The place of nativity of H. M. Van Cleave, a highly esteemed and successful farmer of Garfield county, residing on an excellent ranch of his own located fifteen miles north of the village of Debeque, is a native of the state of Indiana, where he was born in 1845. His parents were Benjamin and Nancy (Van Cleave) Van Cleave, cousins, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Kentucky. They maintained a residence of many years in Indiana, where they were prosperously engaged in farming. The father died in 1879, aged sixty-three; the mother had preceded him to the other world some sixteen years, dying in 1863, at the age of forty-five. Their offspring numbered eleven, of whom H. M. was the fifth born. He remained at home attending the district schools and working on the farm until he reached the age of eighteen, then in 1863 enlisted in the Union army for a term of three years or during the war as a member of the Twelfth Missouri Cavalry. He served until the close of the contest and was in several important engagements. Being mustered out at Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1866, he returned to Missouri, but soon afterward moved to Iowa, where he was busily employed in farming during the next twelve years. At the end of that time he came to Colorado, and locating at Leadville, engaged in prospecting and mining until 1884, when he settled on the land he now occupies and turned his attention to farming and raising stock. His land is in the midst of the fertile region watered by Roan creek, and its fertility and productiveness fully justify the hopes of its early occupants of whom Mr. Van Cleave was one. He has seen the region transformed from almost primeval wilderness to a state of advanced cultivation and enriched with all the blessings of a progressive civilization; and he has aided materially to bring about the change and build up the industries with which the section is now so abundantly crowned. Among the people of this portion of the county none is more widely known or more highly esteemed; and none is more worthy of the public regard and approval.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.