Residence: Little Chute
Origins: Zeeland (dorp)
Background: Arnold Verstegen was born in 1820 in the Dutch village Zeeland in the province North-Brabant.

Arnold and his brother Johannes are some of the first people from the province North-Brabant to have immigrated to Little Chute. In 1850 he and his first wife, Anna Maria Biemans, and their four kids left for the United States.

Arnold grew up being a farmer. Together with his brother he was very productive in Little Chute. They built a watermill along the Fox river, which they named it after their birthplace, the Zeeland Mills. In 1930 when the mill no longer belonged to the family Verstegen but by family Hietpas (another Dutch family) it burnt down and sadly was not rebuilt.

In Little Chute Arnold and Anna Maria had seven more kids. A few of their children passed away at a young age. Shortly after the birth of their youngest child his wife Anna Maria also passed away. Hence Arnold went back to the Netherlands to look for a new wife. He found a new wife and after the wedding ceremony they went back to Little Chute. Together they had twelve more kids. Arnold Verstegen passed away in 1900.

Arnold Verstegen is well known because of letters he wrote describing his new life in a new home country. These letters were written to the family members of his first wife. The original letters are now to be found in the St. Norbert Abbey, a monastery in De Pere. All existing letters have been translated to English.

There are many descendants of Arnold Verstegen in Little Chute one of them being Patricia Murphy.


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