Jan Van Droogenbroeck initially was a school teacher in Schaarbeek (1855-1870). From 1870 onwards he taught at the music school of Schaarbeek and Sint-Joost. In 1877 he was appointed office worker at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. He was a poetry and prose author who published using the pseudonym Jan Ferguut in the beginning. Gezelle originally dedicated the poem "Weldadig zonneweer" to Jan Van Droogenbroeck. In his poetry collection Rijmsnoer (Garland of Rhyme) he omitted the dedication. Van Droogenbroeck had received the five-yearly award for poetry in 1896 whereas Gezelle fell by the wayside. He collaborated on the magazine De Toekomst and Noord en Zuid and was chief editor of De Zweep (The Whip).