John Henry Lewis was born on Jan 23, 1867 on his father’s farm. He grew up on the farm, and became a cattle, livestock and grain farmer. His first marriage was to Mary Wilkins and one child was born to them but died soon after as did Mary. Following his loss, he left the area and traveled around the country. In later life, he told a nephew that he traveled to every State in the Union. He returned home, and worked on various farms in the area.
He married a second time January 17, 1909 to Catherine Louise Diefenbach. Catherine (Aunt Kate, Grandma Kate) was born January 10, 1884, the daughter of German immigrants. To them were born twelve children:
- Mary Grace Lewis born Dec 25, 1909, died 1914, buried in Joyner Cemetery
- John Henry Lewis born August 26, 1910
- Robert Allen Lewis born June 18, 1912
- Minnete Lewis born July 1, 1914
- George Lewis born July 20, 1916
- Anna Lewis, twin, born February 10, 1919
- Emma Lewis, twin, born February 10, 1919
- James Riley Lewis born December 7, 1920
- Catherine Janet Lewis born November 6, 1922
- Joel Thomas Lewis born October 25, 1924
- Lillian Bernice Lewis born May 24, 1927
- Richard Herbert Lewis born March 18, 1930, died August 28, 1969 and buried at Joyner Cemetery
John Henry passed away on February 7, 1939 and is buried at the Joyner Cemetery. Kate married Walter Furlong after several years of being a widow. She passed away on July 21, 1966 and is buried beside John Henry.
I remember visiting Aunt Kate when I was a boy. She was a very kind woman.