Daane, Peter

Peter Daane was one of the Dutch emigrants who settled in Wisconsin and managed to establish a thriving business there. He fought for the Union during the Civil war. He is considered as the founder of Oostburg, WI. To this day, his descendants live in that area.


Pieter Daane was born 26 March 1835 in Westkapelle in Zeeland. He was the eldest of nine children. His parents were named Pieter Daane and Pieternella van der Driest. His father earned a living maintaining the dikes of Zeeland, to prevent the sea from re-claiming the land. His mother was working as a maid at the time of her marriage.


In 1846, grandmother Appolonia Willeboordse, the mother of Pieternella van der Driest emigrated to the United States. She took John Daane, her grandson, with her. She settled in the Cedar Grove area in Wisconsin. That winter, Johnny, a bright lad of just eight years old died. His remains were taken to Sheboygan Falls and buried.

A year later, the rest of the Daane family followed. The Daane family sailed from Vlissengen to New York on a two-mast brig, called the "Fame," which made a remarkably quick trip, requiring only twenty-six days. For some five years the family resided at Pultneyville, N. Y., where the father worked at common labor and the children received their educations. Pieters name was changed to the American Peter, which is pronounced almost the same.

In the spring of 1847 the family continued their westward course to Milwaukee on the propeller "Indian Chief." Coming on to Holland Township, the father purchased eighty acres of heavily timbered land from the Government, paying $1,25 per acre. The country was new and unimproved; Indian trails were about the only roads in existence, and everything was waiting to be developed by the skill and intelligence of the white man. Like many other pioneers, the Daane family built a cabin, cut away the trees, and thus established a home for themselves.


On 28 September 1854, Pieter Daane was married to Miss Susanna Eernisse. She was a daughter of Peter J. and Susanna (Cliquenoy) Eernisse. She was born in Cadzand, Zeeland, on 31 July 1833, being the youngest of thirteen children, nine sons and four daughters.

Scan of certificate

Peter and Susanna had the following children:

  1. Susana, born September 22, 1855, became the wife of William De Munck, a farmer of Holland Township, the marriage ceremony being performed by the bride’s father, December 8, 1875;
  2. Pieternella, born June 13, 1857, was married July 7, 1880, to Rev. G. Hundling, a Presbyterian minister of Breda, Iowa;
  3. Peter J., born March 1, 1860, married, May 14, 1884, Johanna Huibregtse, and became a merchant in Oostburg;
  4. Aplonia, born January 8, 1862, wedded John A. Zuurmond, a farmer of Wilson Township, on the 10th of June, 1884;
  5. Jacobus P., born November 24, 1864, wedded Maria Theune, April 28, 1887, and became a miller;
  6. Elizabeth, born June 26, 1869, became the wife of John Theune, a merchant of Oostburg, June 20, 1887;
  7. Matthew, born November 15, 1871; started a hardware store in 1900 that it still in the family;
  8. Adrianna, born February 2, 1873;
  9. Adrian G., born August 10, 1877.

The family was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Oostburg.

Portraits of Susan and Peter Daane

Civil War

Of the Daane family three served the Union cause in the Rebellion, the father and his two sons, Adrian and Peter. The father enlisted November 17, 1863, in the Thirteenth Wisconsin Battery, Heavy Artillery, under Capt. Richard R. Griffith, of Milwaukee, and served until honorably discharged, October 22, 1864. The sons both enlisted in Company F, Twenty-seventh Wisconsin Regiment, August 21, 1862, and served their country valiantly until discharged, August 29, 1865. Peter Daane was enlisted as a private, mustered in as a Sergeant, and the last year of his service held the position of First Lieutenant of the company to which he belonged, having been promoted July 26, 1864.

Four of Susanna’s brothers served in Company F. Twenty-seventh Wisconsin Volunteers, during the late war, while her brother Isaac served as a soldier in the Fatherland.


After the war was over and his country no longer needed his service, Mr. Daane returned to the town of Holland, and engaged in more peaceful callings. In April, 1867, he built a store located on Sauk Trail Road. For six years he carried on merchandising in that place with marked success. In 1873, the Lake Shore railroad was completed to Milwaukee. Peter Daane promised the railroad company to build a free depot near his store, provided that they would move the station to the crossing one and a half miles further north. This took place and was the real start of the village of Oostburg.

In 1868 he was appointed Postmaster of Oostburg, which position he filled without interruption until 1893. Mr. Daane erected the mill in Oostburg in 1879, and also purchased the elevator. The elevator, which was built in 1879, is a substantial one, 28 x 60 feet. In 1878, Mr. Daane also purchased a lumber yard.

Mr. Daane is looked upon as a leader not only in business, but also in political circles. His fellow citizens, appreciating his ability and integrity, have called upon him to fill a number of important official positions. He was Town Assessor in 1855, Treasurer in 1860, Chairman of the Town Board of Supervisors in 1862, and again held the last named office from 1866 to 1874. He was also Justice of the Peace from 1869, and in 1873 was elected to the Assembly. In 1910, he was president of the Oostburg State Bank.

Naturalization papers

At the age of 78, Peter Daane petitioned to become a US citizen on 16 September 1913. His wavery signature on the petition is perhaps a sign of his already declining health, because he died less than a year afterwards. On June 7, 1914, Peter Daane died in Oostburg, the town he had helped found.



About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, MLitt, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist, writer, and lecturer in the Netherlands. She has a Master of Letters in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee, and holds the Certification of Genealogist and Qualified Genealogist credentials. Yvette served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists and won excellence awards for her articles in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. Yvette has been doing genealogy for over 30 years. She helps people from across the world find their ancestors from the Netherlands and its former colonies, including New Netherland. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Andrew Daane says

    interesting on my family tree

  2. My grandfather was Peter Corneius Daane, born December 7, 1898. He died in the fall of 1999- had he lived another few months he would have been 101 years old and nearly alive in 3 different centuries! He lived on his own until his death and continued working as a Presbyterian minister until nearly 100 years old. I thought this information was his family, but I don’t see him listed as one of the children of Peter and Susanna. I know his sisters were Susanna and Adrianna and his brother was named Matthew. He did grow up in Oostburg, was related to the Oostburg bank (we still hold shares there), and was connected to the Daane Hardware store too. Do you have any information about him? Thanks in advance. Sheryl Daane Chesnut (father Thomas Arthur Daane born 1929)

    • Hi Sheryl,
      I believe your grandfather was a son of Matthew Daane born 1871, the son of Peter Daane, the subject of this article. If you’re interested, I can refer you to a genealogist in Wisconsin who can research the exact relationship.

      • Thanks so much for your reply! I did get his name wrong- it was Cornelius Peter (not Peter Cornelius). I would love the referral. We are very proud of our Dutch heritage.

        • Yes, that is the name I saw among Mathew’s children. I will email you the contact information for the Wisconsin genealogist.

          I was at Daane’s hardware store myself when I visited Sheboygan county in 1997. I remember being amazed at the wide range of goods offered and being shocked at finding ammunition in a regular hardware store. Most people in the Netherlands don’t hunt, except for some of our royal family.

          • CecilL. Reed says

            I surely did enjoy this history on the Peter Daane family. I had an uncle Harry Vanderbilt who died in 2009 and is buried in the Oostburg Cemetery. He married my mother’s sister Helen Davis of Dexter, Maine who went to Chicago to attend Moody Bible Institute as to how she met Harry.

            Cecil Reed
            Dexter, Maine

  3. Very interesting article, thank you for posting. I enjoy researching my family history. I have Dutch ancestors who settled first in Milwaukee, than in Appleton, Wisconsin. I was wondering if there is a website you can direct me in how to research the name of the propeller boat my ancestors traveled on through the Great Lakes in order to get to Wisconsin? In April 1847 my Dutch ancestors arrived in New York and immediately embarked to Wisconsin, the next document putting them in Wisconsin in November, the patriarch ancestor signed a document in Milwaukee forever renouncing his fidelity to king William the second.
    Thank you.

  4. Susan (Klein) Scrivner says

    Thank you for this information. My 3 times great grandfather was Peter Daane. (His daughter Susana – her daughter Susan, her daughter Harriet, her daughter Patricia and then me. My name is Susan named after my great grandmothers.

    • How interesting that your family kept the Dutch tradition of naming children after family members. If you have any old photographs or letters about Peter Daane, I would love to hear from you.

    • Hi Susan, I am the son of Ben and Nelvie (Nyenhuis) Herr. I think you have already met my parents, but if not, my grandma was a sister to your grandma Harriet. You might be interested in a painting that I have…it is the Peter Daane family tree. It must have been painted just before your grandma was born. The branch has Florence and Mildred, but a blank branch after that, perhaps our great grandmother was pregnant at the time? Send me your email address if you want me to send a picture of it to you.
      Tim Herr

  5. Rien Daane says

    Dear all,

    A nice and interesting story on the Hon. Peter Daane.
    On the same ship that brought them to NY, his parents and some of his siblings travelled to the promissed land. Some more were born in America.
    I found his youngest sister Pieternella was born in Sheboygan on 3 August 1855.
    She married Adriaan Leinse who according to his grave stone at Cedar Grove was born 19 March 1839 at Westkapelle, Zeeland, The Netherlands. In the Dutch register however I cannot find an Adriaan Leinse born on that date. There is one Adriaan Leinse born 5 February 1839 at Westkapelle, would it be possible these are one and the same person, maybe his birthdate was registered wrong on entry at NY?
    Does anyone have any information on him? Perhaps his parent’s names?

    Would love to hear, best regards.
    Rien Daane

  6. Charissa Sawyer says

    I just stumbled upon your website and this story. My ancestor is Izaak Eernisse b. 1759 in Oostburg, Zeeland. I descend from his daughter, Maria who married Johannes Huisheere. Their son, Pieter, came to Wisconsin and settled in Holland Township, WI in the 1840s. I have many Dutch ancestors and try to keep their traditions alive here in Wisconsin. Fascinating information you have shared. Thank you!

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