William Vanderberg 

*8 May 1843 - †23 Aug 1915
  • ???
  • ???


a) William Vandenberg (Albertus2, Balthazarus1) was born 08-May-1843 in Cuijk, North Brabant, Netherlands, and died 23-August-1915 in David City, Butler County, Nebraska. He married (1) Maria Johanna Eiting, daughter of Bernard Eiting and Petronella ?. He married (2) Katarina Petronella Bruecker 29-January-1891 in St. Francis Catholic Church, Hollandtown, Brown County, Wisconsin, daughter of Bernhard Bruecker and Gertrude Biese.
This is a translation of an article in a 1909 Catholic book from Holland. A copy of 2 pages was sent to David Schlickbernd from as Albert VanDenBerg of Heesch, Netherlands and translated in Kimberly, Wisconsin.
The information about the trip on the Libra seems to be a letter written on June 24, 1848 by someone named Albert and sent to Holland. It's not known where Attorney J. Smits of DePere fits in - maybe he found the material for the settlement story.

"Nine miles east of Little Chute is a blooming Holland colony. It would be nice if people from the motherland could see it. They would be surprised to see how good these Catholics did here. There are 2 grocers, 3 taverns, a blacksmith, Church and a priest house. About 3 or 4 miles out there are farms with buildings, so they are doing well.
60 years ago there was no trace of humans, the woods were so thick you couldn't see through it. When the Dutch came in 1848 with Father VandenBroek, it didn't take long for them to settle. The first colony was called Franciscus - Bosch and later changed to Holland. There was no mail as their people back home didn't know where they were. Father Theodore Knegtel of Little Chute gave them Holland newspapers.
Father Vandenbroek arranged for 5 ships to leave Holland 10 to 14 days apart. Father Gothard was the leader of the Libra with 13 families. There were 80 Holland people aboard with the Captain and the crew.
We started from Shertogenbosch by tug boat to Rotterdam. It was pulled by horses through the canal. Only persons with the required supplies and money could board ship. Everything was weighed and the Captain rationed food. The ship furnished water. We met two other boats. The Libra was the first to go and the first to land.
There was a terrible storm in the English Channel and we harbored on the Island of Wright for 3 days. There was a bigger storm on Easter Sunday. Just before the storm there were 50 ships in the area. When the storm started, there were none. They must have harbored also.
The captain closed all the shutters and doors, but there were no accidents. The rest of the trip was slow and uneventful and took 52 days.
We landed in Boston on Friday the 5th of May. The two other ships landed in New York. The next day we took a train - on boxcars - to Buffalo. Three families stayed in Boston. Some didn't want to go any further or couldn't because of finances or sickness. One woman died.
We took another train to Mackinaw and waited 3 days for a sailboat to Green Bay. One fellow stayed in Green Bay. The rest went by barge to Kaukauna. It took 2 days with 6 men paddling. We were in Little Chute the end of May.
We stayed there for 2 days to rest and plan for the future with Fr. Gothard, Verkuilen, Ebben, VerBoort and Driek VanderHey. VanderHey had a large family with 3 married children and came on an earlier boat. As far as Fr. Gothard knows, Driek was the first Dutchman in Little Chute. Holland was the first all Dutch community. Little Chute, Bay Settlement & Freedom had some Dutch people but not exclusively.
In June of 1848 everyone had homes in the same area, about 5 miles apart."

The person that wrote the following met a farmer (Albertus Vandenberg) in the Town of Holland who was from Cuyk, North Brabant and came on the first Libra voyage.

"Settlers bought land from the government for $1.00 an acre and paid for it on time. The tents were made of tree branches with twigs and bark for roofs. They decided they needed a road to meet the Military Road that ran from the forts in Green Bay to Calumet.
Their tools from Holland were too small for the large trees. They burned trees for 2 years to build the roads. Land was cleared for gardens and a church. You could only see the sun by climbing to the tops of the trees. There were a few horses but not for them. They bought a couple of oxen to haul trees to the road on the snow with sleds. They sold them for 25 cents a piece. Wagon wheels were made from tree trunks by the smarter farmers.
The trip from Holland to Green Bay for supplies took a week. Green Bay was the closest post office. Mail was slow, 52 days to Holland. 5 years later there was a post office in Wrightstown. It was a good thing they couldn't write to Holland, because if they knew of the hard times, they would have changed their minds about coming. But you could see the progress-tents to houses and more gardens.
For the first two years, breakfast, lunch, and dinner was peas. Liquid from the peas was used as coffee. After 3 years they had corn for bread and a store in Kaukauna to get supplies. A gun was a luxury and used only for animals. There was no money so they traded.
Father Gothard said the 1st Mass, 2 days after they arrived, on a tree stump using a white sheet. He named the first church St. Francis-Bosch. He left and they had no priest but continued to meet at Church for prayers and the rosary.
The Dutch can be proud of developing Brown County."

William Vandenberg burial: 26-August-1915, Catholic Cemetery, David City, Butler County, Nebraska. Occupation: pharmacist, prison guard at Nebr. State Pen.

b) Katarina Petronella Bruecker is mother of: Anna Gertrude Vanderberg (*1892) and Gertrude Anna Vanderberg (*1893)