Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 535 - 536
John Orlebeke, residing on Section 1, in the town of Holland, and
for many years the popular landlord of the Oostburg House, now owned
by John Groots, is a native of Suidsande, Province of Zeeland,
Holland, born January 15, 1845. His parents, Jannes and Aaltje
(Teunisse) Orlebeke, were natives of the same village. The former
was born April 23, 1807, and the later April 7, 1812. In the spring
of 1853, Mr. Orlebeke, accompanied by his wife and family, emigrated
to America, sailing from Liverpool for Quebec, and from the last-
named city went to Rochester, N.Y., where they arrived July 1, 1853,
seventy-two days after leaving Suidsande. Here they remained two
years, then removed to Wisconsin, coming by way of Buffalo and the
Lakes, and locating in the town of Holland, Sheboygan County. From
Sheboygan they went to Holland Township with an ox-team, going to an
uncle's, G.H. Orlebeke, who had preceded them some three years. Here
they remained until a home could be made ready. A log house, 16 x 24
feet, was erected on section 6, where Mr. Orlebeke purchased two
acres of timber, which was cleared by the aid of his sons. Mr.
Orlebeke in early life learned the trade of shoemaker from his
father, who bore the Christian name of Peter, and to that occupation
devoted himself throughout the greater part of his life. To the
early settlers he is well known as the pioneer shoemaker of Oostburg.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Orlebeke twelve children were born, six sons and
six daughters, of whom six are living. Magdalene, who is the wife of
John Christiaansen, resides in Milwaukee; Peter is a peter of
Sheboygan Falls; Elizabeth married Peter Kusse, a farmer of Holland
Township; William is a merchant of Claire City, Minn.; John is the
next in order of birth; and Nellie is the wife of Henry Fiebrink, a
farmer of the town of Greenbush.
In 1868 the father of this family bought fifty acres of partially
improved land, for which he paid $1,900. While his boys cultivated
the farm, he pursued his trade. His death occurred September 19,
1876. His good wife passed away on the 12th of February, 1892, being
laid to rest by the side of her husband in the town of Holland.
Industrious and honest pioneers were they, and, being among those who
have helped, in a quiet way, to develop the county, they are
deserving of mention.
John Orlebeke, whose name heads this account, continued to live
under the parental roof until the death of this father, when he began
his career as a hotel-keeper and farmer, which he continued till
about 1885. After retiring from the hotel business, he purchased
sixty acres of land from J.H. Rowerdink, paying therefor $4,500.
Mr. Orlebeke was married on the 11th of July, 1872, to Miss Creene,
a daughter of John and Janna (Van Poorten) De Braal. Mrs. Orlebeke
was born November 4, 1848, in Ter Nuesen, Province of Zeeland. The
marriage of the young couple took place at the residence of K. Von
Denshuur, a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church. Mr. and Mrs.
Orlebeke have six children: John, born April 5, 1873, now a clerk for
H.D. Otten, of Sheboygan; Jennie, born May 26, 1874; Ella, born
December 19, 1878; Daniel, born December 11, 1880; Lena, born June
26, 1885; and Annie, born March 27, 1887. Politically, our subject
affiliates with the Republican party, though he has never been
inclined to seek for official distinctions. He and his wife are
members of the Presbyterian Church of Oostburg.
Copyright 1997 - 2009 by Debie Blindauer