James A. Van Duyn, a well-known farmer of Brown township, Hancock county, Indiana, and trustee of Brown township, is a native of Madison county, this state, born on August 7, 1877, a son of Philip and Mary (Shelly) Van Duyn.
Philip Van Duyn is also a native of Madison county and first saw the light of day on April 26, 1856. He received his education in the schools of his native county and was early trained to farm work. In 1878 he moved to a farm in Hancock county, where for several years he was known as one of the more successful farmers and stock raisers of his section. He has now retired from the active affairs of life and makes his home with his son, Emery, near Willow Branch, this county. Philip Van Duyn is a stanch advocate of the principles of the Democratic party, although at no time an aspirant to public office, and his religious membership is held with the United Brethren church. Mary Shelly was also a native of Madison county, where she passed her girlhood and received her education. Her parents were sturdy farmers of that county and among its early residents. Philip and Mary (Shelly) Van Duyn were the parents of five children, the eldest being James, the immediate subject of this sketch; Ella is the wife of Alvin Chapman, of Greenfield; Emery farms near Willow Branch; Grover has been teacher of the school at Brown's Chapel for the past seven years, and Alston lives in Rush county, where he is engaged in farming. Mrs. Mary Van Duyn departed this life on April 21, 1915.
James A. Van Duyn was a babe of but one year when brought to Hancock county by his parents. Here he grew to manhood, attending the Warrington schools when a boy. On the family homestead he early was taught the secrets of successful husbandry and to that vocation turned when he started out in life for himself. He farmed until 1909, when he engaged in the general mercantile business at Willow Branch, giving his attention to that venture for the following six years. Late in 1915 he moved back to his farm home near Warrington, where he is engaged in general farming and stock raising.
James A. Van Duyn was married on November 25, 1897 to Martha Price, born in Hancock county on April 27, 1877, a daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Price. Martha Price was also reared on a farm and was educated in the schools of Breckinridge. Five children compose the family of James A. Van Duyn and wife, Uva, Lawrence, Forest, Opal and Paul. The first named has attended the Wilkinson high school, which Lawrence is now attending, and the three last named are in the grades as yet. Both Mr. and Mrs. Van Duyn are devout members of Zion's Chapel, Methodist Episcopal church, and are actively interest in the affairs of that society. Politically, James A. Van Duyn is a strong adherent of the Democratic party and in the fall of 1914 was elected trustee of Brown township. Mr. Van Duyn is regarded as one of the progressive and representative citizens of his township.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Page 1060-1061.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI November 8, 2001.
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