Holland City News, August 23, 1923
Veteran Lighthouse Keeper Dies Saturday
Melgert Van Regenmorter
Melgert Van Regenmorter, aged 85 years, died Saturday night at his home on the Allegan County Road near Macatawa where he has lived for a number of years. Van Regenmorter had been ill for several years, and he had been in critical condition for some time, so that the report of his death was no surprise to the many friends of this veteran soldier and lighthouse keeper.
Mr. Van Regenmorter was born in the Netherlands, and came to America with the very first settlers who came to Michigan with Dr. Van Raalte in 1847 to make their home on the shores of Black Lake. When the Civil War broke out, Van Regenmorter was one of the first to enlist as a member of Company I, 25th Michigan Infantry, and he served with honor and distinction throughout the war. "His war record was such," said one of his old comrades in arms Saturday, "that it would have been a credit to anybody." He took his full share of the fighting whenever there was any fighting to be done, and as a member of the regiment that served in the Western Army, he passed through all the arduous campaigns of that army.
Soon after being mustered out of the service, the lighthouse was established by the government at the mouth of the harbor at Macatawa, and Mr. Van Regenmorter was appointed as the first lighthouse keeper. This post he held for 37 years after he retired from the service. As lighthouse keeper, he showed the same qualities that he had displayed as a soldier, and his superiors were always liberal with their praise and credit marks whenever they inspected his lighthouse. He retired sixteen years ago and has since then lived a quiet life near Macatawa.
He was a member of the A. C. Van Raalte Post, G. A. R., having belonged to that organization ever since it was founded.
Mr. Van Regenmorter is survived by six children: Peter, John; who is a member of the Coast Guard; Helen, a nurse; Leonard, postmaster of Macatawa; Arthur; at home, and George. The funeral was held Monday afternoon at 2:30 standard time at the home. Interment will be in Pilgrim Home Cemetery.
Transcriber: Joan Van Spronsen
Created: 27 January 2007