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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Parke C. Lehman

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[This information is from pp. 108, 111 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Parke C. Lehman, of the firm of Lehman Brothers, dealers in general merchandise and farming implements at Argusville, in the town of Carlisle (formerly a part of Sharon), Schoharie County, N. Y., was born in this place on April 3, 1869, son of Sylvester and Mary Ann (Lane) Lehman.

His great-grandfather Lehman came to America with Burgoyne's army, having crossed the English channel with other Germans, and joined the British soldiery before leaving England. After arriving in this country he deserted from the army, and settled in Sharon, where he was one of the first white inhabitants. It is related that he wore a metal breastplate which he brought over with him, and that this at one time saved his life by protecting him from a bullet. He remained in Sharon as long as he lived, engaged in farming. He spoke only the German tongue.

His son Benjamin, grandfather of Parke C. Lehman, was born here, and always resided here until his death at the age of eighty years. Like his father he was closely identified with the Lutheran church. He worked at his trade of carpenter, and he also farmed to some extent. He settled at what is now known as the Lehman homestead, on which his grandson Charles now resides. This property contained originally three hundred and fifteen acres. Benjamin Lehman built most of the barns and houses in this vicinity. He underwent many hardships. While working at Stone Arabia, some thirteen miles distant, he would rise early in the morning on Monday, travel the whole distance on foot, and be on hand in time for his day's work. On Saturday night he walked home again. During his absences the farm was cared for by his sons, of whom there were four. Each of these upon being married was given a plot of land and a fair start in life. Benjamin Lehman had four wives. His sons were: Stephen, who is the only one now living, Charles, Peter, and Sylvester. Both Charles and Peter were married, and the latter had a family of children. Peter died in Brooklyn, N. Y. Benjamin Lehman spoke the German language and broken English.

Sylvester Lehman, father of Parke C., was a lifelong farmer on his hundred and seventy-five acres, raising mixed crops. He was also engaged to a considerable extent in stockraising, breeding short-horned cattle, which farmers from all the neighboring towns came to purchase. He was an ardent worker in the church, and held at one time and another nearly all the church offices. Of his family of nine children, the eldest, Jay, died in infancy. The others were as follows: Mary, who is the wife of William Crosby, M. D., of Rochester, Ind.; Charles, above named, who resides on the Lehman homestead; Jessie, who died at the age of twenty-six; Romaine, who is a farmer of Sharon, N. Y.; Sylvester, Jr., who is a member of the firm of Lehman Brothers; Parke, the subject of this article; Ford, who is a student in the classical course at Penn College, Gettysburg; and Bessie G. Sylvester Lehman, Jr., married Kate Allen, daughter of James Allen, of Root, N. Y. Bessie G. Lehman was married in December, 1897, to Lewis C. Berger, of Seward, N. Y.

Parke C. Lehman in his boyhood attended the district schools in company with his brothers and sisters, and subsequently worked out at farming. After saving a small amount of money he went to Albany, where he took a course in the business college. Subsequent to that he was clerk for four years for J. P. Milligan; and at the expiration of that time, or in September, 1893, he formed a partnership with his brother Sylvester, and bought out the business of Mr. Milligan. This firm has done a most prosperous business. Theirs being the only general merchandise store in Argusville, they have a large trade, and, as their business methods are prompt and thoroughly honorable, they are popular, and have the fullest confidence of their patrons. Many changes have been made in the store since Lehman Brothers took possession of it.

Parke C. Lehman was appointed Postmaster on May 6, 1898. He had previously served as Deputy Postmaster. In politics he is a Republican. Both brothers are Masons and members of Sharon Springs Lodge, No. 624. Both are active in politics, and prominent in church work. Parke C. Lehman is secretary of the Sunday school and of the church council.

Parke C. Lehman married on June 16, 1898, Miss Lilah Wemple, of Fonda, N. Y., she being a daughter of one of the first families of Montgomery County.

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