Cornelius James Van Patten
1828 - 1901
Source: Commemorative Biographical Record of the Fox River Valley Counties of Brown, Outagamie,
and Winnebago, state of Wisconsin, J.H. Beers & Co., p. 585-587; 1895

Cornelius James Van Patten was born March 12, 1828 in Glenville, Schenectady County, New York
and died November 4, 1901 in Shiocton, Outagamie County, Wisconsin.

The genealogy of the Van Patten family dates back many generations (Claes Van Petten) who came
from Holland and bought part of the noted Schenectady (New York) patent or land grant of 75,000
acres of land, the land of which is still owned and occupied by some of his descendants.

Simon Frederick Van Patten, the grandfather of our subject, was a man of considerable importance in
that vicinity, inheriting much of his father's abilities, and owned a large tract of land which he divided
among his children.  When the Revolutionary War broke out, he enlisted in the service to help in
securing American independence, taking an active part in many a notable battle, and being present when
Gen. Burgoyne surrendered to Gen. Gates after the battle of Saratoga, October 17, 1777.  Surviving the
war, he returned to his home in Schenectady County, New York and lived to a good old age, when
eighty years old retaining his sight, memory and wonderful activity.  His wife was the daughter of
Simon Fairley, of Glasgow, Scotland, and by her he had seven children; she too lived to be an
octogenarian.  They both belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church, and were widely known for their
generous hospitality.

Their son, John Baptist Van Patten, father of our subject, was born in Glenville, Schenectady County,
New York, and was reared to farming, becoming a very energetic and industrious man.  He inherited a
small sum of money which, with the fruits of his industry for a number of years, made a small fortune;
but this he lost through the dishonesty of pretended friends whom he had trusted.  Undaunted by this
misfortune, he turned his face westward and settled in Painesville, Lake County, Ohio, where he
proceeded to accumulate more property.  On March 9, 1806, he was married to Miss Elizabeth (Betsey)
Van Patten, a distant relative, whose father, Frederick Van Patten, was also a Revolutionary War
patriot.  John Baptist Van Patten finally came to Wisconsin, settling in Plymouth Township, Sheboygan
County, where he died at the advanced age of eighty-four years.  He was a large, robust man, retaining
his strength and weight up to the time of his death.  His wife, who was a very active woman, died
when eighty years of age.  They had a family of eleven children, of whom ten reached maturity.

Cornelius James Van Patten, the subject proper of these lines, was born March 12, 1828, in Glenville,
Schenectady County, New York, was there reared, and was a young lad when his parents removed to
Ohio.  There he received three months' schooling, in which brief time he mastered the rudiments of the
primary branches, and being reared on a farm he naturally took up that vocation.  In October, 1846, he
came to Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, where he followed agricultural pursuits for eleven years; then
went to Clark County, Missouri, where he resided until 1861, in which year he returned to Sheboygan
County, Wisconsin, farming until he enlisted in the army.  While in Missouri, he had become a member
of the "
Sons of Malta", a secret organization which bound its members by oath to protect the Union,
and they were furnished guns and ammunition.  This military organization, under the direction of John
C. Fremont, did much to preserve the State of Missouri from seceding from the Union; their colonel
was David Moore, of Ohio, who led them in several engagements which took the form of regular
battles, one of which was fought on the banks of the Des Moines River, near the Iowa state line.  The
Rebel force, with nearly 1,500 men and two pieces of artillery, made an attack on the Union force,
which consisted of only 256 men, but the Confederates were repulsed, beating a hasty retreat.  In
August, 1864, Mr. Van Patten enlisted in Company B, 27th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and joining
the regiment at Little Rock, Arkansas, he moved south with the army, where he assisted in the capture
of the Rebel towns and forts.  His regiment was then sent to Texas, and here it remained until July 14,
1865, when Mr. Van Patten was honorably discharged and returned to Wisconsin, resuming the
vocation of farming.  Selling his farm in Shboygan County nine years later, he removed to Bovina
Township, Outagamie County, Wisconsin, where he purchased forty-three acres of land in the
northeastern part of the township; subsequently he bought more land until he had a farm of 187 acres,
which he still owns and cultivates.  In February, 1895, having been appointed
Postmaster at Shiocton
under President Cleveland, he removed to that village.

Mr. Van Patten was first married, in Sheboygan County, to Savilla Patten from the state of Maine, who
died while they were living in Missouri.  His second wife was Miss Margaret Horn, daughter of Martin
Horn (Grandfather to the infamous gunslinger, Tom Horn), and they had two children: Jennie, now
Mrs. August Krull, of Cicero; and Martin Horn Van Patten, who is managing his father's farm, is
married to Miss Eva Trader, and has one son, Cornelius.  Mrs. Margaret (Horn) Van Patten died
December 19, 1862, and on March 23, 1866, our subject was married to her sister, Miss Nancy Horn.  
In Politics, Mr. Van Patten has been a lifelong Democrat, although he voted for Gen. Fremont in 1856,
and for Abraham Lincoln in 1860.  He has been chairman of the Board of Supervisors for two years,
besides filling other township offices..
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