Held by The Filson Historical Society
Creator: Verhoeff, Henry, 1862-1942
Title: Papers, 1883-1920
Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for this collection, contact the Curator of Special Collections.
Size of Collection: 0.33 cubic feet
Locator Number: Mss. A V514a
Scope and Content Note
The collection contains papers primarily written by or received by Henry Verhoeff. (The documents more often referred to him as Harry.) The collection includes correspondence sent to members of the Verhoeff family, a mortgage for property in Louisville, KY, fire and property insurance papers, a legal document dividing an estate between the Verhoeff siblings, a notepad written in by Harry Verhoeff with diary entries and drafts of letters, genealogy notes about the Keigwin family, a phrenology study of Harry Verhoeff, and the marriage certificate of Harry Verhoeff and Jennie Houlan. A subject of most of the correspondence and part of Harry Verhoeff’s notepad regards the mysterious disappearance of John Verhoeff during Robert Peary’s 1891-1892 Greenland Expedition.
Henry Verhoeff (often referred to as “Harry”) was born in Louisville, KY on November 1, 1862. He was the brother of Mattie Verhoeff Fortune and John McKee Verhoeff. Jennie Houlan (1860-1943) married Harry Verhoeff on October 30, 1891. He and his wife lived in San Francisco, California. He died on December 24, 1943 in San Francisco.
Mattie (Verhoeff) Fortune was born in Louisville, KY in August 1868. She was the sister of Henry (Harry) Verhoeff and John McKee Verhoeff. In 1900, Mattie married lawyer James W. Fortune. After her marriage, census records referred to her as Martha Fortune. The couple lived in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Her death date is unknown.
John McKee Verhoeff was born in Louisville, KY in 1866. He was the brother of Henry (Harry) Verhoeff and Mattie (Verhoeff) Fortune. He participated in Robert Peary’s 1891-1892 Greenland Expedition to discover if Greenland is connected to the North Pole. John Verhoeff never returned from the expedition and his disappearance remains a mystery. The most popular theory is that John Verhoeff fell through a glacier’s crevasse when he went out exploring by himself in 1892.
Folder 1: Correspondence to Verhoeff family members, 1885-1920
Folder 2: Land and legal papers, 1883-1904
Folder 3: Journal, 1892-1899
Folder 4: Genealogy of Keigwin family, undated
Folder 5: Miscellaneous items, 1885-1891
Administration of estates
Cook, Frederick Albert, 1865-1940
Fire insurance – Kentucky – Louisville
Fortune, Mattie (Verhoeff)
French Lick (Ind.)
Hart, Gavin W.
Mortgages – Kentucky – Louisville
North Pole – Discovery and exploration
Notebooks – California – San Francisco
Peary, Robert E. (Robert Edwin), 1856-1920
Property insurance – Kentucky – Louisville
Verhoeff, Jennie (Houlan), 1860-1943
Verhoeff, John McKee, 1866-1892
West Baden Spring (Ind.)