VAN NATTAN, THOMAS. - The Van Nattan family has been prominent in Sangamon County since 1825, when the great-grandfather of Thomas, Daniel Van Nattan, came there from Fleming County, Ky., settling in what is now Fancy Creek Township. He was married in Bath County, Ky., December 25, 1818, to Deborah Ferguson, and they had one child born in Fleming County and five in Sangamon County, Ill. Their eldest child, Joseph, was born March 10, 1821, and was married in Sangamon County, Ill., April 7, 1842, to Currency Stanley, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Centre-Campbell) Stanley, and a native of Ohio. Thomas Stanley was a soldier in the War of 1812, located in Sangamon County in the fall of 1829, and died in 1837. Joseph Van Nattan and his wife had nine children, all born in Sangamon County. Two sons, Norman A. and Thomas M., served in the Civil War, the former in Company G, Seventy-third Illinois Infantry, in which he served three years, and the latter in Company I, One Hundred Thirty-third Illinois Infantry, in which he served five months. The father Joseph Van Nattan, enlisted in 1862 for three years, in the Seventy-third Illinois Infantry, served his full term and was honorably discharged.
Thomas Morris, second son of Joseph Van Nattan, was born in Sangamon County, and was a successful farmer of Fancy Creek Township. He was married after the war and died May 4, 1872, leaving a widow and two children living near Springfield. His wife was Anna P. Renne. Their son Thomas was born July 19, 1869.
Thomas Van Nattan was reared on a farm and educated in the country schools. After leaving school he learned telegraphy and worked as operator at Ridgely. He has contributed his share to the promotion of all public movements and is a well-known and popular citizen of Springfield, which has been his home several years. He is highly esteemed as a refined and cultured man, and is a worthy representative of his family, which has for many years been held in high regard in Sangamon County. He has lived all his life in the vicinity of his present home. He served two years in the City Police Department and discharged his duties acceptably. He belongs to Hope Congregational Church at Sixteenth and Carpenter Streets, and in politics is a Republican. He has been engaged as a representative of the Illinois State Journal for the past four years.
Mr. Van Nattan was married, at Peoria, Ill., July 30, 1899, to Anna J. Schelble, who was born August 23, 1876, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Dressenderfer) Schelble, the former a native of Germany, who came from Germany in 1860. Mrs. Schelble was born in Illinois. Children as follows were born to Mr. and Mrs. Van Nattan: Emma Marie, April 17, 1900; Anna Elizabeth, July 18, 1903; Elsie May, June 8, 1906; Lawrence Joseph, June 9, 1910. The family reside at 903 North Twelfth Street.