The community of Van Nuys is a fairly well known town in the greater Los Angeles area, and it is considered, by many, to be the nerve center of the San Fernando Valley. It was founded about 100 years ago by the Dutch farmer, banker and hotel owner Isaac Newton Van Nuys. Van Nuys moved from Long Island to California about 1865. In 1896, Van Nuys built the Van Nuys hotel, and in 1911, building lots began to be sold in what is now Van Nuys, California.
In the State of Indiana there is also a town named Van Nuys. It is named after Frederick Van Nuys, the United States Senator from Indiana, serving from 1933 to 1944, the year of his death. It is not known how closely related Frederick Van Nuys and Isaac Newton Van Nuys were. But it would be surprising if they did not share a common ancestor from the New Netherland area of New York State.
Frederick Van Nuys spent 32 years climbing from precinct worker to becoming the United States Senator from Indiana. He was first elected to the United States Senate as a Democrat in November 1932. The Democrats were strong then under the leadership of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and that strength probably benefited Van Nuys considerably in his election.
Van Nuys was reelected to the United States Senate in 1938, for another six year term. Unfortunately, he was unable to serve out his complete term as he passed away on January 25, 1944. Reelection to his second term posed some problems. During his first six year term, from 1933 to 1939, Van Nuys had opposed a Roosevelt-nominated Supreme Court nominee. Apparently, the Van Nuys opposition to the Roosevelt nominee had upset Roosevelt, and Roosevelt had suggested that the Democratic Party oppose the Van Nuys re-nomination for the Indiana United States Senate Seat. This national Democratic Party decision to oppose Van Nuys for the Senate nomination, created a state-wide battle between two State of Indiana Democratic factions, one led by Van Nuys, who was fighting for his re-nomination, and one led by a faction directed by the national Democratic Party regime. In the end Van Nuys threatened to run as an independent, and the opposition to his re-nomination by the Democratic Party caved in, and Van Nuys was re-nominated by acclamation.
Frederick Van Nuys was born in Falmouth, Rush County, Indiana on April 16, 1874. He attended public schools and graduated from Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana in 1898, and from the Indiana Law School, Indianapolis, Indiana in 1900. He was admitted to the Indiana Bar in the same year he graduated from Law School. He started his first law practice in Shelbyville, Indiana, but shortly thereafter he moved to Anderson, Indiana. He served as a prosecuting attorney of Madison County, Indiana from 1906 to 1910. He was elected to the State Senate in 1913, and served until 1916. He served as the State Senate’s president pro tempore in 1915. In 1916 he moved his law practice to Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1920 he became the United States Attorney for the District of Indiana, and served until 1922. In 1932 he was nominated to run for the United States Senate on the Democratic ticket and won the election in November of that year.
During his service in the United States Senate, Van Nuys was the chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in Executive departments during the Seventy sixth Congress. During the Seventy seventh and Seventy eighth Congresses, Van Nuys was a member of the Committee on the Judiciary.
Frederick Van Nuys passed away on January 25, 1944 on a farm near Vienna, in Fairfax County, Virginia. He was interred in East Maplewood Cemetery in Anderson, Indiana.
Van Nuys, Frederick [1874-1944], http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=V000050
Advanced Astrology, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,883016-1,00.html
Frederick Van Nuys Papers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Van_Nuys
Neighborhood Project: Van Nuys, http://laist.com/2007/07/27/neighborhood_pr_7.php
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