Lucas Veldink

By Mary Arnold

map of Emlichheim, where Lucas Veldink was born

A portion of General Major von Le Coq‘s Grafschaft Bentheim map (1805) depicting the city of Emlichheim. Lucas Veldink was born here in 1845.

Lucas Veldink was born April 3, 1845 in Emlichheim to Frederick Veldink and Frederica Johanna Krikke. (The 1900 U.S. Federal Census gives his birth date as February 21, 1855.) Frederick, known as Fritz, was a “molenmeester,” or master baker. This bakery was a family business that not only supported Lucas and his nine sisters and brothers, but other relatives as well. The bakery, now the Veldink–Eilert Bakery, is still run by the Veldink family in Emlichheim, Germany.

Emigrating To Michigan

On May 4, 1881, Lucas Veldink boarded the S.S. Castor to travel to America. Accompanying him was his fiancee, Gertruda (Geertien) Klokkers, and her aunt and uncle, Jan Harm Groteler and Hinderkien Klokkers. Two years later, Lucas’ brother Derk Veldink, his wife Aaltje Vrielink, and their son Fritz Veldink would join them in Michigan.

Marriage to Gertruda Klokkers

Lucas Veldink and Gertruda Klokkers were married in Fillmore in Allegan County on March 15, 1883. His given residence was given as Allendale, while Gertruda’s was Beaverdam. They had two children:

  • Ferdinant—born February 12, 1883; and,
  • Gertrude—born January 10, 1888.

According to tax records, Lucas bought property in Allendale sometime around 1882–83. He bought 20 acres in the southeast corner of Section 26 from a man named Ebenezer Pixley. A few years later, he bought another 20 acres in Section 35.

Plat map showing property owners' names

Lucas Veldink died February 23, 1918 at the age of 63. For many years, Gertruda lived in a small house directly behind her son Fred’s house. Gertruda died on June 16, 1949 at the age of 94.

(This article originally appeared in Allendale Township: 150 Years, published by the Allendale Historical Society in 1998.)

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