V Surnames

History of Luzerne County, Pa.,

by H.C. Bradsby, 1893

CHARLES S. VAN BUSKIRK, carpenter and truck farmer, Forty Fort borough, was born September 17, 1843, at Forty Fort, and is a son of Peter and Maria (Finch) Van Buskirk, who were natives of New Jersey and New Jersey respectively. Our subject, who is the sixth in a family of seven, was educated in the common schools, and at the age of twenty enlisted in the U. S. Army, Company K, One Hundred and Ninety-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and was discharged November 9, 1864. He then came to Port Bowkley, and was engaged as carpenter two years, after which he worked for nine years at same trade at Maltby. He then purchased his present farm, and has carried on truck farming up to the present time. Mr. Van Buskirk was married January 3, 1866, to Sarah J., daughter of Joseph and Susan (DeLong) Savits, natives of Pennsylvania, and of German origin.

FRANK P. VAN CAMPEN, proprietor of the AForest House, Wilkes-Barre, was born in Warren county, N. J., November 11, 1853, a son of Moses and Margaret (Walters) Van Campen, and is of Holland Dutch descent. His parents settled in Hanover Township, this county, in 1859 where the father engaged in farming until 1874, when he embarked in the hotel business in Wilkes-Barre township, and kept the "Mountain House" four years; removed to Wilkes-Barre in 1878, and kept the "Courtright House" three years, and in 1881, became proprietor of the "Forest House," which he conducted until his death in 1885. His children who grew to maturity were four in number: Mary (Mrs. Jefferson R. Woman), Abraham, Frank P. and Thomas. Our subject was reared in Luzerne county from six years of age, was educated in public schools, and after attaining his majority, engaged in butchering; later in hotel business. He has been proprietor of the "Forest House," Wilkes-Barre, since 1885. On August 12, 1874, Mr. Van Campen married Miss Matilda, Daughter of Henry D. and Helen (Gray) Smith, of Honesdale, Pa. And has one daughter, Myrtle. He is a member of the P. O. S. of A.; in politics he is a Democrat.

BENJAMIN VANDERMARK, farmer, P.O. Dorrance, was born in Newport township, February 19, 1823, a son of William and Sarah (SHORTZ) VANDERMARK, the former born in Newport township, August 8, 1797, the latter in Hollenback township, September 7, 1797. William VANDERMARK is a son of Jeremiah, who was the son of Benjamin VANDERMARK, a native of Holland, who emigrated to this country at a very early date. He located on the banks of the Delaware river, in New York State, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits, a vocation which his progeny have followed from one generation to another. Benjamin finally removed to this county, locatin gin Newport township, where he owned considerable coal land. He was regarded in his time as a man of influence, and died at a ripe old age, after living a life of industry and usefulness. Jeremiah, his son, began his active business life in Newport as a farmer. He removed to the south side of the mountain, to what is now Slocum township, where he purchased 300 acres of woodland. He was a conscientious man in all his dealings, and a good citizen, whose life, like that of all frontier men, was somewhat eventful. He died in 1856, aged eighty-two years, his wife having preceded him to the grave. Their family consisted of eleven children, two fo whom are still living: Benjamin and John. His son William also began his active life in Newport, he, too, being a farmer. In 1830 he removed to the south side of the mountain, where he purchased 250 acres, forty-five of which were brought under cultivation during his lifetime. He was a hard-working, honest and industrious man, one who attended strictly to his own business, yet slighted not those who desired his assistance. He died July 6, 1875, aged seventy-seven years; his wife died October 29, 1869, aged seventy-two years. Their family consisted of nine children, all of whom grew to maturity, and six are now living, Benjamin being the first in order of birth. Our subject was reared and educated in Wright township, and worked some time at removed to his present residence. His place contains seventy-six acres, part of which was cleared previous to his occupancy, and by his skillful and masterly management he has succeeded in making it a model farm. He has proven himself to be a practical man, keeping well abreast of the times. In 1850 Mr. VANDERMARK married Miss Hannah M., daughter of Peter and Hannah COOL, and to them have been born seven children, three of wom are living: John L. (a contractor and builder in Chicago), Wilson E. and Rozella M. Mrs. Hannah M. VANDERMARK was born in Hollenback township, February 27, 1829. Mr. and Mrs. VANDERMARK are members of the M. E. Church. Their son Wilson E. is studying for the ministry, and is also a member of the same body. In politics the VANDERMARKs are Republicans.

JAMES W. VANDLING, mine superintendent, Wilkes-Barre, was born in Harrisburg, Pa., November 10, 1860, and is a son of John S. and Sarah (JACK) VANDLING, the former a native of Northumberland county, and of German descent, the latter a native of Harrisburg, and of Irish lineage. The father of our subject was a prosperous contractor and builder in Harrisburg for many years, and died thre in 1888, at the age of fifty-four years. Our subject was educated in Harrisburg, and at the age of sixteen was employed as bookkeeper by the Delaware & Hudson Coal Co., at Plymouth; he continued in the employ of the company in this capacity three years, when he was appointed outside mine superintendent for the same company, at the Old Baltimore Mine, in Plymouth township, where he has since been engaged. Although but nineteen when he assumed this position of responsibility, he proved himself thoroughly competent from the beginning, and has won the confidence of the company, and the favor and respect of the employes under his supervision. Mr. VANDLING was married, October 19, 1881, to Miss Nellie M. BLAIR, of Plymouth. To this union have come two children: Brice, born September 17, 1882; and May, born June 16, 1884. Our subject is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and the F.& A.M. In his political views, he is a Democrat.

J.A. VAN HORN, farmer, P.O. Hunlock Creek, was born in Union (now Hunlock) township, September 11, 1839, a son of Abram and Olive (HUBBS) VAN HORN, the former of whom was born in Salem in 1804, the latter in Montgomery county, N.Y., in 1807. Abraham was a son of Isaac VAN HORN, who was bornin Montgomery county, Pa., a son of Samuel, who was born in this country (probably in Montgomery county), and was of Dutch descent, his ancestors having emigrated to this country as far back as 1642. Samuel was a captain in the Revolutionary army, and did valiant service for liberty and independence. He removed from Montgomery county to Salem, in Luzerne county, about 1780. By two mariages his family consisted of four sons and one daughter, and he died in 1852, aged one hundred years. Isaac was a young man when he removed hither from his father. He was a miller and a first-class mechanic, but as he became advanced in years, he devoted his time exclusively to agricultural pursuits. He was an extensive farmer in his day, owning some three hundred acres of land, much of which was brought under the plough by him. He died in 1852, aged seventy-five years. Abram was the second son in a family of ten children. He spend some time in Huntington township, to which place his father had removed. From that township Abram proceeded to New York City, where he was one year in the employ of a merchant, as clerk. He then returned home, where he spent a short time, and soon after went to work on the canal, as a contractor, in which he succeeded, becoming a great business man in that line; he followed contracting for a short time. He was a keen-sighted, clear-minded man, one who took advantage of circumstances and led time by the forelock. On October 22, 1829, he maried Olive HUBB, and in the following year he removed to Union (now Hunlock) township, on a 241-acre lot, to which he soon added 555 acres woodland, the timber of which he manufactured into lumber. This farm during his life-time was improved by him, commodious and comfort all his might whatsoever his hands found to do. He was a stanch Abolitionist, and with his wife, Olive, was a strong supporter of the M. E. Church, of which body they were both consistent members. There were seven children born to them, six of whom are living: William, Alexander H., Francis M., Adelia, James A. and Jennie A. Of these, William married Miss DREW, to whom were born two sons, Charles S. and P.S., and for his second wife he wedded Miss Gereldine GREGORY, who bore him one son, Raymong [sic] H. Alexander H. married Miss Harriet ABBOTT, by whom were born two children: Edwin S. and Maud R., and for his second wife he wedded Miss Dora READING, who bore him three children: Olive, Gertrude and Mary L. Francis M. married Miss Mary HAMED, by whom was born one son, W.H., and for his second wife he married Miss Amelia TUBBS, who bore him one daughter, Ellen K. Adelia married William L. COOK. James A. is a practical business man and a thorough farmer. He is a stanch Republican, and has held several township offices with great credit. In October, 1861, he was mustered into the U.S. service, for the term of three years, as a private in Company B, Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Second Brigade, Gen. Grey commanding. A few days after his enlistment he was made sergeant. He served his time, was honorably discharged and re-enlisted in the same regiment, wher ehe served until July, 1865. On September 4, 1864, he received his commission as a second lieutenant, and as such was discharged. He participated in all the leading battles during his term of service, the names of which are recorded in the history of the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry. The battles and engagements of the regiment were seventy-seven in number, and the loss sustained was 851 men. Mr. J. A. VAN HORN is a member of the G.A.R.

WILLIAM VAN HORN, a farmer, Huntington township, P.O. Register, was bornin COlumbia county, Pa., December 3, 1829, a son of Jeriah and Anna (BRITTIAN) VAN HORN, natives of Pennsylvania, of English origin. The father was a farmer and cooper by occupation, and died September 29, 1891, aged eighty-eight years; he was a son of Abram VAN HORN, also a farmer and cooper. Our subject is second in a family of three children, and is the only one now living. He was reared on the farm and educated in the common schools. When twenty-six years of age he began forming the homestaed farm for his father, and we find him on the same property to-day. He was married August 4, 1855, to Anna, daughter of Joseph LOCKARD, which union was blessed with eleven children, ten of whom are living, viz.: Joseph B., a farmer of Salem township; Sarah E. (Mrs. John BAKER), living in the State of Washington; Sophia A. (Mrs. E. B. GEARHART), of HUntington township; Milton D., a physician in New York State; James K., a school teacher in the State of Washington, and Isaac, Florence C., Jacob, Harry C. and Allie L., all at home. The family are members of the Methodist Protestant Church. Politically Mr. VAN HORN is a Democrat, and has been supervisor and assessor of the township. The VAN HORN farm contains eighty-five acres, and is situated a quarter of a mile south from Register post office.

GERALD VAN KEUREN, Wilkes-Barre, was born in Walden, Orange Co., N.Y., March 10, 1865, and is a son of Jacob and Louise (WILKENS) VAN KEUREN, natives of that State. Mr. VAN KEUREN formerly resided at Newburgh, N.Y., and at the age of fourteen engaged in the dry-goods business in which he remained twelve years, a part of which time he spent in New York City. In the fall of 1886 he came to Wilkes-Barre where he also folwed the dry-goods business until January 1, 1892, when he embarked in his present business. On March 9, 1892, he was married to Miss Lottie, daughter of Isaac TAYLOR (deceased), late of WIlkes-Barre. In politics Mr. VAN KEUREN is a Republican.

JOHN C. VAN LOON, lumber dealer, Kingston. Among the leading tnerprises of Kingston is that of the Kingston Lumber Company, and the subject of this memoir is one of the three members composing it, the other two being Messrs. W.P. KIRKENDALL and Thomas F. LAWLESS. Mr. VAN LOON was born at Newport, Luzerne Co., Pa., August 7, 1842, and is a son of Elijah and Susan (CRANE) VAN LOON, both natives of Pennsylvania. He was educated in the common schools of Luzerne county, and began life farming, which he followed until he had reached the age of twenty-eight. He then learned the carpenter's trade at which he worked a short time, and then engaged in mercantile business at Kingston, which he followed about two years. He then commenced the butchering business with J.N. PETTEBONE, at Kingston, which he carried on eight years, at the endof which time, in 1883, he was appointed warden of the Luzerne County Prison, which position he held four years, when he embarked in his present business. During the Civil war Mr. VAN LOON was engaged in the Federal Construction Corps, which was principally engaged through Tennessee and Georgia. On March 10, 1868, he married Mary E., daughter of Thomas and Anna (REEL) PETTEBONE, of Wyoming, Luzerne county, and this happy union has been blessed with two daughters: Anna L. and Jessie L., who reside with their parents in Kingston. Mr. VAN LOON and family are members of the M.E. Church; he is a member of the I.O.O.F., F.& A.M. and K. of H. In politics he is a stanch Democrat, and is at present one of the councilmen of Kingston borough.

ALEXANDER H. VANNAUKER, foreman in COXE Bros. & Co's. general store Eckley, was born at Carbondale, Pa., January 29, 1859. He is a son of John P. and Nancy J. (FULLER) VANNAUKER, the former a descendant of one of the old New Jersey families and a native of that State, and the latter a native of Connecticut, and of New England origin. The father died in 1862, at Hilton Head Hospital. He was a member of Company K, Fifty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers. Mr. VANNAUKER was educated in the Harford Soldiers' Orphan School and in Wyoming Seminary, and at the age of nineteen accepted a position as assistant bookkeeper for J. LEISENRING & Co., at Eckley, remaining in the employ of that firm from 1879 to 1886, when he accepted his present position with COXE Bros. & Co. Besides having charge of their stores at Eckley, he is also postmaster, agent for the Adams Express Company, and agent for the L.V.R.R. and D.S.& S. Railroad Companies. Mr. VANNAUKER was married August 16, 1882, to Miss Lina, daughter of George RICKERT, superintendent at Hazlebrook. They have four children, viz.: Clara E., Alexander H., G. Harrison and Osmond H. He is a member of the P.O.S. of A. and American Legion of Honor.

AUGUSTUS S. VAN WICKLE, president of the Hazleton National Bank and the Tomhicken, Milnesville & Eastern Railroad Co., Hazleton. This prominent gentleman was born in New Brunswick, N.J., in 1856, and is a son of Simon and Anna R. (RANDOLPH) VAN WICKLE, the formed of whom was a Pennsylvanian, and an extensive coal operator in this region, the latter a descendant of the famous Randolph family of Virginia. The subject of this sketch was educated in Providence, R.I., and is also a graduate of Brown University, in the class of [18]'76. After completing his education he came to Hazleton, and engaged in the coal business with his father, who at that time was president of the Ebenale & South Mountain Coal Co. In 1878 he was elected president of this company, and continued as such until 1881, when he went to Cleveland, Ohio, and assumed control of a branch house belonging to the same company. There he remained until 1886, when he returned to Hazleton, although still retaining his interest in the Cleveland business. He was at once made president of the new firm VAN WICKLE & Co., successors to the old company. The main office of the concern is at No. 1 Broadway, New York City. Mr. VAN WICKLE is an extensive and successful coal operator, and is largely interested in the manufacture of blasting powder. In 1890 the Hazleton National Bank was organized, and Mr. VAN WICKLE was chosen president, which position he has since creditably filled; he is also president of the Tomhicken, Milnesville & Easter Railroad Co. Mr. VAN WICKLE is a very busy man, yet he neves is so much occupied that he forgets those acts of courtesy which denote the breeding of a gentleman, and his willingness to assist those with whom he comes in contact has won for him hosts of warm friends. As a business man, he has been eminently successful; as a citizen, he is enterprising and loyal; and as a man, he commands the respect and admiration of all classes. Mr. VAN WICKLE was united in marriage, in 1882, with Miss Bessie, daughter of Ario and Maria Pardee, early pioneers of Hazleton, which union has been blessed with one child, a daughter.

MICHAEL VARGO, proprietor of the "Midvale Hotel", Plains, was born in Austria November 1, 1862, and is a son of Michael and Annie (CHIDLER) VARGO; in his father's family there were nine children, seven of whom are living, and of whom Michael is the eldest. As he approached the age of manhood, the possibilities offered him by his native land were quite below his ambition, so he sought his fortune in the New World, where he arrived in 1882. He first located at Avondale, Pa., where he picked slate on the breaker two and a half months; he then went to Nottingham, where he was employed as a mine laborer for seven and a half years, and then engaged in the saloon business at that place, and after seven months removed to his present place of business. Mr. VARGO was married, January 31, 1885, to Miss Anne FERTHON, and they have three children, viz.: Annie, Barble and Ellis. Our subject and family are members of the Catholic Church, and he is a Democrat in his political views.


JOHN VAUGHAN, retired, Inkerman, was born in Wales, in May, 1832, and is a son of Charles and Mary (PRICE) VAUGHAN, natives of the same place. He was educated in a private school in his native country, and came to the United States in 1857, locating in Schuylkill county, Pa., for a short time; he then settled in Plains, this county, and in 1861, on the first call for troops, enlistedin Company L, Ninth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry. He served through the war and participated in the following battles: Chattanooga, Lebanon, Springfield, Moore's Mills, Tompkinsville, Shelbyville, Readyville, Lovejoys Station, Averyborough and Hillsboro. After the war he returned ot his home, and worked as a miner in Pittston until his retirement in December, 1881. Mr. Vaughan was united in marriage, November 7, 1865, with Mary, daughter of Thomas and Margaret WATERS, of Sebastopol, natives of Wales. Their union has been blessed with the following issue: Isaac, born April 21, 1867, married January 1, 1890, to Mrs. Mary WILLIAMS, daughter of William and Margaret THOMAS, of Scranton, Lackawanna county; Thomas W., born March 9, 1869; Elizabeth, born July 5, 1871; Jemima, born November 3, 1873; Mary, born February 8, 1876; Charles, born May 23, 1878; and George, born February 22, 1885. Mrs. VAUGHAN also has a son by her first marriage - John H. WILLIAMS, born March 23, 1862. Our subject is a Republican in politics, and is a member of the G.A.R.

R. B. VAUGHN, freight agent, Kingston, was born in Wyalusing, Bradford county, May 9, 1859, and is a son of James C. and Anna (GAMBLE) VAUGHN. The father of our subject was also a native of Bradford county, and a descendant of Richard VAUGHN, of Connecticut, who was a member of an old New England family. Mr. VAUGHN's mother, Anna GAMBLE, is also a native of Bradford county, and of Scotch-Irish lineage, being a daughter of Joseph GAMBLE, who emigrated to this country from the north of Ireland during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Mr; VAUGHN was educated in the common schools of Bradford county, the Wyalusing graded schools, and Wyoming Seminary, Kingston, and at the age of nineteen learned telegraphy, and entred the emply of the Lehigh Valley Railraod Company as a telegraph operator, remaining in their employ about one year and six months, when, in 1880, he resigned that position and came to Kingston as a freight agent for the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Co., and general manager of the coal forwarding department of the Lackawanna & Bloomsburg Division of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Co., which position he has since held. Mr. VAUGHN was united in marriage, April 14, 1886, with Miss Rilly, daughter of Abel MAJOR, of Plymouth. They have two children, Helen and Florence. Mr. VAUGHN is president of the Kingston Fire Department; in politics he is a Republican.

WILLIAM W. VINCENT, dealer in hardware, plumbing supplies and tinning, Main street, Ashley, was born in England, December 27, 1834, and is a son of Joshua and Ann (WELCH) VINCENT. His father, who was a farmer, came from England to Connecticut, and in 1846 located in Scranton, Pa., whence after several years they moved to a farm in Franklin township, where he and his wife died. The family consisted of ten children, seven of whom are living, and our subject is the eldest. Mr. VINCENT's boyhood was spent on a farm. He lived with John JERMYN, of Scranton, four years, during which time he worked in the mines. In 1855 he went to California, engaging in gold mining, remaining ther until 1866, and making three visits home. At the end of that time he returned ot Franklin township and purchased a farm which he operated until 1871, when he built his present place of business. He first rented it for four years, but now occupies it himself as a place of business and a residence. His son, Charles W., is now associated with him in business. March 29, 1863, Mr. VINCENT married Miss Mary A., daughter of Joseph WHIPP, of Exeter township. She died December 24, 1891, leaving six children,, viz.: Anna (Mrs. Dr. W.D. DODSON, Nanticoke); Isa (Mr. A.A. UNDERWOOD, Scranton); Charles W. (who, February 18, 1892, married Miss Sarah J., daughter of Samuel B. WATSON, of Ashley. He is a graduate of the New York Trade School, a partner with his father, and member of the P.O.S. of A. and Jr. O.U.A.M.); Frederick D. (who graduated from Bloomsburg State Normal School in 1892, and is a teacher in the Ashley school); Oscar; and Floss. Mr. VINCENT and family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he has been trustee for many years. He is also a member of the F.& A.M. A Republican in politics, he has held the offices of burgess and justice of the peace in Ashley borough.

C. A. VOIGT, tinsmith, Pittston, is a native of Germany, born December 7, 1844. He was reared and educated in his native land, and spent his boyhood days in working at the tinner's trade with his father, who was also a tinsmith. At the age of eighteen he and his brother George emigrated to America; the latter enlisted in the United States navy and served through the war of the Rebellion. Our subject engaged in working at his trade in the city of New York, where he remained eighteen years, and in 1881 came to Pittston, working as a journeyman until 1888, when he engaged in his present business. Mr. VOIGT has been very successful in his line, and now has the largest establishment of the kind in Pittston. He was married in 18-- to Miss Anna SIMMON, of Pittston. Eight children have been born to them, viz.: George, a tinsmith in Pittston; John, a printer in Pittston; Ernest, a tinsmith in Pittston; Eugina, married to Charles DASH, of South Wilkes-Barre; Louisa; Gertrude; Mabel and Harry. This gentleman is a member of the I.O.O.F. and the German Lutheran Church. In his political views he is in hearty accord with the principles of the Republican party.

REV. FERDINAND VON KRUG, Presbyterian minister, Kingston, was born in Germany, January 26, 1850, and is a son of Jacob and Mary (OTTO) VON KRUG. He was educated in the schools of Darmstadt and Heidelberg, in his native land, and in 1869 came to America, where he attended the Western Reserve College, graduating therefrom in 1873, in which year he proceeded to Auburn, N.Y., where he remained three years, receiving his theological education. He then went to Bloomingburg, Ohio, and was there engaged in ministerial work from 1876 to 1884, and then moving to White Haven, Pa., he remained there about two years, when he came to Kingston, where he has since been located. Mr. VON KRUG was married, in 1876, to Miss Welitta BARNES, of Rock Stream, N.Y., and they have three children: Harry, Karl and Mary. He is a member of the F.& A.M.

MORTIMER VOSBURGH, manager, Vosburgh Brothers' Carriage Works, Wilkes-Barre, was born in Burlington township, Bradford Co., Pa., December 3, 1830, and is a son of Jacob E. and Lucinda (Thomas) Vosburgh, natives of Yates County, N.Y., who settled in Burlington. His father was a physician by profession--a prominent man of his day. He died in 1856, aged sixty-four years, and left a family of ten children: Nelson, Sarah (Mrs. William Knapp), Henry, William, Minerva (Mrs. Joseph Morehouse), Edwin, Mortimer, Reuben, Orlando and Albert. Our subject was reared in his native county, educated in the common schools, and learned the carpenter's trade, which he has followed twelve years. He then learned the carriage-maker's trade, which he has followed twenty-eight years--sixteen years as manager for Vosburgh Brother's, in Wilkes-Barre, where he located in 1875. In 1853 Mr. Vosburgh married Miss Matilda, daughter of John Campbell, of County Down, Ireland, and by her he had five children: Loren T. (deceased), Clarence R., Herbert W., Florence (Mrs. S. M. Bard) and Earnest A. Of these, Clarence and Herbert comprise the firm of Vosburgh Brothers, prominent carriage manufacturers of Wilkes-Barre; Loren T. married Nellie Keifer; Clarence R. married Sallie Biesly; Earnest A. married Nelly Graham, of Quincy, Ill., and resides in Ohio; Herbert W. is single.

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