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Charles Frank Van Vleck. It is not so very many years ago since the first American automobile attracted interest and curious comment as it rather cautiously sped up and down the highways of town and country, and few people had sufficient confidence in the new machine to predict that the time would come when it would practically supplant all other ordinary means of transportation. Its development has been so rapid and substantial that business men in all lines, all over the country, soon found themselves becoming first interested and later concerned with the automobile industry in some way. One of the necessary adjuncts is the public garage, and many men of solid business experience have found that they have made no mistake in investing in enterprises of this kind. One who is doing a fine business at Philo is Charles Frank Van Vleck.
Charles F. Van Vleck was born at Philo, Illinois, August 10, 1870. His parents were Charles H. and Jennie M. (Palmer) Van Vleck, the former of whom was born in the state of New York and the latter at Joliet, Illinois. They came to Philo in 1868 and the father embarked in a grain business at this point, in which he continued to be interested for many years. His death occurred at Philo February 8, 1916, his reputation as an upright business man never having been impaired. The mother died at Philo in October, 1872, when their only child was but two years old. He was educated in the public schools and remained with his father and when twenty-one years of age went into the grain business with him and continued to handle grain in this section for the next fourteen years. After Mr. Van Vleck sold his grain interests he went into the contracting and building business and erected a number of buildings in this vicinity before he went into the automobile business, in which he is greatly prospering. He built a commodious garage with dimensions 59×74 feet and makes a specialty of handling the Overland cars.
Mr. Van Vleck was married March 4, 1891, to Miss Anna E. Hoover, and they have had three children, namely: Vere, who died at the age of six months; Mary, who is the wife of John Mooney, of Indianapolis, Indiana; and Lorraine, who lives with her parents and assists her mother in dispensing hospitality in their pleasant home.
In politics Mr. Van Vleck is a sound Republican and on numerous occasions he has been elected by his party to important public office, at present serving as township supervisor and with the utmost efficiency. Fraternally he is an Odd Fellow and a Thirty-second degree Mason.