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Josse A. VRYDAGH is the senior member of
the firm of Vrydagh & Sons, architects and superintendents, with office at No.
925 South Seventh street, Terre Haute. He is a native of
Louvain, Belgium, born May 16, 1833, and is a son of Peter and Mary
(Heller) Vrydagh. Peter Vrydagh was a soldier under Napoleon, and participated
in the battle of Leipsic. Ha was a wholesale grocer and manufacturer of spices.
He died in 1854 when sixty-one years of age; his wife, in 1848, at the age of
fifty-six. Josse A., who is the youngest in a family of ten children, at the age
of fourteen entered the Louvain School of Arts, attending Share nearly seven
years. In 1854 be joined the Phalansterian Colony,
composed of about 250 persons from France, Belgium Switzerland and the United
States which emigrated to Dallas, Tex. During the
time he resided at Dallas he was engaged in contracting, and also in
architectural work, and built the St. Nicholas hotel, the finest structure in
the city. In 1858 the colony broke up, and Mr. Vrydagh traveled through the
South, making a study of the slave question. In 1859 he returned to Europe,
visiting some of the principal cities of France, Belgium and England. In 1862 he
visited the World's Fair at London, and in 1863 he returned to the United States
and went to Decatur, Ill., where he sojourned about six months, then removed to
Cincinnati, where he remained until 1866. He then came to Terre Haute and
established an office. In 1870 he was elected a fellow of the American Institute
of Architects. In 1874, with fifty other architects, he submitted competitive
drawings for the Centennial buildings at Philadelphia, for which he was awarded
one of the ten premiums. In 1877 he received $1,000 award from the United Slates
Government for submitting the best plans for rebuilding the burned patent-office
building. In 1881 and 1882 he was in the office of the supervising architect of
the treasury department at Washington City. Mr. Vrydagh has been constantly
engaged in architectural work since he was fourteen years old.
Since be located in Terre Haute, among many others, the following are buildings erected after his plans, specifications and under his supervision: The Indiana State Normal, the Terre Haute Opera House, the entire wholesale grocery and spice mills of Mr. Herman Hulman, the Catholic Orphan Home, St Joseph's Catholic Church, St. Patrick's Church, the Deming Block, the Beach Block, the Terre Haute House, and numerous stores, warehouses, roundhouses, car-houses and many fine residences, besides a large number in other towns and cities, such as the DePauw University, Greencastle; the court-houses at Sullivan, Bedford and Mount Vernon, Ind., and a large number of public and privates buildings at Evansville. Mr. Vrydagh was married at his native home in Belgium, in 1852, to Miss Victoria Notez, and they have had five children, viz.: Martin U., who married Clara Stuckwish (they reside in Kansas City); Mary E., resident of the same place; Jupiter G. resident of St. Louis, and Robert T. end Allison L., who reside at Terre Haute. Three of the sons are architects. Mr Vrydagh in politics is independent. He is properly regarded as a of the prominent and valuable citizens of Terre Haute, a master of his line of art, gifted with that taste and culture that will leave its permanent impress the architecture and styles in this and many other localities for many years to come.
Source : Bradsby, H. C. : History of Vigo County, Indiana : with biographical selections; Chicago: S.B. Nelson & Co., 1891, 1016 pgs.