VAN NATTAN, NORMAN A. - Some of the most progressive men of Springfield in earlier years proved their public spirit and patriotism by serving their country in time of war. One of these men whom the country is delighted to honor and pay tribute to, is Norman A. Van Nattan, born in Sangamon County, February 25, 1843, a son of Joseph and Currency (Stanley) Van Nattan, the former born in Fleming County, Ky., March 4, 1821, and the latter in Ohio, April 8, 1824. The father was a farmer who moved from Kentucky to Sangamon County in 1825, but in 1858 went to Texas, returning to Sangamon County in 1860, where he spent the remainder of his life. He served during the Civil War, enlisting August 13, 1862, and being mustered out in June, 1865, at Camp Butler. He served under Sherman and Thomas, participating in the battles of Perryville, Stone River, Atlanta, Peach Tree Creek, and other of less importance.
Norman A. Van Nattan received his education in Springfield and worked on his father's farm until his enlistment, a week before his father, on August 4, 1862, in Company G, Seventy-third Illinois Infantry, serving under Sherman, Thomas and Rosecrans, and engaging in the battles of Perryville, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Buzzard's Roost, Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Spring Hill, Franklin, Nashville, and others, many times narrowly escaping death. He was mustered out June 26, 1865, at Camp Butler.
Mr. Van Nattan has always been a Republican and has served his party and community as Constable. After his marriage he located in Fancy Creek Township, but eventually became an engineer, in which line of work he is now engaged. Impulsive by nature, and able to see further than many, Mr. Van Nattan has always been eager to take hold of any measure advanced for the promotion of the welfare of his city, and has accomplished much good. He has been equally active in the Methodist Church, of which he is a consistent member, and is most highly esteemed. He belongs to the G. A. R.
The marriage of Mr. Van Nattan occurred in Sangamon County, February 1, 1866, when he was united with Clara A. Tubbs, born in Rochester, N.Y., November 14, 1846, a member of one of the old families of that State. Four children were born to them: Margaret J., March 2, 1867; Charles R., September 27, 1868; Mary E., March 15, 1872, and James A. The family hold an enviable position among their neighbors and in their church, and Mr. Van Nattan is highly respected by all who know him and understand his excellent traits of character and kindly, generous nature.