IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

Rev. R. L. Van Nice


Rev. R. L. Van Nice, since 1889 pastor of the Presbyterian church at Waukon was born at Crawfordsville, Indiana, October 15,1850, a son of Isaac and Elizabeth Van Nice and the youngest of a family of twelve children. When two years of age the parents moved to Henry county, Illinois, and settled on a farm one-half mile west of Cambridge, the county seat. Mr. Van Nice received his high school training there and later took private instruction under Rev. Mr. Thompson, of Kewanee. He afterward taught a country school and in 1870 moved with his parents to Missouri, settling in Barton county. After a year there Mr. Van Nice entered college at Fulton and also received instruction in theology under Rev. N., L. Rice. His health failed at this time and he was a semi-invalid for some years thereafter. Returning to Illinois, he taught school at Morristown and afterward pursued his studies in private, preparing for his life work. In the fall of 1875 he was licensed to preach and in the spring of 1876 was sent to take charge of a church at Nevada, Vernon county, Missouri. Finding a large field in the vicinity of that city without a preacher, Mr. Van Nice preached at various places and organized four congregations before he left the locality. In the summer of 1881 he was called to the presidency of Ozark College, Greenfield, Missouri, and in the fall of that year became pastor of the Greenfield church. Mr. Van Nice’s health becoming impaired, he resigned from the college, continuing his work as pastor of the church until 1888. In that year he became pastor evangelist of the Ozark presbytery, retaining this office for fourteen months and then resigning to accept a call from the board of missions to be pastor evangelist of the work in the Iowa synod. Soon after taking charge of the state work Mr. Van Nice moved to Chariton and in October, 1889, came to Waukon, with the intention at that time of remaining only four weeks, in order to assist the Waukon congregation in securing a pastor. Failing to secure a man whom the church approved, he was presented with a call and in November, 1889, accepted this and was made pastor of the church. He has since remained in charge of this congregation and has done excellent work among its people, his religious zeal combining with executive ability as factors in his success.

Mr. Van Nice has been twice married. He wedded first on the 16th of January, 1879, Miss Dora L. Fain, who died in 1883, leaving one son, Charles E. who is manager of a lumberyard at Roberts, Illinois. On the 10th of February, 1885, Mr. Van Nice was again married, his second wife being Miss Ida Turrentine, a daughter of John Turrentine, president of Marionville College. They have two sons: Roy B., an artist on the Chicago Tribune; and J. Horace. Mr. Van Nice is well known in Waukon, where he has been connected with religious interests for almost a quarter of a century. He holds the love of his people in large measure, as he does the esteem and confidence of the people of all denominations.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed and submitted by Diana Diedrich

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