John Ross LeLacheur, who resides in section 29, township 26, range 32, Cherry county, Nebraska, has a valuable estate which he has gained by industry and good management. He was born in Delaware county, Iowa, in 1876, on a farm.
Elisha LeLacheur, the father of our subject, was a native of Prince Edward Island, born in 1831, and came of French parentage. He grew up in that country and came to America with his parents when he was a lad of eleven, the family settling in Iowa, and he attended the country schools in Delaware county, and was married there in 1863 to Mary J. Bliss, of English and Yankee stock, the mother now residing in Mullen. John Ross LeLacheur was one of four children in his father’s family, named as follows; Phoebe E., Frank W., John R. and Wm. H., and he was the third member in order of birth. In 1882 our subject moved to Nebraska, driving from Iowa with a team and covered wagon, bringing with them a yoke of oxen and three horses, also three colts. The trip was a hard and tedious one, they being obliged to camp out at night, but they came through with no serious drawbacks, and after arriving in Nebraska settled in Nance county, where they lived for four years, then came to Cherry county and settled on a ranch situated eleven miles northwest of Mullen. There their first dwelling was a tent, in which they lived during the first summer. Storms and hail literally tore the tent to pieces in a few months, and they were obliged to build a sod house before the rough weather came on in the fall, and also built a hen house of sod, barns and sheds for their stock. They had hard times at first, but gradually kept improving the place and tried to farm, but lost several crops during the dry years, and had bad luck. On October 23, 1894, the father died as a result of an accident. He was helping fight a prairie fire and was so badly burned that he only survived his wounds eighteen hours. On January 1, 1901, the old ranch homestead building caught fire and burned to the ground. One son, William, and his family occupied the dwelling at the time, and his wife was awakened at four o’clock in the morning by the smell of smoke, found the house on fire and they barely escaped from the burning building with their lives. As it was, William’s hair was badly singed and his night clothes were nearly burned off his body. His wife and their child were almost caught in the fire, but managed to escape without serious harm. This put an end to occupying the old ranch house, but the place is still used as a summer pasture for stock.
In 1899 our subject went on a ranch of his own, which was situated in section 29, township 26, range 32. He had been married in December of the year previous, to Maggie Stevenson, daughter of Frank Stevenson, an old settler in western Nebraska. Mrs. LeLacheur’s mother was prior to her marriage, Miss Adelaide Allen, born in Pine Grove, Warren county, Pennsylvania. The young couple at once started out to build up a good home together, and worked hard and faithfully to accomplish that end, and have succeeded in a marked degree. Mr. LeLacheur is now the owner of a fine ranch of 640 acres, all of which is fenced and improved with good buildings, and he is extensively engaged in the stock raising business, also farming quite a portion of the place. He has two children, Clyde and Ross.
One brother, William, also owns a good ranch of 640 acres, which he established in 1900, and is located in sections 26 and 27, township 25, range 32, this being the property of his wife, who acquired it through homestead rights. She was Miss Anna Gibson, daughter of Alexander Gibson, an old settler in McPherson county, Nebraska, and her mother’s maiden name was Ellen Morrison. Two boys have been born to William Horton LeLacheur and his good wife, namely; Ralph and Earl.
The LeLacheur family was among the first to settle in this part of Cherry county, coming here when there were but two houses in the entire neighborhood in which they located. Each has done his full share in the upbuilding of the region, and take leading parts in the community. During the early days the subject of this review and his brother Frank, captured two deer and tamed them so that they became household pets, but during the severe hail storms that swept the country and destroyed the tent in which they lived, these animals were killed, and the entire family were as much grieved by their loss as they were at the serious property loss which they suffered.
Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska
Chicago: Alden Publishing Company, 1909