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van den Broek, Theodore


Missionary and colonizer of the Middle West; b. Holland, 1783; d. Little Chute, Wisconsin, Nov. 5, 1851. After serving as a Dominican priest in Holland, he immigrated to St. Rose, Washington County, Kentucky (1832), and soon went to the Dominican House at Somerset, Ohio, to prepare for work as an Indian missionary. On July 4, 1834, he arrived at Green Bay, Wisconsin, and for nearly ten years ministered to whites as well as to Indians in this area. He was particularly successful among the Chippewa and Menominee tribes of the Fox River Valley, converting 600 during his first eight years among them. From him they learned agricultural skills as well as those that made possible erection of St. John Nepomucene Church at Little Chute. Van den Broek returned to Holland (1847) and successfully recruited Catholic settlers for the Green Bay, DePere, and nearby regions of Wisconsin.

Bibliography: c. verwyst, The Life and Labors of Rt. Rev. Frederic Baraga: First Bishop of Marquette, Mich. (Milwaukee 1900).

[t. o. hanley]

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