Blackwell Genealogy

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The Compendium of Northern Minnesota - Thomas Jefferson VanLoon              Also See Compendium of Henry Blackwell

History and Biography                           

Northern Minnesota                           
History of the State of Minnesota

Supplied to me from another ancestor of Minnesota Pioneers - Taryn Nelson Flolid
                                                                                                            ....Thank you Taryn




With considerable information on his father and mother, Minor Van Loon and Charity (Davenport) Van Loon  (Inserts by Webmaster)

Thomas Jefferson Van Loon, one of the earliest settlers of Douglas County, Minnesota, is engaged in farming on section 24 of Holmes City township, and has met with pronounced success in this vocation.  He has a wide acquaintance and is universally held in high esteem. 
Mr. Van Loon was born in Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, January 24, 1847, and was a son of Minor and Charity (Davenport) Van Loon, both of whom were native of Pennsylvania.  The paternal grandfather of our subject was for many years sheriff of Luzerne county.
(Stephen Van Loon - REB)  The father of our subject (Minor Van Loon) was raised to farming and was married in his native state.  The family consisted of nine children.  In the fall of 1856, he (Minor Van Loon) moved to Carroll county, Illinois with his wife and children, and bought land there, for which he paid seven hundred dollars cash to a swindler who did not own the land.  The rightful owner turned up and the land could have been secured for the same sum, but Mr. VanLoon did not care to pay for the farm twice, and after residing a year and a half in that state he went to Meeker County, Minnesota, where he remained three years, and then in 1862 removed to Douglas county.  He "squatted" on land which he later secured as a homestead on sections 24 and 25, in Holmes City township.  The family consisted of nine children, five of who are sill living, and are as follows:  Draper, Amanda, wife of Henry Blackwell, a prosperous farmer of Holmes City township, whose life sketch appears in another part of this volume: Thomas Jefferson, our subject; Charles; and Elizabeth, wife of F. T. Gear, of Alexandria.  The father added to his original homestead by the purchase of fifty-one acres, and became a prosperous farmer.  He died May 16, 1892, and the mother of our subject (Charity Davenport - Van Loon) died February 1, 1895.  Minor Van Loon filled various offices in his township and was for a number of years a member of the school board.  He was a Democrat in his political  views.  In the early days the Van Loon family and their sole neighbors, the Blackwells, suffered greatly from the thieving Indians, who not only took some unconsidered trifles, but at times became bold and threatening in their demands. The families were compelled to go armed on all occasions and to barricade their homes for fear of attack. 

Thomas J. Van Loon was reared to hard farm work and had in his early career very limited opportunity for attending school, but abundant changes for assisting in the work of his father's farms, in Meeker and Douglas counties, until he reached the age of twenty-one years.  He then began for himself and took a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres, the land being the southeast quarter of section 28, in Lake Mary township.  He sold this later, and in 1890 bought forty acres from his father's estate, and later an additional thirty-five acres.  Upon the forty-acre tract, close to Pocket lake, he built a pleasant home, erected necessary outbuilding, and has the land in a good state of cultivation.  It is well adapted to mixed farming and produces excellent grain, and he keeps a good grade of cattle on the farm.  The forest timber shelters the house and barns from the north winds and the south is open to the lake. 

Mr. Van Loon was married April 2, 1871, to Emma Boyd.  Mrs. Van Loon died June 16, 1893.  Five children were born to this union, namely; Minnie, Winnie, Kittie, Olive and Stephen.  Mr. Van Loon married Matilda M. Boswell, December 11, 1895.  Our subject is a gentleman and thorough practical knowledge of his calling, and he pays strict attention to the details of the same and has met with marked success in farming.  He does not enter actively into public affairs, but lends his influence for good government, local and national, and is an esteemed citizen of his community.

Published in 1902