Lambert Kraker

By Bentheimers International Society

Hand drawn map of Getelo where Albert Kraker was born

A portion of General Major von Le Coq‘s Grafschaft Bentheim map (1805) depicting the settlement of Getelo. Lambert Kraker was born here in 1838.

Lambert Kraker (Krake) was born on August 2, 1838 in Getelo to Hendrik Scholten and Swenne Krake, the fourth of eight children. Hendrik was a Colon farmer and took the Krake name when he married. On November 14, 1873, Lambert married Aleida Wiefering in Uelsen.

About one month later, Lambert, Aleida, and his brother Albert Kraker departed from Rotterdam, Netherlands, arriving in New York City on December 24, 1873. From there, they made their way to Fillmore Township in Allegan County, Michigan.

Life In Graafschap, Michigan

The Lambert Kraker family lived a few houses away from his brother Albert in Fillmore Township, where the brothers became farmers. On June 11, 1874, Lambert and his family joined the Graafschap church.

Handwritten church membership record

This portion from the Graafschap church’s membership book shows son Hendrik’s name as crossed out, indicating that he had died. The faint note to the right of his name gives his date of death.

The Lambert and Aleida Kraker Family

The 1880 Federal Census reports that Lambert and Aleida had two living children. Their three children were:

  • Hendrik—born February 20, 1874, died in September, 1874;
  • Hendrik (Henry)—born May 8, 1876, died August 9, 1944; and,
  • Zwaantje—born February 8, 1879, date of death unknown.

Their first child, Hendrik, was born soon after the Krakers arrived in the United States. Hendrik was baptized when the family joined the Graafschap church in June, 1874, but he passed away in September.

Their second son Henry became a plumber in the Holland, Michigan area, at a time when indoor plumbing became affordable for the average home owner. Henry also owned the Hotel Kraker in downtown Holland (1926–36). Today, Hope College owns this building and uses it for their Kraker Apartments student housing.

Zwaantje, their daughter, is named in the 1880 Federal Census, but no more information about her is known at this time.

Photo of workers, horse-drawn wagon, and bathtub on wagon

Lambert Kraker’s son Henry ran a plumbing company for around 45 years in Holland, Michigan. He also handled pipe for oilfields in Muskegon and had interests in several oil wells.

Lambert Kraker died of consumption (tuberculosis) on April 10, 1889 in Fillmore Township, Michigan. His burial place is unknown at this time. Aleida Wiefering Kraker re–married two years later and died in Yakima County, Washington on August 26, 1928.

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