Wayne County Biographies

Part of the Indiana Biographies Project

J. M. Van Meter

This well known resident of Cambridge City is one of Indiana's native sons, his birth having occurred in Blooming Grove, Franklin county, March 2, 1847. His parents, Joseph and Sarah (Skinner) Van Meter, natives of Virginia, were among the very early settlers of Indiana, the former becoming a pioneer of Fayette county in 1814, and the latter locating in Fayette county in 1818. After their marriage they settled in Franklin county, where they were engaged in agricultural pursuits for many years. The father died in 1893, at the advanced age of eighty-five years.

J. M. Van Meter was reared on the old homestead near Blooming Grove, Franklin county, and early in life he developed a talent for mechanics and everything connected with machinery. For several years he was employed as a pattern-maker with the Terre Haute (Indiana) Car Works. In 1872 he came to this city, where he has since remained, and for twenty-three years he worked at the machinist's trade, his accustomed vocation. In 1895, when the Cambridge City water-works were established, he was placed in charge of the plant, in the capacity of engineer, and as such has served acceptably until the present time. He thoroughly understands his business and is unquestionably the right man for the place.

In November, 1874, Mr. Van Meter married Lizzie, daughter of Alexander and Jane (Harvey) Ray, both of whom are deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Van Meter have five children, namely: Lillian I., Myrtle M., Bessie R., Shiloh and Jeannette. Socially Mr. Van Meter belongs to Cambridge City Lodge, No. 5, Free and Accepted Masons, and to Cambridge Lodge, No. 9, Knights of Pythias. Years ago he was a charter member of Terre Haute Lodge, No. 18, Knights of Pythias, of Terre Haute, Indiana.

Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties, Indiana, Volume 1, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1899