IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


George Vanaernam, an old-time citizen of Audubon township, Audubon county, Iowa, and one of the prominent farmers of this section was born on March 25, i846, in Lewis county, New York, the son of Anthony and Susan (Wardwell) Vanaernam, both of whom were born in that state, the father in Herkimer county, and the mother in Lewis county. Anthony Vanaernam's father was a native of Germany. In 1855 the Vanaernam family moved to Hancock county, Illinois, where they lived and died.

In August, 1861, Anthony Vanaernam enlisted in the First Iowa Cavalry, and served mostly in Missouri and Arkansas, in the guerilla warfare of that section. In one of the battles he was shot through the arm and subsequently was discharged for disability in the latter part of the year of 1863. Anthony and Susan (Wardwell) Vanaernam never came to Audubon county. When George M. arrived in Audubon county he purchased a hundred and twenty acres of land which was entirely unimproved, and this made it necessary for him to build a shanty at once. The cattle and other stock roamed at large over the prairie. After many vicissitudes and many trials, Mr. and Mrs. Vanaernam became the owners of two hundred and fifteen acres of land.

George M. Vanaernam was married on October 12, 1868, in Hancock countv, Illinois, to Mary Baker, who was born in Des Moines county, Iowa, and who is the daughter of Henry and Mary Baker, natives of Westfall, Germany, who were married in that country and who came to the United States about 1848. They settled in Missouri after coming to this country and in 1851 removed to Des Moines county, Iowa. Later they moved to Henderson county, Illinois, and still later to Hancock county, Illinois, coming to Audubon county, Iowa, in 1869, arriving here on November 8 of that year.

Mr. and Mrs. Vanaernam had three children, only two of whom are living; Charles, born on March 24, 1870, died when nine years old of pneumonia; Edward, March 29, 1877, married Louisa Bauers, and they have one child; Clara, September 21, 1888, married Chris Reisegard.

A Republican in politics, Mr. Vanaernam has never been active and has never been a candidate for office. He is engaged in general farming and stock raising.

Among the first families to settle in Audubon township, the Vanaernams have long been conspicuous in the agricultural life of this community. Mr. Vanaernam has been an upright citizen and an honorable man, and enjoys in a large measure the confidence and esteem of all the people with whom he has come in contact. He is a worthy citizen of this county and has done much to promote its growth and prosperity.

Transcribed from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 622-623.