Theodore J. Van den Broek

Theodore J. Van den Broek

Theodore J. Van den Broek (b. at Amsterdam, Holland, 5 November1783; d. at Little Chute, Wisconsin, 5 November1851) was a Dutch Dominican missionary to the United States. [ [ CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Theodore J. van Den Broek ] ]


The second child of Abraham van den Broek and Elisabeth de Meijne, he was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands in June 1784. His paternal grandparents were Abraham van den Broek and Alida Verhaar from Uden, Noord Brabant, Netherlands. He apparently spent time there as a youth. His parents were known to be wealthy, he was highly educated and he was fluent in six languages. He made his studies in Holland, was ordained in Germany in 1809, and was received into the Dominican Order in 1817. In 1819 he as appointed to Alkmaar, where he published "Sermons for all Sundays and Holidays".


On 15 August 1832, with seven other missionaries, he arrived in Baltimore, and thence went to Cincinnati. He was 49 years old. The missionaries were sent to different places, and Father Van den Broek eventually went to the convent of St. Rose in Kentucky. After a short stay at St. Rose he was removed to Somerset, Ohio.

While at Somerset, he met a member of the Grignon family, who were establlished near Green Bay. Hearing of the condition of the Native Americans in Michigan (now Wisconsin), he obtained permission from Archbishop John Baptist Purcell of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati to go to them, and arrived at Green Bay, Wisconsin, 4 July 1834. He found there only ten Catholic families. He completed the church and priest's house begun by Father Samuel Charles Mazzuchelli, and devoted himself to the Indians during an epidemic of cholera, aided by two Sisters Clara and Theresa Bourdalou.

In Green Bay he again met with the Grignons, and probably through this contact he went to La Petite Chute in 1836. There he built the first church for the Menominee Indians, St. John Nepomucene, one of several he would establish in the area. In 1836, at the request of the Native Americans of Little Chute, he took up his residence with them. He taught them the alphabet and to read Bishop Frederic Baraga's prayer-books and catechisms. The following year he built a log church thirty by twenty-two feet and in 1839 he built an addition thereto of twenty feet.

He had no income outside of his own resources; he built his first church himself, with the aid of Native Americans. He was both priest and physician at Butte des Morts, Fort Winnebago, Fond du Lac, Prairie du Chien, Lake Poygan, Calumet, and the Native American village on the Milwaukee River. He taught the use of tools and agriculture, and with Native American help he built a church seventy feet long, which he dedicated to St. John Nepomucene. [ [ Robert T. Bakker ] ]

As the mission at Green Bay was for some time without a resident priest, Father Van den Broek frequently said Mass on Sundays at each place, walking the intervening distance of twenty-two miles. He made journeys of two hundred miles, to minister to Menominee and Ho-Chunk tribes. In Green Bay Father Van den Broek also met Morgan Lewis Martin, who was in charge of the local canal project. Father Van den Broek purchased land in the area which he later hoped to sell.“The First Dutch Catholics In Brown County”, Willem Keeris, Netherlands] In that same year, 1836, the Menominees signed the “Treaty of the Cedars” which required them to give up title to the local land and move beyond the Wolf River to the west. [ History- Treaties- September 3,1836; The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin] ] This deprived him of most of his constituents at Little Chute.

Between 1836 and 1844 he converted and baptized over eight hundred Native Americans. He also began to write letters about the area to groups in the Netherlands. The letters appeared in the Roman Catholic paper, "De Tijd" (The Times) beginning in 1843. “Little Chute, A Century of Progress, 1899-1999”, 1999, Village of Little Chute Centennial Committee]


In 1847 his parents died. Father Van den Broek went back to the Netherlands to settle his parents’ estate. After having obtained a priest to temporarily replace him, he sailed for Europe, arriving at Amsterdam on 13 August 1847. The estate settlement was not very beneficial and he found himself nearly destitute. As St. John Nepomucene parishioners were significantly reduced after the Treaty of the Cedars, he used the trip as an opportunity to again write in "De Tijd", advertising the mission, the land at La Petite Chute and employment opportunities associated with the Fox River Canal, which included free passage to America for workers. The results were immediate and, by 1848, three wooden sailing vessels left for America carrying Father Van den Broek and about 900 Dutch settlers. “Early Dutch Settlements in Wisconsin” Twilah DeBoer, June, 1999 [] ]

On November 5, 1851 Father Van den Broek died at age 68, leaving behind a propering Dutch community at Little Chute. He is buried under the present St. John Nepomucene Church.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Theodore J. van Den Broek —     Theodore J. Van den Broek     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Theodore J. Van den Broek     Priest and missionary, b. at Amsterdam, Holland, 5 Nov., 1783; d. at Little Chute, Wisconsin, 5 Nov., 1851. He made his studies in Holland, was ordained in… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Van den Broek — is a Dutch surname. People with this surname include:* Theodore J. Van den Broek (1783 1851), Dutch Dominican missionary to the United States * Jan Karel van den Broek (1814–1865), Dutch physician in Japan * Antonius van den Broek (1870 1926),… …   Wikipedia

  • Van den Broek, Theodore J. — Van den Broek, Theodore J. • Priest and missionary (1783 1851) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Hans van den Broek — Henri (Hans) van den Broek (* 11. Dezember 1936 in Paris) ist ein niederländischer Politiker des Christen Democratisch Appèl (CDA). Van den Broek war zunächst als Anwalt tätig. Seine politische Laufba …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Van Aartsen — Jozias Johannes van Aartsen (* 25. Dezember 1947 in Den Haag) war zwischen 1998 und 2002 Außenminister der Niederlande. Jozias van Aartsen am 18. Mai 2001 während eines Besuchs in den USA Van Aartsen absolvierte zunächst ein Jurastudium an der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Floris Adriaan Baron van Hall — (* 15. Mai 1791 in Amsterdam; † 29. März 1866 in Den Haag) war ein liberaler, später konservativer niederländischer Staatsmann. 1853 1856 und 1860 1861 war er Vorsitzender des Ministerrats. Sein Vater Maurits Cornelis van Hall war …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Herman van Karnebeek — Herman Adriaan van Karnebeek (* 21. August 1874 in Den Haag; † 29. März 1942 ebenda) war ein niederländischer Diplomat und Minister. Karnebeek war ein entschiedener Fürsprecher der niederländischen Unabhängigkeitspolitik und wird von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Abraham Pieter Cornelis van Karnebeek — (* 14. September 1836 in Amsterdam; † 9. Oktober 1925 in Den Haag war ein niederländischer Diplomat und Politiker. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Familie und Ausbildung 2 Karriere …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Andreas van Agt — Andreas Antonius Maria (Dries) van Agt (* 2. Februar 1931 in Geldrop) ist ein niederländischer Politiker. Er war von 1977 bis 1982 Ministerpräsident. Leben Van Agt wurde 1931 als Sohn eines Textilfabrikanten in Geldrop (Nordbrabant) geboren. Nach …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jozias Johannes van Aartsen — (* 25. Dezember 1947 in Den Haag) war zwischen 1998 und 2002 Außenminister der Niederlande. Jozias van Aartsen am 18. Mai 2001 während eines Besuchs in den USA Van Aartsen absolvierte zunächst ein Jurastudium an der Freien Universität Amsterdam… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”