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Henry (Hendrik) Hospers was born in Hoog Blokland, The Netherlands to Jan and Hendrika Hospers. In 1847 he immigrated to Pella, Iowa. There Hospers worked as a surveyor, teacher, notary, and a newspaper editor. He was also elected to multiple terms on the town council and then as mayor. In 1850 he married Cornelia Welle; after her death he married Hendrina Overkamp in 1864. In 1869 Hospers helped select Sioux County land for a new Dutch-American colony which was established in 1870. He moved to Orange City in 1871, where he owned a store, a land office, a bank, and a weekly newspaper, De Volksvriend; he also led the founding of Northwestern Classical Academy. He served one term as Mayor of Orange City (1885-1887), two terms as an Iowa State Representative (1888-1891), and one term as an Iowa State Senator (1896-1899).

The Henry Hospers Family Collection documents the life of Henry Hospers, his parents, his wife, his children, and other relatives. The collection comprises correspondence, speeches, photocopies of newspaper articles, and photographs. Also included are Psalm books, penmanship books, newspaper clippings, hand written notes of information, family trees, and other family objects.

For more on Henry Hospers, see Dr. Doug Anderson's article, "'We Are Now Americans': Henry Hospers, Sioux County, Iowa, and Dutch Settler Acculturation."

Photo of Henry Hospers.jpg (886 kB)
Photo of Henry Hospers, 1872.