Lee County Illinois



With agricultural and manufacturing interests John Diehl Lahman was long actively connected and since 1889 has been president of the Franklin Grove Bank, being chosen for the present position on the organization of that institution. He was born June 22, 1834, in Washington county, Maryland, one-half mile north of the Potomac river, five miles south of Williamsport. When ten years of age he accompanied his parents on their removal westward to Lee county and for some time they lived on the southeast quarter of section 35, township 22, range 10, which farm the father purchased May 26, 1845, save a tract of thirty-one acres. The father, Christian Lahman, Jr., was born February 25, 1808, in Adams county, Pennsylvania, and married Elizabeth Emmert, who was born June 12, 1812, in Washington county, Maryland, east of the Antietam river. Christian Lahman, Sr., built a flour mill near Bendersville, Adams county, Pennsylvania, about 1800, and in time his son and namesake became owner of a third interest in the mill, which interest he sold in 1831. About the same time he married Elizabeth Emmert and in 1833 they took up their abode upon a farm near Williamsport, in Washington county, Maryland, residing in that locality for about ten years and afterward for two years lived north of Hagerstown, Maryland, one mile south of the Pennsylvania state line. In the spring of 1845 they started with their family to Lee county, Illinois, traveling by team, and resided near the present site of Franklin Grove. The father there successfully carried on general agricultural pursuits until 1864, when his life's labors were ended in death. He had also devoted considerable time to the manufacture of flour, owning and operating a mill for a number of years that was built by his father-in-law, Joseph Emmert, on Franklin creek, two and a half miles northwest of Franklin Grove, about 1846 or 1847. It was about 1849 that he laid out in town lots ten acres of land, which was later known as Chaplin and now constitutes the southwestern part of the village of Franklin Grove, which village was laid out in 1853 for A.W. Tolman, Christian Lahman and F. D. Robertson. He became the owner of several farms and assisted many early settlers financially and with wise counsel. His life was, indeed, an exemplary one in all of its business and personal relations. He and his wife were members of the Church of the Brethren (Dunkard). To them were born seven sons and three daughters. Two of the sons, William H., now of Chicago, and John D., of this review, are still living. The mother survived her husband for several years, passing away in 1872.

John D. Lahman had but limited educational opportunities. He attended the country schools and spent two terms as a pupil at Lee Center. He remained upon the home farm until he attained his majority, then learned the milling business and afterward operated his father's mill on Franklin creek, which mill he and his brother Joseph C. afterward purchased. This was the same mill which their maternal grandfather, Joseph Emmert, had built about 1847. Mr. Lahman followed the milling business until 1861, when he purchased and located upon the southeast quarter of section 26, township 22, range 10, this farm being about a mile and a half north of Franklin Grove. Upon that farm he and his wife resided until they removed to Franklin Grove thirty years later, and throughout the entire period he had his land under a high state of cultivation, making it one of the valuable properties of the district. In addition to farming Mr. Lahman was a member of the firm of J.D. Lahman & Company, which for a number of years engaged in the manufacture of the Great Western Seeder, which machine obtained a large sale in the west and northwest. He was also interested in stock-raising and feeding in Story county, Iowa, and dealt quite largely in farm real estate. He has served as president of the Franklin Grove Bank for twenty-five years, commencing with its organization in 1889.

On the 11th of November, 1860, at Panora, Guthrie county, Iowa, Mr. Lahman was united in marriage to Miss Mary C. Haughtelin, a daughter of John C. and Eliza (Diehl) Haughtelin, all members of the Church of the Brethren. Her father was a descendant of Abraham H. Haughtelin (or Hoogtalin), who, served in the Revolutionary war, participating in fourteen battles. Her great-great-grandfather, Huskeya (Hezekiah) Hoogtalin, was born in the vicinity of East Shore, New Jersey, in 1729. He had ten children in all, and three of his sons settled a little southeast of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. To Mr. and Mrs. Lahman were born three children. Clarence W. was born near Franklin Grove, March 1, 1862, and married December 9, 1889, Miss Martha Beery at her father's farm near Pleasant Hill, Miami county, Ohio. Vinna A., who was born October 27, 1871, died June 19, 1889, of scarlet fever, while attending Cornell College in Iowa, and an infant son died October 26, 1873. To the living son, Clarence W. Lahman, and his wife, both of whom are members of the Church of the Brethren, have been born three daughters and three sons: Mary, now the wife of Loring J. Whiteside; Lela; Helen; John Harold; Wilford Clarence; and Joseph Beery. Mr. and Mrs. John D. Lahman also became foster parents to several children needing homes, death having in each case deprived them of their father or mother. These were Walter Keiser, Mary Shuhart, Oscar Chamberlin, Hiram Tibbals, Wilford Tibbals and Estella Haughtelin. They also cared for Wilbur Breeunier during his early life from thirty months to five years. Certainly the foster parents have done their share of good in the world in thus caring for orphaned children, upon whom they have bestowed the training and affection given to their own. They have been most liberal in their support of the Church of the Brethren of which they are members, and of Christian missions in both home and foreign lands, of schools and of many benevolent and charitable projects. They are both still enjoying good health and it is hoped that they will be spared for many years to come. In politics Mr. Lahman was for many years a republican, but in later years has voted with the prohibition party, regarding the question of temperance as one of the paramount issues before the people.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens

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