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Whatcom County
Washington
Genealogy and History


Biographies

 

V

 


Vail, James R.

    For many years James R. Vail has been devoted to the service of the government, and as United States immigration inspector at Bellingham he is filling a post of large responsibility. A son of John P. and Sophronia J. (Sisson) Vail, he was born October 20, 1871, in Nobles county, Illinois. His father was a soldier in the Civil war and valiantly defended the Union cause. In 1872 he went to Minnesota and took up a homestead, casting in his lot with the early settlers of that state, where he spent the remainder of his life.

    James R. Vail spent his boyhood on his father's farm and received his early instruction in the public schools of Minnesota. He came to Bellingham, July 20, 1897, and afterward attended the University of Washington, spending his summers in this city, and he also took a course in a local business college. In January, 1901, he entered the United States customs service, and for three years he was in eastern Washington, while from 1905 until 1912 he was connected with the customs office at Lynden. He was then sent to Blaine, Washington, and there remained until September 1917, when he was transferred to the immigration department. He was stationed successively at Winnipeg, Canada, St. John, North Dakota, and Vancouver, British Columbia, and since November, 1919, he has had charge of the station at Bellingham. He is very thorough and conscientious in the performance of his duties and his work has been highly satisfactory.

    On July 18, 1902, Mr. Vail married Miss Myrtie North, a native of Illinois and a daughter of H. W. and Cornelia (Linderman) North. Her father is a Union veteran and now has charge of the Soldiers Home at Orting, Washington. To Mr. and Mrs. Vail were born two children: Lyle, who attended Pullman College and is now residing in Seattle; and Merle, who died in 1923, when fifteen years of age.

    Mr. Vail is liberal in his political views and invariably casts his ballot for the man whom he considers best qualified for office, irrespective of party affiliations. He is the owner of twelve attractive cottages situated on Cottonwood beach and from their rental derives a substantial addition to his income. Fidelity to duty is one of the salient traits in his character and his record is an unblemished one.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 87


Vander Griend, M.

    The gentleman to a brief review of whose life and character the reader's attention is herewith directed is among the favorably known and representative citizens of western Whatcom county. He has by his indomitable enterprise and progressive methods not only attained a large measure of success in his own material affairs but has contributed largely to the advancement of his community. He is widely known as a man of unswerving honesty, sound judgment and indomitable industry and stands deservedly high in the esteem of his fellow citizens. M. Vander Griend was born in Holland in 1872 and is a son of M. and Adriana (Vaandrager) Vander Griend, both natives of Holland and both of whom are now deceased, the father dying in 1913 and the mother April 10, 1925. In 1885 the father brought his wife and nine children to the United States, locating in South Dakota, where for three years he was engaged in farming, and then located south of Lincoln, Nebraska, where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land, also renting much additional land. He had for years been interested in Washington and Oregon but never understood why land in these states was so cheap. He made a trip out here in 1898 and looked the country over but did not move here until 1901, when he bought one hundred and twenty acres, about half of which was cleared, all being cleared at this time. Two children were born to him and his wife in this country, there thus being eight sons and three daughters in the family.

    M. Vander Griend the immediate subject of this sketch, secured his education partly in the public schools of his native land and partly in the schools of South Dakota and Nebraska. He came to Lynden in 1899 and when the rest of the family arrived he helped his father clear the land and improve the property, remaining with the latter until his marriage, when he located northwest of Lynden, on the Guide Meridian road, in Delta township. He had forty acres across the road from the home farm, a part of the old Lauckhart homestead, all of which was wild land when he bought it, but which he cleared and then sold to his brother. He is now the owner of fifty acres of fertile bottom land, on which he has a man who runs the place for him on an equal share basis. He keeps twenty-five milk cows and is making preparations for the housing of one thousand chickens. The farm produces an abundance of hay and grain, and is also splendid potato land. Mr. Vander Griend is likewise the owner of an eleven acre place in town, where he keeps twelve cows, retailing the milk and cream, in which business he has been very successful.

    In 1903, at Lynden, Mr. Vander Griend was married to Miss Augusta Schuyleman, who was born in Holland and was brought to the United States when six years of age. She received a good education and taught school for a number of years prior to her marriage. Her parents are both deceased, the father dying January 1, 1902, and the mother in 1908. To Mr. and Mrs. Vander Griend were born three children, namely: Adriana and Maurine, who are students in the State Normal School at Bellingham; and Ward, who is in high school. Mr. Vander Griend has long been active in local public affairs, having served for several terms as assessor and as road overseer. He was a member of the board of directors of the old Lynden Creamery and is a member of the board of directors of the Northwest Washington Fire Association, of which he has been president. He is a member of the First Christian Reformed church, of which he was one of the organizers and to which he gives liberal support, and is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association. He is a public-spirited citizen and witholds his cooperation from no movement which is intended to promote public improvement. Genial and friendly in all his social relations, he easily makes friends, and he stands high in popular esteem and confidence.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 324-325


Vander Griend, William B.

    The sterling qualities of his Dutch ancestors are manifest in the character of William B. Vander Griend, who has worked his way steadily upward in the financial world and now occupies an influential position in banking circles of Lynden, representing one of the old families of this district. He was born October 20, 1884, in the kingdom of Holland, and was but a year old when his parents, Marius and Adriantje Steena (Vaandrager) Vander Griend, made the voyage to the United States, settling in Charles Mix county, South Dakota. In 1889 they migrated to Firth, Nebraska, and in March, 1901, came to Whatcom county, Washington. The father purchased a tract of one hundred and twenty acres three miles northwest of Lynden and devoted the remainder of his life to the task of cultivating his land, which he brought to a high state of development. He responded to death's summons in 1913, and the mother passed away in 1925.  The homestead is still owned by the family and is one of the most desirable farms in this section of the country. To Mr. and Mrs. Vander Griend were born eleven children, eight sons and three daughters. One daughter died in 1921 and two live in Nebraska, while the sons are residents of Whatcom county.

    William B. Vander Griend attended the public schools and was reared on his father's ranch, aiding in the work of plowing, planting and harvesting. He completed a course in a commercial college and in 1907 entered the Lynden State Bank in the capacity of bookkeeper. His work was performed with accuracy and conscientiousness, and he was promoted to the position of cashier in August, 1919, when the institution was nationalized. It has since been operated under the name of the First National Bank, of which P. M. Surrurier is president. The business was established in 1905 as a private bank and is the pioneer financial institution of Lynden. It has a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars. It is classed with the strongest moneyed institutions of this part of the state, and the steady growth of the bank makes it a helpful ally of local business, young and old, which, like the institution, is expanding along constructive, progressive lines. Mr. Vander Griend has faithfully served the bank for nineteen years and is one of its most able and popular officials.

    In 1915 Mr. Vander Griend married Miss Ada Jane Hoover, a native of Nebraska and a daughter of Cyrus and Clara Hoover, now residents of Fresno, California. To this union have been born three children: Clara Adrianna, Adrianna Ada and Jane Lenore. Mr. Vander Griend and his wife are members of the Second Christian Reformed church, and in politics he is a republican but not a strong partisan, voting independently at local elections. Enterprising, efficient and trustworthy, he has progressed far on the highroad which leads to success, and his many friends in Lynden speak of him in terms of high regard.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 136-139


Van Der Yacht, Henry H.

    There could be no more comprehensive history written of a county or a community and its people than that which deals with the life work of those who, by their own endeavor and indomitable energy, have placed themselves where they well deserve the title of "progressive," and in the following lines will be found the life record of one who has made of his obstacles stepping stones to higher things. At the same time that he was winning his way in the material affairs of life, he also gained a high reputation for uprightness and honor. Henry H. Van der Yacht, one of the leading farmers and poultrymen of Delta township, is a native of Holland, where he was born on the 9th of November, 1877, a son of Harry and Gertrude Van der Yacht. They also were natives of the Netherlands, and brought their family to the United States locating in Michigan, where the father was engaged in farming until 1907, when he sold his land and came to Whatcom county, locating on a small farm which he bought near Lynden. There he spent his remaining years, dying in 1919, his wife passing away in 1913. They were the parents of ten children, Charles, Ida, Henry H., John, James, Andrew, Albert, Annie, Joseph, deceased, and Sarah, deceased.

    Henry H. Van der Yacht was educated in the public schools of Michigan, and remained at home with his parents until his marriage, when [where] he was employed at farm work until coming to Washington in 1907, after which he worked on neighboring farms for two years and in 1909 rented one hundred and twenty acres of land in Delta township, the Henry Hoffman homestead, located four miles northwest of Lynden. Fifteen acres of the place was cleared and he cleared sixty acres more, on which he carried on farming until 1920, when he bought eighty acres of the place. Here he has achieved a pronounced success and gained an enviable reputation as an enterprising and energetic farmer. During the past three years he has built three fine chicken houses, in which he cares for twelve hundred laying hens. He also keeps eighteen good grade Guernsey cows and eight head of young stock and two horses for general farm work. His present prosperity has been attained entirely through his own indefatigable efforts and the enviable position which he holds among his fellow citizens has been honestly gained. He is a good business man, exercising sound judgment in all of his affairs, and devoting himself closely to the work in hand. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association and he and his wife are deeply interested in everything pertaining to the prosperity and welfare of their community, Mrs. Van der Yacht being a member of the board of trustees of the Sunshine school.

    On January 8, 1902, Mr. Van der Yacht was married to Miss Ila Boice, who was born and reared in Michigan, the daughter of Clinton and Evelyn Boice, both of whom also were natives of that state, where her father is a successful farmer. Her mother died in 1906. They were the parents of six children, Floyd, Lyman (deceased), Ila, Carl, Henry and Gertrude. To Mr. and Mrs. Van der Yacht have been born seven children: Mrs. Evelyn Perkins, of Seattle; Gertrude, deceased; Harry, a graduate of the Lynden high school; Doyle, now a student in that school; Edna; Vivian; and Dale. Genial and friendly, kindly and generous, interested in the welfare of his fellow citizens, the subject has well merited the confidence and good will which he enjoys throughout the community where he lives.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 795


Van Eman, Miss Clarice L.

    For more than twenty years Miss Clarice L. VanEman, teacher of mathematics in the Fairhaven high school, has been connected with Bellingham city schools and is widely known in educational circles throughout this section of the state. Born in the city of Leavenworth, Kansas, she is a daughter of Andrew R. and Frances E. (Glasgow) VanEman, the latter a native of Ohio and the former of Pennsylvania, both members of old colonial families represented on this side of the water for seven or eight generations. The VanEmans are of the old "Pennsylvania Dutch" stock and the name is found widely represented throughout the country, now variously rendered VanEman, Vaneman, Vanemman and in some instances Vandeman.

    When Miss VanEman was not yet two years old, her parents moved with their family to Lewis and Clark county, Montana, where her father became engaged in farming and where she was reared. She was graduated from the Great Falls (Mont.) high school, had further schooling in the University of Washington and in the University of Michigan and from the latter was graduated in 1903, majoring in mathematics and botany. While continuing her studies Miss VanEman was for some years engaged as a teacher in the schools of Great Falls and in 1904 came to Washington and became engaged as a teacher in the Fairhaven school at Bellingham, with which she has since been connected, teacher of mathematics and botany, and now recognized as one of the valued members of the effective staff of the city schools. Miss VanEman is a member of the American Association of University Women and of the local organizations of teachers and has a wide acquaintance in her profession. She is a member of the Congregational church and has ever taken an interested and helpful part in the general social and cultural activities of the community in which she cast her lot more than twenty years ago, a choice of location she never has had occasion to regret. She resides in the Stephen Court apartments and is quite pleasantly situated there.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 277


Van Hemert, Peter J.

    Peter J. Van Hemert, well known in banking circles of Lynden and Whatcom county, is a man of marked business ability and recognizes the difficulties, the possibilities and the opportunities of a situation. Energy and perseverance are brought to cope with the first, and tact and resourcefulness utilize the last in the accomplishment of his well defined purpose. He was born in Marion county, Iowa, in 1871 and was thirteen years of age when his parents, John and Willempy Van Hemert, migrated to South Dakota, where the father spent the remainder of his life.

    Peter J. Van Hemert attended the public schools of Iowa and South Dakota and was also a student at a normal school. He was engaged in teaching for several years with much success and for two terms was superintendent of the schools of Douglas county, South Dakota. He then turned to commercial pursuits, conducting a grain and live stock business in Platte, South Dakota, and was also vice president of the Platte State Bank and the Tripp County State Bank. In 1910 he arrived in Everett, Washington, and a year later came with his mother to Lynden, where her demise occurred. Mr. Van Hemert purchased an interest in the Lynden department store and was elected treasurer of the corporation. He served in that capacity until 1924, when he sold his stock in the concern, and has since devoted his attention to financial affairs. He is president of the Peoples state Bank, and the other officers are J. W. Stearns, vice president, and J. Van Dalfsen, cashier. The directors are D. W. Bender, J. P. Boerhave, J. W. Stearns, Henry Shagren, Nels Jacobson, Sr., P. J. Van Hemert and J. T. Zylstra. The bank was organized in 1921 with the same board of directors with the exception of J. P. Boerhave, who has replaced H. J. Kok. The business is housed in a two-story building of concrete construction, erected especially for banking purposes. It contains modern vaults, safety deposit boxes and the complete equipment of an up-to-date bank. It has a paid in capital stock of forty thousand dollars and a surplus fund of ten thousand dollars, and the statement of December 31, 1925, showed deposits of approximately $230,000. During the five years of its existence the bank has enjoyed a steady growth and counts as its greatest asset the loyal support and enthusiastic cooperation of its depositors, whose confidence in the stability of the institution has constituted the chief factor in its upbuilding.

    In 1902 Mr. Van Hemert was united in marriage to Miss Cora Sluyter, of Douglas county, South Dakota. They are active in the social affairs of the community, and in politics Mr. Van Hemert pursues an independent course, regarding the qualifications of a candidate as a matter of prime importance. He is a man of proven worth and integrity and his activities have always been directed into constructive channels, contributing to public progress and prosperity as well as to individual success.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 141-142


Van Horn, Guy E.; Hon.

    Hon. Guy E. Van Horn, a member of the state legislature, has filled other public offices of trust and responsibility and is also widely known as one of the pioneer poultrymen of Whatcom county. He resides in Marietta township and is a member of an old and highly respected family of this district. He was born July 10, 1878, in Blair, Nebraska, and is a son of William and Sarah (Williams) Van Horn, natives of Pennsylvania. At the time of the conflict between the north and the south the father offered his aid to the Union and served for three years and three months with Company E of the Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. In 1889 he migrated to Salem, Oregon, and in the spring of 1890 came to Whatcom county. He purchased a small tract in Marietta township, which at that time was a wilderness, and after years of unceasing toil finally succeeded in clearing his land and preparing the soil for the production of crops. Eventually he converted the place into a fertile farm and there made his home until his retirement. He has reached an advanced age, but the mother is deceased.

    Guy E. Van Horn was a boy of twelve when the family came to Whatcom country, and his education was completed in the public schools of Marietta township. He aided his father in tilling the fields and worked for wages until he reached the age of twenty-four, and he has since operated the home farm, also owning an additional tract of sixty-seven acres in the township. He was one of the first men in the state to glimpse the possibilities of the poultry business, in which he embarked in 1902, and in this field of activity he has met with exceptional success. In 1907 he started to raise pure bred stock and now has six thousand hens, specializing in the best grade of white Leghorns. Mr. Van Horn employs four men and three women and enjoys the distinction of owning the largest poultry ranch in the northwest. His prosperity is the result of thorough, painstaking effort and a detailed knowledge of this industry, gleaned by intensive study and years of practical experience. In order to maintain a pure strain, the eggs for hatching are produced on his ranch, on which he has erected good buildings and installed every modern improvement, keeping not only in line with but also in advance of the times.

    In 1901 Mr. Van Horn married Miss Mabel Eytcheson, of Wisconsin, a daughter of William Jasper Eytcheson, and eight children have been born to them. Evelyn, the eldest, is the wife of William Lewis, who assists her father in the conduct of the ranch, and they have a daughter, June. The other children are: William, Guy Elliott, Cecelia, Adele, Rose, Jean and John.  Mr. Van Horn is an adherent of the republican party and represents his district in the Washington assembly. He carefully studies every question brought before the house and his advocacy of a measure is always an indication of his firm belief in its value as a factor in good government. He has been school director and township clerk and for several years was treasurer of the township. For two terms he has been a member of the board of township supervisors and in 1925 was made its chairman, doing much constructive work in this connection. He belongs to the Grange and was the first master of the local Grange. Mr. Van Horn aided in organizing the Washington Cooperative Egg & Poultry Association and for many years was one of its trustees. He possesses the spirit of self-reliance which carries the individual far beyond the ranks of mediocrity and enables him to become a power in his chosen field. He has played a dominant part in the upbuilding of Whatcom county's great poultry industry and ranks with those men whose careers have been conspicuously useful.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 160-161


Van Wingerden, George

    George Van Wingerden, a member of the board of supervisors of Custer township, and proprietor of a well kept farm near Blaine, has been a resident of this state since the days of his boyhood and has thus been a witness of the development that has resulted in modern progress and improvement. He was born on a farm in Missaukee county, in north central Michigan, July 8, 1881, and is a son of Garrett and Emma (Christie) Van Wingerden, the latter of whom was born in New York state, a daughter of that Washington pioneer, Phillip Christie, a Canadian by birth, who is the late '70s had come to Washington on a prospecting tour and who after one or two trips back and forth between here and Michigan took up his permanent residence here, one of the able pioneers of this region. His last days were spent here, his death occurring in 1922 on the place now occupied by his grandson, the subject of this sketch, he then being at the great age of one hundred and four years. Mrs. Emma Van Wingerden died in California in 1913.

    Garrett Van Wingerden, who is now living at Blaine, was born at Holland, Ottawa county, Michigan, and was a son of one of the Hollanders who made up the colony which settled that place. After his marriage he established his home in Missaukee county and there remained until 1888 when, following the representations made by his father-in-law, Phillip Christie, the Washington pioneer, who had taken up a tract of land in Lewis county, he disposed of his holdings in Michigan and with his family came to this state, locating temporarily at Toledo, Lewis county. A year later he went to Cowlitz county, where he remained for seven years and then, after a brief residence at Shelton, Mason county, came to Whatcom county and has since had his residence in Blaine.

    By reason of the several changes of residence made by his father during the time of his school days George Van Wingerden's educational advantages were somewhat intermittent, his attendance having been divided between the schools of Michigan and of Lewis and Cowlitz counties this state. He was about seventeen years of age when he came with his father to Whatcom county and after some further schooling at Blaine he began working in the woods and was for some years thereafter employed in lumbering operations, working in the woods here and in Snohomish county. In 1904 his grandfather Christie gave him the tract of land on which he is now living and after his marriage in the next year he established his home on that place and has since been living there, finishing the clearing necessary to bring it under cultivation and otherwise improving the place up to its present standard. Mr. Van Wingerden has a well improved tract of twenty acres and gives his attention chiefly to dairying and poultry raising. He has a good herd of dairy cattle and about three hundred and fifty White Leghorns (of the Tancred strain) and is going well in his business. One of the improvements on the place is a silo of ample capacity. In addition to carrying on his own operations he has found time to take part in various other works and for three years during the season was engaged in cement construction work on the highway passing his home. He was formerly a member of the board of directors of the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company and is now a director of the Northwest Farm Loan Association and a local appraiser for that concern. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairy Association and of the Poultry Association and in the  affairs of these mutually helpful organizations has long taken an earnest interest. He also is one of the charter members of the local grange of the Patrons of Husbandry. Mr. Van Wingerden has long been interested in local civic affairs, for three years served as clerk of the school board in his district and since 1923 has been rendering public service as a member of the board of township supervisors.

    It was on July 2, 1905, in Bellingham, that Mr. Van Wingerden was united in marriage to Miss Dorabelle Wilder and to this union four children have been born, namely: Harold, born in 1908; Jessie, who died in 1919 at the age of seven years; Rhoda, born in 1915; and Eloise, born in 1920. Mrs. Van Wingerden also was born in Michigan, and is a daughter of Charles and Ida (Pittman) Wilder, the latter a native of Michigan and a member of one of the pioneer families of that state. Charles Wilder, who was a native of Canada and a substantial farmer, died in 1904 and his widow in 1910 married Garrett Van Wingerden, father of her daughter's husband. She died in 1914.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 441-442


Velcke, Gerrit

    A man of naturally sound judgment and industrious and thrifty habits, characteristics of the race of which he is a descendant, Gerrit Veleke, whose fine farm is located near Lynden, Whatcom county, has so ordered his career as to be eminently eligible to representation in a work of this kind. He has by his strictly moral habits, close attention to his business affairs and fair dealing with his fellowmen risen to a high place among his associates and is considered a leading citizen of his community. Mr. Veleke was born in Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, June 2, 1884, and is a son of Art and Clara (De Grotenhuis) Veleke, both of whom were natives of Holland.

    The father was born April 10, 1849, and came to the United States in 1867, locating in Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, where he devoted his attention to farming. Later he moved to St. Croix, where he remained for two years, and he was then for the same length of time at Oak Harbor. In 1896 he came to Lynden, Whatcom county, being one of the first Hollanders to locate in this community, and was instrumental in inducing other of his countrymen to come here. He engaged in farming here and in the course of time cleared up a good deal of land. He was a man of stanch integrity, indomitable industry and a good manager and enjoyed to a marked degree the respect of the entire community. Our subject's mother was brought to this country by her mother when eight years of age, locating in Wisconsin, where she met and married Mr. Veleke. To their union were born seven children, namely: Mrs. Hattie Oordt, who died in 1912; Lizzie, who is the wife of Garritt Schuyleman, of Lynden; Gerrit, the subject of this sketch; Jennie, the wife of P. A. Pyeatt, of Custer, this county; Cornelius, who died at the age of three years; Nellie, the wife of Charles Reed, of Bellingham; and Minnie, the wife of Bert Lamdaal, of Bellingham. The mother of these children died in 1913 and in 1914 Mr. Veleke was married to Miss Marie Brewer, who was born at Rotterdam, Holland, and they have one child, Elizabeth.

    Gerrit Veleke received his education in the public schools of Oak Harbor, Wisconsin, and completed his studies after coming to Lynden. He remained on his father's farm until he was about eighteen years of age, when he started out on his own account being employed in various ways, later becoming deliveryman for the Kildall store. Then, in partnership with Harry Elder, he engaged in the mercantile business, handling groceries, feed and hardware, in which line he continued for about two years, when he sold his interest to his partner and turned his attention to his land, which he had bought in 1908. The original purchase was twenty acres, to which he later added another twenty acres. He moved onto the place in 1915 and at once entered upon the task of clearing it and getting it into cultivation. The tract had been cut over, though but a few acres had been cleared, and he now has his first twenty acres entirely under the plow, while about four acres of the other tract are cleared. He has made substantial improvements on the ranch, including a fine house and commodious barn. He gives special attention to dairying, keeping from twelve to fifteen good Guernsey cattle, and raises a sufficient amount of feed on the place to take care of his stock.

    Mr. Veleke was married, July 26, 1905, to Miss Nellie DeHoog, who was born at Pella, Iowa, a daughter of Bastaan and Aria (Vandersyde) DeHoog, both of whom also were natives of Iowa. When she was but three weeks old her mother died, and in 1903 her father brought his family to Lynden, Whatcom county, where he has followed farming principally. To Mr. and Mrs. Veleke have been born three children, namely: Adria, Arthur B. and Bernece. Mr. Veleke has always taken a deep interest in local public affairs, and soon after moving onto his farm he was elected township supervisor. He became chairman of the board on his reelection, holding that position continuously since. He has been especially interested in the improvement of the highways and has been instrumental in having many new roads built. His religious connection is with the First Reformed church, to which he is a generous contributor. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association. By a life of persistent and well applied industry, led along the most honorable lines, he has not only gained a gratifying measure of pecuniary independence but has also won what is of far more importance, the sincere respect and confidence of the entire community in which he lives.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 716-717


Vermeulen, George

    George Vermeulen, proprietor of the well established and popular Sea Gull coffee shop in the Hanna block, Bellingham, and also proprietor of a flourishing gasoline station in that city, is a retired sailor, of European birth, and has been familiar with this section of the Pacific coast since the days of the Alaska gold rush in 1898. He was born in Holland, July 24, 1872, son of Gerrett Vermeulen, and was there reared and educated. He spent sixteen months in the army and in 1891, when nineteen years of age, took to the sea, becoming a sailor on American fruit liners in the trade between the port of New York and Jamaica, and on other lines, including service on the Lauredo in the African trade. In 1898 he was on a vessel which made the passage through the Strait of Magellan and up the coast to Alaska. In the spring of 1899 he took service on the United States transport Roanoke, transporting soldiers and army supplies to the Philippines, and at the end of the return trip made another trip to Alaska. After a bit of prospecting in Nome he located at Dawson and there remained until 1904, when he closed out his interest there and came to Bellingham, where he ever since has made his home, his residence here thus covering a period of more than twenty years.

    Upon his arrival in Bellingham, Mr Vermeulen bought the Maple Falls hotel and operated it until 1906, when he opened the Sea Gull coffee shop, which he since has been operating quite successfully, this well established restaurant having for years enjoyed a well merited reputation as one of the most popular eating houses in the northwest. In the spring of 1918 Mr. Vermeulen opened a gasoline filling station at the corner of Railroad avenue and Magnolia street and in the following year bought the old Hyatt home corner at Elk and Rose streets. In 1920 he sold his filling station on Railroad avenue and in May 1924, opened on the old Hyatt corner the gasoline filling station which he since has been operating at that place in addition to his restaurant business, doing very well in both enterprises.

    In 1915, in Bellingham, Mr. Vermeulen was united in marriage to Miss Grace Hope, who was born in the state of Maine. They are republicans and take a proper interest in civic affairs as well as in the general affairs of the community. Mr. Vermeulen is a Knight Templar and Scottish Rite Thirty-second Degree Mason, past eminent commander of Hesperus Commandery No. 8, Knights Templar, and is also a Noble of the Mystic Shrine.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pg. 883


Vinup, Charles F. and George W.

    A man who has achieved success and has also won the honor and esteem of his fellow citizens deserves more than passing notice. Such is the record, briefly stated, of G. W. Vinup, well known farmer of Lynden township. By a life of persistent and well applied energy along honorable lines, he has justly earned the right to recognition in the permanent record of his locality along with other public-spirited and progressive men of the county who have made their influence felt in their respective communities. Mr. Vinup was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the 17th of September, 1868, and he is a son of Charles F. and Margaret (Grimmer) Vinup, the latter of whom was born in Germany, whence she was brought to the United States when three years old. The family settled in Cincinnati, and there she was reared to womanhood.

    Charles F. Vinup was born in Brennerhausen, Germany, December 11, 1841, and when he was nine years of age he was brought to this country by his parents, who settled in Indiana, where his father followed farming. In that state he was reared and educated and later moved to Cincinnati, where he lived for a time. In 1887 Mr. Vinup came to Whatcom county and homesteaded a tract of land on the boundary line near Lynden. He lived there some six years, during which time he cleared about six acres of the dense timber which covered it. He then moved to the town of Lynden, of which he was elected mayor in 1903, serving two terms, and he was a member of the town council for twelve years. About 1905 he went to Granger, where he established a grocery store, conducting it until his death, which occurred April 2, 1906, at the age of sixty-five years. He was a veteran of the Civil war, having served for three years and eleven months as a private in company E, Fiftieth and Fifty-second Regiments, Indiana Volunteer Infantry. After the death of his first wife he was married in 1884 to Miss Sarah Decker, a native of Pennsylvania, who died in August, 1904.

    At the age of four years G. W. Vinup was taken to Cairo, Illinois, by his parents, who remained there about a year, and they then moved to New Ulm, Minnesota, where our subject started to attend school. His mother died in February, 1881, when he was twelve years old, and soon afterward the family moved to Howard Lake, Minnesota, where he finished his education. At the age of fifteen years he went to Minneapolis, where he remained for about a year, going from there to Hay Springs, Nebraska, and then to Wyoming, where he spent two years on the ranges and as a rancher. During 1888 he was in the Idaho panhandle and in western Washington, working as a farm hand, and in 1891 he came to Whatcom county and homesteaded twenty acres of land near the border in the vicinity of Lynden. The tract was very swampy and covered mainly with jack pine, and he did but little clearing there. Later he bought a twenty acre farm which contained considerable improvements, and there he lived until August, 1908, when he came to his present farm, which comprises forty acres of good land, the greater part of which had been logged off. He now has about five acres cleared and has built a good house and other farm buildings. He is devoting his attention mainly to the chicken business, having about a thousand laying hens, of the White Leghorn breed, in the handling of which he has met with pronounced success. He also keeps a few cows and raises good crops of hay.

    On July 1, 1896, Mr. Vinup was married to Miss Minnie Dupray, who was born on the Little Horn river, Iowa, in a rude shack, constructed of poles and hay, from which they were driven out during high water. She is a daughter of F. M. and Nancy (Webb) Dupray, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of New York state, and whose marriage occurred in Missouri. The father was a farmer and miller and was a hard working and industrious man. Mrs. Vinup completed her education in the public schools of Nebraska, where she lived until December, 1890, when the family came to Whatcom county, locating first at Bellingham, where they remained for about a year. They then located on a farm in Ferndale township. To Mr. and Mrs. Vinup have been born seven children, namely: Clyde, who is married and lives at Brooklyn, N. Y.; Charles, who died at the age of thirteen years; Edgar, of Lynden, who is married and has one child; Etta, who is the wife of S. G. Fale, of San Jose, California, and has one child; Cressa, who is engaged in teaching near Klamath Falls, Oregon; and Alvin and Leon, who are in school. Fraternally Mr. Vinup is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He is public spirited in his attitude toward all measures for the advancement of the public welfare and is generous in his support of worthy benevolent enterprises. Because of his unswerving honesty in all his dealings with his fellowmen and his genial and kindly nature, he has won and retains a host of warm friends throughout the locality so long honored by his citizenship.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 164-167


Visser, William

    The life of William Visser, well known farmer and dairyman of Lynden township has been such as to elicit just praise from those who know him best, owing to the fact that he has always been true to the trusts reposed in him and has been upright in his dealings with his fellowmen, at the same time lending his support to the advancement of any cause looking to the welfare of the community at large. Mr. Visser is a native of Holland, born April 16, 1877, and is a son of Hans and Florence (Dykstra) Visser, the former of whom died in his native land. The widowed mother came to the United States in 1894 and afterward became the wife of Richard Stremler. She is now living in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the age of seventy-one years.

    Because his mother left Holland, William Visser was rendered ineligible for military service. He received his education in that country and worked on neighboring farms for eight years. In 1898 he came to the United States, locating in Michigan, where for two years he was employed on celery farms, and in January, 1900, he came to Lynden, Whatcom county. During his first year here he worked in logging camps. In 1902 he rented the P. Benson farm, which he operated for four years, and then for three years he rented and operated the B. P. Nelson place. In 1909 he bought eighty acres of land comprising his present farmstead and immediately entered upon the task of clearing the tract, on which about the only improvement was an old barn. He has cleared seventy acres and has erected a good set of farm buildings, making a very attractive and comfortable home. He later bought sixty acres additional and is now engaged in clearing the latter tract. While he carries on a general line of farming, he devotes his attention principally to dairying, keeping twenty-five cows, mostly good grade Guernseys, together with a registered sire. He separates the cream, feeding the skim milk to the pigs and young stock, of which he keeps about forty head altogether. He also owns two hundred and fifty laying hens, which he has found to be a profitable source of income. He raises practically enough hay, grain and roughage on the place to feed his stock and poultry. The land is in a fine arable condition, much of it having been drained.

    In 1905 Mr. Visser was married to Miss Hattie Roosma, who also was born in Holland, a daughter of Edward Roosma, who died in his native land, his widow afterward becoming the wife of P. DeJong, of Lynden. To Mr. and Mrs. Visser have been born eleven children, namely: Bessie, Flossie, Hans, Ida, Eddie, Dick, Pete, Annie, Jamie, Bert and William, all of whom received their educational training in the Ebenezer school, belonging to the Christian Reform church. Mr. and Mrs. Visser are active members of that church, to which they give liberal support. Mr. Visser has passed through the various stages of settlement in a comparatively new country and has been a witness of the wonderful development which has characterized this locality. In the early days here he drove a covered wagon one day a week to Bellingham, carrying his farm produce to market and bringing back provisions and feed. His record here has been marked by much hard work, but today he is enjoying the fruits of his labors and is very comfortably and pleasantly situated. He is a member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and the Whatcom County Poultry Association. Because of his business ability, his success and his many excellent personal qualities, he has attained and holds a high place in the confidence and regard of the community in which he lives.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 331-332


Voskamp, Cornelius

    Examples that impress force of character on all who study them are worthy of record in the annals of history wherever they are found, and by a few general observations it is hoped to convey herewith some idea of the high standing of Cornelius Voskamp, one of the leading farmers and dairymen of his section of Whatcom county. Those who know him will readily acquiesce in the statement that many elements of a solid and practical nature are united in his makeup and which through a series of years have gained for him well deserved success and prominence in his community. Mr. Voskamp is a native of Ottawa county, Michigan, born on the 16th of January, 1881, and is a son of Martin and Gertrude Voskamp, both of whom were natives of Holland. They came to the United States in 1870 and settled at Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the father was employed at various line of work for about four years. Then, at about the time of his marriage, he rented a tract of land, on which he carried on farming operations until 1900, when he came to Whatcom county and bought eighty acres of land in Delta township, eighteen acres of which were cleared and on which stood a small house and a good-sized barn. He at once applied himself to the clearing of the remainder of the land and at the time of his death, in 1917, he had sixty acres cleared and under cultivation. His wife passed away in 1884. To this worthy couple were born four children, namely: Mrs. Mary Hendrick, who lives in Michigan; P. G., who lives in Seattle, Washington; Cornelius, the immediate subject of this sketch; and Mrs. Margaret Marlink, who lives in Holland, Michigan.

    Cornelius Voskamp attended the public schools of his native state and remained at home until his marriage. He accompanied the family and their removal to Washington and on the death of his father he bought out the other heirs to the estate, so that he is now the owner of the eighty acres comprising the homestead. Splendid improvements have been made on the place, including the erection of an attractive house in 1909 and an excellent barn in 1911. The homestead is nicely located on a paved highway and its general appearance is inviting and reflects great credit on those who have effected the various improvements made here. Prior to 1919 the place contained fifteen good grade cows, but in that year Mr. Voskamp started a herd of pure-bred registered Ayrshire cattle, buying three cows and four heifers, as well as a registered bull, from George Parberry, of Mountain View. Our subject now owns thirty-two head of registered stock, the pride of the community, and which has been shown at the leading fairs in this section of the state. In 1923 he took first prize on his herd, first prize on an aged cow, first and second prizes on one year old heifers and several more prizes at the Northwest fair held at Lynden. He did not exhibit in 1925, the year having been so abnormally dry that the cows were not in condition for show purposes. In this and many other ways Mr. Voskamp has shown a progressive disposition and has won a high reputation for his energy and up-to-date ideas relative to the various phases of farm management and operation. He is an active member of the Whatcom County Dairymen's Association and is deeply interested in everything that in any way pertains to the prosperity and advancement of his community. He is an earnest advocate of good roads, in the securing of which for this locality he has been an influential factor.

    On June 19, 1918, Mr. Voskamp was married to Miss Anna Roo, who was born in Holland, Michigan, a daughter of Albert and Margaret Roo. Her parents were natives of Holland, whence they came to the United States in 1862, locating in Michigan. There they lived until 1901, when they came to Whatcom county, buying a ranch, to the farming of which Mr. Roo devoted himself for several years. He recently moved to Lynden, where he is now living, retired from active labor. To him and his wife were born four children: Jennie, Charles, Anna and Ralph. Mr. and Mrs. Voskamp have three children, namely: Martin A., born November 28, 1919; Marguerite Irene, born January 13, 1922; and Alvin, born September 2, 1925.

    Mr. Voskamp is easily the peer of any of his fellows in the qualities that constitute correct manhood and good citizenship. He possesses not only those powers which render a man efficient in the material affairs of life but also those strong social qualities which commend a man to the good opinion of those about him. In his daily affairs he manifests a generous regard for his fellow citizens, and as a large-hearted, whole-souled gentleman no one in the community merits and commands more fully the confidence and good will of the people generally.

History of Whatcom County Volume 2, Lottie Roeder Roth, pub. 1926, pgs. 338-339


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