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Andrew County


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Alexander Van Buskirk. One of the most honored names in Holt County citizenship has been that of Van Buskirk. It has been known and has been associated with various honors in official and professional affairs and also in business, at Oregon, for more than sixty-three years. Alexander Van Buskirk is a son of a prominent pioneer citizen, and for nearly a quarter of a century has been successfully engaged in the practice of law at Oregon.
Alexander Van Buskirk was born in Andrew County, Missouri, November 17, 1849. His parents were Ellzey and Eliza Jane (Hart) Van Buskirk. His father was a native of Mansfield, Ohio, and his mother of Morrow County, Ohio, and they came to Northwest Missouri at an early day and were married in Andrew County, December 25, 1844. Other children in their family were: Priscilla, now deceased, who married Martin Whitmer (and their daughter Jennie married George S. Loucks); Lawrence, who died young; John, who died in 1885; Mary, who died in 1884; and Eliza Jane, who also died in youth.
Ellzey Van Buskirk was prominent both in Andrew County and in Holt County, and in the early days conducted a paper for a few years at Savannah, the county seat of the former county, and also conducted a paper at Weston, Platte County, Missouri. In March, 1852, he moved to Holt County and in 1853 was elected circuit court clerk on the democratic ticket, an office he continued to fill until 1865. At that time he took up the practice of law and was regarded as one of the ablest members of the bar until 1890. In that year he was stricken with paralysis and died August 15, 1895. His wife passed away in Oregon in 1906. The two-story brick building in which Alexander Van Buskirk now has his offices as a lawyer was erected by his father, and that was one of many ways by which he was closely identified with the growth and development of this community. He was a Union democrat in politics, a member of the Missouri State Convention in 1861, and a member of the State Committee of the democratic party many years ago. He served on the first board of directors of the Citizens Bank of Oregon.
Alexander Van Buskirk received his education in the Oregon public schools. Both Alexander and his father were Masons, and members of Lodge No. 189, A. F. & A. M. at Oregon. Mr. Van
Buskirk married Charlotte V. Cummins, who was born near Shelby, Ohio. They were married October 12, 1871, and are the parents of two daughters. Caroline, the first, is now the wife of George Lehmer of Oregon. Rebecca is the wife of Frank C. Allen, also a resident of Oregon. A son of Mr. and Mrs. Van Buskirk died in infancy. The grandchildren are: Lawrence V. Lehmer and Paul V. Allen, Ruth Allen and Charlotte Allen.
[Source: A history of northwest Missouri, Volume 3; Edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1915; Pg. 1630-1631; Transcribed and submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]

James M. Van Meter. A successful career has been that of James M. Van Meter of Rochester Township, Andrew County. Many things constitute success, and it is not alone in his material possessions, ample though they are, that the success of Mr. Van Meter is measured. When
just entering manhood he went away to the war, spent three years in fighting for the Union, and the close of the war came with an honorable record as a soldier but with the serious struggle of life before him.
He came out to Northwest Missouri about this time, and in face of obstacles which few young men of the present century would willingly face began making a home. His grandparents were Jacob and Susan (Moore) Van Meter, the former a Virginian, and the latter from Pennsylvania, the daughter of a man of Irish birth. The grandparents spent their lives in Ohio farming.
Noble Van Meter was born in Pike County, Ohio, September 17, 1818, while his wife was born in Cumberland County, Virginia, May 4, 1818, and at the age of fifteen was brought by her parents to Ohio, where she grew up and was married. She died in 1899, and Noble Van Meter passed away in 1901, after a long career as a farmer. In the early days he had his share of strenuous toil, lived and made a home in a district covered with hardwood timber, of size and quality that would now yield a considerable wealth, though at that time the forests were considered an encumbrance, and Mr. Van Meter as other early settlers spent many years in the heavy task of clearing off the trees from their land. Noble Van Meter had an exceedingly meager education, but was a man of industry, honest and straightforward, and did well by his home and his community. He served in the State Militia but save as a voter participated little in politics or public affairs. James M. Van Meter was the oldest of eight children, the others being mentioned as follows: Catherine Ann, the widow of Warren Miller, lives in Oklahoma; Martha Jane, deceased wife of Thomas Remmel; John, deceased; Eliza, deceased wife of Thomas Greenwalt; Susan, now deceased, who married Robert Irons; Charles, deceased; America, deceased wife of Thomas Greenwalt.
Judge Van Meter grew up in Pike County, Ohio, lived with his parents and received the advantages of the local schools, and at the age of nineteen volunteered his services to help put down the rebellion. He enlisted August 6, 1862, at Bainbridge in Ross County, Ohio, in Company H of the Eighty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Senator Foraker was a sergeant in the regiment, and Mr. Van Meter and this distinguished Ohio statesman have many times stood picket duty together. He continued in the war until its close and was mustered out at Columbus, April 14, 1865.
He had many narrow escapes, and can relate many interesting incidents of the war, particularly in the campaigns involving the subjugation of Tennessee and Northern Georgia, during 1863-64. In the battle of Chickamauga he was wounded in the left leg, but only a flesh wound, and was not out of service on that account. At Eutaw Creek in Georgia a ball passed through his right thigh on August 6, 1864, and this sent him to the hospital for four months, and after he was able to be up and around but still convalescent he was placed in charge of a ward in the hospital, and the war was over before he was able to resume active duty. Mr. Van Meter participated in the Tullahoma campaign, was at Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, at Ringgold, Georgia, and until wounded and disabled was in the famous Atlanta campaign under Sherman, involving ninety days of almost continuous fighting from Dalton to the capital city of Georgia. At the close of the war his blanket had thirty-two bullet holes, and on one occasion while he was asleep a bullet pierced his knapsack under his head.
On November 24, 1865, a few months after his honorable discharge from military duties, Mr. Van Meter landed in St. Joseph, Missouri, and there took a stage to Albany, where he remained until the following March. He then came into Andrew County, and with the exception of a short time spent in Colorado working in the mines he has been a resident of this county ever since. For forty years he has lived in side of Platte River, and under his management has had a splendid record of production through many years. He has raised mules, cattle, horses and hogs, has specialized in the Hereford cattle and the Duroc red hogs. A considerable part of his land is in the river bottoms, especially valuable for corn, and the uplands have been utilized for stock pasturage. When Mr. Van Meter came into Andrew County he started with exceedingly modest resources, on ten acres of ground and with a two-room house built from the native lumber. He had no place for his cattle, tied his cows up in the night, and had a rough log shelter for his mules. The experiences of his early boyhood in the timber districts of Ohio stood him in good stead when he came to Northwest Missouri, and all the extensive clearing and improvements on his home farm and those of his sons constitute a splendid testimonial to his efforts and enterprise. He cleared up 200 acres, and removed the stumps from the fields.
Naturally Mr. Van Meter has affiliated with the republican party since casting his first vote while with the army in the South. He served with efficiency in the office of county judge one term, and for thirty years has been, clerk of the district school board. He is a member of the Masonic order and of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has interested himself in Grand Army organizations. Mr. Van Meter is a director of the Peoples Bank at Union Star.
April 9, 1871, he married Charlotte Jane Courter, who was born in Delaware County, Ohio, June 2, 1855, and came to Andrew County with her parents September 6, 1864. Her parents were Edward S. and Mary , Elizabeth (Rolson) Courter. Her father was born in New Jersey and her mother in Delaware County, Ohio, and both died in Andrew County. Her father was born May 16, 1833, and died January 20, 1891, and her mother was born April 29, 1833, and died April 20, 1884. Mrs. Van Meter's father was a carpenter and shoemaker by trade, which he followed in Ohio, but was a farmer after coming to Missouri. In 1861 he went out to California, accompanying a freighting outfit from St. Joseph. Mrs. Van Meter is one of three children, the other two being deceased, named Eliza and Wingenand Courter.
Mr. and Mrs. Van Meter have special reasons to be proud of their family of children, ten in number, mentioned briefly as follows: Gordon C., who is a progressive young farmer on a part of the old homestead; Alonzo F., also on the home farm; Mary Ethel, wife of Robert Humphrey of Alvin, Texas; Julius A., of Chaseley, North Dakota; Ellen, wife of Edward Huffaker, of Andrew County; Rosa, wife of Jackson Gates of Rochester Township; Catherine, living at home with her parents; Grace, wife of John Courley of Grand City; Lillian, wife of Lloyd White of Conception, Missouri; and Etta, wife of M. J. Cross of DeQuincey, Louisiana.
[Source: A history of northwest Missouri, Volume 3; Edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1890; Pg.1892; Transcribed and submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]

Jackson Van Schoiack. Has been a resident of Jefferson Township, Andrew County, throughout his life, and who for thirty-three years has been carrying on operations on his present property in section 34, is one of the native sons of this locality who have taken a helpful part in advancing the community's interests while gaining success on his own account. His career is expressive of the possibilities of country life when directed by an intelligent purpose, earnest industry and persevering effort.
Mr. Van Schoiack was born in Jefferson Township, Andrew County, Missouri, February 16, 1847, and is a son of Machiga and Luella (Jackson) Van Schoiack, natives of Kentucky, who were married in that state and moved to Indiana, remaining there three years and came to Missouri in 1839, locating on land in Jefferson Township, where the father entered a tract from the Government. In 1852 Maehiga Van Schoiack purchased the farm of his father, Josiah Van Schoiack, who started across the plains in that year for Oregon, but never reached his destination, dying on the way of the numerous hardships encountered. Maehiga Van Schoiack died on the farm which his father had entered, one mile south of the present home of his son Jackson, in November, 1906, and would have been ninety-three years old in the following April. He was at that time one of the substantial men of his community, being the owner of 200 acres of land, and stood high in the esteem of his fellow citizens. Mrs. Van Schoiack died in 1895, at the age of seventy-seven years, having been the mother of eleven children, as follows: William, who is deceased; Thomas, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in Jefferson Township; Joseph, who died at the age of nine years; Rachel, who married Lee Hall and resides on the home place; Rebecca, who married Healby White, deceased, and resides in Arizona; Jackson, of this review; Martin, who is deceased; Holland, who married Thomas Ridgeway, and is now deceased; George, who died in Los Angeles, California; Laura, who is deceased; and Mary, who married George Rockwood of St. Joseph.
Jackson Van Schoiack received his education in the subscription schools of his native locality, as at that time there were no free schools, and as an illustration of the advancement of the times it may be here noted that today he pays a school tax of $140. He was brought up a farmer boy and remained under the parental roof until the time of his marriage, when he purchased a farm of 120 acres in Gentry County, Missouri, residing there for nine years and meeting with moderate success. Selling out at the end of that time he returned to his native township and bought his present home, on which he has lived for thirty three years and where he has met with a full share of prosperity. At this time he is the owner of 162 acres, although he formerly had a larger tract, but sold off fifty-four acres. The greater part of this land has been cleared by Mr. Van Schoiack, and all the improvements have been made by him, his present buildings being of substantial character and attractive appearance. In his general farming and stock raising operations he has shown himself a skilled and practical farmer, and uses the most modern methods and machinery in his work.
On November 14, 1869 Mr. Van Schoiack was united in marriage with Miss Missouri Ann Turpin, who was born in Andrew County, Missouri, June 15, 1848, a daughter of Edward and Lavina (Abbott) Turpin, natives of Indiana, where they were married. Mr. and Mrs. Turpin came to Missouri in 1844 and located in Jefferson Township, where they continued to be engaged in agricultural pursuits during the remainder of their lives. The mother, who was born December 25, 1804 died October 20. 1887, while the father, born in 1806, died April 25. 1873. They were the parents of seven children, as follows: Margaret, the widow of William Colburn, a resident of Oklahoma; Jane, the widow of Sam Duncan, a resident of Mound City, Missouri; James, who died in childhood; Celestine, the widow of Frederick Breit, residing in Jefferson Township; William Isaac, a resident of Empire City. Oregon; Mary Ann, deceased, who was the wife of Nelson Graves, who is also deceased; and Missouri Ann, who married Mr. Van Schoiack.
Mr. and Mrs. Van Schoiack have had two children: Addie, who is the wife of Elias Wrigley of Jefferson Township, has two sons, George Dewey and Alva: and Laura, who died at the age of ten years. Mr. and Mrs. Van Schoiack are consistent members of the Christian Church, in the movements of which they have taken an active part. He has not been a seeker for public preferment at the polls, but at all times has supported good men and measures and is accounted one of the public-spirited men of his township.
Source: A history of northwest Missouri, Volume 3; Edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1915; Pgs. 1711-1712; Transcribed and submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack]


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