In 1847 Francois Le Cocq (1805-1888), his wife, and five children immigrated with Rev. Hendrik Peter Scholte to Pella, Iowa. Le Cocq was leader on the ship, Pieter Floris. His son, Frank Le Cocq Sr. (1828-1907) played large leadership roles in the settlements of Pella and Orange City, Iowa. His son, Frank Le Cocq Jr. (1858-1930), born in Pella, was a pioneer to Orange City, Iowa, in 1872. He was a store owner, banker, real estate investor, and county recorder. By 1882, Frank Jr. helped establish a new Dutch colony in Douglas County, South Dakota, and was elected as County Commissioner for Douglas County (1882-1889) and to the South Dakota House of Representatives (1889). His son, Ralph LeCocq (1887-1984), was born in Harrison, South Dakota and moved to Lynden, Washington, where he was a lawyer and resident for 70 years. Papers track these four generations of the LeCocq family through their emigration from The Netherlands and migration westward through Dutch-American settlements in Iowa, South Dakota, and Washington. The collection includes original handwritten correspondence (in Dutch) from Frank; mortgage notes, letters (in Dutch) between brothers in South Dakota; and personal correspondence of Ralph. The collection also comprises photos, newspaper clippings, speeches, sermon notes, books, and ledgers.

A former Northwestern College archives assistant, Liesbeth ten Hoeve Almendarez, wrote an article about the LeCocq family. She used the materials in the collection to help trace their impact in communities in Iowa, South Dakota, and Washington. The article titled "Western Migrations and the LeCocq Family" was published in Origins magazine.


Browse the LeCocq Family Papers Collections:

Box 1: Papers

Box 3: Photographs