People of Allen County, Indiana

V Surnames

Vananda, Franklin

Franklin Vananda, son of Peter William Vananda. Lived in Fort Wayne and Garrett. Wife Margaret Slater. Read more at Civil War Days & Those Surnames

Vance, Sammie

Haley Elementary student brought "buddy benches" to Fort Wayne. Was tweeted by actress Reese Witherspoon and many others. Famous actress applauds Fort Wayne third grader by Kelly Roberts published April 12, 2018 by CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.

Vandolah, James

James Vandolah first visited Perry township vicinity in 1832, while searching for a desirable millsite with convenient water power. He located one on Cedar creek, and having secured the land he returned to Ohio for three years, coming back in 1835 to dig the race for his mill. He then returned for his family, and in 1836 they settled on the farms where his sons afterward spent most of their lives. Mr. Vandolah's land holdings were extensive, including not only the 520 acres in Perry, but 400 acres in Eel River township, and a quarter section in DeKalb county. He was an expert millwright, and spent a great part of his time at his trade, having worked at many mills in the middle west. The Shryock mill, at Leo; the Dawson Mill at Spencerville ; the grist mill near Clarksville; his own mill and a number of others were built by him. Mr. Vandolah was township trustee several terms. The Vandolahs reared a family of eight children, five of whom survived the parents, and achieved honor and prosperity in their own right, as well as worthily inheriting that of their parents. Benjamin Vandolah, who was but three years of age when brought to Indiana, has spent his whole after life upon the same farm, one of the best in the township. The family preserve some curious Indian relics which have been unearthed on its soil. Thomas Vandolah, the second son, was also prominent as a farmer and in the social life about him, but has always avoided office holding. Copied from page 651-652 of The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927; Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs, Publication date 1917 on Namesake for Vandolah Road and the Vandolah Nature Preserve.

Vann, Jim

2013 Copper Man of the Year Ankh Award from The Copper Club in lengthy article with some history - A career hard-wired for success lauded Rea Magnet’s chairman named Man of the Year by copper trade group and Rea execs plan for the next generation both August 18, 2013 by Sherry Slater of the The Journal Gazette newspaper.

Van Meter, Homer

In 1934, Homer Van Meter - born December 3, 1905 in Fort Wayne, driver for the John Dillinger bank robbing gang. He was gunned down August 23, 1934 in St. Paul, MN and his body was returned to Lindenwood Cemetery for burial, from 90 Fun Facts for April 4 & 5 at The History Center. A two page article is in the December 2013 Allen County Lines periodical on pages 42-43 by Phyllis Robb. Dillinger cohort lures curious to local digs Jeff Wiehe uly 3, 2009 in The Journal Gazette newspaper now on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, Homer Van Meter on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, and lots of Homer Van Meter images on Google.

See our Infamous Burials for more information on Homer and the John Dillinger gang buried in Fort Wayne.

May 18, 2023 post by The History Center on Facebook:

Many celebrities count Fort Wayne as their hometown, but not all of them were on the right side of the law. One such man, Homer Van Meter, born December 3, 1905, turned to a life of crime and eventually became a member of John Dillinger’s “Terror Gang.” In March of 1925, Van Meter was arrested, tried and convicted for trying to rob train passengers in Crown Point, Indiana, for which he was sentenced to 10-21 years in prison. Van Meter wrote letters, believed to have been written in January-March of 1933, to two relatives in Fort Wayne expressing contrition for his criminal actions, and requesting that they support his attempt to gain parole. Exactly 90 years ago today, on May 19, 1933 Van Meter was granted parole. This did not stop his life of crime, he later joined Dillinger in robbing several banks and was eventually killed by police in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 23, 1934. #sociallyhistory

Venderly, Ron

87, born October 28, 1928 in Fort Wayne, died May 12, 2016. Son of the late Celestin and Emma Venderly nee Hawkins. He graduated from Elmhurst High School in Fort Wayne then served in the United States Army during World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam War rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel Commander of the Army National Guard 293rd Infantry. He was a coach and teacher at both Concordia Lutheran and Central High Schools. He spent 20 years as a broker and vice president with Merrill Lynch and 13 more with Smith Barney before retiring in 2000 from Shearson. An Indiana University graduate, with his wife, Joan, he founded the Ronald E. Venderly Charitable Foundation in the 1990s that awarded financial aid to hundreds of students at IPFW, Ball State, Purdue and Indiana, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, local area theaters, the Acres Land Trust, Venderly Bridge at IPFW, and the football complex at Ball State. See his May 2016 D.O. McComb and Sons obituary. See also Philanthropist Venderly, 87, dies by Jeff Wiehe published May 15, 2016 in The Journal Gazette newspaper and Late Fort Wayne icon 'made a difference': Venderly's impact will not end soon by Tom Davis published May 16, 2016 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.

Vermilyea, Jesse

Estate Inventory of Jesse Vermilyea of Allen County, Indiana, 1847 at The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Vigran, Herb

June 5, 1910 - November 29, 1986, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, but some sources claim Fort Wayne, where he was reared. He graduated with a law degree from Indiana University, but became a well known character actor in Hollywood for over 50 years from the 1930s to the 1980s with over 350 television and film appearances. See Wikipediaand bio.

Virts, Mark

Made the U.S. Olympic diving team in 1980 but didn’t get to compete because our country boycotted the Olympic games in Moscow.

Visiting Nurses

After linking poverty with disease, the organization formed in 1900 to treat the sick poor of Ft Wayne. League nurses saw residents through the World War I influenza epidemic and the Great Depression, and into the 21st Century. Copied from the May 10, 2018 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebookpointing to their blog The Fort Wayne Visiting Nurse League by Tom Castaldi, local historianpublished May 10, 2018 by Indiana Historical Bureau.

Vogel, Matt

Olympian won two Gold Medals in the 100-meter butterfly and 400 medley relay July 21 in the 1976 Montreal Canada Summer Olympic games. He was a 1975 Snider HS graduate from Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne photo. See also Fort Wayne Sports History: Vogel wins Olympic gold medals` Local swimmer thrives in return to sport after hiatus July 9, 2013 by Blake Sebring of The News-Sentinel newspaper. See a photo of his bench posted November 2, 2013 on You know you've lived in Fort Wayne too long when... Private Facebook group.

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