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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891


~Page 369~


John Lehman, Jr.

John Lehman, Jr., a lumber dealer of Elgin, has carried on business in that line for eighteen years. He was born in Canton Berne, Switzerland, November 18, 1833, and is a son of John Lehman, who was born in the same canton, November 11, 1806. His grandfather, David Lehman, was a soldier in the Swiss army at the time Napoleon conquered his native land. He lived to be seventy-five years of age and his wife was eighty-two years of age at the time of her death. John Lehman, Sr., was one of their five sons. He operated a large rented farm and in Switzerland wedded Miss Mary Miller, who was born March 25, 1807. In April, 1852, with their twelve children they sailed for the United States, reaching New York after a voyage of thirty-nine days. They at once proceeded to Philadelphia, then to Pittsburg and on by way of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to McGregor's Landing in Iowa. On section 24, Pleasant Valley Township, Fayette County, they located, Mr. Lehman entering a quarter section of land which is still in the possession of the family. Through the agency of a neighbor he afterwards made another claim and had to pay thirty per cent, for the use of the money. His wife died March 25, 1888, but he still resides on the old homestead. By his untiring efforts and industry, he has secured a handsome competence and is spending his old age in quiet and comfort. All of the children are living and have become useful and respected citizens: Magdaline is the wife of Henry Scharlach, a resident of Livingston County, Ill.; Benedict is a farmer of this county; John, whose name heads this sketch is the third in order of birth; Jacob is a farmer of Fayette County; Anna is the wife of Samuel Rhinhart, a resident of Howard County, Iowa; David is living with his father; Peter is a blacksmith and machinist of Elgin; Mary is the wife of Nicholas Schori and resides in Elgin; Frederick is engaged in agricultural pursuits in this county; Christian is a hardware merchant and dealer in agricultural implements of Elgin.


In the usual manner of farmer lads our subject spent the days of his boyhood and youth and in the common schools acquired his education. He was about nineteen years of age when he came to this county, and under the parental roof he remained until his marriage, which was celebrated September 4, 1858. His wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Kohler, was born in the same neighborhood as our subject on the 12th of April, 1839, and is a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Blank) Kohler. In 1854 she came to the United States with her father and four of her brothers, her mother having died in Switzerland when she was a small child. To Mr. and Mrs. Lehman have been born ten children: John W., who is engaged in the hardware business in Elgin with his uncle Christian; Louisa, wife of George Klock, a resident of Fayette; Lena, who resides in Santa Cruz, Cal.; Albert who died at the age of three and a half years; George, Frederick, Celia, Ella, Julia and Amelia.


In political sentiment Mr. Lehman is a stanch Democrat and has held a number of minor offices, the duties of which he faithfully discharged. He was Tax Collector one year, Township Clerk for ten years, and was a School Director for two terms. Having followed farming until 1872, he abandoned that pursuit and removed to Elgin, where he has engaged in the lumber business continuously. He is also a stockholder and a director in the Elgin Iowa Canning Company, one of the leading industries in that place. Mr. Lehman started in life without capital but he worked his way steadily upward; he made and improved a good farm, has now a flourishing business in Elgin and is numbered among the leading and enterprising citizens in this part of the county.





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