Transcribed by: Ellen Booth.Page 264
GEORGE NEWELL VAN EMAN is the owner of a good tract of land in Athens precinct and to the development and improvement of his farm he is devoting his energies with the result that he now has a productive tract, constituting one of the best farming properties of his locality. He was born in Hollidays Grove, West Virginia, on the 9th of July, 1855, his parents being W.W. and Ellazanna Van Eman. The father was a native of Burgettstown, Washington county, Pennsylvania, and the mother's birth occurred in the same county near the village of Cross Creek, Virginia. W. W. Van Eman devoted his early life to farming and teaching school, following the educational profession for twelve years. He then turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, renting a tract of land and subsequently he and his brother purchased a farm. At a later date he bought his brother's interest and subsequently he sold the entire place and removed to a farm near Farmer City, Illinois, where he also bought land, taking up his abode there in 1879. For about nine years he continued the cultivation and improvement of that place and in 1888 he sold out and became the owner of a tract of land near Champaign. There he spent two years, after which he bought a farm near Webster City, Iowa. He bought and sold twice while in that district and he now owns a fine farm near Esterville, Emmet county, Iowa, upon which he is residing. He carries on general agricultural pursuits and is also a stock-raiser, breeding shorthorn cattle. His farm work has been carefully conducted and basing his success upon earnest labor he has worked persistently to acquire a good and profitable property. He has found in his wife a faithful companion and helpmate on life's journey, she having carefully managed the household affairs, while he has conducted his farming interest. Unto them were born seven children, of whom five, three sons and two daughters, are now living.
George Newell Van Eman, the eldest of the family, is indebted to the public school system of western Pennsylvania for the educational privileges which he enjoyed in his youth. When he had mastered the branches of learning usually taught in the public schools he began farming with his father at Farmer City, Illinois. He afterward spent seven years in DeWitt and Piatt counties as a renter and then returned to Menard count, locating upon his present farm, a part of which was left to his wife, while the remainder he purchased. They now have one hundred and fifty-two acres and the greater part of the land is under a high state of cultivation, for Mr. Van Eman has continued the further work of development and improvement until it is now an excellent farm, supplied with all modern accessories and equipments.
On the 15th of October, 1885, Mr. Van Eman was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. White, the ceremony being performed by Rev. R. D. Miller. The lady was born and reared in Menard county and attended school at Indian Point until eighteen years of age, after which she was a student at Lincoln University in Lincoln, Illinois, for a time. After completing her education she engaged in teaching until within a short time of her marriage. She is a daughter of R. F. White, who was born in St. Claire county, Illinois, but was only a few months old when brought to Menard county, thus becoming one of the pioneer settlers of this region. He was married near Jacksonville in Morgan County, Illinois, to Miss Rachel Roach, a native of Tennessee, and to them were born seven children, of whom three reached years of maturity, one of these being John E. White, who is represented elsewhere in this volume. The father was a Democrat in politics and was an influential and honored citizen of his community. Mr. and Mrs. Van Eman have one son, Frank White, who was born December. 18, 1886, and is now assisting his father in the operation of the home farm.
In his political views Mr. Van Eman is a Republican, unfaltering in his advocacy of the party and its principles. He and his family are members of the Lebanon Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the house of worship standing near their home upon land given for that purpose by Mrs. Van Eman's grandfather. Their influence is ever on the side of right, order and progress and in all of his business dealings as well as in private life Mr. Van Eman is just and fair, so that his name has become a synonym for integrity in all trade transactions.