Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside IL 1885
9 Jan 2007
Source: Portrait & Biographical Album, Whiteside Co., IL
Originally published 1885 - Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL
Transcribed by: Denise McLoughlin
Peter VAN NEST, deceased, was a pioneer of Whiteside County. He came to the township of Albany in 1837, and settled in the township of Garden Plain in 1853. He was born March 11, 1812, at Dutch Neck, Mercer Co., N. J., and was the youngest son of John and Ida (BERGEN) Van NEST. His parents were both descendants of the Hollanders who settled on the Atlantic seaboard during the early history of the American continent, and his father was a well-to-do farmer. The latter died when the son was ten years old. Peter Van NEST learned the trade of blacksmith from an older brother when he arrived at a suitable age, and followed the business in the place of his nativity until his removal to Illinois. In 1837 he set out by stage and crossed the Alleghany Mountains to Pittsburg, whence he came on the rivers to Albany. He established the first blacksmith shop at that place, and was one of the original proprietors of the present site of the village. He became interested in the establishment of the Congregational Church at that place, before he became a member, and in 1846 he joined the communion. He was soon after elected a Deacon and discharged the duties of the position until March, 1885, when he transferred his membership to the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Soon after coming to the county he made a claim on land on the east half of the southeast quarter of section 31, in Garden Plain Township, and also on the east half of the southwest quarter of the same section. Whe the land came into market he secured his title. In 1853, he took possession, living at first in a log house. This soon gave place to a commodious brick dwelling, which his family have since occurpied. He made extensive improvements, setting out trees and varieties of small fruit, with ornamental shrubs. He grew prosperous and added more land to his estate, until he owned 240 acres, all under excellent improvement. Afteward he also bought 80 acres of land in Audubon Co., Iowa, in 1879. In his political procilivities he was a decided Republican. His death occurred May 21, 1885.
Peter Van NEST was married Dec. 21, 1842, to Nancy, oldest daughter of Cheney and Annie (WALKER) OLDS. (See Sketch of Warren OLDS.) She was born Aug. 19, 1824. in Sturbridge, Worcester Co., Mass. Their ten children are recorded as follows: George D. became a soldier when 18; he was a drummer in the 93d Regt. Ill. Vol. Inf., and was with Sherman inhis route to the sea and through the Carolinas, serving through the war and participating in the Grand Review at Washington; lives at Laurel, Marshall Co., Iowa; Henry B. lives at Grinnell, Powesheik Co., Iowa; Ida is the wife of Herbert SIMPSON, of Garden Plain Township; Louisa O married John NICEWANGER, also of that township; Sarah E., married James COYNE, and they reside in Audubon Co., Iowa; Walter C., Willis W. and John F. live with their mother on the homestead.