Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918
HOMER CLARE LEMON. Among the prosperous business enterprises of Pittsburg, Kansas, is the Nuttman-Lemon Lumber Company, the organizer and president of which is Homer Clare Lemon, a man of large experience in the lumber industry, and a man of great energy, public spirit and civic zeal. Mr. Lemon was born October 17, 1869, at Cromwell, Iowa. His parents were William Vance and Susan (Carter) Lemon.
The Lemon ancestry is traced to the north of Ireland. Five brothers of the name came to the American colonies and all served in the Revolutionary war from Pennsylvania. One of these patriots was John Lemon, the great-grandfather of Homer C. Lemon, of Pittsburg, Kansas, and the father of John McClannahan Lemon, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1791. He came by way of Kentucky, in pioneer days, to La Porte, Indiana, in which neighborhood he built the old Lemon toll bridge which still spans the stream and preserves his name. He was appointed tollkeeper and while he followed farming as an occupation, he served in important public offices, for four years was receiver in the Indiana Land office and was frequently honored by the democratic party. He had served in the War of 1812. His wife, Jean (McConnell) Lemon, was born in Kentucky in 1789, the first white child born in Woodford County. She died in the old home at the Lemon Toll Bridge, in 1875, having survived her husband for ten years. They had the following children: James, who died on his farm in California; John, who died in 1911, in Sacramento County, California, had been county treasurer for forty years; Mary, who died in Livingston County, Missouri, was the wife of Samuel Gish, also deceased; Sarah, who died at Washington, District of Columbia, was the wife of a Mr. Barkley, who was in the service of the Government; Jane, who died at La Porte, Indiana, was the wife of Charles Cathcart, a farmer, now deceased; Martha, Mrs. Allen, who died at Creston, Iowa; Harriet and Thomas, both of whom died young; and William Vance, who still survives.
William Vance Lemon was born in 1830, in Clark County, Indiana, and in boyhood accompanied his parents in their removal to La Porte, Indiana, and was reared there. In 1851 he engaged in freighting across the plains to California and followed freighting and mining until 1867, when he went into the lumber business at Cromwell, Iowa, conducting a lumber yard at that point until 1876. For a few years afterward he was in a grain business at Lenox, Iowa, and then moved to Barton County, Missouri, and followed farming there until 1892 when he came to Kansas. For five years he was engaged in a grocery business at Fort Scott and then settled in Arkansas, where he is an apple-grower and general fruit farmer. He casts his vote with the democratic party.
In Union County, Iowa, William V. Lemon was married to Susan Carter, who was born in Ohio in 1843 but was reared in Iowa. She died in 1904 in Washington County, Arkansas. They had four children: Homer Clare; William Carl, a railroad man who lives at Parsons, Kansas; Jessie, who is the wife of William H. Hesser, farmer and merchant at Hermister, Oregon; and John McConnell, who is in the lumber business at Dearing, Kansas.
Homer C. Lemon attended the common schools in Barton County, Missouri, and in 1887 was graduated from the Lamar High School, and during the three succeeding winters taught school. He began work in a lumber yard at Minden, Missouri, where he continued for two years. In 1894 he came to Pittsburg, Kansas, and organized the Sandford Robinson Lumber Company, of which he was vice president and manager and also had an interest in the same for fourteen years. This interest he finally sold and then went to Dearing, Kansas, where he organized the H. C. Lemon Lumber Company and remained president of that concern for four years. In 1913 Mr. Lemon returned to Pittsburg and organized the Nuttman-Lemon Lumber Company. It is well founded financially and does a business in heavy timber over a radius of twenty-five miles and the local trade is very heavy. The plant is well situated for transportation facilities on North Broadway and the San Francisco tracks. Of this company Mr. Lemon is president, S. G. Moore is vice president and A. M. Lemon is secretary and treasurer. The company has fine trade connections, belonging to the Southwestern Lumbermen's Association, which covers four states: Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. For one term Mr. Lemon was on the directing board of this organization.
At Lamar, Missouri, in 1894, Mr. Lemon was married to Miss Anna L. Moore. Her mother was then deceased, and her father, John Moore, a farmer, died afterward at Pittsburg. They have four sons: James M., who was born at Pittsburg, March 7, 1895, after graduating from the Coffeyville High School, spent one year in the State Manual Training School at Pittsburg and is now with the Nuttman-Lemon Lumber Company, and married Miss Grace Crawford, of Pittsburg; John W., who was born at Pittsburg in 1898, was graduated from the high school at Pittsburg in 1916; Robert E., who was born at Pittsburg in 1900, is a senior in the high school; and Walter V., who was born in 1903, is a member of the freshman class in the high school, all representatives of wholesome Americanism.
In politics Mr. Lemon is a staunch democrat. He served one term as a member of the city council and in 1903 was elected mayor of Pittsburg. His administration was marked in its business management and for the bringing about of many civic improvements. His business vigor and acumen make him a valuable member of the Chamber of Commerce. Fraternally he is identified with Pittsburg Lodge No. 187, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and with Pittsburg Lodge No. 412, Elks. His handsome private residence is situated on East Fourteenth Street, Pittsburg.
Transcribed from volume 4, pages 1894-1895 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.
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