Smissen, Hinrich I van der (1662-1737)
Hinrich I van der Smissen, known as “City Builder,” was born 21 January 1662, at Glückstadt, Holstein, where his father, Gysbert II, had a bakery and a business. In 1677 his father moved to Altona. In 1679 Hinrich I finished his apprenticeship as a baker and in 1684 he took over his father’s bakery in Altona. He started a transport business in addition to the bakery and purchased land including the present “Van der Smissen Allee,” where he built numerous houses. In a short time he became a prosperous and respected man. He became a member of the committee to rebuild Altona when it was destroyed by the Swedes in 1713, through which he earned the name “City Builder.” He was generous in the support of the city as well as the Altona Mennonite Church. He was one of the most successful businessman of the van der Smissen family.
Hinrich married Marie de Voss (24 November 1674 - 11 June 1732), daughter of Peter de Voss (1648-1688) and Elisabeth (Goverts) de Voss (1645-1681) on 14 May 1693. Hinrich and Marie had six children: Cathalina, Peter, Elisabeth, Gysbert (died young), Hinrich II, and Gysbert III. Hinrich II and Gysbert III inherited his business. Hinrich died on 1 June 1737.
Dollinger, Robert. Geschichte der Mennoniten in Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg und Lübeck. Neumünster, 1930.
Hoffmann, Paul Th. Neues Altona. Jena, 1929: 224 ff.
Maxwell, Russelle Lane. "De Voss Genealogy." http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~scrapbook/pennypacker/intro.html (accessed 2 September 2008).
Münte, Heinz. Das Altonaer Handlunghaus van der Smissen 1682-1824. Altona, 1932: 9 ff.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 550-551. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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