Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin counties of Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade and Shawano, containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, and of many of the Early Settled Families.

Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co 1895
Copied & transcribed by our dear friend, Elaine O Leary 
 


Pages 136-137

JACOB H. VAN DOREN, an extensive manufacturer at Birnamwood, Shawano county, was born December 17, 1846, in Steuben county, N. Y., near Naples.  Isaac 0. Van Doren, father of our subject, was probably born in Holland, at any rate he was of Dutch descent; his father was married in New Jersey to Rebecca Smith, and they became the parents of six children:  Abraham, Mary Ann, Isaac O.I, Jacob, William and Samuel. He was an early settler in New York, and came to Wisconsin in 1852, settling near Oshkosh, where he remained until his death in 1864; his wife passed away in 1862. 
      
Isaac 0. Van Doren, father of our subject, was married in Naples, N.Y., to Sarah Bush, who was born in that town in 1824, one in a family of eight children, viz.: Paulina, Sarah, Vinna, Jane, Myra, Rufus, John H. and Arthur. Both the parents died in New York. By this marriage Isaac 0. Van Doren became the father of nine children, as follows: Adelaide, James, Jacob H., Alfrida, Ella, Wheeler, Frank, May and Charles. He was a farmer by occupation, and came to Wisconsin in 1854, settling on a farm in Winnebago county, near Oshkosh, also carrying on a hotel. The mother dying at this home in 1880, the father married again; he is now living in Brown Valley, Minnesota. 
     
Jacob H, Van Doren; the subject of this sketch, attended the common schools in his native State, also after coming to Wisconsin, and assisted his father upon a farm until he was twenty-one years of age. He then went to Menasha and bought a livery stable, which he managed one year, when he sold out and embarked in the lumber business in Shawano county, remaining there one year. His next step was to buy a farm near Oshkosh which he operated two years, and then purchased a farm in Green Lake county. Here he lived for four years, when he again disposed of his property, and moving to Oshkosh engaged in the grocery business, which he carried on some eight years.  In June 1884, he sold out his store, and coming to Birnamwood bought a small mill. In July he sold a one-half interest in this town's present partner, B. B. Andrews, and they are now carrying on an extensive business, which has grown from an investment of $2,000 to the value of $50,000. Their plant consists of a sawmill, shingle-mill, stavemill, planing-mill and an excelsior factory, and they employ forty men the year round; they also conduct a general store in connection with their establishment. These various industries, which have done so much for the growth and prosperity of this section of the county, are managed with much ability, and by the latest and most approved methods, and testify to the foresight and good judgment of their owners. The town, which numbered only one hundred people when these factories were started, now has a population of four hundred, and is a growing and prosperous village. 
    
Mr. Van Doren was married March 20, 1870, to Miss Anna Cook, who was born in Winnebago county November 20, 1850, daughter of Levi and Harriet (Shelton) Cook, natives of Vermont, who came to Wisconsin in an early day, where the father engaged in farming. He died in 1879, leaving a family of six children: Clara, Anna, Charles, Albert, Julia and Flora; the mother is still living. To our subject and estimable wife, five children have been born: Guy, who superintends the store and is bookkeeper for the company; Flora, now Mrs. Thomas Cannon; Ray, attending Wisconsin State University at Madison; and Dee and Clyde, both still at home. Politically Mr. Van Doren is a Republican, and he has been a school director six years, having ever taken a deep interest in the cause of education. He is self-made, and ever ready to help those who are striving to make a way for themselves in the world. Though an energetic business man, he yet takes time to do much charitable work, and is liberal to the Church and all worthy objects. He is highly respected the community of which he is a valuable citizen.  Birnamwood was organized as a village in the spring of 1895, and Mr. Van Doren was chosen its first president. With his family he attends the Congregational Church. He was too young to go into the army during the Civil war, but one of his brothers, James K., when he was seventeen years old enlisted throughout the war, in all five years.  He had some exciting experiences, and was made prisoner three times.


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