Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
JOHN HENRY LEHR. John Henry Lehr, now living in honorable retirement in his comfortable home on East Elm street, Springfield, is worthy of mention in the pages of a volume of the province of the one in hand for various reasons, not the least of which is the fact that he is one of the loyal sons of the North who offered his services and his life, if need be, to perpetuate the Union, during its greatest crisis, a half century ago. He has spent his active life principally as a carpenter, builder and agriculturist, and, being a persistent worker and doing his work thoroughly and well, he accumulated a competency for his declining years and is now spending his days quietly.
Mr. Lehr, as the name indicates, is of German descent, and of an Ohio, family, his birth having occurred near Tuscarawas, in the county of that name, in the state of Ohio, December 9, 1845. He is a son of Michael and Catherine (Gnagie) Lehr. Michael Lehr was born in Oldenbach, Germany, in June, 1809, and there he grew to manhood and received his education. When twenty years of age he immigrated to the United States and located in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, where he worked at his trade of cabinet maker which he had learned in the old country. He was an expert workman and was always busy. Catherine Gnagie was also born in Oldenbach, Germany, and there grew up and was educated, and there she and Mr. Lehr were married in 1828, and for a wedding trip they came to America. These parents have long been deceased.
John Henry Lehr grew to manhood in his native county in the Buckeye state and there he assisted his father with the general work on the farm. He received his education in the common schools of his day, and when the Civil war came on he enlisted for service with the National troops, although he was but sixteen years of age, but, according to his comrades he proved to be as good and faithful a soldier as his older companions in his regiment. It was on August 6, 1862, that he enlisted in Company G, Ninety-Eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He saw much hard service and participated in numerous important engagements, including the battles of Perryville, Kentucky, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, and from that city marched with Sherman to the sea at Savannah, thence up through the Carolinas, and fought at the battle of Bentonville. He was never sick, captured or wounded, and was with his regiment every day, and never shirked his duty no matter how dangerous or arduous. He was commissioned corporal for his faithful service, and was so mustered out in June, 1865, after he had marched in the grand review in Washington City. He was honorably discharged and returned to his home in Ohio where he continued farming until 1869 when he came to Livingston county, Missouri, where he worked at the carpenter's trade, and in 1870 purchased land there and resumed farming which he carried on with his usual success until 1906 when, on account of failing health, he sold his farm and went to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he remained three months, then came to Springfield, Missouri, retired from active life and has since made his home here.
Mr. Lehr was married in December, 1870, to Mary Umphrey, a native of Illinois. Her death occurred in 1901. To this union five children were born, namely: Oscar V. lives in Chillicothe, Missouri; Clay E. is deceased; Margaret E. is the wife of A. D. Miller, of Gault, Missouri; Esther D. is the wife of Dr. L. Hopper, of Ft. Scott, Kansas; Grace E. is the wife of H. L. Atherton, of Oklahoma City.
Mr. Lehr was again married in December, 1906, to Ellen Affolter, of Tuscarawas, Ohio, where her birth occurred on August 26, 1876. She is a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Affolter. The father was a soldier in the Fifty-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil war, also served in a battery. Mrs. Lehr grew to womanhood and was educated in her native vicinity.
Politically, Mr. Lehr is a Republican. He belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic, and the Grace Methodist Episcopal church.
Springfield-Greene County Library