|James A. Van Osdol|
James A. Van Osdol was born in Cass Township, Ohio County, Indiana, August 4, 1860, son of Boston Weaver and Rachel (Jenkins) Van Osdol. His early life was spent in the rugged and backwoods districts of Ohio County, and his early education was limited to the public schools there in winter terms, while his services found ample employment on the farm during the summer. In this way his life went on until he was seventeen years of age, when he obtained a certificate and began teaching school. This was a vocation he followed for six years in his native county. The last three years of that time he studied law at home privately, and in 1883 he was admitted to the bar by Judge Allyson. He had in the meantime moved to Vevay, Switzerland County, Indiana, and shortly he joined William D. Ward under the firm name of Ward & Van Osdol, which was continued until 1893. In the latter year Mr. Van Osdol moved to Elwood, Indiana, where he practiced for two years, and in 1895 moved to Anderson, and there became associated with Charles L. Henry and E. B. McMahan in the law firm of Henry, McMahan & Van Osdol. This firm was continued for two years. Mr. Van Osdol was associated from the first with Mr. Henry and other men in the organization of the Union Traction Company, and early in the history of the organization was chosen its general attorney and has since been at the head of the legal department and in more or less intimate touch with all legal matters affecting the organization and operation of the present concern known as the Union Traction Company of Indiana. |
Mr. Van Osdol is one of the directors of the Anderson Trust Company. In the spring of 1917 he was appointed chairman of the Red Cross organization in Madison County, and was also early appointed a member of the Indiana Advisory Committee of the American Red Cross. Under his leadership Madison County responded generously to every call of the Red Cross. He has been quite active in republican party affairs, and perhaps chiefly so while living in Southern Indiana. In 1888 he was elected superintendent of public schools of Switzerland County. Mr. Van Osdol is a member of the Columbia Club of Indianapolis, the Tourist Club of Anderson, the Rotary Club of Anderson, is president of the Anderson Chamber of Commerce, is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias at Vevay, and has membership in the First Methodist Church at Anderson. Mr. Van Osdol has been twice married. By his first marriage he has a son, Robert. In 1894 he married Mrs. Mary F. (Gould) Goodin, of Peru, Indiana. By her first husband she had a son, Donald Goodin. Mr. and Mrs. Van Osdol have one child, Gould J. Van Osdol, born in 1902.
Jacob Piatt Dunn and G. W. H. Kemper, American Historical Society, New York and Chicago, 1919.