Henri Huklenbrok was the third born child of Joseph Hucklenbroich. Joseph was born in 1838 in Erklenz, Germany. The Hucklenbroich family appears to have been well to do, and judging by their stature, were finanically well to do. Joseph spent his childhood in Erklenz, raised by his father Heninrich. He married Adelgonde Indurfurth, also from Erklenz. Heinrich’s profession is unknown, but his status was that of clearly affluent man.

Heinrich Hucklenbroich (1825-1864)

Joseph Hucklenbroich in the late 1860s
In the early days of the Industrial revolution, Joseph decided to try his luck at forming at organisation which could meet the industrial requirements of Brussels. He left Germany and moved to Belgium.


Map of Erlenz vis a vis Brussels

Location of Rue Ransfort, Brussels
Molenbeek, based in just slightly north of city centre became an industrial commune as a result of the opening of the Canal of Charleroi. Factories and houses were built along the canal between Brussels and Molenbeek. The place became known as “Little Manchester” due to the amount of materials brought in by barge straight to source.Rue Ransfort was well placed to accept canal deliveries, further advancing the industrial revolution in Belgium. Joseph Hucklenbroich was in the right place at the right time.
In 1870, Joseph was one of six individuals to establish la Fabrique Belge de Matières premières pour la Chapellerie– a foundry which could provide all forms of metals and bunker (coal) required to help develop components and tools which eventually industrialised Brussels.

Scrap of card from a package indicating La Chappelerie’s address. The parcel was sent from Spain

Henri at 1 years old, with his elder siblings, Charles & Catherine.
Henri was born on the 29th of July 1871, as the third child,the first brother to his four year old brother, Charles, and 2 year sister Catherine (known as “Tita”). His other siblings were Edouard, Catherine-Marie, Louis, and Marie-Therese(Mia).
Joseph became very successful, and settled in Molenbeek bring up a family of 7 children with his wife. Naturally he wanted raise his children in the best possible conditions, so they were well educated, well travelled, and cultured.
The Huklenbrok family circa 1885