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Luurt Holstein (1866-1929) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Luurt Holstein (1866-1929)

Historical Note:

Luurt was born in Leens, Province of Groningen, the Netherlands, October 18, 1866. As a young man, he was active in the Christian Young Men’s Society. At eighteen he was already writing devotional for the youth group. Articles under the pseudonym “L van L” appeared in the New Provincial Groningen Newspaper. One subject of abiding interest was Christian education.

When Luurt moved to America in 1888, he began working on a farm in the Chicago area. Later he was a salesman and a bookkeeper. He was always improving his ability to write and maintained a keen interest in worthwhile books. Towards the end of his life he spent twelve years in real estate.

When Second Englewood Christian Reformed Church was organized in 1903, Luurt Holstein became a charter member. He was active in the Sunday school and in the youth organization. Later he was leader of the Men’s Bible Class. Many of his meditations were written for the men’s group.

For eleven years Luurt served as editor of Onze Toekomst. Not only did he write editorials on current issues, but he often wrote on Dutch history and literature.

Interest in Dutch history and literature prompted him to serve as president of the Algemeen Nederlandsch Verbond; to promote the establishment of a chair for the teaching of Dutch language, art, and literature at the University of Chicago; function as a member and officer of the “Aangenaam Door Vriendschap en Nuttig Door Oefening” society and support through membership and literary contributions the program of the Knickerbocker Society of Chicago.

Before his death, Luurt was preparing a series of articles on Dutch proverbs for Onze Toekomst.

The editor of Onze Toekomst who succeeded Holstein wrote that “there was always a genuine discernable in our friend for the service of the Lord his God. The Lord Jesus Christ had found a place in his heart and life.”

Psalm 73:24 was considered a fitting text descriptive of the life of Luurt Holstein, who died August 30, 1929. He lived with the conviction that all of his life he was guided according to the counsel of the Lord. After the funeral service in Chicago at the Second Englewood Christian Reformed Church, his body was brought to Muskegon, Michigan, for internment.

After the death of his first wife and their two infant daughters, Luurt had married Jessie Veldman of Muskegon, in 1903. The two daughters of the second marriage, Louise and Marion, presented the Holstein collection to Heritage Hall in 1984.

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