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Ringgold County Biographical Sketches

Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Decatur Counties, Iowa
Lewis Publishing Company, 1887. pp. 360 - 361.


civil war flags.jpg      JOHN A. LESAN, an active and successful farmer of Liberty Township, residing on section 36, is a native of Maine, born near Bangor, July 10, 1832. When he was seven years of age his parents, Charles I. and Mehitable S. (Pratt) Lesan, removed to the city of Bangor, where the father followed the mercantile business. John A. Lesan was reared in Bangor, receiving his education in the schools of that city. He left school when sixteen years old, and followed the sea from that age till he attained the age of twenty years, coasting from the Bay of Bangor as far as Florida. He then accompanied his father to Stark County, Illinois, his mother having died some years previous, and in that county he was married, in the year 1859, to Miss Maggie Coon, a native of Canada. They are the parents of two daughters Hattie M. and Nellie B. Mr. Lesan left Stark County in 1860, when he came to Ringgold County, Iowa, and settled on his present farm, purchasing at that time eighty acres of open prairie land, on which he erected a small log house, 14 x 16 feet, and began improving his farm. In 1862 he enlisted in the defense of his country, in Company G, Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry, and was immediately sent to Missouri, thence down the Mississippi River. He took part in the battles of Helena, Little Rock, and the taking of Mobile. He was mustered out in August, 1865, and discharged at Davenport, Iowa, when he returned to his farm in Liberty Township, Ringgold County, where he has met with excellent success in his farming and stock-raising. He has added to his original eighty acres by subsequent purchase till his home farm contains 180 acres of choice land, besides which he owns 100 acres of pasture land located in Poe Township. He is still devoting his attention to stock-raising, and has on his farm at present sixty head of thorough-bred short-horn cattle, and some fine specimens of Norman horses. Mr. Lesan was elected justice of the peace of Liberty Township in 1862, which office he resigned to enlist in the defense of his country. Soon after his return from the army he was elected trustee of Liberty Township, and a member of the Board of Supervisors under the old law, which position he filled until he was elected sheriff of Ringgold County, in 1868, assuming the duties of that office January 1, 1869, serving in that capacity for two years. He also held the office of postmaster at Mt. Ayr for two years, until 1871. In that year he returned to his farm, and soon after was elected justice of the peace, which office he has since filled with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents, and during his term of office he has never had a case of his appealed to the higher courts, but he has had his decision sustained. Mr. Lesan is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church for over thirty years, and has held many of the offices of his church, such as class-leader, and superintendent of the Sabbath-school. He is one of the respected citizens of Liberty Township, having by his honorable dealings gained the confidence of all who know him.

Submitted to the Ringgold County GenWeb site by Christy Jay, email:






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