WALTER B. VAN HORN is numbered among the founders, promoters and honored pioneers of Vinton, where he has lived retired from an active business life for about thirty years. He became a resident of this city in 1856, and was first engaged in the conduct of a general store in partnership with Philander Olmsted, but the relationship was soon dissolved, Mr. Van Horn taking over the hardware department, and later purchasing a drug store he consolidated the two and was prominently identified with the business life of this city for over a quarter of a century. Previous to coming to Vinton Mr. Van Horn had been in business in Cedar Rapids, whither he had moved in 1853, and he was associated there with the Daniel Brothers as a bookkeeper for three years. He was later in partnership with a Mr. Morrow in the grain business during a similar period.
He was born in Niagara county, New York, October 8, 1829, a son of Daniel and Harriet (Burchard) Van Horn. The father lived at Middleport, that state, during his later years, and died there at the age of eighty-seven years. He had been a farmer in his early life. Daniel was a son of James Van Horn, who moved from eastern to western New York, to Niagara county, and entered a large tract of land and was very successful, conducting a flouring, saw and fulling mill and manufacturing cloth. He was also judge of Niagara county during the early days of its history. James Van Horn's great grandfather was one of three brothers who came to this country from Holland, and they have left many descendants in the United States. An uncle of Walter B. Van Horn, the Hon. Burt Van Horn, was a prominent politician and was a congressman from the district including Niagara county. Another uncle was a state legislator. Mr. Van Horn has a brother, Theodore Van Horn, and a sister, Miss Harriet Van Horn, living at Lockport, New York.
Walter B. Van Horn was reared and educated in his native county of Niagara, and his home for years from the age of sixteen was at Lockport. He clerked in a store there for some time, but engaged in business for himself first at Vinton. He married at Lockport in 1856 Miss Eliza Rogers, who was born in that city in 1833, a daughter of N. B. and Lydia (Larned) Rogers. Nathan B. Rogers was in the dry goods business at Lockport for years. He was originally from Rhode Island, and his wife Lydia was from New Hampshire. John Rogers, the paternal grandfather of Mrs. Van Horn, also from Rhode Island, served as a member of General Washington's staff during the Revolutionary war. The Rogers are an old New England family. Mrs. Van Horn's brother, Captain (later breveted colonel) Edward Rogers, commanded the Nineteenth New York Battery, Heavy Artillery, during the Civil war. He is now a prominent manufacturer at Lockport, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Van Horn have had the following children: Mrs. C. J. Carlisle, of New Mexico; Mattie, of Vinton; Mrs. Walter L. Palmer, of Vinton; Edward Rogers, deceased; Mrs. James F. Traer, deceased; and Mrs. Martin H. Lybarger, of Kenton, South Dakota. Mr. Van Horn has always voted with the Democratic party, and he has served as a councilman, as a member of the board of education and for three years as a deputy county clerk. He is one of the honored pioneer residents of Vinton.