John Welsh VanHook

Male 1825 - 1905


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  • Born  Jun 1825  Philadelphia, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  9 Apr 1905  Washington, DC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried  Congressional Cemetery, Washington, DC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Father  William Furniss VanHook, Sr.,   b. 1780,   d. 1838 
    Mother  Living 
    Family  Emma Matilda Rulon,   b. Abt 1830, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Mar 1881, Washington, DC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  11 Oct 1848  Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    Married:
    • Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985
      Name: John W Vanhook
      Event Type: Marriage
      Marriage Date: 11 Oct 1848
      Marriage Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      Spouse Name: Emma Matilda Ruton
      Organization Name: Presbyterian Church

      1860 US Census - Washington Ward 4, Washington, DC
      5 Jul 1860
      (note: John W. VanHook lived next to John Fox, his business partner)
      John W. VanHook, 35, land agent, b. PA, $50,000 real estate, $20,000 personal
      Emma M. VanHook, 30, b. PA
      Mary J. VanHook, 10, b. PA
      Emma T. VanHook, 8, b. MD
      Laura V. VanHook, 6, b. DC
      Annetta VanHook, 4, b. DC
      John VanHook, 1 year 6 months, b. DC
      Hannah Brown, 32, mulatto, housemaid, b. MD
      Alfred Brown, 12, mulatto, b. MD
      Benjamin Warren, 28, mulatto, servant, b. MD
      Martha Warren, 32, black, servant, b. MD
      Ellen Warren, 1 year 6 months, b. DC

      1870 US Census - East of Seventh Street, Washington, DC
      27 Jun 1870
      J. W. VanHook, 45, retired merchant, b. PA, $17,000 real estate, $600 personal
      Emma VanHook, 40, b. PA
      Marie VanHook, 19, b. PA
      Emma VanHook, 18, b. MD
      Laura V. VanHook, 16, b. DC
      Ettie VanHook, 14, b. DC
      J.C. VanHook, 12, b. DC
      J.M. VanHook, 6, b. DC
      Chas G. VanHook, 3, b. DC

      1880 US Census - Dist 26, Washington, DC
      J. W. VanHook, 54, real estate agent, b. PA
      Emma VanHook, 49, b. PA
      Mary VanHook, 29, b. PA
      Ettie VanHook, 21, clk quar. gen'l o., b. DC
      Clifford VanHook, 19, clk land office, b. DC
      James VanHook, 15, b. DC
      Gordon VanHook, 13, b. DC
      Lizzie Baird, 37, servant, b. VA

      1900 US Census - Dist 45, Washington, DC
      Middleton Smith, 53, b. Mar 1847 PA, statistician
      Marie V.H. Smith, 50, wife, b. Sep 1849 PA
      Florence M. Weserman, 55, sister, b. Jun 1844 PA
      John W. VanHook, 74, father in law, b. Jun 1825 PA, father b. NJ, mother b. PA
    Children 
     1. Marie J. VanHook,   b. Sep 1849, Philadelphia, PA Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Emma Theresa VanHook,   b. 11 Jul 1852, Baltimore, MD Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Laurette H. VanHook,   b. Abt 1854, Washington, DC Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Antoinette VanHook,   b. 20 Oct 1856, Washington, DC Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. John Clifford VanHook,   b. 12 Sep 1857, Washington, DC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 May 1942, Long Beach, Los Angeles, CA Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. James M. VanHook,   b. 1864, Washington, DC Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. Charles Gordon VanHook,   b. 6 Apr 1867, Washington, DC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Mar 1943, Los Angeles, CA Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified  20 Apr 2015 
    Family ID  F2477  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Cedar Hill - Frederick Douglass house in Washington, D.C.  Originally called 'VanHook's Hill' and built by John W. VanHook between 1855-1859, bought by Douglass in 1877.
    Cedar Hill - Frederick Douglass house in Washington, D.C. Originally called "VanHook's Hill" and built by John W. VanHook between 1855-1859, bought by Douglass in 1877.

  • Notes 
    • In the 1850's John VanHook built a home in Washington that was later bought by Frederick Douglass - known as Cedar Hill. From the National Park Service web site and other information:
      http://www.nps.gov/frdo/historyculture/places.htm

      A Brief History of Cedar Hill

      The site of the Frederick Douglass home was originally purchased by John Van Hook circa 1855. The house was built between 1855 and 1859 by Van Hook, an architect from Philadelphia, PA. The house consisted of between 6 to 14 rooms.

      In 1854 Van Hook partnered with John Fox and John Dobler and formed the Union Land Association whose offices were in the Van Hook home. These developers purchased 100 acres of farmland to form a new subdivision called Uniontown (today Anacostia).

      100 acres in Anacostia was bought by the Union Land Association from Enoch Tucker's 240-acre farm for $1,900 and sub divided in to lots to sell to people to build their homes on. 700 lots, 24 feet wide and 130 feet deep. The new subdivision was named Uniontown. It originally consisted of 15 square blocks, bounded by Harrison Street (Good Hope Road) on the north, Jefferson Street (W Street) on the south, Taylor Street (16th Street) on the east, and Monroe Street (Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue) on the west.

      East of the Anacostia River, antagonism towards blacks manifested itself in the creation of Uniontown, a working class whites-only settlement intended primarily to serve Navy Yard workers, with lots purchased for three-dollar monthly installments. John Van Hook, John Fox, and John Dobler, partners in the Union Land Association, bought up land at the intersection of Nichols Avenue and Good Hope Road and laid out Uniontown in 1854. The contract clause forbidding "negroes, mulattoes, pigs, or soap boiling" had particular appeal for many white Navy Yard workers who feared the increasing numbers of free blacks in their neighborhoods and at their work. Uniontown embodied white working class resentment towards free blacks, but it existed in a heterogeneous space which also included wealthy slaveholders and their slaves, fairly prosperous working and middle class communities for free blacks in Stantontown and along Good Hope Road, and a sizeable German immigrant population of tenant farmers and small landowners.

      In Uniontown absentee speculators bought up a good number of the lots. By the 1870s the Union Land Association had sold 672 of the 700 lots, but only 70 to 80 families actually lived there. The financial panic of 1873 and the slowdown in production at the Navy Yard during the 1870s spelled hard times for the founders of Uniontown.

      Van Hook then ran into financial troubles and the house passed to the Freedmen's Savings and Trust company. On September 1, 1877, Douglass paid $6,700 to the Freedmen's Savings and Trust company for the home and 9 and c acres of land, and broke the all-white covenant. Initially known as "Van Hook's Hill", Douglass had changed the name because of the numerous cedar trees on the property.

      Death notice in New York Times - 10 Apr 1905
      John W. VanHook died in Washington at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Middleton Smith (1616 19th Street). Funeral services at 1PM Tuesday, April 11, at residence.