- EUGENE W. VAN NORMAN. The commercial interests of the flourishing
town of Monticello,
- Wis., are in the hands of progressive men who vie with each
other to render that place a center for Green county. Among those
young men who have displayed ability and energy is Eugene W.
VAN NORMAN, the subject of this sketch, who is owner and manager
of the finely appointed drug store of the town.
- Mr. VAN NORMAN was born near Moscow, in Lafayette county,
Wis., Oct. 20, 1874, a son
- of Michael F. and Katherine (DEAM) VAN NORMAN, who came to
Wisconsin in the early pioneer days. Michael F. VAN NORMAN was
born in Luzerne county, Penn., Sept. 19, 1835, a son of Jacob
and Mary (PARKS) VAN NORMAN, the former born on the Mohawk river,
near Philadelphia, Penn., in 1802, a son of Samuel and Phebe
VAN NORMAN, natives of Holland, who came to the United States
with their parents when very young, setting in Pennsylvania,
and died near Scranton, Penn., the father aged ninety-five years,
and the mother ninety years.
- Jacob VAN NORMAN, the grandfather of our subject, was engaged
in the lumber business until
- forty-five years of age, when he purchased 220 acres of land
in Chemung county, N.Y., where he remained until 1854. In that
year he sold his land in New York and bought 320 acres in Iowa
county, Wis., remaining there until his death, at the age of
seventy-eight years. In his political relations he was a Democrat
until the war, when he voted for Abraham Lincoln. He was a prominent
man and held many local offices. Mrs. MARY (PARKS) VAN NORMAN,
the grandmother of our subject, died near Sioux City, at the
home of her son Jacob, when she was age eighty-four years. She
was born in Pennsylvania, a daughter of Joseph and Rebecca PARKS,
who came from Newfoundland to the United States and located first
in Luzerne county, Penn., where the father died at the age of
one hundred, and the mother at seventy-three. Samuel VAN NORMAN,
our subject's great-grandfather, was a soldier in the war of
1812, for which service he afterward drew a pension. The family
were noted for their longevity. Jacob and Mary (PARKS) VAN NORMAN
were members of the Methodist Church for many years, he being
very active in church and Sunday school work. They were the parents
of nine children, seven of whom are living, two engaged in farming,
one in the ministry, and the rest, including our subject's father,
in the stock business. Three of the sons were soldiers in the
war of the Rebellion.
- Michael F. VAN NORMAN remained at home until twenty-one years
of age, attending the dis-
- trict school in winter, working his father's farm in summer,
and, to gratify his ambition for learning, studying at home.
He was afterward employed in teaching during winters, and attended
the Evansville College, Evansville, Wis., one term. Being then
in his twenty-third year, and in poor health, he went overland
to Kansas, and engaged in teaming for the Pike's Peak Express
Co. While there he drove four mules to a coach that hauled the
famous Horace Greeley from Manhattan to Fort Riley, when on his
overland trip to California. In 1860 Mr. VAN NORMAN returned
to Iowa county, Wis., rented a farm, and, as the State banks
nearly all failed, and what money he had saved for this occasion
was State bank currency, worth from ten to forty cents on the
dollar, he was obliged to go in debt for everything he bought.
He remained there until the outbreak of the war, when, in July,
1862, he joined Company E, 31st Wis. V.I., under Capt. Mason.
He served until the close of hostilities, was mustered out at
Louisville, Ky., and was discharged at Madison, Wis. At Atlanta,
Ga., July 24, 1864, he was wounded, and remained in the hospital
four days, when he obtained transportation home, and returned
to his regiment about thirty days later. He was in the Division
Commissary Department, and on detached service at Smoky Swamp,
S.C., and marched through to Washington, by way of Richmond,
with the 20th Army Corps. After the close of the war he returned
home, rented a farm of 330 acres for six years, then bought 100
acres in Primrose township, Dane Co., Wis. Five years later he
rented his farm, moved to Middleton, same county, and remained
there about seventeen years. While there he was engaged in the
stock business, owning some of the finest bred animals in the
country. He was also the owner of a 215 acre farm in Middleton.
He moved from this town to Milwaukee, to engaged in the live
stock commission business with his brother, George B. On account
of his health he was obliged to leave Milwaukee, and then went
on the road soliciting for the firm, making many trips to the
far West every year. His family removed to Madison in 1897, where
they now reside. In his political relations he has been a Republican
since President Lincolns' first term, but generally votes for
the best man. He is a member of the G.A.R. and the I.O.O.F. To
Michael F. and Katherine (DEAM) VAN NORMAN were born five children:
Ida, who was drowned at Mt. Vernon, Wis. at the age of sixteen;
Etta M., wife of H. J. WHALEN, a commission merchant of Milwaukee;
Eugene W., our subject; George W., who is with his uncle, George
B. VAN NORMAN, in Chicago, engaged in the live stock commission
business; and Paul, who attends the Madison high school. Mrs.
Katherine (DEAM) VAN NORMAN was born in Bradford county, Penn,
July 31, 1837, a daughter of Henry H. and Elizabeth (ETTLEMAN)
DEAM, also natives of that State, and of German descent. Mr.
DEAM died at the old home in Iowa county, Wis., at the age of
forty-four, and his wife passed away at Plano, Ill., at the age
of sixty years.
- Eugene W. VAN NORMAN was reared at Middleton, Dane county.
His educational advantages
- were excellent, as his primary education in the common schools
was supplemented by a course in high school, from which he was
graduated in 1890, then entering the Wisconsin Academy, at Madison,
in which institution he took a two-years course. This was followed
by two years in the pharmaceutical department of the State University.
In August, 1897, he came to Monticello, Green county, and bought
out the drug business of E. J. FISCHER, since which time he has
been successfully engaged in that line. Mr. VAN NORMAN has a
neatly appointed store, carries a large stock of drugs, medicines,
toilet articles, paints, and supplies usually found in the establishments
of first-class druggists.
- Mr. VAN NORMAN is a member of the Green County Retail Druggists
Association, also of the
- Wisconsin Pharmaceutical Association. He is personally popular,
and during his sojourn at the university was president of his
class, and also captain of the baseball team. In politics he
is a Republican, but does not force his views on any one, being
peculiarly fitted for a business life by the possession of that
tact which attracts all classes. His energy and ability are recognized,
and the citizens of Monticello have complete confidence in him
as a pharmacist.
- Taken from "Commemorative Biographical Record of
the Counties of Rock, Green, Grant, Iowa and Lafayette Wisconsin,"
(c)1901 Union Publishing; pp. 842-843.
- Courtesy of Carol.