Dow Henry Drukker represented the seventh congressional district in New Jersey in the United States House of Representatives from April 17, 1914 to March 3, 1919. I suspect that he probably was the first native born Dutchman to be a representative in the United States Congress. About 175 years later, his fellow native born Dutchman, Pieter Hoekstra, would be elected to the United States Congress as a representative from western Michigan.
Dow Henry Drukker immigrated with his parents to Grand Rapids, Michigan shortly after he was born in Sneek, Friesland a province of the Netherlands. His birth name was probably Douwe Drukker, a common Friesian name, and his name was changed to Dow Henry Drukker after he came over to the United States.
Drukker attended both elementary and high school in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There is no knowledge on whether he attended college following high school. In 1897, when he was 25 years old, he moved from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Passaic, New Jersey, another community with a large Dutch American population. There he apparently became a successful businessman and banker. In 1906, he became a member of the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and served in that capacity until 1913. He also served as the director of the Chosen Freeholders Board from 1908 until 1912.
With his experience on the Board of Chosen Freeholders, Drukker had gotten a taste for politics, and when the local United States Congressman, Robert Gunn Bremmer, passed away in 1914, Drukker was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives to fill the vacancy created by Bremmer’s death. As was noted above Drukker would serve in that capacity until 1919. He was not a candidate for re-election during the United States general election in 1918.
During his congressional stint, in 1916, Drukker also became the publisher of the local news paper, the “Herald-News of Passaic- Clifton”. He would remain the publisher until 1963, the year of his death. Also, prior to his congressional service, in 1909, he had become the president of the Union Building and Investment Company.
Drukker never lost his close connection with the country of his birth. In 1953, a catastrophic flood hit the Netherlands, causing a huge death toll, and inundating and destroying much of the southwestern province of Zeeland. Drukker rose to the occasion and was instrumental in raising financial and other support for the suffering of the people in his native country. In recognition for the services he provided, the Dutch queen, Queen Juliana, knighted Drukker as an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau, one of the highest Dutch honorary recognitions for services provided to the nation.
During much of his life Dow Henry Drukker lived in Clifton, New Jersey, and as he grew older he split his time between Clifton, New Jersey and Lake Wales, Florida. There is no information on the marital status, if any, for Drukker. He passed away in Lake Wales, Florida in 1963. He was buried in Cedar Lawn Cemetery in Paterson, New Jersey.
Most of the information contained in this biographical profile was found on the web site for the Congressional bio guide and on the Wikipedia web site
E-BOOKS AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON; GOOGLE: Kindle Store Pegels
PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS, CURRENT AND HISTORIC
EIGHT PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE ROOSEVELTS, VANDERBILTS AND OTHERS, 2015
FIFTEEN PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE VAN BURENS, KOCH BROTHERS, VOORHEES AND OTHERS, 2015
PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS IN U.S. GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP POSITIONS, 2015
DUTCH PEGELS INVOLVED IN WARS
ALLIED EUROPE CAMPAIGN—1944/1945: TACTICAL MISTAKES, 2017
THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN THE NETHERLANDS: MEMOIRS, 2017
FRENCH REVOLUTION, NAPOLEON AND RUSSIAN WAR OF 1812, 2015