John W Van Zandt
Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/20/2009 at 01:04:36
John W Van Zandt, All states of the Union have sent representatives to Iowa and the subject of this review is one furnished to Boone county by Ohio. He was born in Highland county, that state, July 11, 1845. His father, Joshua Van Zandt was a native of Virginia, born in 1818. The grandfather of our subject removed from the Old Dominion to Ohio and became one of the early settlers of Highland county. There the father was reared ad married, the lady of his choice being Mary Ann Thayer. He was a carpenter by trade and followed that pursuit in early life. He remained in Ohio until after the birth of all of his children and in 1850 went with his family to Illinois, settling in Kendall county, where he purchased land and developed a farm, the work of improving the place, however being largely carried on by his sons, while the father conducted carpentering. There he reared his family and spent his remaining days, passing away in May 1899, while his wife died about 1891.
John W Van Zandt was a little lad of but five years when his parents removed to Kendall county and upon the old home farm there he was reared, pursuing his education in the public schools. He remained with this father until after arriving at years of maturity and was married in that county, in May 1876 to Addie Kennison, a native of Vermont and a daughter of Henry Kennison who was also born in the Green Mountain state. He died when Mrs Van Zandt was a little child of only five years, enlisting in 1864 as a member of Company H, One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was then a young man of nineteen years and joined the army for one hundred daysí service, but was out for about six months in Missouri guarding railroads and protecting government property. He participated in some skirmishes and was then honorably discharged at Springfield, Illinois in November 1864. In an early day he removed to Illinois, where he spent his remaining years, and Mrs Van Zandt was there reared. Shortly after the marriage of our subject and his wife the former rented her fatherís farm for a year. He continued the operation of the rented land for about ten years and in 1879 he came to Boone county, Iowa locating in Garden township, where he purchased 120 acres of raw land.
He then located upon the tract and placed the land under the plow, also divided it into fields of convenient size by well equipped fences. Later he erected a good residence and barn, planted trees and developed an excellent property which he continued to improve for ten years. On the expiration of that period he sold the land and purchased the farm upon which he now resides. This had slight improvements, but with characteristic energy he began its cultivation. His residence is a large substantial home and in the rear stand good barns and outbuildings, which in turn are surrounded by well kept fields. He has a good veering orchard ad is today the owner of a valuable property, upon which he raises some graded stock as well as the various grains adapted to this soil and climate.
Unto Mr and Mrs Van Zandt have been born five children, four of whom were born in Illinois: W H who is married is now filling the position of postal clerk on the Milwaukee Railroad, Nettie May is the wife of W B Story, a resident farmer of Polk county, Iowa. Ernest is married and living in Boone, Cora is the wife of Charles Valline of Boone employed o the Northwestern Railroad, and Joshua completes the family. Politically Mr Van Zandt has been a lifelong Republican and his first vote was cast for General u S Grant in 1868. He has voted for each candidate of the Republican party since that date and has taken an active interest in local politics. He was elected and served o the school board in Garden township, has also been school director and was assessor for two years. He was likewise clerk for several years and has been a member of the school board of Madrid. He served as assessor of Douglas township for several terms and has been a delegate to the county and state conventions his opinions carrying weight in the councils of his party. In public office he has been most loyal and true to his duty, regarding a public office as a public trust. His wife is a member of the Madrid Christian church and while he is not identified with the organization he has been a generous supporter of the cause and contributed toward the building of the Christina and Methodist Episcopal churches. He belongs to Madrid Post G A R served for one years as commander and with the exception of that year has been quartermaster. For the time when he established his home in this county down to the present he has been loyal to its material, social, intellectual and moral welfare and commands respect as a citizen of value.
1902 Boone County History Book
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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