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Siskiyou County







      H. A. Van Keuren, who conducts the El Monte Hotel, at Weed, is a leading citizen here, being a man of ripe judgment in practical affairs and very public-spirited in his attitude towards matters relating to the advancement of the town and the welfare of its people.  He was born on the 23d of August, 1884, and is a son of J. H. and Mary (Shove) Van Keuren, both of whom were natives of Michigan.  The father, who was a farmer by occupation, was born February 13, 1859.  The progenitor of the Van Keuren family in this country was a native of Holland and settled in Amsterdam, now New York city.  The paternal grandfather, John Van Keuren, was a captain in the Union Army during the Civil war and died on his farm near Sioux City, Iowa, from the effects of a wound received in battle.  It is related of John Van Keuren that he was so kind to the Southern prisoners of war that at the time of his death he was paid the honor of a military funeral by the “Boys in Blue.”  One of J. H. Van Keuren’s brothers, Thomas, is the owner of a seat in the New York Stock Exchange, now worth a million dollars.

      H. A. Van Keuren received his education in the common schools and then went to work on a ranch, on which he remained until eighteen years of age.  He then entered the employ of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad at Cadillac, Michigan, but later was employed in a smelter for a time.  In 1905 he went to Idaho, where he was engaged in the lumber business for about two yeas.  He took a position with the Oregon Western Railroad & Navigation Company, on the Wallace branch of the Spokane division, on which he remained for three years.  In 1908 he went onto a ranch in Idaho, where he remained for five years, and in 1913, entered the employ of the Southern Pacific Railroad in Portland.  After spending four years on that road, he came to Weed in March, 1917, and stayed here three months, going then to Dunsmuir, on the Shasta division of the Southern Pacific Railroad, which was his home until December 29, 1919, when he went to work for the Long-Bell Lumber Company at Weed as a brakeman on its logging railroad.  He spent five years at that work there and six months on the company’s railroad at McCloud.  In 1925 Mr. Van Keuren came to Weed and bought all of the furniture and furnishings of the El Monte Hotel, which he as since conducted.  He also takes care of the entire hotel building, collecting the rents and leasing the stores on the ground floor.  The El Monte Hotel contains seventeen rooms, for which the charges are reasonable, and its location is very favorable.  Mr. Van Keuren is a man of splendid qualifications as a hotel man, being courteous and accommodating, having the ability to make his guests feel at home, and the El Monte has become very popular with the traveling public.

      Mr. Van Keuren was married in 1906 to Miss Anna Hansen, who was of Danish descent and is now deceased.  To them were born two children, Chester, born November 28, 1907, and now an expert mechanic in the Lewis Super-Service garage; and Charlie, who was born in Harrison, Idaho, in June, 1909.  For his second wife Mr. Van Keuren chose Miss Marion Hansen, a sister of his first wife, and her death occurred April 14, 1928.

      Mr. Van Keuren has always been a powerful man physically and in his earlier years he enjoyed boxing, being very fast on his feet.  He is a man of splendid personality, making a favorable impression on all who come in contact with him, and throughout his community is exceedingly popular.



Transcribed by Joyce Rugeroni.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W. Major History of the Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 2 Pages 176-177. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

© 2010  Joyce Rugeroni.



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