from their home, in 1932, they rented a store in the city of Grand Rapids. Also in that same year they published their first book. Herman Baker was the latecomer. He did not start his book store and publishing house until 1939. Baker had worked for his uncle, Louis Kregel, in his book business for a number of years. When his uncle passed away in 1939, he decided that he probably should start out on his own. Herman Baker also began his book business as a book seller but quickly became a publisher, and then named his business the Baker Book House. In 2007, his business had grown to seven divisions, not all through growth but several through acquisitions. Three of the above principals in the four religious book businesses, Louis Kregel, William B. Eerdmans and Herman Baker, were Dutch immigrants. The other two, the Zondervan brothers were born of Dutch parents, and were probably second generation Dutch immigrants. All four religious book businesses selected Grand Rapids as their base of operations, probably because Grand Rapids was the home and family base of the principals in the four businesses. Grand Rapids also was the center of the largest Dutch American population base in the United States at that time. And that Dutch American population base consisted largely of Protestants, most of whom were members of the several Reformed denominations. Members of the Reformed denominations were known for their interest in religion and in debating religion. So there was considerable interest for information in the form of religious books.

LOUIS KREGEL---KREGEL BOOKS AND PUBLISHING The Louis Kregel book business was largely focused on the sale of used religious books during its early years, and actually continued selling used religious books until 2005, when it went out of the used religious book business. As did the other three book houses, Louis Kregel also went into publishing, but on a more modest scale than the other three

3 religious book houses. Kregel Publishing also established a Spanish language division for the publishing and sale of Spanish language religious books. From its start until the present, Kregel Publishing has focused on the sale of books through its three stores in the greater Grand Rapids, Michigan area. In recent years Kregel Publishing has also begun marketing its titles through the internet.

WILLIAM B. EERDMANS---EERDMANS PUBLISHING William B. Eerdmans established his book publishing business at a time when the Dutch American population in the Grand Rapids area was still very much oriented around their Dutch roots. The Dutch Americans were all either first, second, and third generation Dutch Americans when Eerdmans first established his book store in 1911. As a matter of fact, many of Eerdmans initial books were religious books, and especially books about Calvinism, and frequently in the Dutch language. One of Eerdmans early publications was a new printing by the title, Commentary of John Calvin, published at a cost of $300,000, an enormous sum for that time period. And he probably would not have ventured such a large sum of money on a publishing project, if he had been in doubt about whether the books would sell. For the first twenty years of Eerdmans book business, Eerdmans and Kregel had a duopoly on religious books in the Grand Rapids area. But in the early 1930s, the Zondervan brothers appeared on the scene, and I am sure that it was not a happy event for the principals of Eerdmans and Kregel Books. This was especially true of Eerdmans, because he had trained the principal person of the Zondervan partnership, Pat Zondervan. And of course at the end of the 1930s Baker appeared on the book selling and book publishing scene. But with all the competition, Eerdmans and Kregel continued to do well during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. During those years Eerdmans published books by such luminaries as C. S. Lewis, Karl Barth, Richard J. Neuhaus, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Richard Mouw, Martin Marty, Rowan Williams, Joan Chittester and Dorothy Day, among numerous other authors. The founder of Eerdmans Publishing Company, William B. Eerdmans, passed away in 1966. He was succeeded by his son William B. Eerdmans, Jr. Under the sons new leadership the high literary and intellectual standards were maintained by the company. The mainstay of Eerdmans publishing output has been the genre of biblical and theological reference works such as commentaries, dictionaries, concordances and handbooks. In the late 1990s, Eerdmans published the Encyclopedia of Christianity, a translation of the acclaimed German reference work, Evangelischen Kirchenlexicon. And in the year 2000, Eerdmans published, Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible.

4 ZONDERVAN BROTHERS---ZONDERVAN PUBLISHING When Pat Zondervan was dismissed, or rather fired, by his uncle, William B. Eerdmans, for asking for a share of the business, he decided to start out on his own. Having worked in the book business with his uncle had clearly prepared him for being in business for himself. He obviously knew where to find books at reasonable prices and he also knew the preferences of the clientele in the Grand Rapids area. As a matter of fact he probably knew most of the more active book buyers personally. Starting out in the book selling business, with Pat Zondervans background, could be done on relatively little capital, especially since he decided to start out working from his parents home. By getting his brother Bernie involved in the business, immediately doubled the available manpower to do the selling, without incurring any expenses for hiring people. Although Bernie apparently did not have the experience Pat had, Pat felt that he could train Bernie to do the necessary work.

To acquire their inventory at reasonable cost the two brothers travelled to New York City, visited the various publishing houses and book wholesalers, and bought up those genres of books that they knew would sell well to their Dutch American customers back in Grand Rapids and environs. Many of their initial purchases were remainder books, and that category of book can be bought at a very low price. Following their buying trip to New York City, the two brothers returned to Grand Rapids, and began selling books by calling on prospective buyers, probably both at the wholesale level and also at the direct sale to customer level, i.e. also known as direct selling. Their efforts were productive, and with their low operations cost, probably also very profitable. One must suspect that additional trips were made to New York City following their first visit. After only one year of selling from their parents home, they opened their first book store in Grand Rapids, and shortly thereafter published their first book. So within one or two years, their start up book business had grown to Zondervans book store and publishing house. The Zondervans first book was a translation into English of a well known Dutch book entitled, Women of the Bible, written by Abraham Kuyper, a well known Dutch theologian, church leader with strong political interests and abilities. Kuyper was a strong political leader and managed to become the Dutch prime minister early in the twentieth century. Kuyper managed to become prime minister by forging a coalition between the Dutch Protestants and the Dutch Catholics, two factions who up to that point in time had not been able to get along since the reformation in the sixteenth century. To translate the Kuyper book, the Zondervan brothers found a theology student at Calvin Seminary who was willing to translate the Women of the Bible book from Dutch into English for $50. Also in order to lower the risk they decided to split the book into two volumes, the first volume was entitled, Women of the Old Testament, and was published in 1933. The second volume was entitled, Women of the New Testament. It

5 was published a year later in 1934. The two volumes sold well, and the Zondervan publishing business was underway. Zondervans publishing business remained successful and grew over time. In 1944, one of the Second World War years, Zondervan published 58 titles. In 1946, following the end of the Second World War, the publishing activities exploded to a total number of 154 titles. During that same year, Zondervan printed 350,000 new books, and 250,000 booklets. Also at that time Zondervan had 365 authors on their royalty rolls, and their work force had grown to 90 employees. In 1959, Zondervan expanded through external means by buying an inspirational music company, and in 1966, Zondervan bought the bible division of Harper and Row. Also in that same year, the younger partner in the business, Bernie Zondervan passed away, suffering from cancer. He was only 56 years old at the time of his death. During the early 1970s Zondervan, jointly with the International Bible Society, published the New Testament volume of the New International Version [NIV], of the Bible. And in 1978, Zondervan published the entire version, consisting of both the old and new testaments, of the NIV. Since Zondervan owned the copyright to the NIV, it became a successful project, because the NIV became very popular with many religious denominations. In 1976, the Zondervan Company became listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Following the listing some accounting irregularities created a number of problems for the firm. The problems were eventually resolved and Zondervan continued to grow and prosper. In 1988, Zondervan was acquired by Harper and Row, for about $50 million, and its remaining founder, Pat Zondervan, who was then 79 years old, retired from the company. Zondervan Publishing continued to prosper, and in 1991 it had reached an annual sales volume of $175 million, and had a back list of about 1000 titles.

HERMAN BAKERBAKER BOOK HOUSE In 1939, Herman Baker founded a book store which eventually became known as the Baker Book House. The firm grew and became known as the Baker Publishing Group and was located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the same location of the other three religious book publishers described above. Herman Baker developed an interest in books and especially religious books by working in his uncle Louis Kregels book store for 14 years. Since Herman had arrived with his parents in Grand Rapids from the Netherlands in 1925, he had spent the entire 14 years since his arrival in the book business. So like Pat Zondervan, when he started his religious book business, Herman Baker also had developed considerable experience in the religious book business. When Baker opened his own book store, his initial inventory consisted of about 500 religious books he had collected over the years. So in selling his initial inventory he had no problem to explain to his customers what their purchases were all about. As was the

6 case with the Zondervan start up, Baker also wanted to go quickly into the publishing business. Baker published his first book only one year after he opened his book store. The book was entitled, More Than Conquerors, by William Hendriksen. The Second World War started shortly following the opening of Bakers book store. As a result relatively few books were published during those early years. But in 1949, Baker became active again in the publishing field. The firm initially focused on reprints of old established and popular religious volumes. Their first selection was entitled, Barnes Notes on the Old and New Testaments, first published in 1852. The Notes consisted of numerous volumes. And the volumes were published over a multi-month period. The project was a success as the first printing quickly sold out. So Baker was set on a publishing course. During the next several years, Baker continued to focus on reprints of older, but successful volumes, again largely focusing on biblical and other religious subjects. In 1959, twenty years following the establishment of Baker Book House, the firm had 175 active titles on its book list. In 1968 Baker began to acquire other firms. Its first acquisition was W. A. Wilde Company, a 100 year old Massachusetts book publisher, focused on Sunday school materials. The acquisition was accompanied by 100 additional active titles. In 1975, Baker acquired Canon Press. During the remainder of the 1970s and in the 1980s, Baker continued to expand and grow internally. And in 1989 Bakers book catalog consisted of 1300 active titles. During the 1990s Baker acquired additional publishers including Chosen Books and Fleming H. Revell. Baker also teamed up with Cambridge University Press to become the North American distributor of the Cambridge Premier Bible line. Another joint venture was the launch of a line of childrens books with New Kids Media, located in Wheaton, Illinois. Around the turn of the century, two other major changes were implemented. In 1999, a new division, named Brazos Press was created to focus on the most important topics of the day. And in 2003, Bethany Publishers was acquired. The latter acquisition was one of Bakers largest and doubled their book inventory, and expanded their sales by 60 percent. During the above growth and development phases several managerial changes took place. The founder, Herman Baker, passed away in 1979. His son Richard Baker had taken over the helm of the company well before his fathers death. And in 1997, Dwight Baker, Richard Bakers son, and a grandson of Herman Baker, took over the presidency of the firm. Dwight Baker had worked in several managerial positions of the company for some time prior to his appointment as president. From the above it is clear that the four major religious book publishing businesses in the Grand Rapids area had prospered, and acquired dominating positions in the religious book publishing business nationwide. To be sure, much of their religious publications are

7 on the more religiously conservative side. But even so the four Grand Rapids publishers have a dominating market share of that part of the religious book publishing business. It is also interesting how closely the four firms were related in the types of their publications, but also through familial relationhips. The two Zondervan brothers were nephews of William B. Eerdmans, and Herman Baker was a nephew of Louis Kregel. For more information on the persons discussed above click on the biographical profiles of the individuals who have been actively involved from the beginning of the establishment of religious book publishing in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. They are Peter [Pat] Zondervan, Bernard Zondervan, William B. Eerdmans, Herman Baker and Louis and Robert Kregel.


Robert Kregel Awarded The Honorary Doctorate of Letters, The Baker Book House Story, Go to About Us, and then to The Baker Book house Story. About Us, Grand Rapids, Zondervan, Ruark, James E. and Ted Engstrom, The House of Zondervan, Zondervan Publishing, 1981, 2006

Bernard D. Zondervan [1910-1966]

Pat J. Zondervan [1909-1993]




Four Dutch Americans ensured that their names would be remembered far into the future by leaving substantial legacies to four higher education institutions, or rather fledgling educational organizations, each one of which would eventually grow into a prominent American University. The four higher education institutions are Rutgers University in New Jersey, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island, New York. Because of their largesse and their foresight, the four Dutch Americans, who helped jump-start these four higher education institutions, will be designated as pioneers in higher education. The four are Henry Rutgers [1745-1830], Stephen Van Rensselaer [1765-1839], Cornelius Vanderbilt [1794-1877], and William S. Hofstra [1861-1932]. William Hofstra was probably the only one of the four who spoke Dutch fluently since he was the only second generation Dutchman. His father was a native Dutchman having been born and raised in the province of Friesland, The Netherlands. The other three Dutch Americans were paternal descendants of Dutch born ancestors and as a result each one bore a Dutch family name.

HENRY RUTGERS AND RUTGERS UNIVERSITY The oldest of the four founders of higher education is Colonel Henry Rutgers. Colonel Rutgers became the founder of Rutgers College in 1825, when he was already 80 years old. Colonel Rutgers was a national war hero of the American Revolution and had attained the rank of colonel during the war. He was widely admired especially in Brunswick, New Jersey, where the predecessor college, Queens College, of Rutgers College was located. Queens College was an educational institution with a checkered history. Queens College was founded in, 1771, as an institution for the training of future ministers in the Dutch Reformed Church. It granted its first degree in 1774 to Matthew Leydt, undoubtedly a Dutch American since he had a Dutch name. During its early years, Queens College was plagued by a shortage of money. Apparently the Dutch Reformed Church was not forthcoming with funds for the training of its ministers. Queens College managed to remain in operation until 1795, when it was forced to close because of a shortage of financial assets. The college remained closed

2 until 1808, when the trustees were able to raise $12,000 to re-open it. During the subsequent years the new republic was exposed to a severe economic depression, and fund raising was difficult. As a result, in 1812, Queens College was again forced to close down. In 1825, the trustees of Queens College apparently decided to make another effort to open the college, and decided to rename the college from Queens College to Rutgers College after Colonel Henry Rutgers, the Revolutionary War hero. Colonel Rutgers apparently was a wealthy bachelor, and known for his philanthropy. At that time the colonel was also already 80 years old, so future financial assistance from Colonel Rutgers was not only possible but likely. Colonel Rutgers was a descendant of an old Dutch family which had originally settled in New Amsterdam. Apparently, the name change from Queens College to Rutgers College was also popular. One must suspect that the newly independent Americans were not too enamored with a name reminding them of British royalty. Rutgers College became the land-grant college of New Jersey in 1862, under the Morrill Act of 1862. The Morrill Act provided federal government support for one higher education institution in each state of the Union. The support was largely in the form of land grants, and required that the designated school provide certain kinds of instruction, including agriculture and engineering-related training and education. With the aid of the land grant, Rutgers College grew rapidly into a full fledged higher educational institution. In 1924 Rutgers College was renamed Rutgers University. By acts of the New Jersey Legislature in 1945 and 1956, Rutgers was designated the State University of New Jersey. Since then Rutgers has continued to expand. Satellite campuses were opened at Camden, New Jersey, New Ark, New Jersey and Piscataway, New Jersey. At the present time enrollment at the main campus in Brunswick, New Jersey and at the three satellite campuses is well in excess of 50, 000 students.

STEPHEN VAN RENSSELAER III AND RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE The smallest of the four educational institutions established by the four Dutch American pioneers is Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute located in Troy, New York, a suburb of Albany, New York, the state capital. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was founded by Stephen Van Rensselaer III. Stephen Van Rensselaer III was probably the most visible Van Rensselaer except for his forefather Killian Van Rensselaer [1580-1644], the founder of Van Rensselaerswyck, the huge agricultural estate near Albany, New York, and comprising most of the present Albany, Columbia and Rensselaer counties in New York State. Stephen Van Rensselaer III was the eighth and second last patroon of the Van Rensselaerswyck Estate, and as a result he was one of the wealthiest people in the Albany, New York area.

3 Stephen Van Rensselaer III also had distinguished himself in the military and in the political and governmental areas of New York State. In 1812, Stephen Van Rensselaer III commanded the United States forces on the northern frontier in the war of 1812 with the British who then still controlled British North America, now known as Canada. In October 1812, he successfully led the militia in the Battle for Queenston Heights, Canada on the Niagara frontier. The American forces were unable to hold on to Queenston Heights because the American militia refused to fight on foreign soil. As a result the original successful battle turned into an embarrassing defeat for the Americans. Van Rensselaer III was apparently not at fault because the military forces were only required to fight on their own soil, and not on foreign soil. However, he received most of the blame for the embarrassing debacle. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute [ RPI] was established by Stephen Van Rensselaer III as the Rensselaer School in 1824. The schools name was changed to Rensselaer Institute in 1833 to better reflect its mission. The schools purpose was to provide scientific and technical education. And as a result it became the first institution to be focused on a technological education in the English speaking world. In 1861, the name of the school was again changed to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a name it still holds until this day. In his letter announcing the founding of the Institute, in 1824, Van Rensselaer stated that the school was established ...for the purpose of instructing the application of science to the common purposes of life. The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has evolved over the years, while remaining focused on its scientific and technological roots upon which the school was founded. The mission statement adopted in 1995 by the Board of Trustees states that RPIs current mission is to educate the leaders of tomorrow for technologically based careers. They continued with their statement as follows: We celebrate discovery, and the responsible application of technology, to create knowledge and global prosperity. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is situated on a 275 acre campus located on a hill overlooking historic Troy, New York and the Hudson River. It has a student body of about 6500 students, and because of its technological curriculum the student body is largely male. The women students are outnumbered three to one, but the ratio is gradually changing.

CORNELIUS VANDERBILT AND VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY The third higher education founder and pioneer was Cornelius Vanderbilt, also known as Commodore Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt was in his 79th year when he decided to make the gift that founded Vanderbilt University in 1873. Vanderbilt was not known as a philanthropist prior to his major gift to found Vanderbilt University. But apparently his advancing age and the need to leave a legacy must have motivated him. Vanderbilt had earlier lost his first wife and had remarried. His second wife was a relative of the Methodist bishop of Nashville, Tennessee, named: Holland N. McTyeire. Bishop

4 McTyeire had plans to convert a small Methodist college in Nashville, Tennessee, named Central College, to a major higher education institution. Bishop McTyeire felt that a major higher education institution would strengthen the ties between the various part of the country following the devastating Civil War between the north and the south. Bishop McTyeire extensively discussed the idea with Vanderbilt, and Vanderbilt saw it as a way to contribute part of his vast wealth to a noble cause. His initial gift was for half a million dollars, a substantial gift for that time. Soon thereafter he doubled it to a million dollars, and that was sufficient to found the new university, which was named Vanderbilt University. For the first 40 years of its existence, Vanderbilt University was under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. In June 1914, the Vanderbilt Board of Trustees severed its ties with the church as a result of a dispute with the bishops over who would appoint university trustees. Since its founding the governance of Vanderbilt University has remained amazingly stable. The original charter, issued in 1872, and amended in 1873 to name the university The Vanderbilt University is still in force until this day. At this time Vanderbilt University is considered to be one of the top universities in the United States. The university was admitted, in 1949, to the select Association of American Universities. And in 1963, Vanderbilt, for the first time, was ranked in the top ten private universities in the United States. At the present time, Vanderbilt University is a private research university with about 6500 undergraduate students and over 5000 graduate students. Also Vanderbilt University is consistently ranked as one of the top 20 universities by the various rankings published by publications such as the U.S. News and World Report. As an employer of 17,500 people, the university has become the largest private employer in Middle Tennessee and the second largest private employer in the state of Tennessee.

WILLIAM S. HOFSTRA AND HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY The fourth and last university founder and pioneer is William S. Hofstra. His father was a Dutch immigrant whose ancestors came from the Province of Friesland in the Netherlands. The name Hofstra comes from a district near the village of Grouw in Friesland, which was called Hofland. An estate in the area of Hofland, the Hoflandstra Estate, was the birthplace of an early ancestor of William Hofstra. The prefix hof in the Frisian language means courtyard or farm and the suffix stra means from. Before the 18th century the people of this area were called Hoflandstra, which was then shortened to the present Hofstra. William S. Hofstra was not a direct, but rather an indirect university founder. Hofstra had been a successful lumber dealer on Long Island, New York. Hofstra was married to Kate Mason Hofstra, who was independently wealthy. So when Hofstra passed away in 1932, he left his estate to his wife Kate, and instructed her to dispose of it in an appropriate way. Kate Hofstra passed away two years later, in 1934, and left a will in which she

5 instructed the trustees of her estate to create a memorial to her late husband, William Hofstra. Her estate included the Van Wranken Estate, the residence of the Hofstras. The remainder of the estate was apparently in financial assets. In 1935, the trustees decided to use the Van Wranken Estate to open a branch of New York University in the residence, previously the home of the Hofstras, on the property. The name chosen for the branch school was Nassau College Hofstra Memorial of New York University, a rather long and cumbersome name. Four years later the college was provisionally chartered as a four year institution, and the name was changed to Hofstra College, a more appropriate name for a memorial to the donors of the property. In 1940, Hofstra College was permanently chartered as a four year institution. And in 1963, the now much expanded college was renamed Hofstra University. At the present time Hofstra University has close to 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The campus consists of about 130 buildings and is located on 240 acres of land in the city of Hempstead, Long Island. In its early years, Hofstra Universitys athletic and sports teams bore the nickname, The Flying Dutchmen. Unfortunately, that name has recently been replaced with the non-historic name, The Pride. But then there probably were not enough Dutch Americans on Long Island to protest the name change. Also for the past few years the New York Jets have been using the Hofstra University campus as their preseason training site. For more information on the four individuals discussed above click on the biographical profiles of the four higher education pioneers who were instrumental in establishing four American universities. The four pioneers are Henry Rutgers, Stephen Van Rensselaer III, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and William Hofstra.

Colonel Henry Rutgers [1745-1830], Revolutionary War Hero and Philanthropist

Stephen Van Rensselaer III [1765-1839]

Cornelius Vanderbilt [1794-1877]


Cornelius Vanderbilt, Stephen Van Rensselaer III, Edmund B. Shotwell: Manuscript Notes on the Life of Henry Rutgers, 1946-1962, Renselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rutgers University, 7

Hofstra University, The History of Vanderbilt University, The Beginning, .cfm

Art Library, Voorhees Hall, Rutgers, The State University at New Brunswick, New Jersey

The Voorhees Computing Center on the Campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York