Mercer County PAGenWeb

Nicholas W. Van Eman, M.D.

NICHOLAS W. VAN EMAN, M. D.-- One of the most successful of the physicians who ever practiced in Mercer county was Nicholas W. Van Eman, now deceased, who was widely and reverently known. Born in Lawrence county. Pennsylvania, in 1815, and representing an excellent old Pennsylvania family, he was reared to the life of a farmer and oh-tamed a fair English education in the early primitive schools. Finally deciding to devote his life to the medical profession he took up the study with a local physician as his preceptor. and later entered and was graduated from the Cincinnati Medical College. His first two years of a professional life were spent at Harlansburg, Pennsylvania, and coming to Grove City, which was then known as Pine Grove, about the year of 1856. He soon was accorded an extensive patronage. As the town was small in those early days his practice was mainly in the country and covered a large territory, and this necessitated many hardships and privations, for the country roads not being then the well laid out thoroughfares of the present day necessitated much horseback riding. Thus for thirty years he continued as an active practitioner, but this long and arduous service for the relief of others so undermined his health that he retired from the profession in 1886 and went South to recuperate. While in Virginia, where he was temporarily located, he was accidentally killed in 1887 by being run over by a railroad train. He was seventy-two years of age at the time of his death, and thus ended the life of one of Mercer county's truest and best citizens. His life was beautiful in its goodness and Christian virtues, and his name is reverently recorded among the pioneers and builders of this county, He was a member of the Presbyterian church.

During his early manhood Dr. Van Eman had married Miss Elizabeth Stevenson, who survived him many years, and died in 1907, when seventy-three years of age. She was several years his junior, but she was a faithful wife and the mother of his ten children, of whom three are now deceased. Her influence was beneficent to all who had the pleasure of her friendship, and hers was a beautiful Christian character. She also was a member of the Presbyterian church.

William W. Van Eman, the fourth of the ten children born to Dr. Nicholas W. and Elizabeth Van Eman, was born in Grove City on the 14th of March, 1862, and here he was reared and attended school, first the public school and then for four terms the Grove City College. At the age of twenty he joined his grandfather on the farm, and for six years followed an agricultural life. Leaving the farm he engaged in the livery business in Grove City, an occupation which more or less claimed his time and attention until the year of 1901. During all of his mature years he has supported the measures of the Democratic party, as did also his revered father, and in 1895 he was appointed by President Cleveland as the postmaster of Grove City, and during his four years of office he rendered acceptable service. Since retiring therefrom in 1890 he has been variously engaged, and during the past three or four years has been an oil producer, holding at the present time several valuable leases. He is also associated with a life insurance agency. In his fraternal associations Mr. Van Eman is a Master Mason and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

He has been twice married, wedding first in 1887 Mary Offutt, who died in the year of 1891, leaving one son, in 1895 Mr. Van Eman married Mrs. Mollie J. Patterson, nee Wallace, his present wife. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, and he is not only well known, but all who know him hold him in the highest regard as a citizen and as a man of affairs.

Twentieth Century History of Mercer County, pages 945-946

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