Mr. VanDeMark located in Clyde in the winter of 1879-80 and with his brother, M.V.B., who came the following summer, established the bank of Clyde. M.V B. VanDeMark was made president and C.W. VanDeMark was installed as cashier. This institution changed hands in 1886, and was incorporated under the name of the State Bank of Clyde. The State Bank was succeeded by the present Elk State Bank of Clyde. Mr. VanDeMark has perhaps erected more buildings than any one citizen of Clyde. Among them is the bank building of 1880. He erected one of the handsomest residences in the county in 1884. It is a two-story frame building with a basement; it is modern in all its appointments, heated by a furnace and of artistic architecture. It is surrounded by a wide lawn and fine shade trees and is situated on the south side of Washington street. In 1887 he built the VanDeMark block, a substantial two-story brick occupied by stores on the first, and by offices on the second floor.
Mr. VanDeMark is a native of Junius. Seneca county, New York, born July 13, 1841. At the age of seventeen he took a preparatory course in Penn Yan, New York, and entered the Williams College at Williamstown, Massachusetts, in the autumn of 1863, graduating in 1867, and began reading law in the office of Major C.N. Emerson, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, a son-in-law of Judge Shaw, and United States collector of Massachusetts. Mrs. Emerson is a sister of "Josh Billings." One year later he entered the offices of Pingree & Barker as a student. The firm was originally Rockwell & Colt. Judge Rockwell received the appointment of judge of the superior court and the firm became Colt & Pingree, and when Judge Colt was appointed judge of the supreme court the combination assumed the firm name of Pingree & Barker. Judge Barker was subsequently appointed one of the Judges of the supreme court and is the present incumbent. He is a Republican in politics but his appointment was made by the Democratic official, Governor Russell. A year later Mr. VanDeMark became associated with William P. Porter of North Adams, Massachusetts, under the firm name of Porter & VanDeMark. The original name was Davis & Porter; the former becoming United States Senator. Mr. VanDeMark was admitted to the bar at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, at the October 1869 term of the superior court by Henry W. Taft, who field the office of clerk of the court about forty years, having resigned about two years ago. Prior to having been admitted to the bar Mr. VanDeMark was appointed clerk of the district court by Govenor William Claflin, of Massachusetts, and Oliver Warner, Secretary of State, May 13, 1870, which office he held until going to Pittsfield, and entering upon the practice of law. May 17, 1873, he was appointed one of the Justices of the district court of Central Berkshire by Governor W.B. Washburn, to succeed John Tatlock, of Pittsfield, who was a professor of mathematics in the college Mr. VanDeMark attended.
In September, 1873, Mr. VanDeMark withdrew from the firm of Porter & VanDeMark and succeeded to the office and library of John M. Taylor, of Pittsfield, who is now vice-president of the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance company. Mr. VanDeMark practiced law in Pittsfield until January, 1877, but on account of failing health visited southern California, spending the winter at Santa Barbara and San Diego. The following summer he joined his brother, M.V.B., in Chicago where he engaged in the lumber business. Mr. VanDeMark was admitted to the bar of the state of Illinois June 13, 1877, and practiced law in Chicago until June 1878, when he was sent to Texas on legal business and turned his attention for a year or more to the speculation in lumber and made it a paying proposition. While engaged in this enterprise he met Miss Addie Stevens, of Houston, Texas, whom he married April 21, 1880. Mr. VanDeMark says he entered the bonds of matrimony with Miss Stevens that he might assist in taming the rebels; however she is of northern birth, born in the city of Chicago, and removed with her parents to Houston, when about four years of age. Her father was a car manufacturer and owned a factory in Chicago, but when the war broke out he engaged in the manufacture of lumber. Her maternal ancestors were the Abbotts who founded the city of Detroit, Michigan. After this important event in Mr. VanDeMark's history he resolved to try his fortunes in the west; located in Clyde and engaged in the banking business as before stated, and resumed the practice of law where he has resided continuously since. Was admitted to the bar of Kansas August 12, 1881, and has had and still retains many interests in and around the vicinity of Clyde. He is largely interested in farming and horticulture. He owns six hundred and forty acres of pasture land, which is a profitable estate located about six miles north of Clyde; one hundred and twenty acres one mile east of Clyde; one hundred and sixty acres one and one-half miles north of Clyde; one hundred and sixty acres one and one-half miles northwest of Clyde; three hundred and forty acres two and one-half miles north of Miltonville, making a total of one thousand three hundred and fifty acres. He also owns a fifteen acre tract of ground near Clyde - a fruit farm with an orchard of six hundred fine peach trees.
Mr. and Mrs. VanDeMark are the parents of three remarkably handsome and promising sons. The eldest, Martin V.B., graduated from the Clyde high school in 1901, and the present year entered upon a regular classical course in the Washburn College, Topeka. John V. carried away second honors in 1902 graduating class of the Clyde high school and has just become (September, 1902) a student of Washburn. Otis, the youngest son, is a namesake of his maternal grandfather. He is a student of the Clyde high school. Their ages are nineteen, seventeen and fifteen years, respectively.
Mrs. VanDeMark is an accomplished woman, distinguished in musical circles for her rich and cultivated soprano voice. Her solos have been a leading attraction at the Presbyterian church in Clyde for years. Her mother Mrs. Stevens, makes her home with her daughter and is a cultured and refined woman. Mr, VanDeMark has one of the finest selected and most extended law libraries in the county. His career as a legal practioneer has been one of flattering success. He has always taken an active part in politics and is a staunch Republican.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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