R. E. Van Meter

R. E. VAN METER was born Sept. 16. 1853, on a farm in Mad River Township, Clark Co., Ohio., where he lived until he was about 17 years of age, when he went to Minnesota, where he spent about five years attending school and teaching. In the fall of 1875 he went to Illinois, where he taught school until the neat spring, when he visited Texas with a view to locating there; there, again, he engaged in the pursuit of teaching school, but returned to Illinois before the year was out ; the fall and winter of 1876-77, he taught the same school he had presided over the year before; in the spring of 1877 he returned to his old birthplace in Ohio. The following winter he removed to Springfield, and began the study of law with the firm of Wolf & Gillett; but before the year was out, he gave up his law studies, and connected himself with one of the newspaper offices in that city, and ever since has been in journalism. In the spring of 1879, he went to South Charleston, Ohio, where he now lives, to work on the Clark County Republican, and, with the exception of a few months, has been connected with it ever since, now being editor and joint proprietor. All that he has and is to-day he owes to his own industry, having gone forth into the world, at the age. of 17, to seek his own fortune. He and his twin sister were unfortunate in being left motherless at their birth. Mr. Van Meter's father married the second time, a woman far inferior to his first wife, making the home of the motherless children anything but comfortable and happy, though it might have been otherwise, for so far as earthly possessions is concerned, there was everything that heart could wish for. This accounts for the fact that the subject of this sketch left his home so young, and went to live among strangers, and, though yet less than 28 years old, has experienced more, perhaps, of the ups and downs of life than many men twice his age, and through it all has managed to maintain an integrity that any man of his age may well be proud of. He is a stanch Republican, inheriting the uncompromising Republican principles for which his father and grandfather, especially the latter, were so notorious. His grandfather, Joel Van Meter, was, at one time, the only Abolition voter in Clark County, and did more, perhaps, for the fugitive slaves and the abolition of slavery than any other man in the county. Mr. Van Meter is a descendant of one of the oldest and most noted Holland families, his ancestors settling in New York in the beginning of the seventeenth century.

History of Clark County, Ohio by W.H. Beers, 1881. Madision Township, pages 1074-1075.

Contributed by: Shelley Edwards

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