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Hoehn/Lehman – Hanston Mennonite Cemetery, Hanston, Hodgeman County, Kansas


Many tragic stories can be found in cemeteries especially among the early pioneers. They came to America believing a new and better life awaited them. Sometimes it did and sometimes it did not. But overall, they persevered and made their ancestors proud.


Peter Augustus Hoehn was born in Germany in 1833. At the age of 21, he came to America and settled in Iowa. His first job was as a cheesemaker. Since he could only speak German, someone gave him an English Bible so he could compare it with his German Bible. Peter became a naturalized citizen in 1860.


Elizabeth Lehmann was born in Germany in 1839. Her parents, Johannes and Veronika, brought Elizabeth and her four siblings to America in 1852. They made up a part of a larger Mennonite group that made the same journey. Upon landing in New York, the family traveled aboard a ship going to Albany and then to Buffalo. Her father, Johannes, died of cholera, onboard the ship.


Veronika decided to continue the journey with the group. They traveled by boat to Cleveland and then by train to Chicago. The final leg of the journey was taking a stagecoach to Iowa. Along the way, their one-year-old son died. In 1857, Veronika purchased a lot and created a home for her remaining family. She passed away in 1881.


Peter Hoehn and Elizabeth Lehmann were united in marriage in1861, while living in Lee, Iowa. They were blessed with five children. Shortly after 1880, their family moved to Kansas and settled in Halstead, Harvey County. Elizabeth and four of her children contracted typhoid fever. Everyone recovered except Elizabeth. She died at the age of 44 and his buried in the Halstead Cemetery.


Peter brought the remaining four children to Hodgeman County in the late 1890s. Peter passed away at the age of 76 and is buried in Hanston Mennonite Cemetery. Of the five children who came west to Hodgeman County, four are buried in the same cemetery as their father.


Note: Cholera is contracted through eating or drinking contaminated food or water. It causes severe diarrhea and dehydration.


Note: Typhoid fever can be contracted by eating and or drinking contaminated food and water. It can also spread through close contact with someone who has been infected.

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