More women who helped create the Netherlands

More women who helped create the Netherlands

This week we’ll be highlighting more female creators.

Leda Rogers and Ida Cohen Padnos

Lyda Rogers (1877-1963) was born in Adrian, Michigan. I graduated from Eastern Michigan University. In the 1920s, it joined Dutch public schools. In 1927, during a meeting of the Women’s Literary Club, she shared her vision for a “Tulip Day” every spring. That idea became Tulip Time.

Ida Cohen’s father, Aaron, immigrated from Poland to America in 1892. Ida, her mother, and her siblings—Esther, Abraham (Otto), Sadie (Sima), and Simon—joined Aaron in Chicago in 1889.

In 1910, Ida married Louis Badnos’ brother, Harry. Harry and Ida move to California to start a cosmetics business, but it goes bankrupt. Louis then convinced Harry, Ida, Otto and Simon to join him in the Netherlands. There, Harry opened a retail clothing and shoe store. But Harry went bankrupt again.

more: Steve Vanderveen: The women who helped shape the Netherlands

more: Steve Vanderveen: Follow the women who helped make Holland

Meanwhile, Ida and her siblings mixed cosmetics and sold them door-to-door. In 1913, they acquired a trademark and later secured a contract with Woolworths. In 1922, Otto and Simon founded the famous Lady Esther Company in Chicago.

Catherine Fuller Cooper and Hazel Hayes

Catherine Fuller (1897-1975) married John Cooper in 1917. In 1924, John hauled gravel and freight from Coopersville. In 1928, he hauled pulpwood from Trout Lake to Rexford for the Muskegon Paper Company, and the family lived in a tent.

In 1929, the Coopers moved to the Netherlands. They rented the old cannery building on Fifth Street and Central Avenue and started the Holland Motor Express Company. Catherine ran the Holland office, working on a rented typewriter. In the winter, she kept her feet warm by placing them in a straw box.

In 1953, Hazel Hayes (1896-1993) accepted a position as librarian at the Holland City Library, after earning a master’s degree in library science. In 1958, the Women’s Literary Club began collecting donations to establish a new library. When Hazel overheard two men in a restaurant talking about Ray Herrick, a wealthy industrialist who grew up in Holland, she secretly wrote him a letter.

That message was launched by the Herrick Public Library.

Evelyn de Bruyne

As a teenager, Evelyn De Bruyne (1916-2011) worked for her father, David De Bruyne, in the former LaHuis store in Zealand. In the 1930s, she ran the grocery/dry goods division of his company.

In 1971, after the death of her husband, Dick, Evelyn assumed the role of treasurer at Michigan Shore Nursery. Her friends then encouraged her to manage and then own The Dutchess Shopp. It soon had three stores, one in the Netherlands and two in Zealand.

Al Van Werens, Edna Van Raalte, and Joyce Wieringa Vos

In 1930, Anna helped her husband, John Van Weeren, start an ice business. In 1948, Anna’s sister-in-law, Harriet, and her husband, Andy Van Weeren, purchased the Sinclair gas station, taproom and bait shop at the southeast corner of Division Street and Ottawa Beach Road.

There, Harriet ran the dining room, which eventually became Van Wieren Appliances. In 1968, Harriet’s daughter-in-law, Geneva, joined the company, which today is owned and operated by Geneva’s daughter, Deb.

In 1939, Joyce Wieringa (1920-2008) married Ed Voss and became his “footman” at Ed’s Bike Shop, which evolved into a reliable cycle shop. An avid pool player, she also helped Ed open and manage the pool hall franchise on the second floor of the store.

Edna Van Raalte helped her husband Paul open and operate The Hub restaurant in 1950 and Van Raalte’s Fine Food Restaurant in 1956.

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Maria DeMartinez, Juanita Reyes, and Lupita Reyes

Maria DeMartinez and Juanita Reyes met in 1966 as field workers when they became sisters-in-law. In 1968, they got jobs at a General Electric plant. Then, in the early 1990s, they bought an ice cream shop at Lakewood Avenue and Waverly Road. Even though they know nothing about restaurants, they started and have maintained Taco Fiesta for over 30 years.

Lupita Reyes immigrated from Mexico to the Netherlands when she was a young girl. Although the principal of her first school described her as a poor learner and her high school counselor discouraged her from attending college, Lupita graduated from GVSU with a 4.0 GPA and took an administrative job at Holland Hospital.

In 1964, she co-founded the Latin American Society, a forerunner of the Community Action House and Latin America United for Progress. She also launched a radio show on WHTC. Later, she began a consulting program at the Catholic Human Development Organization, and in 1995, she co-founded the Dutch Community Health Center and ran the center for 10 years.

In 2005, she co-founded Lakeshore Community Outreach Center, and later LAR Counseling.

– Steve Vanderveen is based in the Netherlands. You can contact him at His book “Early Entrepreneurs in the Netherlands Region” is available on Reader’s World.

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