Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.
A well known and greatly respected resident of Morris county, the honored subject of this review is engaged in farming near Pine Brook, and makes a specialty of vegetables and strawberries. He was born on the homestead where he now resides, on the 21st of November, 1841, a son of Peter W. and Mary (Peer) Van Ness. William Van Ness, the grandfather, and first of the family to settle in Morris county, came to the farm now owned by our subject previous to 1800. He was born in 1770, his parents being Henry and Rachel Van Ness, the former of whom died November 19, 1816 and the latter February 14, 1814, and he was twice married, -one union having been with Miss Hannah Riker, the name of his other wife being unknown. Two children were born to him, Elizabeth, who married Francis Peer, of Montville, and Peter W.
The birth of Peter W. Van Ness occurred on the old homestead May 3, 1801, and there he continued to reside during his lifetime. He married Miss Mary Peer, and they became the parents of ten children, namely: Francis P., deceased; William, who lives in Pine Brook; Caroline, deceased, married Henry Vreeland, of Montville township; Elizabeth, deceased, married Elisha Pierce, of Montville township; John, deceased; Sarah Ann became Mrs. George E. Mead, of Essex county; Hettie Maria married Nathaniel J. Kent, of Montville; Margaret Jane, unmarried; Rachel, now Mrs. George Heisler, of Camden, New Jersey; and Isaac, our subject. Peter W. Van Ness affiliated with the Fairfield Reformed church, but later in life transferred his membership to the Pine Brook Methodist Episcopal church, whose house of worship he helped to build. He died on the 28th of May, 1859, and was survived by his wife until March 25, 1871, when she also passed to her eternal rest.
Isaac Van Ness, after acquiring much knowledge as was afforded by the district schools, entered upon the active duties of farm life and has continued to devote his time and energies to that branch of industry ever since. He gives particular attention to general farming, in which he has met with distinct success, and each year sends to market a large and varied assortment of crops.
In touching upon the political side of Mr. Van Ness' life, it may be stated that he is a firm advocate of Republican principles, believing them to be the most conductive to the prosperity of the nation. He has served as tax collector, a member of the school board, and as township committeeman. He is a trustee in the Pine Brook Methodist church.
The marriage of Mr. Van Ness was consummated April 5, 1865, when he was united to Miss Alice W. Starkey, born March 11, 1842, a daughter of Benjamin and Alice (Fox) Starkey, and one child resulted from this union, namely: Benjamin S., who was born on the 9th of June, 1866, and who after completing his education followed teaching as a profession. He married Miss Laura A. Van Duyne, daughter of James A. Van Duyne, and two children were born to them: Earl Benjamin, born February 11, 1892; and Floyd Starkey, born January 13, 1895. Benjamin S. died on the 16th of March, 1897.
Transcribed by Christopher Cresta
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