Lee County Biography

Jacob Levan
South Dixon Township


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Jacob Levan has been for many years a much respected member of the farming community of this county, and has a good farm of 160 acres on section 120 & 121, South Dixon Township, which he bought in an unimproved condition more than a quarter of a century ago. He is a native of Prussia, Germany, born near the French line, September 14, 1822. His parental history is given in the biography of Mathias Lievan. Our subject and his family omit the letter "i" from their surname. He received a practical education in the German schools, and even as a boy was put to work in his father's vineyard on the banks of the Rhine, grape-growing being the principal business of the people along that river, and he was engaged in that until he emigrated to this country in 1853.

Our subject was accompanied on his journey by his wife and father-in-law. The little company left their old home in the spring of the year, and journeying to Liverpool, England, embarked on an English sailing vessel, which brought them across the Atlantic in 36 days and landed them at Boston, Mass.

They then made their way to PA and during a residence of two and a half years in that State, Mr. Levan worked on the great reservoir which in after years broke and caused the great Johnstown flood, and he also mined in the vicinity of Cambria. Coming to Lee county in 1855, he began life as a renter, and two years later bought the farm that he now occupies, having to go in debt for it. He has long since paid every dollar that he owed for it, and has placed it under substantial improvement, providing it with suitable buildings, and placing the land under excellent tillage. He also has it well stocked with a good class of cattle, horses and hogs. Mr. Levan is valued as a citizen, and is greatly esteemed for his worth as a man of exemplary habits, wo is a good husband and kind father in his domestic life, and is always neighborly and obliging in his relations and outsiders. He and his good wife are sincere Christians and devout members of the German Catholic Church.

Our subject was married in his native land to Miss Angeline Ahl, who was born and reared in Prussia, and came of good German ancestry. Her father, Frederick Ahl, a miller of good standing, married Catherine Anser, who died at the age of 32 years, leaving two children, Mrs. Levan and her brother Mathias. The latter married and died in Germany. Frederick Ahl accompanied his daughter and son-in-law to America, and he made his home with them in Lee County until his death in 1875, at the age of 73. He was a member of the Catholic Church and was well known and greatly respected.

Mr. and Mrs. Levan are the parents of six children of whom all are living but the oldest John, who died young. The others are Margaret, the wife of George Ortigiesn, a farmer in this township, who owns a good farm of 320 acres; John M. who is represented elsewhere in this volume; Louis, who married Rosa Fischer, and lives on a good farm of 200 acres in Marion Township that he owns; Mary, wife of Sebastian Bechtel, a farmer near sterling; Ellen, wife of Charles Bartholomew, now living on the home farm; Caroline, wife of Conrad Miller, a farmer in this township. Mr. Levan and his sons are all sturdy supporters of the Democratic party, and take an intelligent interest in politics.

Portraits & Biographical 1892 Pg 475

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