Short Sketch of Adams County Citizens of Advanced Age.
LEWIS W. HOMAN, MT. ETNA.
One of the Early Pioneers in Iowa, an Ex-County Judge and an Exemplary Citizen.
Lewis W. Homan, the subject of this sketch, was born January 26, 1818, and is now 91 years old. His father and mother were citizens of Virginia at the time of their marriage, in 1816, but soon after moved into Kentucky. Mark Homan, father of Lewis W., was born in Virginia near the Potomac river, about 40 miles above the city of Washington, in the year 1789, the year that George Washington was first elected president. When Mark Homan was 13 years old he moved with his mother to what is now West Virginia, where he lived until he attained the age of 27 years, and where he met and married Miss Nancy Burson, in 1816. Soon after their marriage they moved across the Cumberland mountains into Kentucky, crossing the mountains on horseback. In 1818 their son, Lewis W., whose picture we this week present to our readers, was born, on the banks of Salt river, in Kentucky. When Lewis was about eight years old his grandmother, Elizabeth Homan, entered land in Putnam county, Indiana, which she deeded to her son Mark, and to which Lewis W. came with his father and mother in the fall of 1827, and where his father made his home until the time of his death in 1874, the mother dying in 1837. Here Lewis grew to manhood and in 1838 was married to Miss Temperance M. McClain.
Image from Legends of America
In 1843 with his wife and three children he moved to Jones county, Iowa, coming through from Indiana with an ox team and in the old fashioned prairie schooner. Jones county was then mostly unfenced, raw prairie, and its county seat was but a very small village. However, its people were open hearted and kind to all newcomers, and the family was soon among kind and sociable friends. They resided in Jones county until the year 1856, when they came to Adams county, where they again went through the experiences of making a home on the frontier of a new country. It was not long, however, until they were surrounded with friends and helpful neighbors, and the exemplary life of the old gentleman has retained the respect and esteem of all his acquaintances down through the years. Mr. Homan was married but once, his wife living with him to old age. At the time of her death, about eight years ago, they had been living together 63 years. On the occasion of their fifty-seventh wedding anniversary a large number of their relatives and friends met to assist in celebrating the event. Mr. and Mrs. Homan were the parents of 12 children and number among their progeny 51 grandchildren, most of whom are living, and 44 great grandchildren, a record that scarcely finds an equal in Adams county.
Lewis Homan and wife passed a few years in Corning, the rest of their lives they spent on the farm, where they raised their large family. Under the old law, Mr. Homan served a term as county judge of Adams county, and thus it will be seen that his friends and neighbors delighted to honor him with a high position in their midst. He and his brother Westley were the founders of the First Baptist church of Adams county, which was organized in 1858, and of which he is the only charter member. It stands as a splendid monument to his religious zeal and fidelity in days when the support of a church meant more than it does now, from a financial standpoint at least. After the organization of this church he was made superintendent of its Sunday school, a position he held for 17 years, and until old age forbade he was one of the deacons of the church. He and his wife early in life identified themselves with church and Sunday school work, also with the cause of temperance. In an early day, while still living in Jones county, they signed a pledge of total abstinence from intoxicants, and faithfully adhered to it all their lives. Mr. Homan is now living in the joy of a well spent life, and the hope of a glorious eternity. Time has been good to Mr. Homan, and left him the use of a sound mind, and some degree of health. He has a good appetite for food and enjoys the eating, but has not strength enough in his limbs to walk, and is unable to leave his room. He generally sleeps well and sits in his rocker most of the day. He is cheerful with the friends who call to see him, and greatly enjoys their visits.
Mark Homan, father of the subject of this article, was a soldier of the war of 1812, and Lewis W. had two sons in the military service of the United States in the war for the preservation of the union.
Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) apr 7, 1909