This is a work in process; the following information has been gathered so far:
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|In this Photo Mr. Van Gesen is standing in front of City Hall Building on Pearl|
Sep. 13, 1875
Sep. 19, 1952
James Harvey Van Gesen, 77, a former Ellensburg city councilman, postmaster and early day druggist, died Friday in a Seattle hospital. He had been in failing health for four years and entered the hospital four weeks ago.
His body will be brought to Ellensburg Sunday by his widow and daughter-in-law, Mrs. Dorothy Van Gesen. Funeral services will be conducted in the Honeycutt-Evenson Chapel, Tuesday, September 23, at 2 p.m. by Temple Commandery No. 5 of the Masonic Lodge, with burial following in the IOOF Cemetery.
Van Gesen was born at Bellville, Ontario, Canada, September 13, 1875, youngest of 1 children. He came to the United States in 1898 and became a citizen of this country. He settled in Ellensburg in 1899. On Dec. 31, 1900, he was married here to a daughter of one of the Kittitas Valley's earliest pioneer families, Dollie Geddie, daughter of S. R. Geddis, cattleman and builder of a number of Ellensburg business buildings.
They opened the former Owl Drug Store at the corner of Third Avenue and Pearl Street in 1902 and operated it until 1935 when the store was destroyed by fire. Van Gesen was a member of the City Council during the period of World War I, during the mayorship of the late Samuel Kreidel, serving three or four one-year terms. He was always prominent in civic affairs. During 1936-1937, Van Gesen served as Ellensburg postmaster.
Mr. and Mrs. Van Gesen had one son, Edwin Van Gesen who died at Seattle in January 1950. Besides his widow and daughter-in-law, he is survived by two grandsons, Jimmy and Tommy Van Gesen.
In June 1938, Mr. and Mrs. Van Gesen and family moved to Seattle, where they resided since. During the World War II shortage of druggists, he came out of retirement to help out in Seattle stores. Mr. and Mrs. Van Gesen celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in Seattle at the close of 1950.
Van Gesen was active in Masonic work, at one time or other holding chairs in nearly all of the orders.
Ellensburg Daily Record, September 20, 1952