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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography - Richard Towner

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


Charles H. VanVleck (father of subject) was born in Herkimer county, N. Y., in 1811, and married Mary HASKINS, of Berkshire county, Mass., in the year 1834, at the residence of the bride's parents. The fruits of this union were three children---two boys and one girl, namely: Charles H., Frank, and Mary, who died in infancy.

Frank, the second son, married Mary McCOY June, 1868, and is engaged with his uncle in the grain trade They also had an adopted daughter, who, after her marriage, died September 7th, 1877, leaving one child, a daughter, who is a portrait painter, and engaged in artistic labors.

CHARLES H. VANVLECK, the subject of this sketch, was born on the 5th day of May, 1832, in Ontario county, New York, and received a good education, such as schools thirty years ago afforded. In 1854 he was graduated from the law department of the University of Albany. Commenced the practice of law in Watertown, New York. In 1855, came West to Winnebago county, and worked on a farm during the summer and taught school during the winter. In 1859, went "overland" to California, and engaged in mining, surveying and mercantile pursuits. Left San Francisco in 1866, and returned to New York city, and from thence to Joliet, Ill. After spending some time traveling through the States of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kentucky, and Tennessee, he finally settled, in the fall of the same year, in Philo, Ill., his present home, and in connection with N. E. Francisco, engaged in the grain trade, and in which he is at present engaged.

Having purchased the agency business from the Wabash and Great Western Railroad Company, September, 1869, was married to Jennie S. PALMER, of Joliet, Ill., by whom he has one child, Frank. The wife died October 27th, 1872, and on November 3, 1874, married Emma MOON, of Philo. Mr. VanVleck's family are still living at Joliet, and are members of the Universalist Church. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church.

In politics he is a Republican, and cast his first vote for Fremont, in 1856. In 1861 he was a candidate for the California State legislature, and such was his popularity that he was defeated by only one vote.

Previous to his engaging in his present business, his time was chiefly employed in teaching and surveying, for which he was well qualified by his education.

Mr. VAanVleck is the architect of his own fortune. In glancing over his life we find him in possession of four factors of prime necessity to a successful life, namely: an indomitable will, a good practical education, a sound, active mind in a comparatively robust body. He possesses the faculty of making friends, and had he directed his attention to politics, he would have been equally successful in that department as he would have been in almost any department of business or professional life.

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