Successful in the practice of his profession, the law, and also in commercial and banking business, and devoting all the energies of his strong and well-trained mind to the interest of the section of this state in which he has cast his lot, Gustave Van Hoorebeke, of Grand Junction, has been of great and highly valued service in the progress and development of western Colorado, and is recognized on all sides as one of its most representative and influential citizens. It was in the historic city of Ghent, in Belgium, with its time-honored cathedral, its renowned university and its valiant defense in many wars, that his life began, and February 2, 1838, was the date of his advent. His parents were Emanuel and Coletta (Van Loo) Van Hoorebeke, the former a native of Belgium and the latter of France. The father was in the mercantile business in his native land, and on coming to the United States in 1850, became a farmer in St. Louis county, Missouri. Three years later he moved to Cole county, that state, and in 1855 took up his residence in Kansas, being among the pioneers of Pottawatomie county, in which he settled. In 1856, one year after locating there, the mother died, and after surviving her more than forty years, the father died at Parsons, past eighty-seven years of age. Their only child, Gustave, accompanied them to this country, being twelve years old at the time, and received such a district school education as the migratory life of the family allowed. He was three years at the St. Louis University, but was not graduated. When he reached the age of twenty-four he left home and began to study law, pursuing his professional studies until 1863, when he was admitted to practice at Carlyle, Illinois. He remained there engaged in the practice of his profession until 1874, then moved to Denver, his state, and formed a partnership with Bela M. Hughes. Soon afterward he returned to Illinois on account of his wife’s health, and in his former home continued his practice until 1903. He is a Democrat in politics, and in 1868 was the candidate of his party for the office of secretary of state of Illinois, but as the state went fifty thousand Republican there was no chance of his election. In 1885 he was appointed by President Cleveland United States district attorney for the southern district of Illinois and he served until July 1, 1889. He was also attorney in Illinois for the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroad for a period of twenty years or longer. In April, 1903, he came to Grand Junction and formed a law partnership with Honorable J.S. Carnahan, a sketch of whom will be found on another page of this volume, and the firm is one of the most prominent and successful in the West. In May of last year mentioned Mr. Van Hoorebeke became one of the organizers and principal stockholders of the Union Trust and Banking Company, the first trust company formed on the Western slope, and was elected its president, a position he still holds, owning a majority of the stock in the company. In July, 1858, he was married to Miss Ann E. Phillips, a native of Madison, Indiana, and they have three children, two of whom are living, Charles, of Grand Junction, and William, of Salt Lake City. On May 3, 1877, he married a second wife, Miss Cora B. Cook, who was born in New York. They also have had four children, of whom three are living, Eugene, at Grand Junction; L. Harold, at Grand Junction, assistant cashier of the Union Trust and Banking Company; and Vivian, at home. Mr. Van Hoorebeke belongs to the United Workmen and the Odd Fellows.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.