IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

John P. Lenth

John P. Lenth is another popular representative of that fine German element of citizenship that has been prominently and worthily concerned with the civic and industrial development and upbuilding of Clayton county, where he is a scion of the second generation of an honored pioneer family that was here founded fully seventy years ago. He is now one of the representative farmers of Farmersburg township and is a native son of Clayton county who is specially entitled to recognition in this history. Mr. Lenth was born in Garnavillo township, this county, on the 11th of November, 1860, and his parents, John and Annie Lenth, were both born and reared in Germany, though their marriage was solemnized after they had become residents of the United States. John Lenth was born and reared in Mecklenburg, Germany, whence he immigated to America about the year 1845. Soon after his arrival in the land of his adoption he came to Clayton county and established his residence in Garnavillo township. For several years he was employed as a farm hand and finally he purchased a farm near St. Olaf, in Farmersburg township, where he achieved substantial success through his earnest and energetic operations as an agriculturist and where both he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives, secure in the esteem of all who knew them and both were devout communicants of the Lutheran church. Of the five surviving children the subject of this review is the eldest; Joseph W., Frank and August are prosperous farmers of Monona township, and Herman has similar precedence in Farmersburg township. John P. Lenth was reared on his father's farm and gained his early education in the schools of Farmersburg township. His independent career was initiated by his finding employment at farm work, and his ambition led him to make good use of his opportunities and the rewards of his labors. In 1886, as a young man of twenty-five years, he purchased one hundred and seventy-one acres of land in Farmersburg township, and to the same he later added an adjoining tract of eighty acres, so that he now has a valuable landed domain of two hundred and fifty-one acres. Within the thirty years of his independent operations as an agriculturist and stock-grower Mr. Lenth has been indefatigable in his industry, circumspect and progressive in his policies, and has gained prestige as one of the prosperous and enterprising farmers and public-spirited citizens of his native county. He is a stockholder and director of the Luana Savings Bank, is a staunch supporter of the cause of the Democratic party, has served effectively in the office of township trustee and as a member of the school board, and both he and his wife are zealous communicants of the Lutheran church at Luana, which is their postoffice address. On the 14th of December, 1887, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Lenth to Miss Dora Harnack, who was born in Garnavillo township, this county, on the 31st of October, 1862, a daughter of Joseph and Dora (Hahn) Harnack, who were born and reared in Mecklenburg, Germany, and who became residents of Clayton county, Iowa, about the year 1855. The father became one of the substantial pioneer farmers of the county and was a resident on his farm in Garnavillo township until the time of his death, his widow being now a resident of the village of Monona. Mr. and Mrs. Lenth have a fine family of eleven children: Ella is the wife of Benjamin Jarms, of Monona township, and they have two children, Edna and Myron; Hilda is the wife of Hubert Miller, of Monona township, and they have one child, Helen; Gustav is a successful farmer in Wagner township, is married and has one son, Harvey; John A. is identified with agricultural pursuits in Wagner township, and the other children remain at the parental home, namely, Wilber, Elmer, Ernest, Hubert, Louis, Esther and Nora.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; page 249-250
-transcribed by Mary Cameron


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