Jasper VanNess, the fifth child of Moses and Lucinda (Martin) VanNess, was born about 1856 in Fremont County, Iowa. His family moved down to Nodaway County, Missouri, when he was about 10 years old, and he is shown living there with them in the 1870 census. The 1880 census shows him (as “Jasper Venesse”) living with his sister R. J. (Rachel) York and her family in Adair County, Iowa.
I have not found Jasper in the 1900 census. The 1910 census shows a man by this name serving as a hired hand in the household of George Gambill at Perkins, in Payne County, Oklahoma. The age given there (43) is 10 years too young, but the listing shows this man was born in Iowa and both parents were born in Ohio, so I think this is the same Jasper VanNess.
Once again, I cannot find Jasper in the 1920 census. The 1930 census shows him still in Payne County, living at the county’s Poor Farm. (This was, after all, the first year of the Great Depression.) Here, in contrast to the 1910 listing, the age shown for Jasper is a bit too old (78 rather than 74), but it also shows him as having been born in Iowa with both parents born in Ohio, so this seems like the same man.
Jasper is shown again in the 1940 census, still at the Poor Farm. Here his place of birth is shown erroneously as Illinois, but his age may finally be correct. That is, the age figure has been heavily scribbled over, and it could be either 87 or 84. The latter would be correct. Jasper probably did not live long after 1940, but I have found no information about his eventual death and burial.
Jasper apparently never married. All census records show him to be single.
If you can suggest any corrections to the information above or provide any further details about Jasper, please contact me at the address shown in the image below: