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St. Croix County Biographies and Historical Sketches

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Van Meter, Vandeberg, Vincent, Virtue

Van Meter

Franc A. R. Van Meter, one of the leading newspaper men of the valley, was born May 9, 1872, at New Richmond, Wis., son of Abe C. and Frances R. (Bagley) Van Meter, and grandson of Miles H. Van Meter, one of the early settlers of Hudson, Wis. Abe C. was a veteran of the Civil war, serving in Company A, Thirtieth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. After being mustered out he returned to Hudson, Wis., and worked at his trade as printer, both in that city and La Crosse, Wis. He went to New York with Brick Pomeroy, returning afterward to La Crosse. In 1869 he established the St. Croix "Republican," New Richmonds first newspaper, and continued in the newspaper business in New Richmond until his death in January 1899. His wife spent her girlhood in La Crosse and was there married to A. C. Van Meter in 1870. Franc A. R. received his preliminary education in the public schools and graduated from the New Richmond High School in 1887. During his school days he made his fathers printing office his headquarters, and the day after graduating he went to work there, having followed the newspaper and printing business ever since, being a veteran in newspaper work if not in years. He continued on the St. Croix "Republican" until 1894, when he went to La Crosse and became city editor of the "Republican and Leader," the successor of Charley Seymours old newspaper, on which his father had worked thirty years previous. He continued on the "Republican and Leader" until 1899, then went over to Ellis B. Ushers La Crosse "Morning Chronicle" as city editor, remaining until 1900. Mr. Van Meter then returned to New Richmond and became editor of the "Republican Voice," his brother, C. H. Van Meter, having purchased E. J. Scotts half interest in that publication. Previous to 1899 there had been two newspapers in New Richmond, the "St. Croix Republican" and the "New Richmond Voice." After the cyclone, June 12, 1899, the two papers were merged. The Van Meter-Welch Printing Company, of which Mr. Van Meter is president, was organized and incorporated in February 1907, bought out the "New Richmond News" on January 1, 1908, continued that publication as a weekly and then purchased the "Republican Voice," semi-weekly, consolidating the two papers on that date under the name of the "News and Republican-Voice," semi-weekly. The reputation of this paper is too widespread to need comment. Clean, newsy, well written, carefully edited and dignified, it is a fine sample of what small city journalism is at its best. Mr. Van Meter has always been a Republican in politics. In 1893in fact before he was a voterhe was elected supervisor of the first ward of the city of New Richmond, and April 1, 1902, was appointed postmaster, receiving his reappointment April 1, 1906. He is a member of La Crosse Lodge, No. 300, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and during his residence in La Crosse, Wis., by whom he has three childrenDorothy Young, John Abraham and Katherine Frances. Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909

Vandeberg

G. J. Vandeberg is a native of Alto, Fond du Lac county, Wis., born June 12, 1862, son of C. J. and Sena (Beyers) Vandeberg, both born in Holland. The parents emigrated to Alto and purchased eighty acres, which they broke and improved, carrying on a general farming, while making a specialty of apples. Both are now deceased, having passed away on the old homestead, the father May 28, 1884, and the mother March 20, 1867. G. J. received a common school education at Fond du Lac County and then farmed with his father until twenty-four years of age. In the spring of 1888 he went to southern Minnesota, where he purchased 460 acres of land, which he broke and improved. He erected two fine dwellings and necessary outbuildings, carrying on diversified farming. Later he sold this farm and returned to Fond du Lac County, where he remained until 1901. The following year he came to Hammond, Wis., and purchased 160 acres of land, which he at once started to improve. He rebuilt the house and has made repairs to the amount of over $3,000. He now does a large farming business. Mr. Vandeberg was married in 1888 to Hattie Terbeest, of Waupun, Fond du Lac county, Wis., daughter of E. C. and Dora Terbeest, whose parents still reside in Alto, Fond du Lac county, where they are highly respected and honored citizens. Mr. and Mrs. Vandeberg have been blessed with five childrenChris J., Edward C., Dora C., Ellie H. and George H., all living at home. Mr. Vandeberg is a staunch adherent of the principles of the Republican Party. He has served with much credit as school clerk of district No. 1 for three years, and at present is one of the assessors of the township. He was also school clerk in Minnesota twelve years. He is an earnest believer in the advantages of a thorough schooling and is giving his children good education. He is a well-read, well informed man, and has an intelligent opinion upon all the topics of the day. His home life is ideal, and the entire family is highly thought of by a wide circle of friends. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)

Vincent

J. A. Vincent was born in Nova Scotia, May 24, 1853, a son of George and Sarah (Morrison) Vincent. The father was born on shipboard between Scotland and Nova Scotia and is still residing on the old homestead in the latter place. J. A. received a good common school education and engaged in the lumber woods, shipbuilding and farming in the summer time. At the age of eighteen he went to Pennsylvania, where he remained several years and worked in the lumber woods. From there he went to Chippewa Falls, Wis.; he worked in the woods three years and then tried his fortunes in North Dakota two years. Subsequently he spent five years farming in the St. Croix valley. At the conclusion of this period in 1885 he started in the mercantile business at Roberts. The store, which he occupied for two years, was opposite the one, which he now owns. For the following five years he rented another store and in 1893 built the edifice, which his store occupies at present. At one time he remained the only merchant in Roberts for many years, and even at present there is but one other beside himself. In 1881 he was married to Helen Richardson, of Berlin, Wis. Her mother now makes her home with her, and her father passed away at her home some years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Vincent have one child, Clara, who lives at home. She is a musician of more than usual ability, having received private instruction in St. Paul, Minn. At present she is engaged in giving music lessons herself. Mr. Vincent is a Republican in politics. He has filled the position of postmaster of Roberts for twelve years with much credit to himself and great satisfaction to his patrons. He belongs to the Masonic order and to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He has been successful in all his undertakings, and in all, his career has never been guilty of a dishonest or dishonorable act.

Reference: Taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909

Virtue

William Virtue was born in Donegal, Ireland, September 15, 1833, of Scotch parentage. His father and mother were born in Scotland, where they lived and raised a family of six boys, afterward moving to Ireland, where they passed away at the ages of seventy-three and eighty-five respectively. William Virtue, the seventh and youngest of the sons, was born in Ireland, in which country he received his boyhood education. He came to America when a mere boy, remaining for a time in the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, afterward coming to Wisconsin in the early 50s. He secured a grant of land in Hudson Township, St. Croix County,. The grant was signed by President Buchanan, on April 1, of that year, and the document still remains in the family as a valued and highly prized keepsake, whose worth will increase with the passing of years. Mr. Virtue received his citizenship papers May 11, 1874. Shortly after locating here he married Bridget OBrien, who had come from Ireland a few years previous. By this union there were six children, four of whom are still living. They are: Mrs. C. E. Holden, of Hudson township; W. E. Virtue (deceased), Lillian Virtue, Katherine S. Virtue, Mrs. E. A. Bixby and Agnes Virtue(deceased). Mr. Virtue continued farming during his lifetime. He never sought public office, but consistently voted the Democratic ticket. He died December 21, 1895, in the faith of the Presbyterian Church, of which he was a member. His wife, also now deceased, was a member of St. Patricks Catholic Church at Hudson. Mr. Virtue was highly thought of throughout the community, and his family occupies an important position in the business and general social life of the township. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)