The ancestors of Mr. Van Buskirk were originally from Holland, and among the early Dutch settlers of America. His grandfather removed from Maryland to Pennsylvania, and from the latter state his father, Lawrence Van Buskirk, emigrated to Ohio. The subject of this sketch was born in Richland county, Ohio, on the 25th of February, 1822, and lived in the state of his nativity till past nineteen years of age. He laid the foundation for a substantial English education in the instruction he received at the old log school house in Ohio, which he attended in his youthful days.
When in the twentieth year of his age he left Ohio, and accompanied his uncle, Daniel Van Buskirk, to Andrew county Missouri. In Andrew county part of the time he was employed on a farm, but mostly worked at the printing business which he had learned in Knox and Lorraine counties, Ohio, in the office of William E. Ellis, then an editor in Ohio, but now the publisher of a newspaper in Missouri. Mr. Van Buskirk was connected with the first news paper ever published at Savannah, in Andrew county -- the Savannah Western Empire, putting that journal into operation for L. D. Nash, the publisher. Working on that paper for a short time, he then went to Platte county, Missouri, and became the publisher of the Weston Empire, at Weston in that county. It was 1847 when he became a resident of Weston, and the following year he returned to Savannah and became editor and proprietor of the Western Empire, of which he remained in charge till 1849.
In the spring of 1852 Mr. Van Buskirk came to Holt county, and in 1853 was elected clerk of the circuit court. This position he held for a term of six years, and was then re-elected to the same office, which he filled till the 5th of May, 1865. While in the office of circuit clerk, he had an excellent opportunity to prosecute the study of law, and was admitted to practice at the Holt county bar, in the month of August, 1865. He at once established himself in the practice of his profession at Oregon, and his standing among the lawyers of Holt county is too well known to need comment in these pages. For about nine years he was a partner of Daniel Zook, but since the spring of 1874 he has been in practice by himself.
Previous to the war he was a Benton Democrat, and is still a member of the Democratic party. During the progress of the Rebellion he was an unconditional Union man, and was elected a member of the Missouri state convention which convened in the early part of the year 1861, "to consider the then existing relations between the the United States, the people and government of the different states, and the government and people of the state of Missouri,” and to consider what steps should be taken by Missouri. This convention held Missouri in the Union, and voted down the ordinance of secession, to which action Mr. Van Buskirk gave his hearty support. He had offered himself as a candidate to this convention before the people as a Union man, and he steadily opposed the principle and policy of secession. Since the war he has acted with the Democracy. He was married on the 25th of December, 1844, to Eliza J. Hart of Andrew county, Missouri, by whom he has had six children, of whom four are now living. He is widely known throughout Holt county, and from his first residence in it has been prominently before the people, either as a public official or as an energetic and able lawyer.
Source: An Illustrated Historical Atlas Map, Holt County, MO., p. 34