Biography - Lafayette Gerhard

LAFAYETTE M. GERHARD. Prominent among the representative and prosperous farmers and stock-raisers of Bois D'Arc Township, Montgomery County, whose biography it is a pleasure to give among those of honored citizens of this locality, is the worthy gentleman whose name heads this sketch. His life of usefulness and industry, and his record for integrity and true-hearted faithfulness in all the relations of life, have given him a hold upon the community which all might well desire to share. In everything connected with the growth and prosperity of the county, he has taken an active interest, and as a tiller of the soil he stands in the foremost ranks. All his property has been accumulated by honest toil and good management, and he has now one of the best farms in this section.
State of Pennsylvania has furnished Montgomery County many excellent citizens, prominent among them being Mr. Gerhard, who was born in Bedford County, March 31, 1844, to the union of Samuel and Ann Gerhard, natives of Maryland. In 1844, when our subject was an infant, the parents came to the fertile prairies of Illinois, settling in Pike County, and there made their home for several years. Thence they removed to Cass County, and in 1862 they came to Montgomery County and settled in Pitman Township. Later, they removed to Bois D'Arc Township, purchased a good tract of land, improved it and there passed the closing scenes of their lives, the mother dying February 9, 1876, and the father May 23, 1888. They were highly esteemed by all, and their lives were replete with acts of kindness. Of their children the following are now living: Mrs. Eye, Mrs. Canby, Mrs. Witt, William K. and Lafayette M., all prosperous and highly-esteemed citizens.
Like the average country boy, our subject divided his time in youth between assisting his father in clearing and developing the farm and in attending the schools of Montgomery County, where he secured a fair education. He was a farmer's boy , purely and simply, doing his part of the necessary work about his rural home. He remained under the parental roof until grown, assisting to bring his father's farm under cultivation, and spending his winter in school during that time. April 27, 1876, he was married to Miss Mary J. Newport, the daughter of John Newport, of Farmersville, one of the prominent men of the county.
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Gerhard was blessed with nine children, who are in the order of their births as follows: Otis, deceased; Nellie M., John, Henry, Chalmers, Emma, Samuel, Frank, and an infant daughter yet unnamed. Mr. Gerhard's land comprises four hundred acres, and is carefully tilled and cultivated. All his farming operations are conducted in a progressive and superior manner, and it needs but a glance over his broad acres to understand that an experienced hand is at the helm. His records as a private citizen and neighbor are alike untarnished and in all the affairs of life he has borne himself in an upright manner, and is recognized as a man of true worth. He had very little of this world's goods to start with in life, and what he has accumulated is the result of hard work and good management on his part. His political views have brought him into affiliation with the Democratic party, and he is an earnest upholder of its principles and policy.

Extracted 04 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 224-227.

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