Biography of John H. Lange
Mercer County, Ohio Biographies

JOHN HENRY LANGE, a prominent and prosperous farmer of Granville township, who owns a fine farm of 350 acres of land in section 29, in two) tracts, separated by the Lauber turnpike, 240 acres being in one and 110 in the other, was born on the Lange homestead, in Granville, township, Mercer County, Ohio, January 6, 1855. He is a son of John Henry and Elizabeth (Overman) Lange.

John Henry Lange, Sr., was born in Germany and at the age of 19 years came to America. His parents, Henry and Mary Lange, were willing that their son should try his fortune in the land across the ocean, but they were poor and it took a large amount of money to pay his passage. They went to every extreme in order to secure the amount, even to selling the family cow. Later he assisted them to join him in America. When he landed in the great American metropolis of New York, he had just 50 cents in his pocket! It did not take him long, however, to find employment, but the work was the carrying of iron and after laboring for three days his shoulder became so sore that, in spite of what he considered fabulous pay, he was obliged to give it up. In Germany he had received $19 a year for his work, while the great iron company paid him $2 a day. He then went to Cincinnati and became acquainted with a contractor, who employed him during the summer in excavating. During the winter he went into the woods and cut cord wood, with his two partners camping out and doing their own cooking. Later he went into the excavating business as a contractor and filled out a railroad contract between Minster and Cincinnati. After this he bought 80 acres of land in Granville township, Mercer County, on which he built a log house which provided' shelter until he could erect a better one, which latter one is still standing. A man of his energy and perseverance could not help being successful. He acquired and sold large tracts of land, handling over 1,000 acres in his time. He died on his farm on April 23, 1879.

During his residence in Cincinnati, he married Elizabeth Overman, who was born in Germany and came to America with her parents when she was six years of age. She died in Granville township, February 12, 1894. They had eight children, namely: Bernardina, who married J. H. Huisman and lives at St. Henry; Anna, who married Anton Lammers, and lives at St. Henry; Mary, who married G. H. Moeller, and lives at St. Henry; Elizabeth, deceased in infancy; John Henry; John Herman, living on the home place, who married (first) Mary Morman, and (second) Elizabeth Dabbelt; Elizabeth (2), deceased, who was the wife of Bernard Borger; and Frank, who married Mary Steinlage, and lives near our subject.

John Henry Lange bears his father's name. He continued to work on the home farm, after finishing his schooling in the district schools, until he was married and ready to establish his own home. He had already secured 8o acres from his father and this he cleared, living on it, and later bought 30 acres from Paul Henry Hemmelgarn, and, still later, 120 acres from the Congregation of the Most Precious Blood, and subsequently 40 acres more from the same organization. Later he purchased 80 acres from Fred Beimel and still later purchased 107 acres in Darke County, Ohio; making his total possessions amount to 457 acres.

In 1881 Mr. Lange built his comfortable, nine room, frame residence and continued to add improvements of various kinds to the homestead. In 1893 gas was found on his farm and later oil was also discovered.

Mr. Lange has often heard his father tell of the wild condition of the country when he first settled here. On many occasions he had to drive deer out of his wheat field. He raised flax and kept sheep for the wool, which the women of the household spun and then wove into fabrics, with which they made the clothing for the family. The were accustomed to go to church in wooden shoes. At first they went 40 miles with their grist to secure flour for bread.

On May 24, 1881, Mr. Lange was married to Frances Drahman, a daughter of Bernard and Mary (Hemmelgarn) Drahman, who were born in Germany and died at St. Henry. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Dtahman were: Henry; Bernardina, deceased, who was the wife of William Grave; Anna, who was a nun in a convent at Brooklyn, New York, where she died in 1892 Theresa, wife of Joseph Macke; John; Elizabeth, deceased, Who was the wife of Martin Schoeneherger; Joseph; Frances; Bernard, who died aged 14 years; and Mary, who died aged seven years.

The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Lange were: Rosalia, who is the wife of Andrew Evers and a resident of Butler township; Joseph; Theresa; Amelia;. Ludwig; Bernard; Henry; Albert; Ferdinand and Otilia, both deceased; and Ludvina. Mr. Lange and family belong to St. Henry's Catholic Church at St. Henry. In politics he is a Democrat.

History of Mercer County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
Edited & Compiled by: Hon. S. S. Scranton
Published by: Biographical Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois

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