WKU Archives


image preview

Creation Date



Captain Charles Joseph Vanmeter was named chancellor emeritus of WKU. His home was used for the Southern Normal School and buildings at both WKU and the Bowling Green Business University were named for him. His obituary from the Confederate Veteran, Vol. 21, March 1913 follows.

Capt. Charles J. Vanmeter, who died recently at his home, in Bowling Green, Ky., was a man widely known for his broad-minded philanthropy. He was one of the oldest, if not the oldest, of the native citizens of Bowling Green.

After being educated in the schools of his native town, Captain Vanmeter began life as a clerk under his father. Soon becoming tired of a mercantile life, he went to and conducted one of his father's farms. In 1886, together with his brother and Captain Leiter, he built a steamboat. On its maiden trip the boat was frozen up at Carrollton for seven weeks. But the business soon became a very remunerative one, Captain Vanmeter having charge of the office in Bowling Green. The business grew, and subsequently the Bowling Green Navigation Company was formed. This old company is well remembred by the older citizens, and they often speak of that period as the halcyon days of the city.

Captain Vanmeter had been living a retired life for a number of years. He was much interested in educational work, and it was through his generosity that old Vanmeter Hall at the former Normal school was made a possibility, he furnishing the funds for its erection. When the State took charge of the school and bought the Potter College property and erected a handsome, stately building, it was named in his honor. It is one of the most substantial buildings in the State. In all public enterprises Captain Vanmeter had always been a leader, and many projects through his untiring energies have been made possibilities.

Charles Vanmeter ahnentafel:

1. Charles Joseph Vanmeter 1826-1913 md. Catherine (Moss) Overall (1837-1912) 1858

2. Jacob Van Meter 1788-1874, lived in Botetourt Co., VA

3. Martha (Usher) Shewsbury 1792-1874

4. Isaac van Meter, lived in Berkeley Co., VA

5. Hester Ann Peck 1760-1835

8. Henry Van Meter b. ca. 1743, lived in Frederick Co., VA

9. Martha Van Meter 1744-1825

16. Henry Hendrick Van Meter/Van Metre b. 1717 Somerset Co., NJ, d. 1793 Berkeley Co., VA

17. Eva Pyle 1717-1753

32. John Van Meter b. 1683 Kington, NY, d1745 Winchester, VA

33. Margaret (Miller) Mollenauer 1687-1745

64.Joost Jansen van Meteren b. 1656 Meteren, Netherlands, d. 1706 NJ

65. Sara Dubois 1664-1726

128. Jan Joosten Van Meteren 1630-1740 immigrated 1662

129. Mayken Macken Crom Hendricksen 1624-after 1706

Charles Joseph Vanmeter b. May 22, 1826 Bowling Green, KY, d. January 17, 1913 Bowling Green, KY md. Catherine


Western Kentucky University, Southern Normal School


Image Location