November 8, 2023 at 8:00 AM
If a street is named after a person, residents of that street often want to know who that person actually was. This is how the question came from the Jan Topweg in Nunspeet-West: who was Jan Top? In short: he was chief painter and inspector at the Veluvine paint factory and from 1919 to 1941 a member of the municipal council for the SDAP.
Jan Top came from Doornspijk, was born on October 2, 1875 and was a son of Beert Top and Jentje van den Brink. His parents were born and married in Oldebroek. Beert Top was ‘dyer’. Jan was the third of four children. He married Willemina van Putten on January 7, 1897 in Doornspijk, born in Doornspijk on August 10, 1866 as daughter of Martinus van Putten and Wijntje Windhouwer. Jan’s profession was a painter.
In the books of Nunspeet 1910, the address is Lindelaan 5. He lived there at the time with his wife, his father-in-law Martinus van Putten and four daughters. These were Jentje (1898-1973), Wijntje (1899-1985), Berendina Elizabeth (1901-1984) and Martina Alberta (1905-1973). Only Berendina was married to Andries Kappenberg. They lived in a house on Molenweg, which was demolished in 2003 for the construction of the road to the Seewende nursing home.
In Jan Plender’s beautiful book about ‘Nunspeet and the Veluvine’ you can find some information about Jan Top. He worked there from January 11, 1897 to October 2, 1935 as chief painter and inspector at the Paint Factory. Then he retired. His 25th anniversary at the factory in 1922 was reported in the newspaper.
Since 1919, Jan Top has been a member of the municipal council of the ‘old’ municipality of Ermelo. Universal suffrage had been introduced and lists of candidates were being worked on. Nine lists were submitted. By list connections there were three blocks. The Christian Historicalists and the Anti-Revolutionaries had the majority with 8 of the 13 seats, the SDAP and the Liberal List together two. And so Jan Top became a member of the municipal council with 60 votes. It is not known why he was a member of the SDAP (Social Democratic Workers’ Party). But he expressed the true socialist views of that time. Reading the council reports, Jan Top had an opinion on every subject. For example, he was consistently against subsidies for Queen’s Day celebrations.
Jan Top was always re-elected. He died quite suddenly on September 2, 1941. An In Memoriam in the newspaper called him a man who was driven by his social feeling and had unwavering faith in a world in which brotherly love and humanity would reign. Public housing, poor relief, education and employment conditions were topics he was passionate about. He often did not get his way in the council.
In the council meeting of August 4, 1953, a street was named after him. Jan Top, his wife, all daughters and son-in-law are buried at the Eperweg.