LAUNY VAN HORN.
Perhaps no other resident of Louisa county has intimate knowledge of so many branches of business as has Launy
Van Horn, whose activity along various lines has served to give him a broad and comprehensive knowledge of business
methods. Born in Niagara county, New York, on the 18th of January, 1849, he is a son of Launy and Lucina (Powers)
Van Horn, natives of the Empire state, the father's birth also occurring in Niagara county. The parents were married
in Lockport, New York, where the father engaged in farming throughout his entire career. He passed away at the
age of seventy eight years, the mother's death occurring when she was seventy five years old. In their family were
five children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the eldest. The others are as follows: Harmon, of Niagara
county, New York; Ella, who married C. T. Herrington, deceased, of Niagara county; Adelbert, a farmer of Niagara
county; and Carrie, the wife of Calvin Burnett, of that county.
Launy Van Horn acquired his education in the common schools of his native county and, although reared to farm work,
turned his attention to other pursuits when he began working independently. He was but sixteen years of age when
he started out on his own account, his initial step being. in the capacity of brakeman on the Hannibal & St.
Joseph Railroad at Hannibal, Missouri. He was thus engaged for only a short time, however, after which he began
working at the photographer's trade, with which he was connected for two years. At the end of that time he went
upon the road as traveling salesman for the St. Louis Home Journal, remaining thus employed for two years.
Coming to Iowa, he worked for about six months for his uncle in Louisa county, and then returned to his old home
in New York where he remained for a short time. Going to Chicago he there accepted the position of manager of one
of the branch houses of Gotwalls & McDonough, art dealers, and later made his way to Burlington, Iowa, where
he became identified with the R. T. Root Company, publishers, remaining with them for two years as traveling salesman.
He next accepted employment with Segner & Condit, publishers, whom he also represented as journeyman for several
years, and then began working for the Western Publishing House of Chicago, first as solicitor, in which capacity
he remained for four years, and later as manager of a branch house. He then entered business on his own account,
operating a publishing establishment at San Francisco; California, for five years. At the expiration of that time
he returned to Chicago and renewed his relations with the Western Publishing House of that city, traveling between
Chicago and the Atlantic coast for a few years.
Again embarking independently in business he began installing acetylene lighting systems in houses, and continued
in this avenue of activity for three years, after which he laid aside business pursuits to take up the duties of
the office of postmaster of Letts, Iowa, to which he had been appointed under the administration of President McKinley.
He remained the incumbent of that office for two years, after which he resigned and again returned to the acetylene
lighting business, in which he is yet engaged. Wide and varied have been the experiences of Mr. Van Horn, and each
step in his career has witnessed his advancement in the business world until today he is ranked among the substantial
and representative citizens of Grand View township.
Mr. Van Horn was married to Miss Allie Coder, a native of Ross county, Ohio, and a daughter of James M. K. and
Brunetta (Keen) Coder, both of whom were born in Ohio. The father was a farmer by occupation, although he also
engaged in merchandising for a few years. He was married in Ohio and soon afterward brought his wife to Iowa, locating
on a farm in Muscatine county, which he operated until his retirement from active life, when he removed to Letts
and there spent his remaining days. He and his wife have both passed away. In their family were eight children,
as follows: John, a farmer of Muscatine county; Jane, now deceased; Sarah, the wife of John Idle, of Muscatine
county; Newton G., a resident of Letts; Allie, now Mrs. Van Horn; Thomas, deceased; Lemuel, engaged in farming
in Muscatine county; and Charlie, of Letts, Iowa. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Van Horn have been born two children.: Frank
Leslie, a high school graduate, who is now married and is employed as a railroad operator in Ohio; and Lulu May,
also a high school graduate, who married B. F. Snyder, engaged in the general merchandise business in Letts.
The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which they are actively and helpfully
interested, and Mr. Van Horn is well known in Masonic circles here, he being an exemplary member of the order.
He belongs to blue lodge, No. 245, A. F. & A. M., of Letts; Composite Chapter, R. A. M., of Columbus Junction;
is a Knight Templar, holding membership in the commander at Muscatine, and also belongs to Kaab Temple, N. M. S.,
of Davenport, Iowa. He gives his political support to the republican party and in January, 1911, was again appointed
to the office of postmaster of Letts, which position he is now filling in a most acceptable and efficient manner.
His life has been one of continuous activity in which has been accorded due recognition of labor, and today he
is numbered among the substantial citizens of his community. His interests are thoroughly identified with those
of Grand View township, and at all times he is ready to lend his aid and cooperation to any movement calculated
to benefit this section of the county or advance its wonderful development.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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