Walter Noteboom, c. 1905, probably in Brooklyn, NY
This is the life of Walter Noteboom, a Dutch man who immigrated to the United States in 1870, and became quite successful as a saloon and hotel owner in Manhattan. Born in Winschoten, Netherlands in 1844, Walter made his way to the United States, eventually marrying three times and fathering eight children.
The Childhood of Walter Noteboom
Walter (born Wolter) Noteboom was born at six o’clock in the evening on November 12, 1844 in Winschoten, Groningen, Netherlands to Wolter Noteboom and Hendrina Harms de Weert.
Wolter Noteboom Birth Registration
From the register of his birth in Winschoten:
In the year one thousand eight hundred and forty-four, the thirteenth of the month of November for our undersigned Councillor official of the Civil State of the municipality Winschoten, District Winschoten, Groningen Province, appeared Wolter Noteboom, thirty-nine years old, of professional Dyer and [Squeezer] and Calenderer, residing Winschoten, which stated that on the twelfth of the month of November in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty-four, in the evening at six o’clock, within the municipality of Winschoten, a child is born of the male sex, to which the first name Wolter shall be given; of which child’s Mother is, Henderina Weerdt, and Father Wolter Noteboom said spouses.
And this declaration and statement done in the presence of William Guits Strootman, aged sixty years, occupation Hatter, residing in Winschoten, and Frederik Jan Hockzema, aged fifty-one years, a professional Book Seller, residing in Winschoten, as to do so elected witnesses selected by the party.
Of which this deed and immediately enrolled in the [twice] in the birth registry of this town, and this deed after them was read to witnesses appearing and signed by them beside us.1
Walter was ninth of eleven children. His father, Wolter, was a fabric manufacturer and dyer who apparently died young of indigo poisoning, on November 19, 1852, when Walter was only eight years old. Wolter, the elder, born in Emden, Germany on May 31, 1805, moved to Winschoten circa 1843 to ply his trade in the garment industry.2 His mother, Hendrina was born on February 11, 1807 in Emden, and also worked in the garment industry as a seamstress. She lived until November 28, 1884 when she died in Winschoten.3
Winschoten, Groningen, Netherlands
During his childhood, Winschoten was a small town, with a population numbering only about 4000-5000 people. By the time he immigrated to the United States, the town held 5500 people. Nicknamed the “Mill City”, Winschoten had thirteen mills at one time. The inhabitants are jokingly call Tellerlikkers (plate lickers) for the propensity to eat voraciously and then lick the plate clean.4
The patron saint of Winschoten is St. Vitus, who was persecuted and died a martyr in 303 A.D. under co-Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. He is considered one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, saints who come to the aid of the ill. Vitus is the patron saint of dancers, actors and entertainers, epileptics, dogs, oversleeping and storms, among others.5
Winschoten was home to the second largest community of Jews in the Netherlands. During the Second World War, however, it became a transit depot for the movement of European Jews to Germany’s concentration camps. Winschoten was liberated in 1945 by Belgian, Canadian and Polish troops. At the end of the war, only 20 of Winschoten’s Jews had survived.6
Several cultural landmarks have survived the ages and still stand in Winschoten today. The Dutch Reform Church, built on the Marktplein, dates from the 13th century. The Synagogue dates from 1854. Three of the thirteen mills still stand: Molen Berg, built in 1854; Dijkstra Molen, built in 1862; and Molen Edens, built in 1763. 7
Molen Berg was innovative for the times because the sailes were built with moveable blades (similar to mini-blinds). The Dijkstra Molen was sold in 1953 to the local government and restored in 1982-1983. Molen Edens is the oldest mill in the entire province of Groningen.
Many of the inhabitants speak English and German in addition to Dutch, while many older generations speak a local dialect called Gronings, which is influenced by the Hebrew and Yiddish of the Jewish residents.8
His Early Years in the United States
Walter emigrated from the Netherlands to the United States on June 28, 1870, arriving in Brooklyn, New York. When he first arrived, he was a sailor, like several of his brothers, but by the mid-1870s, he was working in the hotel and bar industry. He became a naturalized citizen on 20 October 18839 He married Beta Nüllmeyer on November 11, 1876. Beta was born in Bremen, Germany sometime in 1850. She died in 1878, possibly during childbirth. He next married Beta’s sister, Christiane Nüllmeyer on September 21, 1879 in Brooklyn. Christiane was born on June 27, 1852 in Bremen, Germany. She immigrated to the United States in 1877. By 1900 Christiane had given birth to eight children, of whom five had survived. He married his third, and final, wife Katherine A. Dulk (known as “Mama Kate”) on June 25, 1901 in Brooklyn. Kate was born in New York on February 9, 1862 and had a twin brother Michael.
How He Made a Living
When Walter first came to the United States, he worked briefly as a sailor, but eventually purchased a saloon. According to many documents, he started his career in the hotel and bar business as a porter in Manhattan. As early as May 1882, he was working as a porter, which continued until as late as 1889. By 1892, he had purchased his bar at 143 Park Row in Manhattan. He continued as a liquor dealer until 1901, when he expanded his business to include lodgings at 450 Pearl Street in New York.10
Walter had five children, who survived to adulthood:
Anna Henrietta “Annie” Noteboom
Walter’s oldest child, Anna Henrietta “Annie” Noteboom, was born on October 31, 1880 in Brooklyn, New York. By 1900 she had found work as a dressmaker. She married Francis Theodore Thomas, who her father had forbidden her to marry because he was an orphan with no prospects. They had three children: Gerald Francis Thomas, Mae D. Thomas and Frank Thomas. Gerald was born on March 10, 1902 in Manhattan. Mae was born in 1903 and Frank was born in 1908. Sometime before 1910, her husband had disappeared. He had gone to Rockaway Beach for a swim and was never heard from or seen again. Anna died in 1958 at the age of 78.11
Dorothea A. “Dora” Noteboom
Dorothea was born on September 5, 1882 in Brooklyn, New York. In 1910, she was working as a lace house clerk and by 1910 she was working as a typist at McMillan Publishing. She married Richard Krankenberg. She died on June 20, 1968 at the age of 85.12
Johanna Christina “Honey” Noteboom
Johanna was born on December 7, 1884 in Brooklyn, New York. By 1905, she was working as a wholesale drug clerk in Brooklyn. She married Harry Wistar Weymer on June 12, 1907 in Brooklyn. Together, they had four sons, two of whom died at tragically young ages. Harry Wistar Weymer Jr. was born on July 23, 1908 in Brooklyn. Walter Stanley Weymer as born on March 2, 1910 in Brooklyn and died at the age of 8 on October 20, 1918. John Spencer Weymer was born on August 24, 1911 and died at the age of 15 on March 12, 1927. Horace Jerome Weymer was born on July 26, 1923.13
Walter Noteboom, Jr.
Walter Jr. was born on November 5, 1885 in Brooklyn, New York. Beginning circa 1904, Walter began work as a photo engrave, electrotyper or printer. He married Dorothy Mann in June 1927, but they do not appear to have had any children. He eventually moved back to Brooklyn sometime before 1920. He died in 1955 and is buried in the Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn.14
Geraldine Meta “Dina” Noteboom
Geraldine was born on November 7, 1888 in Brooklyn, New York. By 1910, she worked as a clerk in a sporting goods store in Brooklyn, New York. On April 8, 1917, she married James Francis Clark. They had two children, a son named James Francis and a daughter named Helena Dorothea. James died on July 15, 1963 and Geraldine followed six years later on December 23, 1969.15
There were possibly three other children during these years, according to the 1900 Federal Census. Based on the spacing of the birthdates of the three surviving children, they either came before the birth of Anna, the eldest child, possibly in between Dorothea and Johanna, possibly in between Walter and Geraldine, or after Geraldine. Christiane was deceased shortly after the 1900 Census was enumerated, possibly during childbirth. Since that is 12 years after the birth of the youngest surviving child, the likelihood that there were children in between Geraldine’s birth and Christiane’s death that did not survive. No official record of these births has been located other than the reference in the 1900 Census.16
Walter passed away on 14 December 1913 in Brooklyn, New York. He was 69 years old at the time of his death. In his obituary, several fraternal and club memberships were listed, including
the Eastern Parkway Fishing Club, the Odd Fellows, Alleghany Lodge, Knights of Pythias and Tyrian Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons.17