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Francis M. "Frank" Van Velzer 1852-1924


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 9/1/2010 at 21:41:33

Frank Van Velzer

It was with deep regret and great surprise that the people of Estherville on Tuesday morning of the death of Mr. Frank M. Van Velzer. Mr. Van Velzer had been on duty as custodian of the court house all day Monday and had seemed in his usual health. In fact, his death was caused by heart failure and he passed away while sleeping. Early Tuesday [July 8, 1924] morning Mrs. Van Velzer arose and prepared his breakfast and noticed nothing wrong with her husband. When breakfast was ready the daughter, Miss Myrtle, who is at home, went to call her father but found him dead.

Mr. Van Velzer has made this city his home almost continuously since 1879 and was one of the familiar figures of Estherville. He was born in La Porte, Ind., on Jan. 20, 1852 and was therefore past seventy-two years of age at the time of his death. He was married at La Porte on Dec. 24, 1873 to Miss Celia A. Sizer. He and his good wife celebrated their golden wedding anniversary this last December. Moving to Estherville in 1870, the deceased worked for the Milwaukee railroad as a brakeman until 1883 then took employment with the B.C.R. & N. as soon as it was built into this city. For four years from 1885 until 1889 he worked for the Omaha road at St. James, Minn. After his return here he ran as a conductor on the Rock Island until ill health compelled him to retire some twenty years ago. After that he took up the painterís trade and for the past few years had charge of the court house building and has been one of the justices of peace for the city.

Mr. Van Velzer had hosts of friends who will mourn his passing. Besides his wife he leaves three children, Mrs. Amy May Sampson and Miss Myrtle Van Velzer of this city and Mrs. Addie Galbraith of Balaton, Minn., one brother and three sisters who live in California.

Funeral services will be held from the home on Thursday, in charge of Rev. Voorhies of the Presbyterian church and Rev. Olmstead of the Church of Christ. Interment will be made in Oak Hill cemetery. (Vindicator and Republican, Estherville, IA, July 9, 1924)

Frank M. Van Velzer died suddenly at his home in this city on Tuesday morning or sometime Monday night. Mr. Van Velzer was about the streets and was on duty at his position in the court house on Monday. Sometime during the afternoon on Monday we visited with him on the street about his favorite past time fishing. He had been at the lakes and had a poor catch. This was not a frequent thing with him not to get a string of fish. He told us he was going up again and try for one of the big ones they were catching.

It seems his wife arose in the morning and says she looked at him and he was apparently all right then. She got breakfast and sent the daughter in to call him to the morning meal. He made no response and it was then discovered that he had passed away.

Mr. Van Velzer was born in LaPorte, Ind., January 20, 1852, and he came to this city in 1879. He was united in marriage to Celia Sizer on December 24, 1873 and to this union there were three children born: Mrs. Walter Sampson of this city; Miss Myrtle Van Velzer and Mrs. Addie Galbraith. He has one brother and three sisters living.

For years Mr. Van Velzer was a railway man. He was in the early day a brakeman on the old B.C.R. & N. Ry. and later was a conductor on the Rock Island. He left the service on account of poor health when he became afflicted with rheumatism. He has for some years had charge of the court house and he has for many years been constable and for the past year has been a Justice of the Peace in this city. The attorneys all like to take their trials in Judge Van Velzerís court, as they termed it.

The funeral services will be on Friday and the Rev. Voohries will officiate. All arrangements for the services have not been made at this time. (Estherville Enterprise, Estherville, IA, July 9, 1924)


Emmet Obituaries maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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