Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    OSCAR VAN HORN, a resident of Covington for almost half a century, is a well known citizen and is clerk in charge of the railway mail service on what is known as the Pittsburg - St. Louis Railway Post office, being first appointed by President Garfield, in 1882. He was born in Champaign County, Ohio, January 27, 1857, and is a son of William and Rebecca Ann (Mathews) VanHorn.

    The father of Mr. VanHorn resided on a farm at the time of the latter's birth, but he was a stone-cutter by trade and mainly worked as such, and as early as 1838 he assisted in building the old court house at Dayton. In 1860 Mr. Van Horn's parents started for Missouri and on their way reached Covington just at the time that Fort Sumter was fired on by the Confederates. William Van Horn decided, on account of the disturbed condition of the country, to move no farther west and then settled on the lot of ground in this city on which their son Oscar now lives. The eldest son, Robert E., although only four-teen years of age, ran away from home to enter the army, and enlisted in the Sixty-first O.V.I. Inf., and served through the Civil War, being injured in the last battle, that of Bentonville, North Carolina. Although he still survives and is a resident of the State of Indiana, he suffered for a long time in a hospital from his wound, having been shot entirely through his body.

    William Van Horn started up in the stone business at Covington, where he acquired a stone quarry, and he continued to work as a stone-cutter to the time of his death, in 1895, when he had the record of being the oldest worker in that industry in the State of Ohio. His death was unexpected, taking place while he was on a visit to his son, Warren S., at Detroit, Michigan. He married Rebecca Ann Mathews, who died in 1893. They had five children., namely: Robert E.; Margaret A., who is the wife of Andrew Cruzen, living in Michigan; Oscar; Edward, a twin brother of Oscar, residing at Piqua; and Warren, who is a railway clerk on the Michigan Central Railroad between Detroit and Chicago.

    Oscar Van Horn was reared and educated at Covington. Under his father he learned the stone-cutting trade, at which he worked until he entered the railway mail service. He is one of the oldest railway mail clerks in the United States, in point of years of service, and he has seen this branch developed to its present perfection. During the first administration of the late President Cleveland, he was out for three years, but was returned under President Harrison and was promoted to be clerk in charge under the second Cleveland administration, this being on account of his proficiency and not for political reasons. The position is one of great responsibility, requiring the utmost accuracy and careful attention,. Of the fourteen men in Clerk Van Horn's crew, three are from Covington.

    Mr. Van Horn was married to Miss Ella E. Medford, a native of Kentucky, and they have one daughter, Ada C. The latter married Dr. L. A. Ruhl, of Covington, and they have one son, Joseph W. Mr. Van Horn is a member of the leading fraternal organizations and an official in a number of them. He is a Thirty-second degree Mason and is past master of Covington Lodge, No. 168. He is a past grand of Covington Lodge, No. 383, Odd Fellows, and is past chancellor of Stillwater Lodge, No. 133, Knights of Pythias.

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