Henry M. Lantz, one of the largest landowners of Hancock county Indiana, residing on his fine farm in Sugar Creek township, is a native of that same township, born there, October 28,1872, a son of John George and Elizabeth (Manche) Lantz. John George Lantz was a German by birth, born in Hesse, Darmstadt, in 1830, and died at his home in Sugar Creek township when seventy years of age, December 16, 1900. He was one of those rugged characters who carved our a career for himself in his chosen land, winning a competence in the face of any obstacles, and dying possessed of the confidence and respect of many friends.
John George Lantz emigrated to America in 1849, when nineteen years of age, making the voyage on one of the slow-going sailing vessels of that time, spending six weeks on the water. He first settled in Ohio, where, however, he remained but a short time when the opportunities which Hancock county, Indiana, presented to an ambitious young man, brought him here. For a few years he worked at teaming and cutting timber, this portion of the state being largely wooded at that time, and at the age of twenty-five he was united in marriage with Elizabeth Manche, a native of Butler county, Ohio, born in 1850. For further particulars of the Manche family, the reader is referred to the sketch of John Manche, a brother, presented elsewhere within these covers. To John George Lantz and wife were born seven children, two (Benjamin and Annie) dying in childhood.. The others were Mollie, Emma, William, Nettie and Henry, the latter the immediate subject of this sketch.
After marriage, John Geogre Lantz and his young wife bravely turned their faces to the task of making a comfortable home for themselves in what was then little more than a wilderness. They first lived on the old Manche place, which they rented, and a few years later bought land about two miles northeast of New Palestine. This was heavily timbered and they first made a small clearing and erected the customary log cabin and stable of the pioneers. In later yeas this was replaced by a comfortable residence, good barns and the acres of wooded lands had given place to a well cleared and cultivated farm. He added to his holdings from time to time and at death was the owner of one thousand acres of Hancock county's good farm lands. His widow still survives, making her home with her various children.
Henry M. Lantz first saw the light of day on the old family homestead, where his childhood and youth were spent. He attended school near his home, and after school days were over, continued to assist his father in the work of his farm. When twenty-one years of age, on November 22, 1893, he was united in marriage with Maude Nichols, who was born in Indianapolis, February 10, 1874, a daughter of Henry C. and Mary (Irons) Nichols. Henry C. Nichols was born in Rush county, this state, a son of the Rev. William Nichols, a pioneer Methodist Episcopal circuit rider, and for many years operated a store in New Palestine. In that store young Lantz clerked for a short time after his marriage and the next spring rented from his father a part of the old homestead. He farmed that for about six years, or until the time of his fathers' death, when he moved to the old Nichols homestead, a short distance west of New Palestine. Mrs. Lantz later received a portion of this farm as her inheritance and Mr. Lantz added to it until he had one hundred and nineteen acres. He owns three hundred and ninety-nine acres in Sugar Creek township and two hundred and forty acres in Brandywine township, which, with one hundred and sixty acres in Deaf Smith county, Texas, makes him the owner of eight hundred acres of land, all of which is under his personal management. Also, in addition to his home farm, he manages the balance of the three-hundred-acre Nichols homestead, putting in on an average of ninety acres to corn, with perhaps seventy-five acres to small grains. He feeds for the market from sixty to seventy hogs per annum, keeps four or five milch cows for his own use and usually has about twenty head of good graded Percheron draft horses. Mr. Lantz follows the latest improved methods of farming, judiciously dividing his attention between general farming and the raising of live stock.
The Lantz residence is beautifully situated on the Brookville road, just west of New Palestine, and is a modern structure of thirteen rooms. The roomy porches, concrete drives, fine lawn and lovely grove of maples on the east give a delightful impression to the passer-by, which is fully confirmed upon entering by the comfortable and pleasing interior. There are five children in the Lantz family, namely: Donald, Frank, Mary, Kenneth and John. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lantz are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in politics he is a stanch Democrat. He is regarded generally as one of Sugar Creek township's and Hancock county's most successful and well-known citizens and is in every respect worthy of the high esteem in which he is held.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 879-880.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI September 20, 2001.
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