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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Peter V. Van Eps

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[This information is from pp. 66-69 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Portrait of Peter V. Van Eps

Portrait: Peter V. Van Eps

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Peter V. Van Eps, a well-to-do farmer of Glenville, N. Y., was born in this town, November 13, 1825, son of Albert and Anna (Swart) Van Eps. The family is of Dutch origin, as the name implies. Its immigrant progenitor was Dirk Van Eps, who settled in Schenectady County as early as 1662 or 1663. Johannes Dirksie Van Eps, son of Dirk, and the next in line, was killed in the Indian massacre of 1690. He had four sons and four daughters; and Evert Van Eps, one of his sons, great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was twice married, and had five sons and five daughters. Johannes Baptist Van Eps, the grandfather, was born in Glenville, May 13, 1731. When a young man he located upon a tract of wild land, which he cleared into a good farm, and the rest of his active years were devoted to its cultivation. He married Anna Vedder on May 2, 1761, and had a family of thirteen children. He died January 11, 1813.

Albert Van Eps, the father, was born in Glenville, May 16, 1785. A sturdy and a thrifty farmer, he made excellent use of the resources at his command; and, he resided here until his death, which occurred March 17, 1831. Politically, he acted with the Whig party. He was a member of the Reformed church. Mrs. Anna Swart Van Eps, his wife, was born in this town, January 16, 1790, and died July 22, 1841. They had nine children, four of whom are living, namely: Ann Eliza, born September 16, 1819; Sarah, born September 12, 1823; Peter V., the subject of this sketch; and Josiah, born February 11, 1828. The others were: John A., born December 14, 1813; Jacobus S., born December 24, 1815; Harmanus S., born August 13, 1817; Josias, born December 11, 1821, died in infancy; and Susanna, born June 18, 1830.

Peter V. Van Eps was educated in the schools of his native town. While still a youth he began to assist in the work of the farm; and, having succeeded to the ownership of a portion of the homestead property on coming of age, he has tilled the soil with energetic diligence and resulting prosperity for the past fifty years. His farm is situated in the fertile valley of the Mohawk, not far from Hoffman's Ferry, and in the immediate vicinity of the spot where his ancestor erected a primitive abode in the pioneer days. The region abounds in charming natural scenery, including Wolf Hollow; and the traveller who goes out of his way to ride through this picturesque ravine is amply paid for his pains. The cries of the wild beasts heard by the early settlers have given way to the more welcome sounds of implements of industry, and the valley is now dotted on either side with well-kept farm-houses.

On June 3, 1851, Mr. Van Eps was united in marriage with Mary Ann Davenport, who was born in Troy, N. Y., March 23, 1828, daughter of David Davenport. Mrs. Van Eps is the mother of three sons, of whom the following is a brief record: Jewett Edwin, born December 25, 1852, married Mary Conda, and is now cashier of the First National Bank, Schenectady; David Augustus, a prosperous farmer of Glenville, born September 15, 1854, married Annie R. Van Loan, and has two children — Jewett E. and Helen M.; and Frank Stanley Van Eps, born July 4, 1859, married Marion Bosworth, and is now a Christian Science healer in Chicago.

Owning one of the oldest farms in Glenville, Mr. Van Eps keeps up with the times in the way of improvements, and occupies a handsome modern residence. In politics he is a Republican. He is esteemed both for his manly characteristics and as a representative of one of the most highly reputable families in this section of the county. Mr. and Mrs. Van Eps are members of the Reformed church, and are socially prominent.

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