A number of streets and squares were renamed to pay tribute to mayors and acquaintances of Heppen. I hope to expand this short list in the near future! If you still know a street, or have found a mistake, don’t hesitate and let me know via the contact form.
If there is a stamp under the street name, you can click on it to see some old postcards.
|Willem Hendrickx, the first mayor of Heppen, was born in Diest in 1807. His parents were egg merchants, but allowed their son to study for several years, before entering their shop. When the military camp moved from Diest to Beverlo (1835), Willem also moved his commerce. He met Therese Theys in Heppen and got married with her in 1839.|
The pastor gave Willem the advice to enter local politics. Since January 1846 he became town councilor in Beverlo and on Februari 23 he becamealderman. This made him the ideal man to become first mayor of Heppen.
Willem Hendrickx died in Heppen op August 28 1888. About his funeral on September 11 stories continued spreading for years. People wouldn’t quickly forget the ‘Zuipvaart van de oude Burgemeester’ (booze procession of the old mayor).
|The Heikapper (heath cutter) was a person who cut sod on the Lange Heuvelheide. These sods were used in the stable and as roof covering. The statue of the Heatch cutter is made of bluestone abd can be found at the roundabout of Heppen.|
|Joannes 'Jean' Lenaerts (° Heppen August 30, 1920 † Neuengamme August 27, 1944) was a miner.|
During the war, the miners had to endure hard: oppression by the Nazis, low wages, ...
At the end of 1943, Jean joined the partisans and, under the leadership of Albert Geerdens, Jean took part in various actions, in which locks, tracks and telephone lines were destroyed.
On August 16, 1944, he was arrested in inn Kuppens, Aschdonck in Heppen. He was taken to Breendonk and then to Neuengamme concentration camp, where he died on August 27, 1944.
|Leonard Geukens - A war hero from Heppen|
Leonard Geukens was born in Heppen on June 4, 1894 in a family with three children. He studied at the College of Beringen and then became a horse dealer. When war broke out, as a class 4 conscript, he was called up to serve the country from September.
After his training, he was assigned to the 1st Regiment Karabiniers, 3rd Battalion, 9th Company and was registered as trunk number 60,670. His regiment had to defend the line Ieper-Steenstraete, along the river Ieperlee and the leper-Yser canal. During his first 43 months at the front, he was unharmed. Until the fateful morning of September 28, 1918 ...
During an attack, he was seriously injured, which did not prevent him from continuing to throw grenades at the Germans, who stubbornly resisted.
Geukens was transferred to the military hospital "L'Ocean" in Vinkem. On the day of the Armistice, on November 11, 1918, Leonard Geukens was allowed to leave the hospital and went on restoration leave. He was demobilized on October 7, 1919. As a token of thanks, he was promoted to sergeant on June 7, 1919.
Leonard Geukens died in the Military Hospital of Leopoldsburg on August 16, 1931.
|Lambert Aerts (° Boorsem March 20, 1875 † Wijshagen October 12, 1937) was pastor in Heppen from 1915 until his death.|
If you want to know more about the pastor, read this article.
|Leo Jansen was born in Oostham in 1809. In 1834 he became priest and came to Heppen in 1838 as dean. A year later Heppen became because of his help an independent parish. He died in 1882 in his native town Oostham.|
|Father Lemmens was born in Luttich on December 17, 1923. Miner-family Lemmens came to live in Heppen a few years later. After his ordination in 1948, he studied Chinese and medicine. He specialised in tropical diseases and went to the island Sulawezi in 1948, where he died of a heart-attack in 1974. More info can be found in this article of his memorial.|
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