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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
We delight to honor such men as Philip Lenhart, a well known and highly respected citizen of Fairfield township, who, for a period of forty years, has resided in Fayette county, and most of his time has not only been a witness to its growth and development, but has also been an active participant in its industrial enterprises. A substantial and forceful factor in all that tend to promote the material prosperity of the locality where he cast his lot in the early days, it is indeed proper that appropriate mention be made of his. Mr. Lenhart was born August 14, 1841, in Baden, Germany, and when twelve years of age he emigrated to America with his father, Martin, and his brother, Peter, his mother, Mrs. Catherine Lenhart, having died in her native land in 1842, the father surviving her over a half century, dying in 1894 at an advanced age.
The Lenharts reached out shores on July 4, 1863. They first located at Freeport, Illinois, and the date of their arrival in Fayette county, Iowa, was December, 1864, having at that time purchased forty acres near Mr. Lenharts' present home, having selected a good place in section 24, Fairfield township, where they established a very comfortable home. Philip Lenhart received a very limited education, but contact with the world and home reading has made him a very well informed man.
He has been three times marred, first to Catherine Eckhart, on February 13, 1864. She was born December 15, 1840, and died January 14, 1891, and ten children were born to this union, namely: Mary, wife of M. Fry; Fredericka, wife of L. Roberts; Ella, wife of George Jacobs; Michael; John; Emma, the wife of C. Morf; Hattie, deceased; Katie is the wife of A. Smith; George and Fred. The father of these children was married to his second wife, Caroline Osmus, October 23, 1889, and her death occurred in 1895. Mr. Lenhart married his third wife, Katie Meyers, April 14, 1896.
Mr. Lenhart talks most interestingly of the pioneer days and of the subsequent development of the county, which he has witnessed for more than four decades. He hauled his grain and dressed hogs to the nearest market, McGregor, Iowa, for some years after locating here. There was plenty of wild game in the uncut forests and on the uncultivated prairies when they came here, and he and his father and brother lived principally on rabbit and "johnny cake" during their first winter here. He recalls a time when a band of Indians, led by a chief, passed his him on their way to some northern hunting grounds, and , noticing a peacock in his year, stopped and asked for tail feathers. He gave them the feathers and after they had been placed in the head-gear of the red men the Indians showed their pleasure and appreciation by forming a circle in the door-yard and dancing a "joy" dance.
Mr. Lenhart is a very successful farmer and has been a good manager from his youth up. He has made extensive and modern improvements on his farm. He has a large and well arranged building especially designed for breeding and feeding hogs, and in point of convenience and cost is second to none in the county. He keeps a good grade of all kinds of stock and he takes the very best of care of them. His sons , Michael and John, who have remained on the farm with their father, take a great deal of interest in stock-raising and are considered two of the progressive young farmers of the township, and, like their father are highly respected by all who know them.
Mr. Lenhart has twenty-one grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. In politics he is a straight Democrat.
~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Mary Aldrich
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