A biography said of James: "the subject of this review has a wide acquaintance and the esteem of all with whom he has been brought in contact. In politics he has always been a Democrat, but has never sought or desired office, preferring to devote his time and energies
to his busienss affairs, in which he has met with creditable success."
Residences and events in his life:
Scott Co, IL. Again from his biography: "At the usual age James D. Van Gundy began his education as a student in the public schools of his native county and when he had mastered the branches of learning therein taught he put aside his text books and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits in Scott county."
1873 Macon Co, IL. When his parents moved east, he went with them.
1880 Milam Twp, Macon Co. At age 23, he was counted in the census with his parents, engaged in farming, probably with his father.
1882 Shelby Co, IL. He married there and stayed to farm for a about a year.
1883 Moweaqua, IL. The next year James was engaged in the manufacture of tile.
1884 Kansas. Moving west, he returned to farming but finding life too hard there, fighting locusts, etc, he stayed only about 1 year before moving back home.
1885 Milam Twp, Macon Co, IL. He purchased a tract of land in sec 13 and "with characteristic energy he began its cultivation and development and continued there to engage in general farming until 1903."
7/6/1889 The Saturday Herald of Decatur carried the following article:
"W.C. McColm, who was recently in the emply of Jas. VanGundy at Macon, got a half day off a week ago Friday, and his employer allowed him to use a mule to go to Macon on business. As the young man had not returned Saturday morning, VanGundy grew uneasy and started in search of him. He learned that McColm had purchased a pair of shoes in Macon on an order that he had given him and was last seen coming towards Decatur. Sunday morning VanGundy came to Decatur and found his missing mule at Brenneman & Watt's stable. McColm had sold the animal for $65 to George Watt. The mule was returned to the lawful owner. McColm gave his name as Wm. Cristie. His parents lived near Macon and are badly cut up over the affair. He was an industrious young man and left property at home valued at a great deal more than the mule was worth. His friends believe that his mind was unbalanced and that he has gone west."
4/7/1894 The newspaper reported that James had been elected Milam Twp collector on the Republican ticket.
12/2/1902 Maroa, Macon Co, IL. James' name was among the jury pool listing there.
1903 995 W Marietta, Decatur, Macon Co, IL. James retired to town but retained 200 acres of "valuable land" which he rented out for a "good" income.
1910 Decatur, Macon Co, IL. He moved back home again for reasons not known.
1919 Long Beach, Los Angeles Co, CA. His wife always wanted to live in CA and finally convinced Jim to move there. The Decatur newspaper carried a large article of their trip:
Van Gundys had Fine Trip West
Visited Many Points of Interest on Way
"Mr. and Mrs. William H. Fagan have received word that their daughter, Mrs. Charles Van Gundy, and also Mr. and Mrs. J.D. VanGundy have arrived safely at Long Beach, Cal.
The Van Gundys left Decatur, June 30 in their car, and taking the Santa Fe trail went by way of Springfield and Jacksonville, crossing the illinois river by ferry at Valley City, and crossing the Mississippi at Hannibal, Mo. They toured all through New Mexico, passing through Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Mangdalena. In Arizona the principal stops they made were in Springerville, Winslow, Flagstaff and Kingman. At Flagstaff, a detour of about ninety miles through the Canyon on burrow. They saw the Bath Falls, the hermit's Rest, and the Great Cathedral Stairs at the Canyon. The Great Terraces and River Gorge, the Devil's Corkscrew, Bright Angel Trail and jacob's Ladder were all intresting to the tourists,
All of New Mexico, Arizona and eastern California look like a desert to people from Illinois. The real desert begins at Kingman, Ariz, and lasts to San Bernadino, a distance of about 850 miles. The Van Gunds crossed this desert at night, making the trip in a day and a half. The desert is cool and very beautiful on moonlight nights. Traveling through that section is sometimes dangerous as well as beautiful. From Arizona they went to Needles, Cal. They were ferried across by the indians who run the ferry. Then they drove through Barstow, Cal, San Bernadino, los Angeles and then to Long Beach.
The state of California is wonderful as well as beautiful. There are quantities of orange groves, figs, lemons, peaches, and in fact all kinds of gruit groves. The boulevards are paved all through the county and are beautified by Palm trees and orange groves.
Long Beach is perhaps the largest tourist resort in California. During the summer months the hotels and apartments are filled to capacity and about the first of September the winter tourists arrive. The climate at Long Beach is ideal. The days are seldom hot and the nights are very cool, especially along the ocean boulevards and the beach. Band concerts and dances are given every afternoon and evening at the auditoriums at the beach where thousands of people throng. While in Pomono, Cal, the Van Gundys visited Mr. and Mrs. P. P. Laughlin, the former a member of the firm of Laughlin and Cloud of Decatur.
In Musical Circles
Mrs. Charles Van Gundy likes California very much and is now associated in musical circiles there. She is one of the soloists for the Long Beach choral choir and the Lyric club under the direction of Prof. Clarence Crinibal. She is also on the reception committee and soloist at St. Anthonys church.."
1/16/1920 Long Beach, Los Angeles Co, CA. Listed as Jones D Van Gundy in the census index, he was 50 years old and had no occupation. Wife Frances E was ? and daughter Florence, 22, was still at home.
After Fanny died, he came out of retirement to work for the City of Long Beach in the Park Dept. Daughter Florence also worked for the city at that time.
1930 Same place. The census said he was a 75 year old widower and father of Florence, who was head of the house. His occupation was wharfinger, working for the city. His obituary said he was "wharfinger on the old Pine Ave. Pier and then Belmont Pier."
1941 Los Angeles, or Long Beach, CA (depending on which newspaper article cited) was his address when his brother, DW, died. When James died his address was 2060 Cedar Ave, Long Beach and probably was Long Beach all along.
James' nephew, George Hoewing, was administrator of his estate.
Virtually everything he owned went to his daughter after his son died.
She still retained his land in Illinois as of 1994.
Patterson and Snively Chapel was the location of his funeral which was held on a Saturday at 1 PM with James C Gordon officiating.