Here is a brief biography of Isaac Newton Van Norman taken from his obituary in the Cowichan Leader newspaper:
“Van Norman—We regret to record that Mr. Isaac Newton Van Norman, one of the most respected residents of Duncan and well known throughout the district, passed away in his sleep at Duncan hospital at 6 a.m. on Monday. His death was due to heart failure and followed an operation on the preceding Thursday for acute appendicitis.
He was born 58 years ago at Campbellford, Ontario, and educated at Hastings. He then moved with his parents to Peterborough, where he was first married. His wife died in 1892, leaving an infant son. Mr. Van Norman subsequently moved to Montreal. He was for some eighteen years foreman bridgeman on the Grand Trunk railway. He married again and, thirteen years ago, came to Duncan.
During his residence here he bought from the late Rev. David Holmes, property on Buena Vista Heights, which he subdivided. He personally constructed the road now known as Cairnsmore street. He took a keen interest in civic affairs and, while he held no office, his honesty of purpose, keen insight and wide sympathy always commanded great respect. He worked at the building, lumbering and engineering trades and, when taken ill last Wednesday, was engineer at the Genoa Bay mill.
He leaves a widow and four children, Charles, Olive, Bessie and William; a sister, Mrs. Kindred, Belleville, Ont., and three brothers, Thomas and Frederick, of Duncan; and Jerry, of Peterborough.
The funeral took place yesterday afternoon, interment being at the Methodist burying ground, Somenos. The Rev. J. R. Butler officiated and Temple Lodge, No. 33 A. F. & A. M, of which deceased was a member, conducted the Masonic service.”
(Source: Cowichan Leader, 23 May 1920 – from Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives collections)
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