Mercer County, Kentucky – History and Biographies
William Alfred Vanarsdell
William Alfred Vanarsdell was born February 5, 1834, on the waters of Salt River, Mercer County, Kentucky, where he grew to manhood, and in 1866 he located in the pleasant village of McAfee, where he has since resided. In 1861 he enlisted in Company F, Nineteenth Kentucky Infantry, Colonel Landrum, and remained in the service for about four years. His father, John J. Vanarsdell, a native of Mercer County, was a soldier in the War of 1812, was a farmer, and died in 1867 at the age of seventy-two years. He was the son of James Vanarsdell, a native of New Jersey, who removed to Kentucky in 1778, and with others, in times of danger, occupied the fort at Stanford. He married Betsey Bean, and their offspring were Isaac, William, John J., James P. and Bettie (Rice). John J. married Mary, daughter of Peter Cozine, of Mercer County (died in 1884 at the age of seventy-one years), and from their union sprang William A., James, John, Isaac, Sarah (Hawkins) and Lucy (Cozine). September 7, 1854, William A. was united in marriage to Miss Margaret, daughter of James and Diana (Dean) Thompson, of Mercer County, born May 4, 1836, and to them have been born John, Mattie (Sorrel), Susan, Annie, Addie, William R. and Minnie L. Since the year 1851, with the exception of the period of his army life, Mr. Vanarsdell has been engaged in blacksmithing with fair success. Without assistance in the beginning of his career, he has had to rely upon his own efforts, and by a strict adherence to business has secured a comfortable competency. He is a member in good standing in the I. O. O. F. and also in the A F. & A. M. In his religious profession he is a Baptist, and in politics is identified with the Republican Party.
Jackson Vanarsdell was born September 30, 1831, and is a son of C. C. Vanarsdell, a native of New Jersey, where he was born in 1780. C. C. came to this state in an early day and settled in Mercer County. His father was also C. C. Vanarsdell. Jackson Vanarsdell was brought up on the family farm, in his native county of Mercer, receiving a common-school education. He has accumulated considerable property, owning a good farm of 354 acres of land, also a distillery which he operates six months of the year. His distillery has a capacity of 400 gallons per day, and is valued at $30,000. Mr. Vanarsdell was married to Miss Jane P. Brewer, by whom he has five children. She died and he afterward married Mrs. M. E. Bush. He and his family are members of the Presbyterian Church.