Transcribed by Pamela Wagler from: Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa: Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of To-day and Also of the Past, Hobart Publishing Company, Chicago, 1905.


One of the prosperous farmers of Yellow Springs township, who began life as a poor boy, with nothing but his energy and willing hands to aid him, and who has now acquired a comfortable home as well as established a good reputation, is John Lane. He is a son of John and Ann (Chapman) Lane, and was born in the county of Norfolk, England. His father was a man of very limited means, being a farm laborer, and consequently the education of our subject was very meager. His mother died when he was only five years old, and he has earned his own living since he was but fifteen years of age. At the age of fifteen he went to Yorkshire, England, where he resided for many years. He was also married in Yorkshire, Jan. 20, 1866, to Miss Ann Hutchcroft, a daughter of John and Mary (Ripley). They have been blessed with six children: John George, lives northeast of Winfield about six miles; William James, resides in Yellow Springs township; Anna Elizabeth, the wife of D. W. Hutchcroft, and lives one mile south of Kossuth; Charles Arthur, a resident of Yellow Springs township; Sara Eliza, married John Schmidt, and makes her home in Pleasant Grove township; and Francis Chapman, lives and works the home farm.

In the spring of 1868, when the oldest child was just one year old, Mr. and Mrs. Lane came to America by way of New York, and at once proceeded to Burlington, and later went to Kossuth. Here Mr. Lane worked out for two years, and then for the next seventeen years lived on rented farms. In 1892, through his untiring efforts and great economy, assisted very materially by his good helpmate, he was able to buy his present farm of one hundred and twenty acres in the southwest corner of Section 17. He has improved the farm greatly, and now has most of it under cultivation. His pleasant home is open and welcome to all, and is probably one of the best in the township. Mrs. Lane passed away in 1902 at the age of sixty-five years. She was a woman whose life was full of good deeds, and one whom it was a pleasure to know, and she was greatly beloved by all with whom she came in contact.

Mr. Lane is an old member of the Methodist church, which has received much aid from his generous hand. He has ever been a strong Republican, and at one time was school director in the township. There is probably no man in Des Moines county who has made more progress in business that Mr. Lane. He has struggled on and upward with a fixed purpose, and now in the evening of life is well deserving of rest and comfort. His worldly possessions are not his only treasures, as he has ever lived a moral, conscientious life, has been a kind neighbor, and a true friend, and it is with pleasure we point to him as an example to the young men among his acquaintance.

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