Page 753-754, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


James Van TuyI, a prominent farmer and stockman of Clifford township, is a representative Butler county pioneer. Mr. Van Tuyl was born in Green county, Illinois, February 16, 1838, and is a son of Jonathan and Jane (Pennington) Van Tuyl. The mother was a native of Newark, N. J., and of English descent, and Jonathan Van Tuyl, the father, was born near the city of New York, and was of Holland ancestry, the family probably settling in New York when that section was colonized by Hollanders. Jonathan Van Tuyl was a plasterer and brick and stone mason, learning his trade in New York. He came West at an early day, locating in Green county, Illinois, near Whitehall, remaining there only six months when he went to Macoupen county, Illinois. He bought land there, and after remaining a few years, went to Montgomery county, Illinois, where he bought a half section of land.

James Van Tuyl, the eldest son, remained at home, and worked on the farm, and also learned the plastering trade with his father. His early educational advantages were fair. In 1868, he was united in marriage with Penina J. McElroy, a native of Washington county, Indiana, born September 12, 1849. She was a daughter of Nimrod and Elizabeth (Hubby) McElroy. The mother was a native of Indiana and of North Carolina parentage, of Holland ancestry. Nimrod McElroy was born in Lee county, West Virginia, and was a son of George and Mary (Gilstrap) McElroy of Scotch-Irish descent. After their marriage, James Van Tuyl and his wife lived on a farm in Montgomery county, Illinois,


for four years, and, in September, 1872, they took their belongings, and with four horses and a prairie schooner, came to Kansas, the trip requiring four weeks. They remained in Harvey county the first winter they spent in this State, four miles north and eight miles west of Newton, and the next spring, went fourteen miles north of Newton, and bought a relinquishment on a claim and proved up on a quarter section of land, and afterward got another quarter section through a timber claim. In 1883, they sold their Marion county property and came to Butler county, buying a quarter section in Clifford township.

To Mr. and Mrs. Van Tuyl have been born the following children: Cora, wife of Joel Corfman, California; James F., North Dakota; William E,, New Mexico; Myra E., married C. R. Doty, Orville, Wash.; O. L., resides at home; Maggie, at home; Guy W., Butler county; Ralph L., Peabody, and Nina, wife of Aaron C. Thomas, Whitewater. Mr. Van Tuyl is one of the successful farmers and stock raisers of Butler county, and is one of the men who had the judgment to foresee the future possibilities of this section of Kansas, and he is entitled to his full share of credit for its development. He has made a study of the cattle business and understands it, and a large measure of his success is due to the fact that he made a careful study of his business, and understands the minor details, as well as the general plans. He is one of the extensive alfalfa raisers of the county, usually producing about fifty acres of alfalfa. There have been many changes since the Van Tuyl family came to Kansas, and they have kept well abreast of the progress. One of the interesting relics of the early days to be found on the Van Tuyl place, is the old wagon with which they made the trip from Illinois to Kansas in 1872. It was second hand when Mr. Van Tuyl bought it in Illinois, but was an unusually substantial wagon, having been made especially for hauling freight from Hilisboro, Ill., to St. Louis, Mo. Mr. and Mrs. Van Tuyl are members of the Christian church, and Mr. Van Tuyl is a Democrat. He is a close student of current events, being an extensive reader, and takes a deep interest in political affairs. He is recognized as one of the best posted men in Butler county.

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