THEODORE C. VAN EPPS. – Mr. Van Epps, a portrait of whom is placed among the illustrations of this work, is one of the best known men in Washington’s capital city. He was born in New Scotland, eight miles west of Albany, New York, February 15, 1847, and is the son of Charles and Angelica (Vedder) Van Epps, both of whom were born in New York of Holland parentage, his mother being a cousin of ex-President Martin Van Buren. His great-grandfather was from Holland, and founded the town of Amsterdam in New York State.
At the age of six Theodore moved with his parents to Davenport, Iowa, and in that city received his education. In 1867, having spent one year at St. Louis, he found employment as a school-teacher in Muscatine, Iowa. In the autumn of 1868 he moved to Cass county, Nebraska, and located a homestead on which he lived until 1875. In that year he crossed the mountains to Washington, selecting Olympia as his future home, and purchasing with S.C. Woodruff as partner the stationery store of A.J. Burr & Co. In 1881 Mr. Van Epps purchased his partner’s interest, and continued the business, conducting one of the largest and most successful book, stationery and notion stores to be found on the Sound. In February, 1889, he sold his store to is son, W.A. Van Epps, for some years previous his able assistant, and opened his present elegant office in the Olympia Block, where he has done a general real-estate and loan business.
In public affairs Mr. Van Epps has been active and progressive. He is a past grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of A.O.U.W., and past grand representative of the I.O.O.F. Of sterling integrity and fine business ability, he has identified himself with all the enterprises in his community which have been undertaken to improve the city, and has added to his own resources until he has become possessor of the enjoyments and comforts of a beautiful home and the respect and confidence of the people.
He was united in marriage in Muscatine, Iowa, in September, 1868, to Miss Rosalia J. Schoonover, a native of Indiana. By these union they have three children, Eltney L., W. Arley, and Iva R.