Portrait and Biographical
Album of Otoe and Cass Counties [Nebraska]
Chapman Brothers (Chicago: 1889)
His picture, Jane's picture, and associated family pictures HERE.
Abraham D. Vantine
The spring of 1857 found the subject of this sketch on his way from
Illinois to Nebraska Territory, at which time he secured the land
which he now owns and occupies. He, however, did not settle upon it
until the spring of 1872, he having in the meantime traveled over
various portions of different States. At the time last mentioned he
returned to this county and began the improvement and cultivation
of his purchase, which is now numbered among the most valuable estates
of Wyoming Precinct and which is pleasantly located on section 5.
Mr. Vantine makes a specialty of stock-raising, and in the spring
of 1888 commenced a neat farm residence which, with its adjacent buildings,
forms a very pleasant and attractive home. He has made for himself
a good record, and is numbered among the representative men of the
county. A native of Westmoreland County, Pa., he was born July 18,
1830, and is a son of Hezekiah Vantine, a native of Holland, and of
substantial Dutch ancestry. It is supposed that he emigrated to the
United States early in life, and it is known that he was married in
Pennsylvania to the mother of our subject, who in her girlhood was
Miss Mary Phillips. She was born in Pennsylvania, and was of ancestry
similar to that of her husband.
After marriage the parents of our subject settled on a farm in Allegheny
Township, Westmoreland Co., Pa., where the father died in middle life,
when his son Abraham D. was a little lad of seven years. Eleven children,
seven sons and four daughters, were thus left fatherless. Of these
five are yet living and residents of Pennsylvania. Hezekiah Vantine
at the time of his death, about 1837, was fifty-six years of age.
The wife and mother survived until 1871, passing her last days at
the home in Pennsylvania, and reaching the advanced age of fourscore
years. Both parents were United Presbyterians from their youth, excellent
and worthy people, who were highly esteemed by all who knew them.
The subject of this sketch was next to the youngest of his father's
family, received a common-school education, and grew to manhood in
his native county. He came to Nebraska a single man, and in March,
1859, was married, in Wyoming Precinct, to Miss Eliza J. Snell. This
lady is a native of the same county as her husband, and born also
in Allegheny Township, March 29, 1844. Her parents, Jacob and Eliza
(Walters) Snell, were also natives of the Keystone State, of Dutch
ancestry on the father's side and of Scotch on the mother's.
Mr. Snell was a stonemason by trade, and after the birth of six children
in Pennsylvania, of whom Mrs. Vantine was the eldest, the Snell family
moved to Illinois and located in Rock Island City, where Mr. Snell
operated as a contractor for the jail that was then in process of
construction, and which is yet standing. From Illinois, in 1857, the
Snell family proceeded westward across the Mississippi into the Territory
of Nebraska, where the father homesteaded 160 acres on section 4,
in Wyoming Precinct. Here he occupied himself as a farmer until 1861,
then moved to Denver, Col., where, after a residence of twenty years,
the mother died April 25, 1880, at the age of fifty-four years. Mr.
Snell has since made his home with his children, and is now seventy
years of age.
Mrs. Vantine passed her eighteenth birthday in this county, but her
education was completed in Illinois. Of her union with our subject
there have been born eight children, on of whom, a daughter, Elizabeth,
died at the age of five years. John W., the eldest child living, assists
his father in the management of the farm; Luella is the wife of John
W. James, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume; Sara
Littitia, James C., Frank H., Nettie and Harry E. are at home with
their parents. Mr. And Mrs. Vantine have labored hand in hand in the
building up of their homestead, and endured together toil and sacrifice,
but are now in the enjoyment of a good home and a competency. Our
subject, politically, is a staunch Republican, and as a man and member
of the community has conducted himself in that praiseworthy manner
which has secured him the regard of all who know him.