J. R Van Meter

With the agricultural development and improvement of Washington county J. R. Van Meter is closely associated. With this and other business interests he has been connected for a number of years, his labors contributing to the substantial up building of the district in which he lives, as well as to the promotion of his individual fortunes. Mr. Van Meter was born in Indiana, on the 24th of April, 1860. His father G. W. Van Meter, was also a native of that state and in 1865 removed to Illinois, where he lived for six years. He took his family to Kansas in 1871 and engaged in farming in the Sunflower state. He was also a carpenter and millwright by trade and followed those pursuits in Kansas. He married Miss Alpha Lucas, a native of Kentucky, who had reached the notable age of ninety-six years when called to her final rest.

J. R. Van Meter was but five years of age when the family home was established in Illinois and was a lad of eleven when the removal was made to the Sunflower state. He there continued to reside until 1888, when he came to the Indian Territory in the month of March, following his fathers death. He located about fives miles northeast of Nowata on California creek and there he engaged in farming on the Dave Mallen ranch until 1895, the owner of the ranch being one of the well know pioneer settlers of this part of the country. On leaving that ranch Mr. Van Meter removed to the vicinity if Ringo on the Caney river about six and a half miles northeast of Ramona and there carried on farming on the Hosley place for three years. He next devoted his attention to farming for one year, south of there on the McDannell place, and later he turned his attention to railroad construction work, being employed on the Santa Fe for a year. He next went to the Ponca reservation, where he farmed for a year until 1901 he returned to Ramona and carried on farming here for two years. In 1904 he removed to his present home in Ramona which is situated at the corner of Third and Shawnee streets and for two years thereafter engaged in teaming for oil companies. He was next employed by the National Supply Company as yardman and also worked in the store in Ramona for a period of four years. For two years he was in the plumbing and fitting business in Ramona and he has now again become actively connected with farming interests, owning forty acres of land south of the town and also cultivating rented lands. He raises corn, wheat, and oats and other crops best adapted to soil and climatic conditions here and manifests sound judgment in the control and management of his agricultural interests.

In October, 1899, Mr. Van Meter was united to Miss Pearl Walker, a native of Kansas and a daughter of W. S. and Mary (Williams) Walker, who were pioneers of Oklahoma and followed farming north of Ramona.

In public life of the community Mr. Van Meter has borne an active part. He has served as a member of the city council and has also been mayor of Ramona and has ever exercised his official prerogatives in support of the plans and measures which are looking to the benefit and future welfare of the community. He has led a life of activity and usefulness and his enterprise has enabled him to gain a place among the capable and successful men of his section.

Muskogee and Northeastern Oklahoma, John Downing Benedict, Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1922, 1785 pgs. From pages 311-313.

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