C. J. Van Doren’s extended business experience had been almost entirely in connection with the cement industry. He knows the business in every detail, both on the technical and manufacturing side, and also selling end. Mr. Van Doren is now superintendent of the Great Western Portland Cement Company’s plant at Mildred, Kansas.
A native of Michigan, he was born at Adrian July 22, 1874. His paternal ancestry goes back to Peter Van Doren who immigrated from Holland and settled on Long Island between 1637 and 1640. Mr. Van Doren’s grandfather, Jacob Van Doren, a native of New York State, was a pioneer in Southern Michigan, locating on a farm near Adrian in 1837. He spent the rest of his life there. His wife was Drusilla Burgess, who died at Adrian.
Chester C. Van Doren, the only child of his parents, and father of C. J. Van Doren, was born at Adrian in 1844, and spent all his life in that section of the state, being a farmer and later a merchant. He was a democrat and a member of the Masonic fraternity. His death ocurred in 1908. He married Sarah Katherine Whittaker, who was born near Toledo, Ohio, in 1845. They were the parents of four children: Dora, wife of Ernest C. Smith, who besides looking after a real estate business at Adrian, Michigan, is one of the leading promoters for the establishment of Maccabees lodges and other fraternal organizations; J. C. Van Doren, a resident of Adrian, Michigan, and a merchant; C. J. Van Doren; and Harry H., who owned a merchants’ delivery system at Adrian.
C. J. Van Doren was educated in the public schools of his native town, graduating from high school in 1894. The following two years he spent in farming, and he gained his first experience in the cement industry at Coldwater, Michigan. In 1898 he became foreman of a machine shop, spent two years in that work, and in 1900 removed to Kansas. At Iola he served as night superintendent of the Iola Portland Cement Company until 1904. From Kansas Mr. Van Doren went to Yankton, South Dakota, where for four years he was general superintendent of the plant of the Western Cement Company. In 1908, returning to Kansas, he became general superintendent of the Ashgrove Lime and Portland Cement Company at Chanute. He remained at Chanute until 1911, following which for one year he was general superintendent of the Altoona Portland Cement Company at Altoona, Kansas, and then for two years was a traveling salesman for the United Iron Works Company at Iola. In 1914 Mr. Van Doren came to Mildred, Kansas, and had since been general superintendent for the Great Western Portland Cement Company. The general offices of the company are in Kansas City, Missouri. The plant at Mildred is the chief distinction and resource of that community, employs 125 men, and had a capacity of 1,000 barrels of cement each day.
Mr. Van Doren is independent in politics. He is affiliated with Kincaid Lodge No. 338, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons at Kincaid, Kansas, with Fort Scott Consistory No. 4 of the Scottish Rite, with Lodge No. 801, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks at Chanute, and with the Modern Woodmen of America at Yankton, South Dakota.
Mr. Van Doren was married at Chanute, Kansas, February 17, 1911, to Miss Lydia Dorrington. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Dorrington, live at Sioux City, Iowa, her father being an oil dealer. To their marriage was born one child, James Dorrington, born January 12, 1915.