Biography - Martin Vancleve

PROF. MARTIN T. VANCLEVE, Superintendent of the schools of Johnson County, is a young man of sound learning and fine character, whose culture, tact and versatility, together with a good degree of executive ability and a comprehensive knowledge of modern educational methods, rarely equip him for the high and responsible position that he occupies as the head of the educational institutions in his native county.
Our subject was born in Burnside Township, May 11, 1860, and is a son of the late Rev. Wilson Vancleve, who was for many years prominent in religious circles in southern Illinois as a minister of the Baptist Church, and was also one of the leading agriculturists of this vicinity. He was born near Louisville, Ky., while his father, who was descended from one of the old Dutch families that settled in this country in Colonial times, was a native of New Jersey or North Carolina, and spent his last days in Johnson County, this State. When the father of our subject was young, his parents removed from Kentucky to Henry County, Tenn., and there he grew to man's estate. He was of a thoughtful, studious turn of mind, and first prepared himself for the medical profession, which he practiced for a time; but for a man of his earnestly religious nature, the ministry had great attractions, and from curing the body, he turned to healing souls, entering the pulpit of the Baptist Church. Returning to his native State, he lived in Calloway County until 1853, when he sought a broader field for his labors in Illinois. He located in Burnside Township, buying a tract of partly improved land, and also entering land from the Government. He superintended the improvement of his land, and often gave friendly assistance to others who desired to obtain Government land. His ministerial duties took up much of his time, as he engaged in preaching in the surrounding country, and helped to organize several different churches in Johnson and adjoining counties. He was a ripe scholar, progressive, studious and widely read, was especially well versed in theology, and next to that history and astronomy attracted his attention. In his death in 1886, at his home in Burnside Township, Johnson County lost a noble citizen, who had been potent in advancing its material interests and had been a power for great good in elevating its moral and spiritual status. His wife, whose maiden name was Nancy J. Lawrence, and who was born in Tennessee, survives him, and still resides on the home farm in Burnside Township. Their marriage was blessed to them by thirteen children, of whom nine are living. Two of them, William R. and Volney, did valiant service in the late war, and the latter gave up his life for his country while in the army. A sketch of the former appears in this work.
Prof. Vancleve obtained the preliminaries of his education in the district school, and then, after having had the advantages of a course of study at Central Indiana Normal College, at Danville, Ind., he entered the Southern Illinois College, at Carbondale, from which he was graduated in the Class of '90 with a fine record for high attainment as a scholar. His education was gained mostly by his own exertions, his college expenses being paid with money that he earned by teaching in the winter season of each year from the time he was twenty years old. His reputation as a bright, brainy, well-trained teacher won him the election in 1890 to his present post as Superintendent of the county schools for a term of four years. He is faithful in the performance of the functions devolving upon him in this important office, and his fellow-citizens, who have known him from childhood up and have watched his career with pride, are all, irrespective of party, pleased with his administration, and feel assured that the cause of education is safe in the hands of one so alert and efficient, and that the schools over which he has jurisdiction will maintain a high standard of excellency while under his supervision. The Professor is a man of liberal mind and of pleasing personal attributes, which give him popularity in social circles and make him a valued member of the following organizations: Vienna Lodge No. 150, A. F. & A. M.; Vienna Chapter No. 67, R. A. M.; and Vienna Lodge No. 248, K. P.
Mr. Vancleve was married April 26, 1801, to Miss Florence, a daughter of Pleasant Veatch, and a native of Bloomfield Township. They are very happily situated in one of the coziest homes of Vienna, and are the parents of a daughter, Freda L., who is the charm of the household.

Extracted 17 Apr 2016 from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 175-176.

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