Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

One Township's Yesterdays Chapter XXIX  


Old World traditions and the glamour and quaintness of life as it was lived long, long ago in the early Dutch settlements in America lend an unique and romantic background to our story of the BOGARDUS family, certain members of which drifted westward with the "tide of empire" during the first half of the Nineteenth Century and settled where the BENEDICTs and various others of our township pioneers established homes, on the sunrise side of the lake called Maxinkuckee.

Whosoever is fond of the writings of Washington Irving and especially his "Tales of a Traveller" will recall the "Money-Diggers" and WOLFERT WEBBER with his golden dreams. And whosoever had their being in the period of the "Gay Nineties" and read the newspaper accounts of the famous ANNEKE JANS estate and the claim, then revived, of heirs seeking a vast fortune, will recall the part played by the Dutch Dominie, EVERARDUS BOGARDUS. Perhaps, however, few will recognize in those characters of an ancient day and in those flights of fact and fancy any association with the family that came to the village of Maxinkuckee. But such connection intimately exists.

It seems that the BOGARDUS family of our own story must have had, through inheritance, a very substantial claim, if any existed at all, to the JANS estate, news of which was headlined in the press during several generations. To the accompaniment of no small display of public interest, the case was revived from time to time. The stupendous value of the estate, which waxed so fat and mighty with the advance of the years, became a dream of untold wealth, dwarfing the most fantastic and fairy-like of all the proverbial king's ransoms, dwarfing even the golden dreams of WOLFERT WEBBER, though paralleling Webber's dreams come true. You may ask, who was WOLFERT WEBBER? The answer: He was the father of ANNEKE JANS, who took as her second husband the Dominie BOGARDUS. And from these distinguished Dutch folk of centuries ago descended, as directly as could be desired, the BOGARDUS folk of Maxinkuckee's shores.

There was once a worthy burgher, WOLFERT WEBBER by name, who "lived in the ancient city of the Manhattoes." Descended was he from old COBUS WEBBER of the Brille in Holland, "one of the original settlers, famous for introducing the cultivation of cabbages, and who came over to the province during the protector ship of Oloffe Van Kortlandt, otherwise caller the Dreamer." The family continued "in the same line of husbandry." Indeed, the "Webber dynasty continued in uninterrupted succession;" and "quietly and comfortably did this excellent family vegetate under the shade of a mighty buttonwood tree, which by little and little grew so great as entirely to overshadow their palace. The city gradually spread its suburbs round their domain."

At length, WOLFERT "swayed the sceptre of his fathers," and "to share the cares and sweets of sovereignty, he had taken unto himself a helpmate, one of that excellent kind called stirring women." And "thus reigned and vegetated WOLFERT WEBBER over his paternal acres peacefully and contentedly." The old Dutch tale goes on. Now enters Captain Kidd, the pirate, and his crew, and buried treasure. WOLFERT dreams golden dreams of discovering immense treasure in the center [center] of his garden. He steals from his bed at night, digs and devastates his garden, with its phalanx of cabbages, whose ranks are soon slaughtered by the relentless treasure seeker. He digs and digs, night after night, and when he awakes at last from his dream of wealth, the year has declined and he realizes he has raised no crop to provide for the leap, and severe winter that follows. Then those who have followed the tale will recall that there is more pirate gold. Mud Sam, the Black Fisherman, enters into the plot, and finally, though WOLFERT grows poorer and poorer, finds no buried treasure of the pirates, and takes to his bed to die, he rouses and comes to life again when another sort of fortune falls into his lap. We are told how "a great bustling street passed through the very centre [center] of the Webber garden, just where WOLFERT had dreamed of finding a treasure. His golden dream was accomplished; he did indeed find an unlooked-for source of wealth." Building lots were laid out. Instead of a paltry crop of cabbages, he reaped an abundant crop of rent. And "it was a goodly sight to see his tenants knocking at the door, from morning till night, each with a little round bellied bag of money, a golden produce of the soil."

Now, the family records of the BOGARDUS and SPANGLER descendants in Union Township relate that "ANNEKKE WEBBER was a granddaughter of William, Prince of Orange, Founder of the Dutch Republic. Her father was WOLPERT (WOLFERT) WEBBER. Annekke married, in Holland, a scientific farmer named ROELLEFF JENS. They came to America from Holland about 1620. The Dutch Colonial Company sent Jens to America to manage their grant of land near Albany, New York. When his contract expired, Jens moved to New Amsterdam (now New York City). In or about 1630 he received from the Holland United West Indies Company, a citation for certain lands (about 62 acres) on Manhattan Island. JENS died in 1637. The widow Annekke in 1638 married the Dominie BOGARDUS, a Dutch preacher. The said BOGARDUS purchased the property adjoining that now left by the former husband, Jens. Mrs. BOGARDUS' nephew, ARNOT WEBBER, had purchased the property adjoining those above named, and leaving a will in which he devised the same to his aunt, ANNEKKE JENS BOGARDUS, which Properties taken together constitute 192 acres."

In his autobiography, ABRAM W. BOGARDUS, the pioneer who came to Union Township and settled at Maxinkuckee, certified: "My father's name was HENRY HUDSON BOGARDUS. My mother's name (her maiden name) was HANNAH BRUNDAGE. My father had four brothers [and,] three sisters their names were:
    Catherine married JOHN SWARTZ

My grandfather's name was FREDRICK BOGARDUS. He married RACHEL WICKS, a daughter of Patty Wicks. My grandfather lived near Fishkill and near Stonykill, New York. He was a grandson of one of the four boys named in the will of ANNEKKE JENS BOGARDUS, the widow of EVERARDUS BOGARDUS," who was the Dominie of the Second Established Church in New Netherlands (or the second pastor, it, has elsewhere been stated, of the church in New Amsterdam). EVERARDUS BOGARDUS died December 27, 1647. ANNEKE JANS died in Albany, New York, in 1663.

History tells us that ANNEKE JANS, the Dutch colonist in America, came from Holland to New Netherlands in 1630 with ROELOFF JANSEN, her husband, who secured in 1636 a grant of 62 acres of land, reaching from the Hudson to the present Broadway and from a point near Desbrosses Street to Warren Street, in New York City.

In 1654, Anneke, upon the death of her second husband, EVERARDUS BOGARDUS, obtained in her name a patent-right to the tract. In 1671 the land was sold by the heirs to the English Governor LOVELACE. Three of the heirs, however, did not sign the document. Subsequently the property was confiscated by the English government and deeded to Trinity Church corporation (1705). From 1749 the possession of the property was subject to numerous suits by the heirs, based chiefly on the omitted signatures, and all decided for the defendants.

A translation of the will of ANNEKE JANS BOGARDUS is in the possession of the family in Union Township. Much of the property bequeathed by the will, it is asserted, was held wrongfully by Trinity Church. The will was drawn up January 29, 1663, and states that Anneke was the widow of ROELLEFF JENS of Masterland (Holland), and now (1663) the widow of the Reverend EVERARDUS BOGARDUS, residing in the village of. Beverwyck (Albany). She "nominated and instituted as her sole and universal heirs" her children, etc., and made the "express condition and restriction, that her four first born children shall divide between them out of their father's property the sum of one thousand guilders, to be paid to them out of the proceeds of a certain farm, situated on Manhattan Island, bounded on the North River," and so on. The will was made at Beverwyck in New Netherland.

The family records state that WOLPERT WEBBER had two children:
    a son whose name at present is unknown

And the heirs of ANNEKKE JENS BOGARDUS "are now entitled to their share of the vast fortune now held in the Bank of Holland." Early in 1895 a suit was commenced by the Governor (or government) of Holland to confiscate this money, claiming that the time for distribution was long since passed and that the heirs were no longer entitled to it. The bank contested the case and won the suit, the courts deciding that the heirs still had the right to the property. This decision was rendered in July, 1895.

There were two hundred years of suits seeking the fortune. Different heirs at different times and during every generation have formed companies which tried to prove their claims to the much disputed property, but without avail.

G. H. CRANDALL, of South Bend and Culver, tells us of another ANNEKE JANS connection. We have already traced in these pages the lineage of the Union Township BOGARDUS family back to that famous personage of early Dutch days in America.
    "When I was a boy in my father's home in Massachusetts I remember the occasional visits of two of his cousins, DAVID WEBBER and FRANK WEBBER, who claimed direct descent from WOLFERT WEBBER and who in the '80s were quite hopeful of some day having their claim to a share in the ANNEKE JANS estate recognized. The earnestness of these men and the legal activities then in progress were discussed at great length in my hearing on several occasions, and because my father's mother was a WEBBER, naturally he was to share in it. Because of this I have read with particular interest the very accurate relation of the BOGARDUS connection, of which I had not known before."

Leaving this phase of the family history, we shall turn our attention for a brief spell to the settlers who came to Union Township. It has been said that ABRAM W. and FRANCES BOGARDUS came to Maxinkuckee before the SPANGLERs did, perhaps in the 'fifties or even earlier. An early map indicated a hotel or tavern (the Allegheny House) on the south side of the road in Maxinkuckee. and A. W. BOGARDUS as the owner.

Abram Wicks BOGARDUS was born April 30, 1807, near Fishkill Landing, New York, and died April 13, 1888. His wife, Frances, was born October 5, 1807, and died September 6, 1871. Abram and Frances were married July 13, 1837. They had two children
    Marietta was born May 13, 1843 and died November 8, 1843
    Harriet Ann alone grew to maturity
      She was born in Springfield, Ohio, September 3, 1840, and lived there until six years of age. She came with her parents to New Palestine, Ohio, lived there till fifteen years of age, then accompanied her parents to Maxinkuckee. She lived at Maxinkuckee and Plymouth most of the time thereafter.

      In '65 she married PETER SPANGLER, moved to Plymouth, and lived there until the death of her mother, when she moved back to the old home to take care of her father. She united with the Christian Church at Maxinkuckee in '35 or '36. Her death occurred at Maxinkuckee, July 27, 1909.

The following is the record of the EDMOND BOGARDUS family: ABRAM WICKS BOGARDUS had one brother, Edmond. He died at La Fountain, Indiana, October 7, 1883, leaving two sons:
    ALFRED NEWELL BOGARDUS was a native of Minnesota, born April 21, 1857
      At the age of six years he came with his parents from that State to Indiana. The family home was established in Wabash County, and there the boy spent his youthful years, was educated and learned his trade, adopting that of builder and architect. In 1878 he was married in Argos to EVANGELINE CAILLET. At the first, with his bride, he made his home at Maxinkuckee moving from there to Argos in 1893, where they resided until 1899, when they came to Culver and built a residence overlooking the lake. This, today, is the homestead of the widow. ALFRED BOGARDUS died April 7, 1905, aged nearly forty-eight.

    The children of ALFRED and EVANGELINE BOGARDUS:
      Lulu A., who died January 25,1912;
      Irene, who resides with her mother near Culver Military Academy;
      Ralph E., of Gary, Indiana
      Garland W., deceased
      Clark, of Culver.