Johannes Glupker

By Bentheimers International Society

Hand drawn map of Hohenkorben where Johannes Glupker was born

A portion of General Major von Le Coq‘s Grafschaft Bentheim map (1805) depicting Hohenkörben (Hankorve). Johannes Glupker was born here in in 1842.

Johannes (Jan) Glupker was born on May 10, 1842 in Hohenkörben to Geert Glüpker and Wilhelmine Evers. They were farmers (Ackerleute). Johannes was the third of five children born to this couple.

Leaving Grafschaft Bentheim

In 1864 Johannes emigrated from Grafschaft Bentheim and came to America. He made his way to Allegan County, Michigan, settling by others from his homeland. Here Johannes purchased a small farm in Fillmore Township. In 1865, his younger brother Jan Hindrik Glüpker emigrated from the County, purchased 50 acres next to Johannes’ property, and began farming also.

Johannes Glupker marries Andina Broene

On March 28, 1867, Johannes married Andina Broene, daughter of Harm Hendrik Broene and Kunnegien Nyboer, his first wife. Johannes and Andina had two children:

  • Gerrit—born in 1868; and,
    Kaatje—born on December 26, 1869, she was later known as Kate.

But tragedy soon struck this small family and, in 1870 or 1871, Andina died. Johannes tried briefly to carry on with the farm, as well as to care for his two small children with help from his sister-in-law. But already in 1880, the Federal Census finds Johannes and his two children living in Grand Rapids.

A Second Marriage

Soon Johannes married again—to Alberdina Door. Around 1894 he and Alberdina, along with three other families who were all close friends, moved together to Arlene, Michigan in Missaukee County. All four families—the Ben Hinken family, the Talsmas, Bouwmeesters, and Glupkers—built similar houses in Arlene. These families all attended the Christian Reformed Church in Arlene.

Over the years, Johannes and Alberdina would have six children.

Life in Arlene was difficult. The sandy soil grew pine trees then and still does. Stories abound about how the Glupker children and others would pick huckleberries (wild blueberries) and blackberries every day in the summer to earn money to buy clothes. The berries sold for 3—5 cents a quart in the larger nearby towns.

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