Harry Koch (businessman)

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Harry Koch
Hotze Koch

22 October 1867
Workum, Friesland, Netherlands
Died21 June 1942(1942-06-21) (aged 74)
Quanah, Texas, United States
Occupation(s)Printer, businessman
Known forFounder of Quanah Tribune-Chief newspaper;
Founder of Quanah, Acme and Pacific Railway
SpouseMargaret Mixson
ChildrenAnton Koch
Fred C. Koch

Hotze "Harry" Koch (/kɒx/ KOKH; 22 October 1867 – 21 June 1942) was a Dutch-born American businessman who founded the Quanah Tribune-Chief newspaper. He was the father of Fred C. Koch (1900–1967), founder of Koch Industries.

Early life and education[edit]

Koch was born in the Dutch Frisian town of Workum, Netherlands. He was the second child of the physician Johan Anthon Koch (1836–1910) and Gatske Hotzes Jorritsma (1837–1876).[1] Koch's paternal grandfather had been a shipowner from Sande in German East Frisia who had shipwrecked off the coast of Workum, where he eventually married the mayor's daughter. Koch's mother died during the birth of her eighth child, and his father remarried Petronella de Swart, the daughter of a banker. Harry Koch had five surviving siblings and another five half-siblings who all remained in the Netherlands. After working as a printer's apprentice in The Hague and (Germany), Koch emigrated to the United States in 1888. He first lived in Dutch enclaves in Chicago and Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he worked for Dutch-language newspapers.

Career and politics[edit]

Around 1890 he moved to Eastern Texas, where the humid climate drove him soon West to settle in the railroad town Quanah.[2] At the time, Quanah had three newspapers, the Quanah Eagle, the Quanah Chief and the Quanah Tribune.[3] He had saved enough to purchase the Quanah Tribune and then merged it with the Quanah Chief in 1897 forming the Quanah Tribune-Chief.[4] He was also a founding shareholder of the Quanah, Acme and Pacific Railway.[5] Koch used his newspaper to promote this railroad as well as his libertarian political ideas. During the depression, he fiercely opposed Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and wrote opinion pieces against trade unions, retirement pensions, and the regulation of banks.[2]

Personal life[edit]

In 1898, Koch married Margaret (Mattie) Mixson (born in 1874 in Quanah, TX; died 1941).[6] She was the daughter of Hester (née Blessingame) and John Baptist Mixson (1851–1927) of Quanah, Texas (he was the son of Simeon Mixson and Margaret Campbell).[6] They had two sons:[7]


  1. ^ "Family tree of Hotze Koch Harry". Geneanet.
  2. ^ a b Freke Vuijst, Aartsvijanden van Obama Archived 24 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Vrij Nederland, 2 March 2012 (in Dutch)
  3. ^ a b The New Netherland Institute: "Dutch American Entrepreneurs Chapter 10: "Successful Entrepreneurs" Archived 5 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 20 January 2013
  4. ^ a b Texas Press: "1918–19 Harry Koch Quanah Tribune Chief" Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine 17 December 2008
  5. ^ Levine, Yasha (7 November 2011). "Empire Building". The Texas Observer. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  6. ^ a b Mixson Family Genealogy. Retrieved 20 January 2013
  7. ^ The Exiled (reprinted from the Texas Observer): "The Birth of the Koch Clan: It All Started In a Little Texas Town Called Quanah" By Yasha Levine 7 November 2011

External links[edit]