He was a farmer and also worked in several jobs with the Northern Cross (future Wabash) railroad, everything from engineer to running a rail hotel.
There must have been some kind disagreement which caused Adam's siblings to move away, severing all contact. Adam's branch knew nothing of any other relatives, and were quite surprised to learn of their existence when discovered in 1993.
Adam's line diminished, passing all the original Van Gundy property to Mary Van Gundy Muckler of Tennessee, her nephew, Eric Van Gundy farming the land for her. At this time, Mary's children, Eric, and his brother are the last of the line.
Residences & events in Adam's life:
1850 Exeter P.O., Scott Co, IL. In the census he had property = $3500/680. Also living with him were John Full, 22, from Germany, and Esther Oliver, 16, from MD, probably helpers around the farm and house.
1860 Exeter, with the same property worth $3500/680. Adam was 29 that year and Sarah was 28. They had four children: George, 8, Hiram, 7, Margaret, 3, and Ada, 5 mo. Living with them were John Troll, 22, and Esther Oliver, 16, both without occupations or assetts. Adam was a farmer.
7/27/1870 Still at Exeter. Listed as Adam Vanganda, his property then totaled $7000/1650. He was a 38 year old farmer, Sarah was 37 and the household included children: George, 17; William, 16; Maggie, 13; and Ada, 10, besides boarders: Nicholas Powers, 38, coal miner; Barney Meirs, 21, farm laborer; and Joseph Asby, 23, railroad baggage master. This residence may have been the rail hotel he operated.
1880 Same address and all the kids, except George, were still at home. Living with them were a servant girl and a 9 yr old, Lorenzo Rest, who may have been Sarah's nephew.
4/28/1883 The following item appeared in a Decatur, IL newspaper:
"The Strohm shop is filled with numerous beautiful monuments made to order for parties in various parts of the state. Shipments will be made this week to the following named places:
A. VanGundy, a four-ton monument, Bluffs"
12/17/1883 Bluffs was organized as a town and Adam was elected president of the first board of officers.
1900 Adam was one of three Justices of the Peace in town.
6/1/1900 Blutts, Scott Co,IL. At census time he was a 69 year old widower and living with daughter Margaret and John Tewksbury. His occupation was land lord.
His 3 column obituary said:
LIFE'S WORK OVER
Brief Biographical Sketch of a Well Known, and Highly Respected Character of Scott County
"This ends the career of one of Scott county's oldest and most influential citizens.
Adam Van Gundy was born and reared on the same farm he owned at the time of his death, being also the farm that was the home of his father, David Van gundy, one mile east of Bluffs.
When a boy he tended the mill his father owned, and which was erected on the old home place, it being the only mill at that time between Quincy and Springfield, people driving and bringing their wheat as far as 60 miles to have it ground.
He saw the first rails laid of the present Wabash railroad and during 1865 and 1866 he conducted a hotel at Naples, the termus of the road. He, for a number of years was conductor on the line that runs from Springfield to Meredosia. He had spoken to his friends so many times of both serious and humerous incidents occuring during his time as conductor. Bluffs station at that time being at the crossing east of town and called the Van Gundy station.
Twenty-five years ago this fall the Hotel Olive, now known as the Wabash Dining Station, was erected by him and for about 3 years he was proprietor, making many warm friends who are yet here and mourn his departure."
" He was a very public spirited citizen and always willing to do his duty as far as was within him. When the town of Bluffs was organized he was made president of the village and from that time held office of sime kind almost constantly, being Squire for many years before his death. He was a staunch democrat and a very radical temperance man, several of his writings on temperance being found in his writing case after his death. He always disliked to have anyone oppose him on the liquor question as he was so strong an advocate for the right, and if necessary would fight for his principles.
He was a man of warm impulse and generous heart and any one that was really needy was never turned from his door empty handed. He was a great lover of children both of his own immediate family and outside of the family children were a great delight to his heart.
His last illness started just one week before his demise, and was caused by a complication of kidney and bladder trouble. During his last illness he was called upon by his pastor Rev. W.H. Lewis, and to him he expressed himself that he knew he was going to die but he was willing to go as he was ready for the great journey. He was unconsious the last three days and when the time came for him to pass away, a peaceful expression came over his face and he was no more, death taking away the care worn expression that was caused by his intense suffering."
The funeral was held at the home of eldest daughter, Margaret Tewksbury at 2 PM. "The many flowers tendered were very beautiful and showed in what esteem he was held by his many friends and relatives"
Pallbearers were grandsons, Roy and Charles Van Gundy, Harry and Albert Vannier, Leonard Black, and Thomas Burrus.
Adam and Sarah are buried a few rows higher up the bluff from his parents and share a large stone.