Charles L. Van Buskirk, so well known in the business circles of Lodi, San Joaquin county, has been a resident of California and of Lodi since 1893. He is one of the most important factors in the timber industry in this part of the state, and having made this his life pursuit he well deserves the prominence which he has gained.
Mr. Van Buskirk was born in Nova Scotia, September 29, 1845, a son of Lever and Susan (Towle) Van buskirk, the father a native of Nova Scotia and the mother of Maine. Being orphaned by the death of his parents when he was only eight years old, he was henceforth reared, until he was sixteen years old, in the home of his mother's parents, Mr. and mrs. Elisha Towle, at Stevens Point, Portage county, Wisconsin. Mr. Van Buskirk is a splendid example of the self-made man, the character so typical of American opportunities and life. All his schooling, and he received only the rudiments, was obtained before he was eight years old, and since that time the school of experience, with its frequent hard knocks and constant contact with the practical world, has been the arena where he has worked out his career. When he was sixteen years old he began earning his own way, for several years thereafter being employed in the sawmilling industry in Portage county, laying thereby the foundation for his later business career.
At the age of twenty, in company with his brother George W., he engaged in the lumber industry in Clark and Marathon counties, under the firm name of Van Buskirk Brothers. This firm continued its lumber operations in Wisconsin until 1895. In 1893 Van Buskirk Brothers bought timber lands in Calaveras and Amador counties, California, and since then the name Van Buskirk has been prominently connected with the timber industry in this section of the state. Mr. Charles Van Buskirk purchased his borther's interest in 1902, and subsequently took in Brown Brothers Lumber Company of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, as partners. One of Mr. Van Buskirk's recent enterprises was the erection, in 1904, of the Lodi opera house; sixty-four by ninety-five feet, two stories and basement; brick and finished with pressed brick. The opera house has a seating capacity of nine hundred, and cost about thirty-two thousand dollars. He erected another business block across the street, fifty by eighty feet, stores and offices, finished same as opera house block, two stories and basement, cost of twenty thousand dollars.
Mr. Van Buskirk has had his home in Lodi since 1893, and is one of the most public-spirited and highly esteemed citizens of that town. He is a Republican in politics, and a member and a trustee of the Congregational church at Lodi.
He was married, July 1, 1885, to Miss Angie B. Crocker, who was born in Wausau, Marathon county, Wisconsin, a daughter of Calvin R. and Emily (Foster) Crocker, her parents being natives of Massachusetts and early settlers of Marathon county, Wisconsin. Mr. and Mrs. Van Buskirk are the parents of two children, Charles R. and Erle L. Mrs. Van Buskirk for several years before her marriage taught in the public schools of her native town. She has taken a prominent part in the social affairs of her present home town. She is a member of the Congregational church, and is president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.
Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II
The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine
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