From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 785
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902


   J P Vaniman, a farmer, stock raiser and dairyman of Atlanta township, Rice county, resides near Lyons and is one of the leading and enterprising citizens of his community, where he has made his home since 1886.  His residence in the state dates from 1881.  A native of Ohio, he was born in Montgomery county, near Dayton, on the 28th of December, 1853, and is a son of David Vaniman, a native of Pennsylvania.  The grandfather, Jacob Vaniman, was also born in the Keystone state and was of German lineage.  David Vaniman, however, was reared in Ohio, attaining his manhood on an Ohio farm.  He married Elizabeth Bowser, who was born in Indiana and was also of German parentage, her people having removed to the Hoosier state from Pennsylvania, and in the latter commonwealth the family was established at an early day by the emigrants from the fatherland.  From Ohio the parents of our subject removed to Macoupin county, Illinois, in 1863, taking up their abode upon a farm near Virden. Throughout his active business career the father devoted his energies to the tilling of the soil and to the cultivation of the crops, and at the age of seventy-two years his life’s labors were ended in death.  In his political affiliations he was a Democrat, but never sought or desired the honors or emoluments of public office.  He held membership in the German Baptist Brethern church, in which he served as deacon for many years.  His widow still survives him and has reached the age of seventy-one years.  They were parents of six children, five sons and a daughter, of whom five are living, namely:  Susan, Jacob P, David C, Daniel B, Ira T and Levi.  John, the eldest of the family, has passed away.

   Jacob P Vaniman, whose name introduces this review, is the only member of the family residing in Kansas.  He spent the first ten years of his life in Ohio and then accompanied his parents on their removal to Illinois, where he was reared in the usual manner of farmer lads of the period.  He was instructed in the best methods of cultivating the fields and caring for the stock, and lessons of uprightness and honesty were also instilled into his mind.  His literary education was acquired in the common schools and was further supplemented by reading and study in leisure hours.  On attaining his majority he was married, in Macoupin county, Illinois, to Miss Diana Brubaker, a lady of refinement and culture, who has proved to him a devoted wife and faithful companion on life’s journey.  She was born in Clark county, Ohio, and is a daughter of Jonathan Brubaker, a native of Virginia.  Her  mother bore the maiden name of Susan Frantz, who was born in Ohio.  Her parents are both living and reside near Virden, Illinois.  They had six children, a son and five daughters, namely:  Isaac S, Sarah, Diana, Mary Ann, Lizzie and Emma.  The marriage of Mr and Mrs Vaniman has been blessed with six children, as follows:  Harvey, who graduated in McPherson College, with the class of 1900; Emma, who will graduate in the same institution with the class of 1901; Ernest, who is pursuing the second year course in McPherson College; Della, Ira and Clarence, at home.

   As stated above Mr Vaniman came to Kansas in 1881 and took up his abode near Olathe, Johnson county, where he remained for four and half years, when he came to Rice county and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land from J W Workman.  He afterward added to this eighty acres, so that his farm now comprises two hundred and forty acres.  It is a rich and well improved property, and on which is a good residence and substantial outbuildings, feed lots, pastures, an orchard of five acres, a beautiful grove and broad fields of waving grain are the main features of the place, and in their thrifty appearance indicate the enterprising spirit and careful supervision of the owner.  The farm is pleasantly and conveniently located a mile and a half from the city of Lyons, so that the comforts of the town are easily acquired, and at the same time they can enjoy the privileges of country life.  Mr Vaniman engages in raising both grain and stock and also conducts a dairy, and in the various departments of his business is meeting with creditable success.  His life has ever been upright and honorable.  He is a man of firm convictions, fearless in defense of what he believes to be right, and throughout his business career he has sustained an enviable reputation.  He and his wife, together with their five eldest children, are members of the German Baptist Brethern church, in which he holds the office of Deacon.  He takes an active interest in church work, doing all in his power to promote its growth and advancement, and is the champion of all measures calculated to prove of general good along intellectual, social and material lines.  In manner he is modest and free from ostentation, but true worth everywhere wins him the respect and confidence of his fellow men.