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Corp John Ashley Lett
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Birth: Feb. 28, 1841
Richland County
Ohio, USA
Death: Jan. 12, 1937
York County
Nebraska, USA


John Lett

(87) John Lett was born in Richland County, Ohio, February 28th, 1841, and as a consequence, looks forward to the day he shall be elected to the Presidency of this great Republic, as have so many sons of that favored state.

When he was but four months old his parents moved to Cedar County, Iowa settling in the town of Tipton, and entering 80 acres of government land adjoining the town. His mother died when he was but eight months old, leaving his father with five small children, one, a brother two years elder, blind. His father, Abraham Lett, was in a bad predicament for with so many little children, he could do but little work himself and so, he looked about him for a good woman to mother his little flock, and fortunately, he succeeded in finding
a splendid woman who came into the family and proved to be a blessing to that group of motherless young ones, for, although she had reared 18 [this is incorrect, she had 15 children] children of her own, she managed the household well and gained the confidence and affection of her new brood.

At the age of 20 years, Mr. Lett enlisted in Co. E, 11th Iowa, Vol. Infantry for three years "or during the war," and at the expiration of his first term of enlistment reenlisted for another three year term. He participated in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Iuka, Vicksburg and Kenesaw Mountain. It is now generally admitted in and about Benedict, where he was reigned as Postmaster for twenty years, that he and W. V. Powell were chiefly instrumental in winning the battle of Shiloh, and if their attention had been called to the matter a little earlier in the day they would have saved Gen. Wallace's Division from capture.

He was in Sherman's Atlanta campaign and made the '`march to the sea" with other thousands of brave men. From Savannah to the battle of Bentonville, N. C. and then on to Washington to take part in the "Grand Review" which marked the end of the great Civil War. In the last year of the conflict he had been promoted to the rank of Corporal, and then to Quartermaster Sergeant of his Regiment.

Discharged from the service, he came home and soon thereafter, November 25, 1865 was married to Miss Carrie Draucher, a sister to Arthur and David, who were for a long time residents of this county. Mrs. Lett was born in Clearfield County, Pa., June 13th, 1844. They went onto the old home farm of his father, and lived there happily until the Spring of 1871, the great tide of emigration rushing through Iowa for the free lands of Nebraska set them to thinking that they too, were entitled to a quarter-section of land, and John came out and took up the N. E. Quarter of Section 32, Town 12, Range 3 in what is now Morton Twp. Going back to Iowa to clear up his affairs, he returned to his homestead with his family in October, 1871. He was forced to occupy a sodhouse owned by R. H. Lytle until he could put up one like it. He had just $3.00 in money to winter his wife, three children, two horses and two cows. They (89) wintered after a fashion that would not at all be popular with the average young couple of today. They had a little hominy and one sack of flour in their wagon when they arrived, and a can of kerosene that kept company with his food supply, and John says that he can taste that oil to this day, for they had to eat it for it was a groundhog case. Mr. Lett was a member of the first Grand Jury held in this county. In the summer of 1872 he lost a horse and traded for a yoke of oxen, which were used on the farm and to go to church and to York to do his trading. The ox team made a great hit at 4th of July celebrations. Eight children were born to him, one of which died in infancy, and Estella at the age of 27. The great Easter blizzard and the several raids of the grasshoppers are vividly remembered. In 1875 the family moved to York, where he engaged in the selling of farm machinery and seeds. While living in York he served two years as assessor, and was also elected Commander of the Grand Army Post. In 1880 he moved back to the homestead, where going behind year after year, he moved to the new town of Benedict, and was one of the first two families settling in that village. Here he built and operated the first hotel. About this time he was elected Justice of the Peace and served with satisfaction for six years, also procuring a notary's commission, in which capacity he still serves the public. When Mr. Cleveland retired from the presidency, he secured the post office and is yet postmaster, after more than twenty years' service. He has served under Lincoln (as a soldier), Harrison, Cleveland, McKinley, Roosevelt and Taft, and thus far under Professor T. Woodrow Wilson.

In 1885, he was elected Department Commander of Nebraska G. A. R., and had the intense satisfaction of leading 20,000 men at the Reunion in Denver, Colo. Mrs. Lett passed away August 1, 1912 at the age of 68 years. She was buried by the side of her two daughters in beautiful Greenwood Cemetery at York.

Also from the History of York Co. Nebraska

JOHN LETT, dealer in all kinds of seeds, came to York County in May, 1871, and took up a homestead on Section 32, Town 11, Range 3, West, North Blue Precinct, which was a soldiers claim of 160 acres. On this he resided till 1877, when he moved into York, where he engaged at various occupations. In 1881, commenced his present business, of which he has made a decided success. He was elected Assessor of York Precinct in the fall of 1880, and re-elected in 1881. Was born in Richland County, Ohio, February 28, 1842. When but a small lad, came with his parents, Abraham and Elizabeth[this is an error her name was Eleanor] Lett, to Iowa, and were among the early settlers of Cedar County. His mother's maiden name was Barnhart [this is in error, it was Beard]. Here he lived, working on the farm, and acquiring an education, till the breaking out of the Rebellion, in 1861, when he enlisted with Company E, of the Eleventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served three years and eleven months, taking an active part in all the engagements of his regiment. Mr. Lett was married in 1865, in Iowa, to Miss Carrie Draucker, of Pennsylvania. They are members of the Presbyterian Church, York, and are both earnest workers in that society. Mr. L. was one of the instigators and original members of Robert Anderson Post, No. 32, G. A. R., and was the first Adjutant, and second Commander of the same.

Stepmother who raised John and his siblings is:

fag# 60338371
Family links: 
  Abraham Lett (1788 - 1865)
  Eleanor Beard Lett (1800 - 1841)
  Rosa A Crowl Lett (1847 - 1935)
  Caroline Draucker Lett (1844 - 1912)*
  Edith Lett (1868 - 1931)*
  Emma Elanore Lett Eckles (1870 - 1915)*
  Mary Teresa Lett (1877 - 1880)*
  Caroline Lett**
  Elizabeth Lett Tuthill (1825 - 1905)*
  Ellen Lett McClure (1837 - 1927)**
  Alvin Richard Lett (1839 - 1884)*
  John Ashley Lett (1841 - 1937)
*Calculated relationship
11 IA Infantry Cpl. Co. E
Greenwood Cemetery
York County
Nebraska, USA
Maintained by: Rachel Keller
Originally Created by: Tony & Cindy Lloyd
Record added: Aug 24, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 57611492
Corp John Ashley Lett
Added by: weston04
Corp John Ashley Lett
Added by: weston04
Corp John Ashley Lett
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Cemetery Haunter
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Proud member of the Lett Family line. In memory,
- Anne Wagner
 Added: Oct. 1, 2013
Rest well, cousin.
- Edith Harris
 Added: Aug. 5, 2013
Co. E, 11th Iowa Infantry Regiment
- C & N Rasmussen
 Added: Apr. 19, 2012

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