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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 671~


John Lehmann

"With the rapid destruction of our forests the lumber business, once one of the largest and most flourishing of American industries, is now declining in importance and will continue to do so. Somehow there is a fascination about a saw-mill or a lumber yard. The bark-covered logs, bearing the marks of their handling, their speedy conversion into lumber by those powerful engines, the saws, the great piles of lumber, the odor of the freshly sawed wood, and, perhaps more than all, the sense that all this means construction, building, progress - these give to a lumber yard an attractiveness. And a moment's thought will convince any one of the great share which the lumber dealer has had in the building of shops and factories, in the construction and furnishing of homes.

John Lehmann was born in Switzerland in 1833, and at the age of eighteen came to America, leaving Bern February 8th, crossing the ocean on a sailing vessel, and arrived at Turkey River, Iowa, on June 29th. He was the son of John and Mary (Miller) Lehmann, who came to America in 1854 with a family of nine boys and three girls, seven of whom are now living, and settled about one mile from Elgin, John Lehmann, Sr., and his brother entered land in Clayton and Fayette counties. He farmed all his life and died highly respected at the age of eighty-seven years.

John Lehman, Jr., was educated in Switzerland, and there assisted his father on his farm. In America he worked on his father's farm and later hired out. In 1858 he married Elizabeth Kohler, who was born in Switzerland in 1839, and who came to this country with her father in 1854. He now bought one hundred and forty acres of wild land, put up a house and broke the land. He lived there until 1872, when he established a lumber business in Elgin, and later took his youngest son into the business. In 1901 he sold out and retired. John and Elizabeth Lehmann are the parents of nine children: John W., now a hardware merchant at La Porte City, Iowa; Louise; Lena; Albert, who died September 10, 1868; George; Frederick; Cecelia; Julia; Amelia.

Mr. Lehman is a member of the Iowa Legion of Honor. He was baptized into the church in Switzerland. He is a Democrat, and was supervisor several terms, township collector one year, clerk of the township ten years, school treasurer at Elgin ten years, township trustee, and was elected assessor, but resigned. His choice by the people to fill these offices shows the confidence which his neighbors always have had in him.

In early days Mr. Lehman was much in demand to help survey land for the settlers as he could control the length of his steps so well that he could measure land almost as accurately by stepping as by the use of a chain. His character and worth have attracted many friends who are the solace of his declining years. Would that all our citizens could look back over a life as well spent as his.


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