"The Landmark" Statesville, NC
Tuesday, 14 April 1896
"Mr. J. F. Van Pelt, who was stricken with paralysis two weeks ago yesterday, died at his home on Front street about 3 o'clock Sunday morning. His illness was considered fatal almost from the first and his death was not a surprise.
"Mr. Van Pelt was 62 years old last October. He was born and raised near Bethpage church, in Cabarrus county. He came to Statesville in 1859, being then married, and engaged in the grocery business with a Mr. Alexander, the firm being Alexander & Van Pelt. They occupied the little wooden building which formerly stood on Broad street and which was known in later years as the Westmoreland building. When the war broke out Mr. Alexander entered the army. Since then Mr. Van Pelt had engaged in various businesses from time to time and almost always with success. Soon after the war he became identified with the town government and served the town in one capacity or another at various periods up to a few years ago. He was elected mayor in 1873, 1874, 1875 and 1876, and again in 1883 and 1884. In 1887 he was elected alderman from his ward and served two years.
"With limited education, he was possessed of splendid business judgement and had, by judicious management, accumulated a good property. He had been retired from active business for several years.
"Mr. Van Pelt's wife died about 12 years ago. They had no children. One brother and one sister survive him. The latter, Mrs. Litaker of China Grove, Rowan county, was with him when he died having arrived here Friday. The brother lives in Alabama. A cousin, a Mr. Van Pelt of near Huntersville and some nieces of the deceased also attended the funeral. Mr. Van Pelt joined the Presbyterian church at the age of 18. The funeral services were conducted from his late residence at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon by Rev. J. H. Pressly of the Associate Reformed Church, and the interment was at Oakwood cemetery. The pall bearers were Col. S. A. Sharpe, Col. H. C. Cowles, and Messrs. J. K. Morrison, T. D. Miller, L. Morrow, D. A. Miller, M. E. Ramsey and J. P. Young."
My Notes: It would seem that he died Sunday, 12 April 1896. The year 1834 is given as his birth year on the tombstone, but according to the newspaper article, he was born in 1833. His wife was Mary M. Litaker, whom he married in 1858, and who died in 1885. He served in the Confederate Army, Co. A, 52nd NC Regiment. He was...I think...the ninth of ten children born to Abraham Van Pelt (1786-1856) and Jane Reed (c.1789-1862) of Cabarrus County, NC. He is listed as Samuel J. F. Van Pelt in the 1850 census, and as Samuel F. in a biographical article about his brother at: http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/al/butler/bios/gbs197vanpelt.txt
Mary M. Litaker Van Pelt