The subject of this sketch is a well known stock farmer of Farm Ridge township, LaSalle county, Illinois. He deals in fine stock, making a specialty of Jersey cattle, Poland-China hogs, and Oxford Down sheep, and takes a pride in the fact that his stock in point of quality is not excelled in the county. In 1893 he started his herd of Jerseys by buying the very best stock he could get, purchasing from the herds of Isaac Hodgson and Eli Bradford, prominent stockmen, and he now has twenty head of as fine Jersey cattle as can be found in LaSalle county. His farm, comprising one hundred and sixty acres, is located three miles west of Grand Ridge, and is one of the most desirable in the neighborhood, well improved with good buildings, fences, etc., and conveniently arranged for successfully carrying on both the stock business and general farming.
Air. Lehr is a native of Illinois and was born forty-five years ago. He is of German parentage, both his father and mother having been born in Germany. His father, Valentine Lehr, came to this country in early life, first locating at Ottawa, Illinois. He worked for some time on the old Illinois canal. By trade he was a carpenter, a first-class workman, and built many of the best houses in Farm Ridge, South Ottawa and Deer Park. He was married in Ottawa, and to him and his wife were born eight children, five of whom are living, namely: Matilda Hagie, of Grand Rapids township, LaSalle county, Illinois; John J., the subject of this sketch; William, who lives in Saunders county, Nebraska; Mary Hawk, of Ottawa, Illinois; and Minnie Freeze, also of Ottawa. Godfrey died at the age of thirty-eight years, leaving a widow and five children. The mother of this family died at the age of thirty-six years, and the father lived to be sixty-eight. Both were members of the Lutheran church, and in politics the father was a Republican.
John J. Lehr was reared on a farm and received a common-school education. At the age of twenty-six years he was united in marriage to Elizabeth Berge, of Allen township, LaSalle county, daughter of George and Christena Berge. Mr. and Mrs. Lehr have had four children, — Christena and Louis J., aged respectively eighteen and thirteen years; and two who are deceased.
Politically, like his father before him. Mr. Lehr is a Republican. He has served officially as township assessor, as commissioner for six years, and as a member of the school board, in the latter capacity eleven years, always performing his duty with promptness and fidelity. His life, in both public and private capacities has been such that he has gained the confidence and esteem of all with whom he has in any way been associated.
Extracted 26 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 2, pages 430-431.