John Stonestreet VAN METER

13 Sep 1845
Fayette co, Ky, Usa
8 Mar 1904
New York, Ny, Usa
11 Mar 1904
Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Fayette co, Ky, Usa
27 Aug 1872
Danville, Boyle co, Ky, Usa
                   Section D, lot 20

In 1870 U.S. Census, Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio, John S. VanMeter, age 25, M W, law student, born Kentucky, is included in the household of John I. VanMeter (age 72, M W, farmer, born Virginia); real property valued at $30,000, personal property valued at $6,000.

Daily Lexington Press, p. 2, Saturday, April 18, 1874: J. S. VanMeter listed on Democratic ticket as candidate for County Attorney.

The Morning Herald, p.1, 14, Sunday, January 25, 1903: [Article on the Seven Fayette County Attorneys, and "The Political History" of their terms]:  "  At the same election [1874] at which Maj. B. G. Thomas was elected over L. P. Tarlton, John Stonestreet VanMeter, or, as he was better known, 'Street' VanMeter, was elected County Attorney, his predecessor, J. R. Morton, having declined to offer for renomination.  Mr. VanMeter was also an ex-Confederate soldier.  He was the son of Solomon VanMeter, of Fayette County, a wealthy farmer.  Yet while a youth he enlisted in the Confederate army, joining Cluke's regiment, in which he earned an enviable reputation as a soldier.  He was one of the best scouts in the command.  He was made a prisoner on the Ohio raid when Morgan and Cluke surrendered their forces and was in prison for about eighteen months.  After the war closed he graduated at Washington and Lee College; then studied law under John M. VanMeter, of Chillicothe, Ohio [Benjamin F. VanMeter states he studied law under John I. VanMeter, but both John I. VanMeter and John M. VanMeter, father and son, were lawyers in Chillicothe at that time], and practiced in the city of Lexington.  As stated, he was the successor of Judge Morton as County Attorney of Fayette County.  After the expiration of his official term, he determined to answer a call to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church.  He went to Princeton and at that great school gained a knowledge of theology and the authority to preach the gospel, and in this calling he has met with great success.

"During the four years of his service as County Attorney the Democratic party in Lexington and Fayette County was greatly strengthened.  In the city the Democrats fortified themselves against the negro vote by having passed by the Legislature an amendment to the charter of the city requiring the payment of a capitation tax of $1.50 as a pre-requisite to the exercise of the right to vote.  The burden was light to the Democrats but, as was expected, it was oppressive to the negroes.  It was believed with reason that the negroes would be unable to pay the money.  The result proved that these calculations were correct. . . .

"During Mr. VanMeter's incumbency of the office of County Attorney the finishing touches were put on the movement to crush out the kuklux and that organized band of outlaws went out of existence entirely in Fayette County.

"The kuklux were a band of marauders not unlike the present white caps of Indiana.  They operated not alone in Fayette County, but in many counties of Central Kentucky.  They were usually well mounted and well armed.  Their operations were directed against anybody who might have earned their ill will, but principally against negroes who might be obnoxious to the organization."

Obituary, Lexington Herald, p. 1, Wednesday, March 9, 1904, also Lexington Leader, p. 8 (same date):     died on March 8, 1904 of heart trouble at 23 W. 93d St., New York, NY, wife and son at bedside, funeral services at First Presbyterian Church, Lexington, on Friday at 11:00 a.m.; heart trouble resulted from a prolonged illness which originated while serving in pastorate at Second Church, Paris Kentucky in summer, 1903; while in Paris, taken ill of inflammatory rheumatism, which disease he had contracted in the Confederate army, and had suffered from intermittently since; had been taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, remained a month and developed the heart trouble; was born in September 1846 in Fayette County on the Bryan Station pike, the son of Solomon and Elizabeth Stonestreet VanMeter; at the age of sixteen, entered the Confederate army, serving through the war as a member of Company E, Eighth Kentucky Cavalry; at the end of the war, enrolled in and graduated from Washington & Lee University; read law with his cousin, John I. VanMeter at Chillicothe, Ohio; married Miss Lizzie Yerkes, daughter of Dr. Stephen Yerkes of Danville, KY, only son, John [sic] Yerkes VanMeter; elected Fayette County Attorney; while holding office decided to study for the Presbyterian ministry, gave up office and practice, attended the Theological Seminary at Danville, and later graduated from the Theological Seminary at Princeton, NJ; first charge was Cynthiana for three years, then Hot Springs, AR, seven years, then Richmond and Clinton, MO for several years, Los Angeles, CA for one year (where he went on account of his wife's health), for past two years had been living in New York, NY where son was attending Belleview College of Medicine; was one of seven surviving Fayette County Attorneys, while in Lexington last year, the seven had their picture taken in a group which was published in the Morning Herald, with sketches of each (Col. W. C. P. Breckenridge, Judge J. Soule Smith, Steven G. Sharpe, John R. Allen, John Stonestreet VanMeter, and Hon W. P. Kimball); other survivors, sister, Mrs. W. D. Nicholas of 440 W. Fourth [sic] St., Lexington, three half-brothers, Messrs. Solomon, Ike, and Prewitt VanMeter, and half-sister, Mrs. Lucy H. Kerr, Fulton. MO; was a Knight Templar, and the funeral will be held with Masonic honors.

Editorial, Lexington Herald, p. 2, Wednesday, March 9, 1904:"Death has been gentle and very kind to the Confederates, but as they grow old, with this kindness, death removes them from this world of work where old age is at a disadvantage, and crowns them with the eternal crown of immortality, and their ranks become thinner every day. On yesterday two Kentucky Confederates, who had worthily won success in eminent professions, laid down the burdens of this life-- one a successful physician in Sherman, Texas; the other a beloved Presbyterian preacher in the city of New York. Each had been a resident of Fayette, each belonged to large and widely scattered Kentucky families and each was born in this favored Blue Grass country. On yesterday Mrs. W. C. P. Breckinridge received a dispatch that her brother, Dr. John Orlando Scott, had died that morning in Sherman, the city of his residence for over a quarter of a century, from an operation performed the day before; yesterday afternoon Mrs. William D. Nicholas received a dispatch that her brother, Rev. John Stonestreet VanMeter, had died in New York of disease of the heart.

. . .

"When a lad of about sixteen, Stonestreet VanMeter-- as he was then called-- enlisted in the Confederate service in our command; after the organization of the regiment of Col. Roy Cluke, he asked to be transferred to that regiment, and to a company made up of his friends and neighbors. After the war he studied law, and settled in this city, and was elected County Attorney. He had married the youngest daughter of Rev. Dr. Yerkes, who had been one of the Professors of Transylvania when the writer was a student there. Joining the Presbyterian Church, he was convinced that it was his duty to preach, and with the same devotion to what he believed was his duty that he exhibited when he entered the Confederate army, he gave up his chosen profession, resigned his office as County Attorney and faithfully devoted himself to the laborious task of fitting himself for the ministry in accordance with the custom and demand of the Presbyterian Church. He preached with marked success and acceptability in Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri and New York. We were taught to honor, preserve and reverence hereditary ties; to remember with affectionate cordiality those whom our forebears had been on terms of friendship. Among the beloved and honored guests at the house of our father was Mr. Stonestreet, the venerable grandfather of Mr. VanMeter-- an elegant, cultured and pious Presbyterian elder, an old-fashioned, scholarly country gentleman. In our childhood, there were many of these typical country gentlemen; farmers and slaveholders, independent in fortune, and scholarly in taste; dignified, influential and yet simple in manner and severe in life. We recall as we write a number of these who were often guests at Cabell's Dale or Breadalbane; or at whose house we had the delight to be guest-- sometimes taken when a lad to their homes by our father, and afterwards invited there by the friends of our family. We recall Mr. Stonestreet in his old age and are glad to have this opportunity to put on record this tribute to his memory. Street VanMeter had also served under us in his boyhood; he was a gallant, cheery, stout, healthy soldier; always well, gay eager for duty and ready for battle or scout; and our terms of cordial friendship were never weakened.

"New York is remote from Texas, and Kentucky distant from each; yet these Confederates died at home, in the sweet, lasting sense of that word; each had in good faith done his duty as his heart and brain dictated; each had risked his life for that which he was convinced was the command of honor and patriotism; and when his cause was defeated, each had devoted his life, his energies, his labors to build up this country and make it a free, prosperous and Christian republic; each loved his fellow-man, and gave his life for their upbuilding. They were Kentuckians of old and excellent stock; their ancestors migrated to this exquisite Blue Grass section before Kentucky was admitted as a State; they had in their veins the blood of revolutionary soldiers; and among their kin there were no better men or braver soldiers either in the battles of war or the contests of peace."

Funeral, Lexington Leader, p. 5, Friday, March 11, 1904:    "Solemn Services Held At First Presbyterian Church. Funeral services over the body of the Rev. John Stonestreet VanMeter were held at 11 o'clock Friday morning at the First Presbyterian Church.

"Mr. VanMeter, who at one time was County Attorney of Fayette county died in New York Tuesday and his body was brought to Lexington Thursday afternoon at 5:10 and was taken to the residence of his sister, Mrs. W. D. Nicholas at 440 West Third street.

"Dr. Edwin Muller officiated at the services, assisted by the Rev. E. H. Rutherford of Paris. Dr. R. O. Kirkwood was to have assisted but was called away from the city.

"As the body was being brought into the church a quartette consisting of Misses Eugenia Dunlap and Amanda Maul and Messrs Garland Barr and Howard Curry, sang "Abide With Me." Dr. Rutherford then read the twenty-third psalm and offered prayer. The quartette then sang "I Need Thee Every Hour." Dr. Muller read the funeral service and offered a beautiful prayer.

"As the body was being borne from the church the quartette sang "Nearer My God to Thee."

"About thirty Confederate soldiers, comrades in arms of Mr. VanMeter, were present in a body and accompanied the body to the cemetery. Many beautiful floral tributes were sent, among them being a handsome Masonic design of the compass and square in white and red flowers and banked with ferns. Mr. VanMeter was a Knight Templar.

"At the grave the committal service was said. The pallbearers were: I. C. VanMeter, S. L. VanMeter, W. D. Nicholas, John W. Yerkes, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, N. P. VanMeter, James C. VanMeter, John Woodford and Lovell Yerkes. Mr. Yerkes came from Washington to attend the funeral of his relative, Mr. VanMeter having been a cousin [sic] of Mr. Yerkes. [Note: Mr. Yerkes and the decedent were brothers-in-law-- LBV]."

In Genealogies and Biographical Sketches, John Stonestreet VanMeter, is listed as being a Presbyterian minister in Clinton, Missouri (pp. 66, 36). Buried Lot 20, Section D (lot of Stephen Yerkes, D.D.), Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, KY.

The Ministerial Directory of the Ministers of the Presbyterian Church (The Ministerial Directory Company of Oxford, Ohio, 1898):   John Stonestreet Van Meter, State:    Richmond, MO  Birth City and State:   Lexington, KY  PostID:    1317  Ordination:    10/31/1881.  (Source Information:  Armstrong, Amy, comp. Presbyterian Ministerial Directory 1898. [database online] Provo, UT:, 2001-).
Elizabeth Morrison YERKES
15 Apr 1851
Baltimore, (Independent City), Md, Usa
22 Sep 1933
Los Angeles, Los Angeles co, Ca, Usa
10 Jul 1876
Lexington, Fayette co, Ky, Usa
10 Jul 1940
Los Angeles, Los Angeles co, Ca, Usa
20 May 1909
Los Angeles, Los Angeles co, C 
                   Date of birth source: "Chronicle of the Yerkes Family . . .", p. 68. Josiah G. Leach (J.B.Lippencott Co., Philadelphia, 1904)(reprinted (1998).
Attended Belleview College of Medicine, New York, NY. Obituary of father, John Stonestreet VanMeter, Lexington Leader, p. 8, Wednesday, March 9, 1904.
Names of children from 1920 U.S. Census, Los Angeles, CA, ED 115, p 1.
Resided at 2410 Chevy Chase Dr., Glendale, CA at time of death. Cause of death coronary artery thrombosis.
Death Certificate from Los Angeles County Registrar, CA; lists dates of birth and death, spouse, fact of cremation and location of remains. Informant was Lovell V. Ackland. Obituary July 12, 1940, Los Angeles Times lists wife, Lillian M. VanMeter, and children John Merrill VanMeter and Mrs. Lovell Ackland. Buried Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale, CA. Telephone no. (323) 254-7251.
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John Stonestreet Van Meter - Elizabeth Morrison Yerkes

John Stonestreet Van Meter was born at Fayette co, Ky, Usa 13 Sep 1845. His parents were Solomon Van Meter and Elizabeth Mason Stonestreet.

He married Elizabeth Morrison Yerkes 27 Aug 1872 at Danville, Boyle co, Ky, Usa . Elizabeth Morrison Yerkes was born at Baltimore, (Independent City), Md, Usa 15 Apr 1851 daughter of Stephen Yerkes and Amanda Lovell .

They were the parents of 1 child:
Stephen Yerkes Van Meter born 10 Jul 1876.

John Stonestreet Van Meter died 8 Mar 1904 at New York, Ny, Usa .

Elizabeth Morrison Yerkes died 22 Sep 1933 at Los Angeles, Los Angeles co, Ca, Usa .