Mynderse Van Cleef was born in Seneca Falls, NY on August 29, 1853. His father and mother were Alexander and Jane E. Van Cleef. Mynderse's great-grandfather was Lawrence Van Cleef, the first white child born in Seneca Falls. As a young man, Mynderse Van Cleef studied at the Ithaca Academy and was a proud 1874, graduate of Cornell University. He went on to study law at Columbia University from 1875-1876 and was admitted to the bar in 1876. On Dec. 21, 1882 he
married Elizabeth Lovejoy Treman. Arthur B. Treman, Charles E. Treman, Robert E. Treman and Allan H. Treman were all Elizabeth?s nephews. Elizabeth and Mynderse had two daughter?s Jeannette Van Cleef Booth who married Arthur W. Booth and Eugenia Van Cleef. Both daughters graduated from Ithaca High School. Eugenia went on to attend Vassar College after graduating in 1904. For many years M. Van Cleef and his family lived on University Avenue, in Ithaca, NY. A prominent
lawyer, Mr. Van Cleef served as commissioner of the U.S. Circuit Court, 1880-1900. In 1881 Mynderse was named an alumni Cornell Trustee. Among his other achievements he was president of the Ithaca Trust Company as well as chairman of the board. He was director of Tompkins County National Bank and Trustee of the Ithaca Savings Bank. For many years he was the Cornell University attorney. He was also president of the Corporate Association of Kappa Alpha fraternity.
Mynderse and his family were members of the First Presbyterian Church, of Ithaca, NY. Mynderse was a member of the Ithaca Fire Department or Protective Police. He was also an officer of the Lyceum Theater Company that was erected in 1893, in Ithaca, NY.