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Fayette County, Iowa
Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910
Author: G. Blessin
B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana
Vol. I, Biographical Sketches
[photo in book]
Although the republic of Switzerland is no larger than a county or province in the great empires and countries of Europe and Asia, yet it is doubtful if any foreign land has sent to the United States a larger number of first-class citizens. For upwards of two hundred years they have been establishing their homes within our borders and assimilating our civilization, taking rank with our best citizenship, law-abiding, industrious and ready to defend our flag during crises. Of this great horde, C. Lehman, a well known merchant of Elgin, Fayette county, is deserving of special mention, as will be understood from a brief resume of his career outlined in the following paragraphs. His birth occurred near Bern, Switzerland, February 26, 1845. He is the son of John Lehman and wife, full mention of whom is made on another page of this work. They brought their son, the subject, to America in 1852, and he remained at home with his parents, attending school during the winter months, until 1862, when he began learning the wagon maker's trade, under John Neunswander, in the building which now stands across from the Lehman hardware store, the subject's place of business. He served an apprenticeship of two and one-half years, but he remained in Mr. Neunswander's employ about four years, then worked at his trade in various places until 1871, in which year he was married to Mary Single, in Macomb, Illinois. They came to Elgin, Iowa, in a short time and here Mr. Lehman, in 1872, erected a two-story shop which still stands and there he maintained a well patronized wagon shop for six or seven years. He then began in the farm implement business and for several years sold implements in large numbers and became widely known in this part of the county in his special line. In 1883 he and his nephew, J. W. Lehman, formed a partnership and began a general hardware business, which they conducted successfully until 1890, when the partnership was dissolved, after which Mr. Lehman conducted his business alone until 1906, when he took his son, L. G. Lehman, as a partner and they have continued to do a very satisfactory business, enjoying a liberal trade with the people of northeastern Fayette county. Besides carrying a large, complete and carefully selected stock of general hardware, they also handle an excellent stock of builders' supplies.
To Mr. and Mrs. C. Lehman the following children have been born: Lulu, now Mrs. J. C. Schmidt; Eda married F. R. Burg; two children are deceased, Josie and Eddie, they having been the first and second in order of birth, respectively; the son, Leslie G., is associated with his father in the store and is a young man of excellent business qualifications.
Mr. Lehman in his fraternal relations is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons (blue lodge, chapter and commandery) and the Mystic Shrine, also the Iowa Legion of Honor, taking an active interest in all these orders, and endeavoring to live up to their high precepts in his every-day life.
Politically, Mr. Lehman is a Democrat and has long been active in the ranks. He has the distinction of having been the first mayor of Elgin and he has done perhaps more for the up-building of the town than any other individual, having always stood ready to aid whatever measure that had for its object the general welfare of the village and vicinity. He has been trustee of his township for several years, and he has been on the local school board for the past fifteen successive years. His life has been one of unceasing activity and has been led in such a manner as to inspire the confidence and esteem of everyone, since he ever evinces a desire to deal fairly with his fellow men and while he is advancing his own interests not to lose sight of his obligations to others.
~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Mary Fobian
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