Christian Den Herder Page 365-366 - Christian Den Herder. The state of Michigan has gained much through the influence and loyalty of its very appreciable element of citizens claiming the fine old Netherlands as the place of their nativity or ancestral representation. Western Michigan became a fertile pioneer field for colonization on the part of Holland Dutch settlers, and the history of the early days gives high recognition to the sterling characters and fine productive activities of these pioneers, who founded and developed numerous towns and communities, including the fine city of Zeeland, Ottawa county and whose descendants have well upheld the honors of the various family names. Of this fine pioneer ancestry Christian Den Herder, now a prosperous exponent of the retail grocery trade in Grand Rapids, is a worthy representative. His grandparents in the paternal line were Christian and Cornelia Den Herder, both of whom were born in Holland and both of whom gained pioneer honors in Ottawa county, Michigan. Christian Den Herder was born and reared in the Netherlands and was a sturdy and ambitious man when, in 1847, he came with his family to the United States and numbered himself among the pioneer Dutch colonists in Ottawa county, Michigan, where he reclaimed and developed one of the fine farms of Zeeland township and where both he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives, both having been earnest members of the Reformed church. On the old homestead farm in Zeeland township, Ottawa county, Christian Den Herder was born in the year 1854, a son of Marinus and Frederika Johanna (Spricke) Den Herder, both of whom were born in the Netherland and both of whom were young folk at the time when the respective families established homes in Ottawa county, Michigan. Marinus Den Herder was long numbered among the prosperous farmers and influential citizens of Ottawa county, and there he and his wife continued to reside until their death, secure in the high regard of all who knew them and earnest exemplars of the faith of the Reformed church. Their eleven children, five sons and six daughters, attained to years of maturity. Christian Den Herder was reared to the invigorating discipline of the pioneer farm, and in the meanwhile he profited by the advantages of the district schools of the locality and period. After severing his active association with farm industry he was for seventeen years proprietor of a grocery store in the little village of Vriesland, Ottawa county, and in 1889 he established his residence in Grand Rapids. In 1905 Mr. Den Herder here opened a retail grocery store, on Division street, south, and he has since continued successfully in this line of enterprise, his well equipped establishment being now at 1759 Division street, south, and his substantial business having had as its basis fair and honorable dealings and effective service. The active management of the business is now vested in his younger son, Charles W., but he, himself, is not able to emancipate himself from the habits of years, and thus finds satisfaction in still making his daily appearance at the store and giving to the same a general supervision, this indulgence permitting him to meet many old friends and customers whom he deeply appreciates. Mr. Den Herder is a staunch Republican in his political proclivities, and while still a resident of Ottawa county he served in various township offices, as well as a school official, besides having been for a number of years the postmaster at Vriesland. He and his wife are zealous members of the Reformed church. Nearly forty-nine years ago was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Den Herder to Miss Alice Dalman, who likewise was born and reared in Ottawa county and who is a daughter of the late Ralph Dalman. Mr. and Mrs. Den Herder have four children: Marinus is successfully engaged in the practice of law, as a representative member of the Grand Rapids bar; Johanna and Frances are the two daughters, and Charles W., as previously noted, has active charge of his father’s grocery business, in which he has a partnership interest.