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History of Hennepin County and The City of Minneapolis, 1881. North Star Publishing

Page 650

VAIL, G. T. was born in New Brunswick in 1820. Located in Minneapolis in 1850, engaged in contracting and building, and continued until 1867, at which time he began in the undertaking business. He still continues, and is the oldest established exclusive undertaker in the city. The changes in the firm are as follows: In 1869 the firm of Curtis and Vail was established, succeeded by G. T. Vail. In May, 1874, the present firm of G. T. Vail and Company was formed. Location, 112 Washington Avenue south.

 

History of Hennepin County and The City of Minneapolis, 1881. North Star Publishing

Page 651

VALENTINE, A. T. was born in Somerset county, Maine, in 1833. Came to Minneapolis in 1856, and engaged in lumbering ten years, when he entered the meat business. In 1875 he bought a farm, which he worked until 1880. During that winter he and his brother, L. D., built their present business house, and taking B. Wells as partner, resumed business with the firm name of Valentine and Company. The firm is now Valentine Brothers. Was married in 1862 to Florence Bartlett, of Maine. Their children are: Guy, Bernice, Lee and Mary.

 

History of Hennepin County and The City of Minneapolis, 1881. North Star Publishing

Page 651

VALENTINE, L. D. of the firm of Valentine Brothers, was born in Somerset county., Maine, 1838. In 1866, carne to St. Anthony, and with the exception of two years residence in Idaho, has made this his permanent place of abode. He was engaged in dry goods and groceries until 1866 with L. C. Smith, but since then has been with his brother in the meat market. He was married in 1864 to Helen A. Borrows, who bore him one child, Freddie.

 

History of Hennepin County and The City of Minneapolis, 1881. North Star Publishing

Page 648

VAN CLEVE, Charlotte Ouisconsin is the daughter of Nathan Clark, of Houston, Massachusetts, and Charlotte A. Clark, of Hartford, Connecticut. Her father was major of the Fifth Regiment of United States Infantry. Early in the spring of 1819 his regiment was ordered from near Buffalo, New York, to Fort Crawford (Prairie du- Chien), at that time far beyond the limits of civilization, and almost out of the world." Mrs. Clark, though in delicate health, with her little son, accompanied him through the trackless and unknown country, the journey being made in government wagons, and the time consumed in traveling from Buffalo to Fort Crawford, covering two months. And here, on the banks of the Mississippi, in the rude frontier fort, less than one hour after their arrival, little Charlotte, the subject of this sketch, first opened her eyes and began the battle of life. Poor little girl, it looked for a time as though the odds of the battle were all against her; for what with a mother too feeble to afford her proper nourishment, and not a cow within possible reaching distance of them, she was obliged to eke out a precarious existence on a kind of manufactured pap, prepared from the flour furnished by the government for the fort, but which had been water-soaked in transportation, until the green mould stood three inches deep around the sides of the barrel. But too much work was in waiting for those little hands, and so, in spite of privations and hardships, she lived and prospered.

After a few weeks rest at Fort Crawford, the regiment embarked on keel boats, and proceeded up the Mississippi, their destination being the present site of Fort Snelling. This part of the journey occupied six weeks. As they were the pioneers they lived in their boats till they could build better quarters. Charlotte's life continued to be that of a soldier's child in fort and camp until her sixteenth year, when she lost her further, Major Clark dying at fort Winnebago. Knowing that he must die, and feeling distressed at the idea of leaving his young and helpless family alone, without any natural protector, so far from kindred or friends, he begged that the engagement between his young daughter, and one of his officers, might be consummated by marriage immediately after his death. And so Charlotte Clark, not quite sixteen years old, became the wife of Horatio P. Van Cleve, ten years her senior. Thus early she took up the heavy burden of work and care never to lay it down till she lies down with it in her grave.

Since her marriage, her life has been filled with varied experiences of change of home, long journeys, "always with a baby in my arms," she says, hard work as a frontier farmer's wife, sorrow and joy. Since 1856 her steady home has been in Minnesota. Twelve children have been born to this household, three of whom died in infancy. The oldest son was instantly killed, some eighteen years since, in California. The shock of this terrible bereavement, added to anxiety for her husband, then in the army, so wrought upon nervous system as in a few months to bleach her hair to its present snowy whiteness and seriously impair her hearing.

One daughter, the wife of Mortimer Thompson (Doesticks), died leaving an infant only a few days old, which her mother took to her breast with her own child of the same age, nursing and rearing the two like twins. The remaining daughter, the wife of H. V. Hall, has her home in the Sandwich Islands. Six grown sons are settled in business, all living in Hennepin county.

While her own children were yet young, she felt called upon to add to her already large family which, from the first included a young sister left homeless by her father's death, the six orphan children of her brother, all of whom have grown up in her house, and taken their places in business life. Later, another motherless infant girl was brought home to her arms and care. This little one, now six years old is still with her, so that her busy life has included mother care of twenty-one children.

Yet, filled to overflowing, as her hands, head and heart have always been, of her own household duties, she has found time to listen to and assist, with sympathy, advice and material aid, an endless procession of sorrowing and distressed humanity. There is probably no woman in the state who has done more to lighten the burdens on the shoulders of the poor, the sick, the aged and the distressed than Mrs. Van Cleve. Her benevolence is of the active type which leads her to throw herself heart and soul into each individual case, nor is she easily turned aside by discovering that the poverty or suffering which she is called upon to relieve, is the result of the bad management, intemperance or sin of the sufferer. While glad to aid the Lord's poor, she has great faith in the elevating and reformatory influence of kindness and encouragement on the Devil's poor as well. The past is past; "if you will help yourself I will help you," is the spirit in which she meets all applicants. Referring once to her sympathy for tramps, and her efforts to aid some of them, she explained it by saying, "but you know I came so near being born a tramp myself."

This by no means covers her work. An easy speaker, a ready writer, she has devoted a great deal of her time and strength to the cause of Foreign Missions. She has canvassed the state with marked success for the past several years lecturing and organizing Women's Foreign Mission societies, auxiliary to the Presbyterian society, and holds the office of vice-president for the synod of Minnesota, in connection with that denomination.

But, though after the straightest manner of her sect, a Presbyterian, her views are broad and her nature genial, so that she joins hands readily with Christians of whatever name, Catholic or Protestant in the prosecution of any good work. She literally sows beside all waters, and so today we find her sending her daughter or her beloved Sunday-school scholar across the ocean on a foreign mission, and tomorrow traveling in hot haste to bring the priest to minister to the dying child of her poor washerwoman. Said the mother superior of a convent to her not long ago: "I do think we serve the same master and shall be received into the same home at last."

But very particularly Mrs. Van Cleve has ever been the champion of her sex. Too true a wife, and mother ever to lose eight of woman's best and dearest rights she has still been a warm advocate of her right to equality before the law, including the ballot. When the right of suffrage was extended to the women of the state on the school question, it was her distinguished privilege to cast her first ballot in company with her husband and four sons. She also did good work for two years as member of the school board for East Minneapolis.

But of all forms of the injustice of society to women, none has so touched her heart and roused her indignation as the remorseless punishment visited upon the fallen woman. So strongly did this impress her that she at last, after much thought, determined to take upon herself as her peculiar work, to do what one woman could, to raise up and stand upon their feet, those of her own sex, who through temptation or folly had been beaten down to the ground in the unequal battle of life.

Long she labored quietly and alone, reaching out a helping hand here to a tempted and there to a fallen one. But as she became more familiar with the ways and wants of the class, she saw that much more might be done by organized effort with others. Acting on this conviction she brought together a band of working Christian women who had faith in her and the work, and together they rented a house and opened a home for fallen women. They called themselves the Sisterhood of Bethany, and their house Bethany Home.

This was purely a work of faith, for at that .time the society had no money, no income, no furniture, no supplies of any kind. Their organization was not understood by the public, the work itself was from its very nature, difficult to make understood. But Mrs. Van Cleve never faltered. For over five years she and her little band have labored incessantly to put the home on a firm footing and give it a name and a place among the recognized charities of the city. She called upon the public for help, through the press, from the platform and by personal appeal; cheerfully taking censure, ridicule or rebuff, having that rare and happy faculty so necessary to success of always turning a deaf ear towards the fault finder, and the sharp quick ear toward the voice that offered aid.

This work has constantly called her to the jail, the prison, the penitentiary, the variety theatre, the low dark haunts of sin, to all of which she has gone fearlessly and come away unharmed, leaving behind her the perfume of the "good word fitly spoken."

The lesson to be learned from Mrs. Van Cleve's life is that neither wealth nor high station, nor a life of freedom from the common cares incident to the life of women, are necessary to the accomplishment of great good. But the cheerful smile, the loving heart and the willing. industrious hand, all dedicated to the service of God and humanity, makes a power whose influence for good, like the influence of the subject of this sketch, only an eternity can measure.

 

History of Hennepin County and The City of Minneapolis, 1881. North Star Publishing

Page 648

VAN CLEVE, Horatio Phillips adjutant general of Minnesota, was born at Princeton. New Jersey, November 23d, 1809. His paternal ancestors were from Holland, while the maternal were from Great Britain. He was a student at Princeton College, and left that institution to accept a cadetship at West Point, from which school he graduated in 1831, receiving a commission as second lieutenant in the Fifth United States Infantry, July 1st of that year. In September, 1836, he resigned his commission and removed to Michigan, where-he engaged in the more peaceable pursuit of civil engineering, farming, etc. In 1856 he located at Long Prairie, Minnesota, and turned his attention to stock raising. At the breaking out of the rebellion he tendered his services to his country. The governor of Minnesota gave him the command of the Second Minnesota regiment, in July 1861, which he conducted bravely through all the conflicts in which they engaged until March, 1862, when he was promoted brigadier general. While commanding his division at the battle of Stone River, December 1st, 1862, he was disabled by a wound and compelled to retire from the field. Upon his recovery he resumed the command of his division. He was mustered out in August, 1865, after four years of active and efficient service. On March 13th of the latter year he was commissioned major general for "gallant and meritorious service during the war." He returned to Minnesota, where he was appointed adjutant general in January, 1866. He was commissioned postmaster at St. Anthony, March 3d, 1871, in which capacity he served until 1872, when St. Anthony being united to the city of Minneapolis, that office was discontinued. He was reappointed adjutant general in 1876, which position he still holds. On the field of battle Mr. Van Cleve was a thorough soldier and as a civil officer, is conscientious and faithful in the discharge of every duty. He was married March 22d, 1836, to Miss Charlotte Clark, daughter of Major Nathan Clark, of the United States army. Their union has been blessed with twelve children, seven of whom are living. Elizabeth A., who married H. V. Hall and resides at Honolulu; Horatio Seymour, who married Miss Harriet Hemiup; Mortimer, who married Miss Sarah Adams of Providence; Samuel Houston, Paul Ledyard, who married Miss Alice Davis of Minneapolis; John Risley and Carl Ernest. Mrs. Van Cleve is a lady of refinement and great force of character. She was one of the original founders of the "Sisterhood of Bethany.'' Since its formation she has held the position of president, and through her activity and zeal has enlisted the active sympathy of a large community. She is one who is heartily in sympathy with every undertaking which tends to enlighten and elevate society.

 

History of Hennepin County and The City of Minneapolis, 1881. North Star Publishing

Page 650

VAN CLEVE, S. H. son of General Van Cleve, was born at Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 21st, 1853. Moved to Todd county, Minnesota, with his parents, and thence to Minneapolis in 1861. He passed five years on the Sandwich Islands, and three years in the study of medicine. Attended the schools of Minneapolis, the State University, and graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at New York in March, 1880. With the exception of the eight years mentioned, he lives in this city since eight years of age.

 

History of Hennepin County and The City of Minneapolis, 1881. North Star Publishing

Page 651

VANDERBURGH, Charles E. judge of the fourth judicial district, is a native of the Mohawk Valley, New York, born at Clifton Park, Saratoga county, December 2d, 1829. At the age of seven years he accompanied his parents to Marcellus and there attended district school winters and worked on the farm summers. He prepared himself for college at the district school and at Homer, New York, by teaching in winter. He entered the Sophomore year at Yale College in 1849 and graduated in the class of 1852. He then took charge as principal of the Oxford Academy, Oxford, Chenango county, New York; remained in that position one year then commenced the study of law. He was admitted to the bar in 1855, and in the fall started west, reaching Minneapolis the spring of 1856, and has since made this city his home. On his arrival he entered into partnership with Judge F. R. E. Cornell in the practice of law, this firm continuing until 1859. In the fall of that year he was elected judge of this district which then embraced all the territory west of the Mississippi river, from Fort Snelling to the British Possessions. He was re-elected in 1866,1873and 1880. In 1877 the legislature consolidated the district court and the court of common pleas and Judge Young was elected associate judge with Judge Vanderburgh; from 1859 till 1877 he was the sole judge of the district. He married Miss Julia N. Mygatt, of Oxford, New York, in 1857. She died in 1863 leaving two children William H, and Julia Mygatt. The latter died in 1871. His second wife was Miss Anna Culbert; married in the spring of 1873. They have one child, Isabella McIntyre.

 

History of Hennepin County and The City of Minneapolis, 1881. North Star Publishing

Page 651

VANHORN, Milo was born in Greene county, Wisconsin, in 1841. Came to Winona, Minnesota, and remained until 1865 then removed to Clinton, Iowa. In 1876 he removed to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he remained until coming to Minneapolis in 1878. Was in the employ of J. C. Oswald and now has charge of J. H. Henderson's stable.

 

History of Hennepin County and The City of Minneapolis, 1881. North Star Publishing

Page 230

VAN NESS, Garritt Jr. born in Canada, February 23, 1836. Came to Minnesota and settled in Bloomington in 1865, and on his present farm in 1875. Married in 1862 to Miss Mary Morris. He is a carpenter and boat builder by trade. Keeps a sportsmans station, acting as guide, and furnishing boats for duck hunting. June 29, 1877, a cyclone passed over his place and destroyed every building he had. Land valued $2,500.

 

History of Hennepin County and The City of Minneapolis, 1881. North Star Publishing

Page 353

VAN NEST, Hiram, was born in 1831, near Sandusky, Ohio. In early life he moved to Illinois with his parents, and when twenty years of age came to Minneapolis. He attended the first election held on the west side of the river, and, November 27th, 1854, he had placed on record the first warranty deed in Hennepin county. It was Mr. Van Nest who cleared the road from the point where it leaves Lake Calhoun to Minnehaha Creek near the Goodrich farm. In 1861 he married Rachel Blaisdell. They have two children living. His farm of 120 acres is on section 10. He raises shorthorn cattle, Lincoln and Southdown sheep, and Berkshire swine, from imported stock.

 

History of Hennepin County and The City of Minneapolis, 1881. North Star Publishing

Page 651

VAN VALKENBURG, Henry was born at Leroy, New York, in 1826, where he lived until 1844. He then went to Toledo, Ohio, and was connected with the Indiana Hotel. In 1857, came to Wayzata, Minnesota, where he engaged in the pearlash and potash manufacture, being the first manufacture of this commodity in the state. Two years later he closed out and located in Minneapolis, engaging in a grocery until 1860, and afterwards in auction and commission business. He was married in 1853 to Katie Martin, of New York. They have only one child living: Katie, now Mrs. Farrington of this city.

 

History of Hennepin County and The City of Minneapolis, 1881. North Star Publishing

Page 651

VAN VALKENBERG, N. C. was born in McHenry county, Illinois, January 3d, 1844. In 1853, came with his parents to Richfield, Minnesota. Here he remained on the farm until 1861, when he enlisted in Company H, First Minnesota Infantry; was discharged nine months after, but re-enlisted August 22d, 1863, in Hatch's Independent Battalion, and served until mustered out in June, 1866, at Fort Snelling. The same year, came to Minneapolis and worked at his trade of millwright, and had charge of the machinery of the Washburn "B" mill for five years. In 1879 he opened a grocery store, in which he still continues. He was married in 1872, to Annie B., daughter of Martin Layman, who has borne him three children: Charles, Allie and Mabel.

 

History of Hennepin County and The City of Minneapolis, 1881. North Star Publishing

Page 650

VAUGSNES, Ole Peterson was born in Sogn, Norway, January 11th, 1855. He came to America with his parents in 1866, and settled at Decorah, Iowa, and soon after entered the Norwegian College. Graduating at Decorah in 1875, he went to a German Lutheran seminary at St. Louis, whence he graduated in 1878, and at once received a call from the congregation over which he now presides.

 

As listed in the proceedings and report of the annual meetings of the Minnesota Territorial Pioneers, May 11, 1899 and 1900.

VARNER, Louisa Ellen ( Dougherty ) was born in Warren County, Ohio, March 31, 1833. She was married to W. H. Varner June 21, 1850 and came west with him in the fall of 1854. They have three sons and two daughters.

 

As listed in the proceedings and report of the annual meetings of the Minnesota Territorial Pioneers, May 11, 1899 and 1900.

VARNER, William Harlan was born in Clinton county, Ohio, May 6, 1829. He was educated at Harveyeburgh, Ohio, and was married to Miss Louisa Ellen Dougherty June 21, 1850. In the fall of 1854 they came west, arriving at Minneapolis September 12th. Mr. Varner is a mason and plasterer, and did work on the Stevens house soon after his arrival at Minneapolis, and later helped lay the foundation of the Nicollet House, besides doing work on many other buildings in the city. He helped organize the first school district in the territory in which Golden Valley Village, Hennepin County, is now located. He was a director for many years. He has filled the office of justice of the peace most of the time since 1860, an office which he holds at the present time.

 

History of Hennepin County and The City of Minneapolis, 1881. North Star Publishing

Page 651

VORWERK, Louis was born in Germany, June 20th, 1832. Was educated in his native country, and came to America the summer of 1852. He lived three years in the state of New York, and three years in Chicago. He came to Minnesota in 1858, and located on a farm in Watonwan county, in which he remained until the Indian outbreak, in 1862, when he was driven from his home. Came to Minneapolis and worked in the furniture business until he accumulated enough to begin business for himself, then opened a grocery at 330 Fifth street north-east. His marriage to Miss Jennie Faber occurred October 10th, 1856, at Chicago. They have four children living: Frederick, Elizabeth E., Louis W. and Fredericka D. A.