Friday, March 18, 2011

Forebear Friday – Henry O. Van Brocklin

Stephenson county, Illinois was in Henry Orville Van Brocklin’s blood.  The last child of Florence township pioneers Conrad and Harriet (Searle) Van Brocklin, he was born on 24 Feb 1846 in Freeport.
As a young man, he taught several terms of school, and joined his father in farming the 375 acre home farm.  And like his father before him, he held Florence township offices.  He took over the farm entirely when his father died in 1877.
He married Mary D. Woolheiser, daughter of Emanuel and Amanda (Crosby) Woolheiser, a native of New York, in 1871.  They had five children – a son and a daughter who died in infancy; Inez (born 1875); Iva (b. 1879); and Arthur (born 1881).  Inez married Horatio Stevens; Arthur married Mabel Rampenthal; and Iva married Ellis Goodsell, and their sons Wilber and Lowell appear to have ownership of the farm in the late 1950s.
Henry Orville Van Brocklin left this world in the same place he entered it – the city of Freeport – on 6 December 1915, at the age of 69.  His wife died some 30 years later.   Like so many others of Henry’s family, they was buried in Ellis-Van Brocklin cemetery, immediately across the creek from the family farm.

Van Brocklin, H. O. & Mary (Woolheiser).  Photograph. ca. 1910.  Digital image.  Privately held by Christine Martin [address for private use].  2008. 
Van Brocklin, H. O. & Mary (Woolheiser) headstone.  Photograph, Ellis-Van Brocklin cemetery, Section 17, Florence township, Stephenson county, Illinois.  Digital image.  Privately held by Gary and Karen Seeman [address for private use].  2006. 
Portrait & Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Illinois.  Chicago: Chapman Brothers.  1888

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