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Venema, William (1893-1967) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Venema, William (1893-1967)

Historical Note:

William Venema (3 Sep 1893, Lucaswolde, Groningen, Netherlands - Mar 1967, Elmhurst, Illinois, USA) was born "Willem Veenema" to Jannes Veenema and his wife Grietje Dijk. Widowed, Grietje immigrated with her children to Chicago in 1913 and the surname was changed to Venema.  William began working various jobs including painting until he became a teamster, as a number of other Dutch immigrants in Chicago did. During World War I he served in the U.S. Army rising to the rank of sergeant. On 23 April 1919 he married Rose Tholen.

By 1930 Venema managed Citizens Disposal Systems, a waste hauling firm in the Chicago area.  During that decade he invented and patented several bulk-loading systems for waste hauling vehicles and began his own firm-Citizens Disposal Systems that became Industrial Waste Hauling in 1961. During World War II he worked in the Buick Aviation Engine Plant, in Melrose Park, Illinois.

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