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"A Pedigree Partly Indian, Partly Batavian"

    Van Tassel Biographical Sketches


Sidney B. Van Tassel, who occupies a fine and well-improved farm in Washington township, is numbered among its well-to-do farmers, and from a small beginning has gradually worked his way upward, making all that he now possesses by his own well-directed and persevering efforts. He is a native of the Buckeye State, born in North Amherst, Lorain County, November 30, 1830, and is a son of Luke and Sallie (Richmond) Van Tassel.

The father was born in 1795 in New York, of Holland parentage, while the mother's birth occurred in Rhode Island, in 1800. They were married in 1818, and to them were born eleven children: Amelia, widow of A. H. Plant, of Maumee, Ohio; Lyman, who was born December 4, 1820, and resides with our subject; Isaac and Olive, both deceased; Ann, a resident of Wood county, and the widow of Josiah Kuder; Harriet, deceased wife of Hiram West; Silas, a farmer of McClure, Henry Co., Ohio; Sidney B. and Leroy A., both farmers; Luman, who works for the Toledo Blade, and resides in Bowling Green; and Reuben, also a resident of Bowling Green. By occupation the father was a farmer, and on coming to Ohio in 1837, located in Plain township, Wood County, but after one year removed to an Indian mission farm, on the banks of the Maumee river, at the mouth of Tontogany creek, where he made his home for four years. His death occurred December 2, 1869, on his farm of sixty acres, one mile north of the present home of our subject. The mother died in September, 1874.

Sidney B. Van Tassel (during the family's residence at the Indian mission, he found as his playmates the little Indians) obtained his literary education' in the district schools of Washington township, and besides aiding in the work of the home farm also worked for others, his wages going toward the support of the family until he was twenty-five years of age. He then had no capital with which to start out in life, owning nothing but his clothes. At first he rented land, and besides general farming began raising stock--both horses and mules. He finally sold enough of his stock to purchase forty acres of the land, on which he now makes his home, though he continued to operate rented land for several years, and, in the meantime, however, he cleared eleven acres of his tract, to which he subsequently added twenty acres, and, as his financial resources increased, added still another tract of thirty acres. With the exception of five acres of timber land, his place is now under a high state of cultivation, improved with good buildings, and is one of the model farms of the neighborhood. For the past five years he has also dealt in Jersey cattle, having now a fine herd of thirteen. He also gave some attention to sheep raising, having as many as two hundred in his flocks, but owing to the low price of wool has given up that enterprise.

In 1855, Mr. Van Tassel married Jane Ann McCauley, a daughter of Capt. John and Betsy (Hart) McCauley, farming people of Washington township. One daughter graced this union-Ann Elizabeth, born June 7, 1858, is the wife of William Mawer, a farmer of Washington township, by whom she had four children, only two of whom are still living-Septimus and Sidney R. Mrs. Van Tassel died in June, 1884. For his second wife our subject married Letta Moore on August 9, 1887, and they have a daughter, Jennie, born in June, 1888. Miss Moore was the daughter of J. C. and Mary Ann (Green) Moore, and by her first marriage became the wife of Mr. Dunbar, by whom she had two children-Hattie May, born August 9, 1883; and Cecil Urania, born November 29, 1885. Mr. Moore, the father of Mrs. Van Tassel, was formerly a prominent farmer of Washington Township, but later engaged as a machinist in Blissfield, Mich. In his family were five children: Ellen, wife of A. O. Neifer, of Weston township, Wood County; Sarah Frances, wife of John Bullis, of Tennessee; Hattie, wife of D. C. Credicott, of North Baltimore, Ohio; J. W., a farmer residing in the southern part of Missouri; and Mrs. Van Tassel. The father now makes his home in Weston, Ohio, but the mother departed this life February 16, 1884. She was born in England in 1821, and when quite young was brought to America by her parents; her mother died when she was but eleven years of age, leaving her and her father the care of six children, with the Indians of the neighborhood as their only advisors.

During the Civil war Mr. Van Tassel was a strong Republican, but later voted the Democratic ticket, and now intends to give his allegiance to the men and measures of the Peoples party, whose principles he strongly endorses. For two terms he served as trustee, was constable seven years, and for a number of years was school director, ever discharging his various duties with promptness and fidelity. Socially, lie holds membership with Tontogany Lodge No. 755, I. O. O. F., and formerly was a member of the Grange, of which for two terms he served as master, and the same length of time as overseer. His religious belief is that of the Spiritualists. He has ever been a hard-working, industrious man, and well deserves the success which now crowns his efforts. Each year, on August 16, the family holds a reunion.

Source: Commemorative Historical and Biographical Record of Wood Count, Ohio, Chicago: H. H. Beers & Co., pp. 786-787.

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