GEORGE P. LOHNES. One of the oldest names in Ness County is that of Lohnes. As early as 1877, three years before the county was organized, about a dozen families, including members of the Lohnes household, settled in the Pawnee Valley south of Ness City.
In the subsequent development of this section the people of the Lohnes name played a very prominent and important part. There is a business in that city for the handling of real estate which has been in existence so long that it constitutes a landmark in the commercial affairs, and there is a decided prestige attaching to the name itself.
The head of that business now is Mr. George P. Lohnes, who is one of the few men now in active affairs who can claim to be natives of Ness County. Mr. Lohnes causes a vast quantity of land to change ownership every year in this section and is recognized as the master factor in the real estate business. The long standing of his firm gives it a large advantage, and practically every land seeker coming to Ness City arrived sooner or later at his office door, and after that the sincerity and absolute fairness of Mr. Lohnes go far to effect a sale.
George P. Lohnes was born in Ness County June 4, 1878. His father is Jacob C. Lohnes, who now lives in Blessing, Texas, and looks after a small fruit farm. Jacob C. Lohnes was born in Germany and his father was also named Jacob and spent his life as a farmer in Germany. Jacob C. came to the United States when a child with his two brothers, Adam and George, who spent their lives in Pennsylvania. Jacob C. Lohnes grew up without home advantages after childhood, acquired only a meager education, but has never been handicapped on that account so far as successful participation in business is concerned. After coming to Kansas from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he entered land in the Pawnee Valley and eventually developed that as a farm. He was one of the industrious and hard working farmers in that community for about twenty years. From the first he followed the plan of mixed farming, and in time he had a place of three-quarters of a section. During the active period of the Farmers Alliance and people's party he was aligned with that movement, and in 1892 the people of Ness County elected him register of deeds. He filled that office four years and retired from it as he had entered it, with the complete confidence of the people. Since leaving the office of register of deeds the real estate firm under the Lohnes name has been in active existence, and Mr. Jacob Lohnes was especially successful in that line. He was one of the important factors in promoting the immigration into the county of thrifty and enterprising small farmers. He retired from the real estate business and moved to Texas in March, 1910. He has been a democrat since the populist party died. Jacob C. Lohnes married Barbara Welch. Her father was Michael Welch of Pennsylvania, and the Welch family also came from Germany. The children of Jacob C. Lohnes and wife are: Miss Kate, of Blessing, Texas; George P.; Harry, of Blessing; Emma, wife of Walter H. Quinn, of Canadian, Texas; Edward, who died in Ness County in young manhood; Elmer, associated in business with his brother George at Ness City; Ollie and Walter at Blessing, Texas.
George P. Lohnes after attending the district schools of Pawnee Valley and the Ness High School began his active career when about twenty years of age, associated in the real estate business with his father under the name J. O. Lohnes & Son. When his father left the county he succeeded to the business, and is now associated with one of his younger brothers. Besides promoting the movement of immigration to the county Mr. Lohnes is a farmer and stockman and has effected the breaking and improvement of large quantities of land in this section. He is a wheat raiser on a large scale.
Perhaps the most important feature of his real estate business is dealing with that substantial element of Russian people who are of the second generation of the old Russian settlers in Kansas, and who are now gradually moving out and possessing themselves of the rich and fertile lands of Ness County.
Mr. Lohnes is vice president of the Ness City Commercial Club, and in his business rather than in politics has found his best opportunity to serve the welfare and progress of the community. He is a republican, and is a past master workman of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, being now financier of his local lodge. He has erected one of the good homes of Ness City.
July 15, 1899, Mr. Lohnes married Miss Carrie Stidger. Her father is the pioneer attorney, N. H. Stidger, who for several years served as county attorney of Ness County and came to this state from Virginia. Her mother is Sarah E. Lavenburg. Mrs. Lohnes is a twin sister of Harry Stidger, and her other brother is Nathan H. Stidger, both now living in California with their mother, Mrs. Stidger. Mr. and Mrs. Lohnes have three children: Thornton, Mary and Dorothy.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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