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James VanHorne (1837-1921)


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 9/23/2022 at 22:31:46

James VanHorne
(October 6, 1837 January 30, 1921)

James VanHorne was born in Monroe County, New York, in the town of Mendon, October 6, 1837, and is descended from ancestry long connected with the American colonies. The first authentic record which we have of the family is found in the history of New York, stating that Jaques VanHorne and Albert K. Burg formed the committee of the board of trade on resolutions to colonize the Netherlands and sent a report to the West India Company of Amsterdam, Holland. This document was dated June 26, 1634. The branch of the family to which our subject belongs can trace the line back to Cornelius VanHorne, who was known by the title of Captain. He settled in Monmouth County, New Jersey, and married an English lady, Catherine Cox, who died after one year, leaving a son Thomas.
He next married Elizabeth Lawrence and they had three children, namely: Mathias, Catherine and Elizabeth. He afterward married Anna Seabrook and they had six children. At a later date he removed with his family to Hunterdon County, New Jersey, where he died February 12, 1744, at the age of forty-nine years. The first son of Captain Cornelius VanHorne was Thomas, who was born in 1742, who became the father of eight children, his eldest son being instrumental in organizing a company for service in the Revolutionary war, in which he became lieutenant. The representatives of the family were at all
times prominent in the work of improvement and development in their respective localities. The parents of our subject were Mathias and Abigail (Wattles) VanHorne, both of whom were natives of New York. The father was a farmer by occupation and after residing for many years in the Empire state he removed to Oakland County, Michigan, where he resided for about five years. During that time the mother died in 1846, after which the father with his children returned to the Empire state, settling in Otsego County, where he remained until his death, which occurred in 1863. He had five children, of whom three are still living, the sisters of our subject being Mrs. Sarah Stevenson, a resident of Lincoln Township, Calhoun County, and Mrs. Anna Alaria Hopkins, a widow who is living in Michigan. One son of the family was killed in the Civil war.
During his early childhood James VanHorne accompanied his parents to Michigan and then returned with his father to New York. He pursued his education in the district schools but his opportunities in that direction were somewhat limited. He worked on the farm through the summer months and early became familiar with all the labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturists. At the age of twenty-one he left the Empire state for Illinois, locating in Knox County. There he was connected with farming for eight years and on the expiration of that period came to Calhoun County Iowa, in the year 1866. In the party with which he made the trip were Messrs. Starr, Brooks and Hakes. Mr. Van Home settled on the prairie, on the place where he now lives, securing a homestead claim of eighty acres. He assisted in the organization of Lincoln Township and has ever been prominent in the work of upbuilding and development in this portion of the county. In order to build a home he hauled lumber from Boone and paid for it the high price of fifty dollars per thousand feet. Several years after arriving in Calhoun County. Mr. VanHorne was united in marriage, in November, 1870, to Miss Mary Jack, who was born in Pennsylvania, April 17, 1853, the daughter of Leslie and Barbara (Negley) Jack, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. Her father was a blacksmith and farmer, and in 1853 came to Iowa settling in Scott county, but after a year he retraced his steps as far as Illinois and in that state purchased land and made his home there until the death of his wife in i860. In that year he again took up his abode in Scott County, Iowa, and in 1866 he came to Calhoun County, securing a homestead claim in Lincoln Township. Mrs. VanHorne's, father taught singing school in this locality. He was a charter member of the first Methodist church in the north part of Calhoun County. He died in 1881, at the residence of Mrs. W. S. Smith, of Rockwell City. Mrs. VanHorne was one of a family of seven children, only four of whom are living, namely : Alexander, who married Margaret Long and is living in Fort Worth, Texas; Mrs. William Condran. of Rockwell City; Mrs. Margaret Stonebroker, also a resident of Rockwell City; and Mrs. VanHorne.
The marriage of our subject and his wife has been blessed with six children. Clarence, the eldest, married Florence Seaver, by
whom he has three children, DeWitt, Pearl and Mary. He is a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, now preaching for a congregation of his denomination in Sanborn, Iowa. Ada is the wife of Jesse Smith, of Parker, Pennsylvania, and they have three children. Verna, Weldon and Jewell. Robert occupies the chair of mathematics at Morning Side College, in, Sioux City, Iowa. Sadie is a student of that institution. Don is at home with his parents. Zelleh died in infancy. Since coming to Calhoun County Mr. VanHorne has remained upon the farm which is now his home, on section 22, Lincoln Township. He has placed it under a high state of cultivation and the well tilled fields yield to him a golden harvest in return for his labor. In his farming methods he is practical and progressive, and the neat and thrifty appearance of his place indicates his careful supervision. In his political views he is a stalwart Republican and he holds membership in the Congregational church of Manson. His life has ever been honorable and upright, for he has lived in consistent harmony with Christian principles. Great changes have occurred in Calhoun County since his arrival, for he located here when this district was upon the wild frontier of
the west. Miles away stretched the unbroken prairie covered with its native grasses. Few were the settlements that had been made and the work of progress and improvement seemed scarcelv begun where now stands flourishing towns and villages. There were perhaps few, if any, houses but with the advent of the railroad has come all of the indications of an advanced civilization and Calhoun takes rank with the leading counties of this great state. Mr. VanHorne has ever borne his part in the work of improvement and well does he deserve mention among the honored pioneers. [Source Biographical Record of Calhoun County, Iowa, by S. J. Clarke, 1902, p.343]


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