To Issac Newton Van Nuys has come the attainment of a distinguished position in connection with the great material industries of the state. His life achievements worthily illustrate what may be attained by persistent and painstaking effort. He is a man of progressive ideas; although versatile he is not superficial; exactness and thoroughness characterize all his attainments; his intellectual possessions are unified and assimilated; they are his own. His genealogy also betokens that he is a scion of a family whose association with the annals of American history has been intimate and honorable from the early colonial epoch. As early as 1651 the Van Nuys emigrated from Holland and located on Long Island, but in subsequent years some of the name emigrated to New Jersey and prior to 1790 to Kentucky, and Mr. Van Nuys of this review is the only representative of his family in California. His parents were Peter and Harriet (Kerr) Van Nuys, both now deceased.
Isaac Newton Van Nuys was born in West Sparta, New York, on the 20th of November, 1835. In the public schools of the city of his birth he received his early educational training, this being supplemented by attendance in the academy at Lima, in which he was a student for one year. His father was a tiller of the soil, and in the work of the old home farm the son Isaac N. was actively engaged during the summer months, while during the winter seasons he attended school, and after laying aside his textbooks his entire time and attention was devoted to agricultural pursuits until his removal to California in 1865. From that early day his name is indelibly inscribed on the pages of the history of the Golden state, for throughout the years which have since come and gone he has been an active factor in promoting its interests, and is numbered among the hardy pioneers who made possible its later-day progress and prosperity. His first location in this state was at Napa, thence removing to Monticello and engaging in the mercantile business as proprietor of a country store, and in 1871 came to Los Angeles, and so well has he acted his part in both public and private life that the city has been enriched by his example, his character and his labor. He bought in with a corporation the San Fernando ranch of sixty thousand acres and engaged in the raising of stock, principally sheep, thus continuing during the subsequent three years. He then embarked in the raising of grain, and in 1876 loaded two vessels with wheat at San Pedro, this being the first cargo ever shipped from that point. In 1880 the Los Angeles Farming & Milling Company was organized, and Mr. Van Nuys has ever since been engaged with that corporation. The company have a four-story building for mill purposes, with a capacity of four hundred barrels every twenty-four hours, and the products consist of flour, meals, cracked wheat, hominy and all kinds of feed. In addition to his connection with this large corporation as president and manager he is also vice-president of the Farmers' and Merchants' National Bank, a director in the Union Bank of Savings, a director in the Los Angeles Pressed Brick Company, and owner of the Van Nuys Hotel, which was erected in 1896, and is one of the finest hostelries in southern California.
In 1880 Mr. Van Nuys was united in marriage to Susanna H. Landershim, a daughter of Isaac Lankershim, of Los Angeles, and they have three children--Annis H., James Benton and Kate. In his fraternal relations Mr. Van Nuys is a member of the Masonic order, connected with Pentalpha Blue Lodge, Signet Chapter, Los Angeles Commandery and Al Malaidah Temple. His political support is given to the Republican party, and his religious preference is indicated by his membership in the Baptist church. He takes a deep and abiding interest in all things pertaining to the welfare of his town and community, and contributes leiberally to the support of all measures for the public good. His career has been one of almost phenomenal success. Steadily has he worked his way upward to a position of wealth and affluence, overcoming many difficulties and obstacles in his path, and advancing step by step along the tried paths of honorable effort has reached the goal of prosperity.
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