John Stonestreet Van Meter

John Stonestreet Van Meter died on March 8, 1904 of heart trouble at 23 W. 93d St., New York, NY, wife and son at bedside, funeral services at First Presbyterian Church, Lexington, on Friday at 11:00 a.m.; heart trouble resulted from a prolonged illness which originated while serving in pastorate at Second Church, Paris Kentucky in summer, 1903; while in Paris, taken ill of inflammatory rheumatism, which disease he had contracted in the Confederate army, and had suffered from intermittently since; had been taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, remained a month and developed the heart trouble; was born in September 1846 in Fayette County on the Bryan Station pike, the son of Solomon and Elizabeth Stonestreet VanMeter; at the age of sixteen, entered the Confederate army, serving through the war as a member of Company E, Eighth Kentucky Cavalry; at
the end of the war, enrolled in and graduated from Washington & Lee University; read law with his cousin, John I. VanMeter at Chillicothe, Ohio; married Miss Lizzie Yerkes, daughter of Dr. Stephen Yerkes of Danville, KY, only son, John [sic] Yerkes VanMeter; elected Fayette County Attorney; while holding office decided to study for the Presbyterian ministry, gave up office and practice, attended the Theological Seminary at Danville, and later graduated from the Theological Seminary at Princeton, NJ; first charge was Cynthiana for three years, then Hot Springs, AR, seven years, then Richmond and Clinton, MO for several years, Los Angeles, CA for one year (where he went on account of his wife's health), for past two years had been living in New York, NY where son was attending Belleview College of Medicine; was one of seven surviving Fayette County Attorneys, while in Lexington last year, the seven had their picture taken in a group
which was published in the Morning Herald, with sketches of each (Col. W. C. P. Breckenridge, Judge J. Soule Smith, Steven G. Sharpe, John R. Allen, John Stonestreet VanMeter, and Hon W. P. Kimball); other survivors, sister, Mrs. W. D. Nicholas of 440 W. Fourth [sic] St., Lexington, three half-brothers, Messrs. Solomon, Ike, and Prewitt VanMeter, and half-sister, Mrs. Lucy H. Kerr, Fulton. MO; was a Knight Templar, and the funeral will be held with Masonic honors.

From: Lexington Herald, p. 1, Wednesday, March 9, 1904.

Death has been gentle and very kind to the Confederates, but as they grow old, with this kindness, death removes them from this world of work where old age is at a
disadvantage, and crowns them with the eternal crown of immortality, and their ranks become thinner every day. On yesterday two Kentucky Confederates, who had worthily won success in eminent professions, laid down the burdens of this life-- one a successful physician in Sherman, Texas; the other a beloved Presbyterian preacher in the city of New
York. Each had been a resident of Fayette, each belonged to large and widely scattered Kentucky families and each was born in this favored Blue Grass country. On yesterday Mrs. W. C. P. Breckinridge received a dispatch that her brother, Dr. John Orlando Scott, had died that morning in Sherman, the city of his residence for over a quarter of a century, from an operation performed the day before; yesterday afternoon Mrs. William D. Nicholas received a dispatch that her brother, Rev. John Stonestreet VanMeter, had died in New York of disease of the heart.
. . .

When a lad of about sixteen, Stonestreet VanMeter-- as he was then called-- enlisted in the Confederate service in our command; after the organization of the regiment of Col. Roy Cluke, he asked to be transferred to that regiment, and to a company made up of his friends and neighbors. After the war he studied law, and settled in this city, and was elected County Attorney. He had married the youngest daughter of Rev. Dr. Yerkes, who had been one of the Professors of Transylvania when the writer was a student there. Joining the Presbyterian Church, he was convinced that it was his duty to preach, and with the same devotion to what he believed was his duty that he exhibited when he entered the Confederate army, he gave up his chosen profession, resigned his office as County Attorney and faithfully devoted himself to the laborious task of fitting himself for the ministry in accordance with the custom and demand of the Presbyterian Church. He
preached with marked success and acceptability in Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri and New York. We were taught to honor, preserve and reverence hereditary ties; to remember with affectionate cordiality those whom our forebears had been on terms of friendship. Among the beloved and honored guests at the house of our father was Mr. Stonestreet, the
venerable grandfather of Mr. VanMeter-- an elegant, cultured and pious Presbyterianelder, an old-fashioned, scholarly country gentleman. In our childhood, there were many of these typical country gentlemen; farmers and slaveholders, independent in fortune, and scholarly in taste; dignified, influential and yet simple in manner and severe in life. We recall as we write a number of these who were often guests at Cabell's Dale or Breadalbane; or at whose house we had the delight to be guest-- sometimes taken when a lad to their homes by our father, and afterwards invited there by the friends of our family. We recall Mr. Stonestreet in his old age and are glad to have this opportunity to put on record this tribute to his memory. Street VanMeter had also served under us in his boyhood; he was a gallant, cheery, stout, healthy soldier; always well, gay eager for duty and ready for battle or scout; and our terms of cordial friendship were never weakened.
New York is remote from Texas, and Kentucky distant from each; yet these Confederates died at home, in the sweet, lasting sense of that word; each had in good faith done his duty as his heart and brain dictated; each had risked his life for that which he was convinced was the command of honor and patriotism; and when his cause was defeated, each had
devoted his life, his energies, his labors to build up this country and make it a free, prosperous and Christian republic; each loved his fellow-man, and gave his life for their up building. They were Kentuckians of old and excellent stock; their ancestors migrated to this exquisite Blue Grass section before Kentucky was admitted as a State; they had in their veins the blood of revolutionary soldiers; and among their kin there were no better men or braver soldiers either in the battles of war or the contests of peace.

From: Lexington Herald, p. 2, Wednesday, March 9, 1904.

Solemn Services Held At First Presbyterian Church. Funeral services over the body of the Rev. John Stonestreet VanMeter were held at 11 o'clock Friday morning at the First Presbyterian Church.

Mr. VanMeter, who at one time was County Attorney of Fayette county died in New York Tuesday and his body was brought to Lexington Thursday afternoon at 5:10 and was taken to the residence of his sister, Mrs. W. D. Nicholas at 440 West Third street. Dr. Edwin Muller officiated at the services, assisted by the Rev. E. H. Rutherford of Paris. Dr. R. O. Kirkwood was to have assisted but was called away from the city.

As the body was being brought into the church a quartette consisting of Misses Eugenia Dunlap and Amanda Maul and Messrs Garland Barr and Howard Curry, sang Abide With Me. Dr. Rutherford then read the twenty-third psalm and offered prayer. The quartette then sang I Need Thee Every Hour. Dr. Muller read the funeral service and offered a beautiful prayer.

As the body was being borne from the church the quartette sang Nearer My God to Thee.

About thirty Confederate soldiers, comrades in arms of Mr. VanMeter, were present in a body and accompanied the 24 April 20, 2004 body to the cemetery. Many beautiful floral tributes were sent, among them being a handsome Masonic design of the compass and square in white and red flowers and banked with ferns. Mr. VanMeter was a Knight Templar.

At the grave the committal service was said. The pallbearers were: I. C. VanMeter, S. L. VanMeter, W. D. Nicholas, John W. Yerkes, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, N. P. VanMeter, James C. VanMeter, John Woodford and Lovell Yerkes. Mr. Yerkes came from Washington to attend the funeral of his relative, Mr. VanMeter having been a cousin [sic]
of Mr. Yerkes. [Note: Mr. Yerkes and the decedent were brothers-in-law-- L. B. Van Meter].

From: Lexington Leader, p. 5, Friday, March 11, 1904:

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