Early Residents of Monrovia
Birthdate: 12 May 1815
Occupation: Building contractor
The Venderink Improvement Company (construction) consisted of a father and son, Berend and Berend T. Venderink. They had been living in Cleveland, Ohio, and were apparently seduced into thinking that the San Gabriel Valley would provide their fortunes. Berend T. wasn't married, his mother was probably dead, and his sister were either married or gainfully employed, so it must have seem a good idea to take the chance of striking it rich in in Southern California.
The Wasp, a magazine from 1887 has a color illustration of buildings in the newly founded Monrovia, and the Venderink's office/home is featured in it, so they were here early in Monrovia's history. There is also a confusing listing in the California voter list for 1888. It lists Berend T. as a builder, 27 years of age, and a Benj. T., also a builder 27 years of age, living in Monrovia.
They lived in a building that served as an office as well as home on Lot 13, Block G., in the Town of Monrovia Subdivision. I have provided a picture of that building from The Wasp a magazine from 1887.
Unfortunately, things didn't work out well for them as the building boom of 1888 burst, and they left for Los Angeles There is a listing for them in the Los Angeles city directory for 1890 for Berend T. Venderink, but after that, there is no record of them until 1904 when Berend T. is listed the Cleveland directory.
There is an unsourced death date on Ancestry,.com of June 15, 1896 for Berend as well as an unsourced date of 1880 for his wife, Anna Rauch. Berend was born in Holland in 1815 and Anna in the western part of Germany in 1825. They met in Cleveland, Ohio, and married in 1851. They had six children, five of them girls.
The oldest, Hanna, was born in 1852 and may have died young as there are no other records for her. Harriet was born in 1854, married and died in 1921. Louisa was born in 1858, but I could find no records for her after 1880. Katherine, also known as Kittie, was born in 1861. She married, but I could find no death date for her. Eva, the youngest, was born in 1865 and had a long career in education, first as a teacher and then as a principal. She never married and died in 1937 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Berend T.'s was born in 1861 in Cleveland, Ohio. He had worked with his father in construction before getting the idea to go to Southern California. However, once he and his father returned to Cleveland, Berend T. went off on his own in the varnish business. The 1904 Cleveland directory lists him as the manager of the B.T. Venderink Company, the western distributor of Newark Varnish Works. He continues running his business for at least the next 21 years. In the 1920s, his sister Eva lives with him until he dies on May 8, 1936.
Though Berend T. Venderink failed to find his fortune in California, he did extremely well in Cleveland, living a full life and dying at age 73.