Houten, Samuel van (1837-1930)

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Samuel van Houten, a Dutch statesman, derived from an ancient Mennonite family. He was the son of Derk Hindriks van Houten and Barbara Elisabeth (Samuels) Meihuizen, and a direct descendant of the well-known Samuel Peter and Barbara Frey, who in 1714 emigrated from Gontenschwyl near Lenzburg, Switzerland, and settled in Holland with several other families for the sake of their faith.

Samuel van Houten was born 17 February 1837 at Groningen and received his Doctor juris in 1859. He was at first a barrister, and became a very well-known Dutch political leader. In his native Groningen he was a member of the church and city council. From 1869 to 1894, he was a member of the second chamber of parliament, 1894-1897 Minister of the Interior, and 1904-1907 a member of the first chamber of parliament. He was a liberal statesman in the style of 1848. Inflexible and independent, he never tried to favor any person or party. He was the instigator of the social laws of the Netherlands. When he was in the cabinet he initiated the election law named after him (de kieswet-van Houten). In 1866-1873 he was a member of the Algemene Doopsgezinde Sociëteit. He died in The Hague, 14 October 1930.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff.  Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: II, 352 f.

Müller, Ernst. Geschichte der Bernischen Täufer. Frauenfeld: Huber, 1895. Reprinted Nieuwkoop : B. de Graaf, 1972: 322.

Author(s) Jan Yntema
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Yntema, Jan. "Houten, Samuel van (1837-1930)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 26 Apr 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Houten,_Samuel_van_(1837-1930)&oldid=118336.

APA style

Yntema, Jan. (1956). Houten, Samuel van (1837-1930). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 April 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Houten,_Samuel_van_(1837-1930)&oldid=118336.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 822. All rights reserved.

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