Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Hoecken, Christian

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HOECKEN, Christian, missionary, b. in Upper Brabant; d. on the Missouri river, 19 June, 1851. He became a member of the Jesuit order in Belgium, and was sent to labor among the Indians. In 1836 he assisted Father Van Quickenbarne in founding a mission among the Kickapoos. After the death of the former he remained a few months with this tribe, and then took charge of the Pottawatomie mission of St. Stanislaus on Osage river. Here he not only cared for the spiritual interests of his flock, but gave them lessons in agriculture. He next visited the Ottawas, converted their chief, and did much to banish intoxication from among the tribe, afterward preaching among the Sioux, Gros Ventres, Ricarees, Mandans, and Assiniboins, of whom he baptized about 400. In 1843 he founded the mission of St. Ignatius among the Kalispiels. He built a church thirty miles above the mouth of Clark river, and converted most of the tribe, at the same time teaching them to build log-houses and sow grain. From this station he visited the Zingomenes and four other tribes, and completed the conversion of the Shuyelpi Indians that had been begun by De Smet. He afterward went to St. Louis, and died of cholera while sailing up the Missouri on the way back to his mission. Father Hoecken was well acquainted with many of the Indian languages and with their peculiar customs.