The Holland Evening Sentinel from Holland, Michigan on March 8, 1972 · Page 17
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The Holland Evening Sentinel from Holland, Michigan · Page 17

Holland, Michigan
Issue Date:
Wednesday, March 8, 1972
Page 17
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PAGE SIX THE HOLLAND, MICHIGAN, EVENING SENTINEL WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, I f f FAMILIAR FIGURE -- Before his death in 1950, James A. Brouwer and his electric car were a familiar sight in Holland with the elderly gentleman moving at a sedate pace in, his electric conveyance. At one time he bought a conventional gasoline-powered car and piled into a tree or utility pole on the way home from the garage. He called the garage immediately and recovered his electric car. This car currently is in a museum in the East. Century-Old Business Recalls Colorful History While the city of Holland is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, the James A. Brouwer Co. is marking its centennial and currently is celebrating with a two-week centennial sale. In 1936, James A. Brouwer compiled a historical record of his family business which is available at Herrick Public Library. This dignified, courtly gentleman was a familiar figure in Holland, driving in an electric automobile. In the record, Brouwer recalled that his father, William Brouwer, who was born in Arnhem, the Netherlands, was a merchant tailor there selling broadcloth, velvet and satin used in making men's suits. He had seven men working for him and had a fine business. But when he left the Reformed Church (the state church) business fell off and he lost most of his customers. It was then he decided to go to America, and he set sail in September, 1846, arriving in New Orleans six weeks later. He started a tailor shop in New Orleans using some fabrics he had brought from the Netherlands to make custom suits on credits. It was customary in Arnhem that all credit sales were settled at the beginning of each year. But this was not the custom in New Orleans; people took advantage of his trust and his business failed. Hearing that the Rev. Van Raalte had started a Holland colony in Michigan, the Brouwer family started for Holland in 1848, arriving in St. Joseph, then going to Singapore near Saugatuck (a flourishing place with a sawmill, bank, post office, store, saloons and a few homes). Arrival in Holland was a year after the Van Raalte group settled. In March of 1853, William Brouwer bought a lot from Rev. Van Raalte on the corner of Eighth St. and College Ave., site of the present Vogelzang Hardware store. Half of the 88-foot lot was sold later for funds to rebuild the Brouwer home which had been destroyed by fire. The Brouwers built a Sirloin Village LUNCHEON SPECIAL Thursday, March 9 Served 11 A.M. to 2 P.M. Grilled HICKORY SMOKED HAM with Raisin Sauce Choice of Mashed Potatoes or Hot Vegetable, Tossed Salad with Choice of Dressing, Hot Roll and Butter $ 1.29 CALL CONNIE FOR CATERING AND BANQUETS-IN OR OUT PHONE 396-5333 RESTAURANT 833 f. WASHINGTON HOLLAND - 396-5333 small home, dug a well and planted apple trees. James A. Brouwer recalled that his father started a barber shop in 1860 in connection with his tailoring work. He first used a regular chair but later purchased a barber chair. Shaves were five cents and haircuts ran 10 to 15 cents. Later a practice called "Kpp- pen Zetting" was started which is cupping blood. This blood letting was done by opening a blood vessel in the arm and drawing out the blood by means of a cupping glass. Such work was done on orders of a doctor to remove "impure or surplus" blood. Besides being a tailor and a barber, William Brouwer also took care of the lamps in the church and tolled the bell three times a day, at 7 a .m., 12 noon and 6 p.m. This bell represented the official time for the city. To determine the correct time, he placed two needles in the south window of the living room of his home about three inches apart, placed according to a magnet north and south. On sunny days he could watch when at 12 noon the shade of the south needle would meet the one placed three inches to the north, giving him perfect time (Sun time). Wrenever there was a fire in town, he would ring the church bell until the fire was under control. He also tolled the bell for funerals. He would strike one bell every 30 seconds for a half hour from the time the procession started for the cemetery. In 1867, several stores burned down and the Brouwer home on Eighth St. and Central'Ave. also was consumed by flames. Most of the family heirlooms were destroyed as the fire spread quickly. Insurance was against the religious convictions of most of the settlers, so loss was complete. Four years later in October, 1871, the whole city was almost entirely destroyed by fire including the new Brouwer home. "We lost the entire contents with the exception of our clothes which we wrapped in sheets and carried to a hill in the eastern part of the city where there were no homes to burn," Brouwer recalled. "Burning shingles and pieces of wood filled the air and they threatened some wagons filled with household goods as they left the city." A Mr. Meyer, a carpenter, and Mr. Dykhuis, a miller, wanted to start a 'furniture business and asked James A. Brouwer to work for them since he previously had had furniture experience with a Mr. Sakkers. Dykhuis, who was not in good health, then asked James A. Bruwer, at that time 18 years old, to buy his interest and the latter made a down payment of $75, with the balance put on a note bearing 10 per cent interest per annum. The name of the store was H. Meyer Co. as Brouwer did not care to have his name appear. "We also made coffins and finished them ourselves, selling them like furniture," he recalled in 1936. "In time we were to deliver them and place the corpse in them. Later it became the custom to attend the funeral as undertaker. It was usually my business to lay out the body, embalm and place it in the coffin, and later in the casket." He added that Mr. Meyer acted in the majority of cases as undertaker at funerals. "I did not like this job very well se we finally decided to sell oul this part of our business. It had grown to such proportions that we had the greater share of the trade in the city. Prices rangec from $10 to $20 for a casket That share of the business was sold to Koos Nibbelink and later became known as Nibbelink and Notier." In January, 1890, Mr. Meyer thought it advisable to dissolve the partnership, giving Brouwer the option of retaining the furniture, carpets and wallpaper and Meyer and his son would take over the musical end oJ the business. This was accomplished and it was the beginning of the Meyer Music House. The name of the furniture business was changed to the Jas. A. Brouwer Co. James A. Brouwer died in 1950 and his son, William J. Brouwer, who had succeedec him as head of the furniture company, died in 1965. Uenneth Zuverink, son-in-law of William J. Brouwer, is president of the company today with Kenneth Stain as vice president. William Brouwer, the patriarch died when James A. was 1! years old. Rusk Prayer Day Service was to be held Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Rusk. The Ladies Aid and Mens So ciety will meet this week as scheduled. Rebecca Marie, infant daugh ter of Mr. and Mrs. Larry S m i t h was baptized Sunday morning. Mr. and Mrs. James Smith and family of Borculo Mr. and Mrs. Gerrit Ter Hors' of Holland, Mr. and Mrs. Denni Whatever your destination, step forward in this dainty little t-strap You don't need a crysta! ball to see it's the kind of shoe that makes good things happen. Available in: butternut yellow sued*. Azure Blue sued*. One of the Cuscino® collection by Life Strlda Matching Handbag $12.95 EARLY STORE -- This frame building with 40 feet frontage but only 20 feet deep was the first home of the Jas. A. Brouwer Furniture Co. which is marking its centennial this year. In 1893 Brouwer purchased the narrow brick building to the left and erected the three-story brick building at River and Ninth which is in use today. He moved the stock MHHH^HHMMHi^HV^^MIiVHMHViM^^^^Miiii ' * ' · to a building which today is the Park Theatre and supervised construction himself, paying 25 to 30 cents an hour for bricklayers and 15 to 20 cents for carpenters. He was back in business in 60 days. The late E.P. Stephen was store employe in those days. Ter Horst of Manistee and Miss Alynn Sterken of Zeeland all attended the services to witness the baptism. Next Sunday the Lord's Supper will be celebrated. Family visitation will begin this week. Tax Facts Income not spent by a child does not have to be counted toward his support by his taxpayer parents, according to the Internal Revenue Service. However, if the child spends part of his 1971 savings this year on support items, that amount counts toward support for 1972. Graphic Art Display ALLENDALE -- An exhibition and sale of original graphic art by contemporary and old master artists will be presented by the Ferdinand Roten Galleries of Baltimore at Grand Valley State College's Manitou Hall Art Gallery on Thursday, Morch 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The public is invited. Cub Pack 3020 Holds Banquet Cub Scout Pack 3020 held its annual Blue and Gold Banquet at Faith Reformed Church in Zeeland. The Rev. John Hains opened with prayer. Year pins were handed out to scouts and leaders. Bill Ozinga, Doug Boersen, Dewayne Fritz and Ken Kragt received Wolf badges; Dan Tenckinck, gold and silver arrow; Scott Schuiteraa, Wolf badge, gold and silver arrow; Brian Vander Slik, Wolf badge, gold arrow; Ric Arendsen, Wolf badge, gold and sflver arrow; Doug De Jonge, Wolf badge, gold and five silver arrows. Soap carving contest winners were Vic Van't Hof, first place; Tim Zerman, second, and Kent Merryman, third. Entertainment included a puppet show by Den 6 under the leadership of Shirley Arendsen, and slides on previous outings of Troop 21 and Pack 3020. Den 4 with its leader, Kathy Kloet, closed by reciting "Scout Gives All." Forest Grove Mrs Anna Beld had surgery at Zeeland Hospital on Saturday. Special services with Evangelist Cal Hays and singer Ray Robles will be held on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 7:15 p.m. at the Reformed Church. The evening service on Mar. 5 was in charge of the seventh and eighth grade Junior C.E. members. They also furnished special music. Sponsors of this group are Mr. and Mrs. Richard Nyenhuis. Guest minister at the Christian Reformed church was the Rev. Richard Rienstra, Mar. 5 next Sunday the Rev. John Breuker will take charge of the service. Special music was given by Mrs. Willard Smit and Mrs. Larry Vander Markt. A Congregational meeting is scheduled for Mar. 14 at 8:30 p.m. One of the items which will be considered will be a name for the newly organized church. Regular meeting of the Cal- vinettes and Cadets was held March 6. On Wednesday, March 15, the ladies Circle will meet. Sacrament of Holy Baptism was administered to Robert Joseph and Brenda Joyce, children of Mrs. Betty Curtis and to James William De Vree son of Mr and Mrs. Rudolf De Vree. Flint Man Selected On Cancer Advisory Board WASHINGTON (UPI). --Donald E. Johnson of Flint was appointed by President Nixon Tuesday to a four-year term on the National Cancer Advisory Board. Johnson, president of Advertisers Press and publisher of the Coldwater Daily Reporter, was one of 18 persons named to the board, created last year to advise the director of the National Cancer Institute on new programs to fight the deadly disease. Exists in One Place By United Press International The Cyprindodon diabolis, an inch-long fish better known as the pupfish exists only in a 40- foot long pool of 92 degree water 50 feet below ground level at Devil's Hole in Ash Meadow, Nev. 192 W. 35th Street Just East Off Washington (Across from Muzzy's) Sharon Van Langevelde 5 Yrs. Experience Wednesday - Saturday I Margie Rycenga 12 Ye«r» Experience Wed. 9-5, Thurs. Eve. 5-9 Linda Hoffmann 12 Year* Experience Thurs.-Pri. Evenings 5-9 Sat. 8-12 (TRY US. . . You'll Like Us!) Phon* 396-2721 iWSPAPERl I H W S P A P F R I

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