Family tradition is that he is actually the grandson of William & Phoebe VanMeter. He was the illigitimate child of one of William's sons but raised by his Grandfather as his own son. Maybe ture. Maybe no.
1882 History of Whitley County Indiana, pages 351-352:
WILLIAM VAN METER, JR., was born in Pendleton County (now West Virginia), May 15, 1807, the youngest of five children born to William and Phebe (Wece) Van Meter; natives of Augusta and Hardy Counties, Va. The father died when our subject was quite young, and the latter remained with his mother till nineteen years old, and then hired out by the day or year till 1828, when he married Mary Harmon, a native of Pendleton County, and to their union were born six children, viz.: Mrs. Christina Myers; Phebe, now Mrs. John Diffendaffer; Adam, who died in this township in his \ twenty-seventh year; Rebecca, now Mrs. W. Sterling; John and Julia A. (afterward Mrs.
David Hurd), who died in. 1866, leaving three children. About 1835, Mr. Van Meter moved to Rosa County, Ohio, where he farmed on shares; in 1837, he brought his family to this township, where he bought 160 acres of wild land, to which he has. added from time to time, and now owns 636 acres, well-improved. Mrs. Van Meter died at her home in this township in 1841, and January 15, 1859, our subject married Melinda Cratzer, born in Stark County, Ohio, February 17, 1839, the daughter of David and Elizabeth (Brightbill) Cratzer, of Pennsylvania, and to this union six children have been born, as follows : America, now Mrs. B. Gradeless; Scott, Almeda, Melinda M., William and Alpha. Mrs. Van Meter is a member of the M. E. Church, and in politics he is a Republican, and one of the oldest pioneers of this township.