VLIET, JOSEPH. - When the call was made for volunteers to support the Union, men responded from all over the North, leaving their private interests to the care of others. They were gathered from every trade and every profession. None stopped to think of self when the country was in peril. One of the men who thus generously forgot private affairs in his support of public interests, is Joseph Vliet, now living retired in Williamsville, after many years spent in active work. He was born in Belmont County, Ohio, October 30, 1832, a son of David and Jane (Williams) Vliet, the former born in New Jersey, 1781, and died in 1865, while the latter was born in Pennsylvania, in 1800. David Vliet was a shoemaker by trade, who moved to Ohio in 1848, seeking a better field for his business.
The boyhood days of Joseph Vliet were passed in Ohio, where he alternated attendance at the district school with hard work on his father's farm. At an early age he learned the trade of a plasterer and followed it the greater part of his active life. In 1848 he came form Monroe County, Ohio, to Springfield, where he found ready employment at his trade, living there until 1874, when he moved to Williamsville, buying a home in this village. He owns a house and several lots on Lester Street, and is in comfortable circumstances, having earned all he owns through hard work and thrifty saving.
On August 18, 1862, he enlisted in Company A, Third Illinois Light Artillery, under Captain T. F. Vaughn, participating in the battle of Little Rock, as well as several skirmishes, and receiving his honorable discharge in April, 1864. He is an enthusiastic member of the G.A.R., of which he has been a member twenty-five years. In politics he is a Republican and the Presbyterian Church holds his membership.
Mr. Vliet was married in Springfield, July 10, 1856. His wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Vliet, was born May 9, 1835. Her parents were natives of Kentucky and died when she was very young. Mr. and Mrs. Vliet became the parents of eight children, four of whom survive: George, William, Albert and Sarah J. After nearly two years spent in serving his country as a soldier, Mr. Vliet returned home to become a useful citizen, and in his declining years is a valued addition to the village in which he has made his home for nearly forty years.