Albert Dyke

By Garald L. Gemmen, Sr.

Gary was president of the Bentheimers International Society from 2015 until January, 2019. He passed away in June, 2019.

Hand-drawn map of Uelsen where Frederik Veldhuis was born.

A portion of General Major von Le Coq‘s Grafschaft Bentheim map (1805) depicting the city of Uelsen. Albert Dyke was born here in 1838.

Albert Dyke was born in Uelsen in 1838 to the carpenter Gerrit Hendrik Diek and Jenne De Groot. She passed passed away in 1860. Six years later, Albert and his father left Graftschaft Bentheim, Germany for Graafschap, Michigan, where Albert worked as a carpenter. Here in Graafschap, on March 26, 1868, Albert married Berendina Keddeman (Keddink). Albert was 31 years old and Berendina was 17. She had emigrated from Grafschaft Bentheim in 1867.

Albert Dyke Settles in Allendale Township

By 1881 Albert Dyke and Berendina Keddeman Dyke had moved to Allendale and purchased 40 acres on the Grand River. Over the next few years, they purchased neighboring property until they owned 150 acres in Sections 11, 12 and 14 in Allendale Township. Much of this property had been the old Giles Woodbury farm. Their house was located on what today is Lincoln Street.

Around 1905 Albert built a house along Lake Michigan Drive in the area of Allendale known as “Pearline” and retired from farming. His sons Gerrit and Arend (Harry) took over the farm and continued working it as the Dyke Brothers Farm.

Albert and Berendina were charter members of the Christian Reformed Church of Allendale, where he served as an elder in the first consistory of this church.

Several of Albert’s brothers and sisters also settled in Allendale:

Albert and Berendina’s Family

Albert and Berendina had twelve children, with two dying in early childhood:

  1. Zwaantien—born 1869, died 1873 at four and a half years old;
  2. Gerrit—born 1870, died 1953, never married;
  3. Johanna—born 1872, died 1908, married Jan Albert Gemmen;
  4. Arend—known as Harry; born 1874, died 1950, never married;
  5. Dirk—born 1876, died 1951, married Dena Eling;
  6. Johannes—known as Joe; born 1878, died 1941, married Tillie Pippen;
  7. Zwaantje—known as Susie; born 1880, died 1961, married Simon Piers;
  8. Hattie—born 1882, died 1883, died at about ten months of age;
  9. Hendrika—known as Reka; born 1884, died 1975, married 1. Peter Luurtsma, 2. Gerrit Berghorst, 3. Frank Northouse;
  10. Gezina—born 1886, died 1957, married Peter Knoper;
  11. Egbert—nicknamed “Happy”; born 1889, died 1970, never married; and
  12. Minnie—born 1891, died 1976, married John Peter Miedema.

After Albert died in 1910, his son Harry lived with Berendina and operated a hardware in Pearline. Harry later sold the business to his nephew John Gemmen (the son of his sister Johanna Dyke Gemmen).

Black and white portrait of Albert Dyke and Berendina Keddeman Dyke, Julia Gemmen Kraker's great-grandmother.

Albert and Berendina Keddeman Dyke.

Black and white photograph of Albert Dyke and Berendina Keddeman Dyke with ten of their twelve children

Albert and Berendina with ten of their twelve children.

View of Pearline (Allendale) Michigan, where Albert Dyke retired to after farming.

A view of Pearline (Allendale Township). The building on the right is the Gemmen Bros. Store run by John Gemmen and his brother Albert. This building was constructed in 1924.

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