This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Ruth Ryan. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Stewart Lanam

SOURCE: "The Biographical Record of Champaign County, Illinois," The S. J. Clarke Publlishing Company, 1900


has long been associated with the development of Champaign county, and in peace and war has proved himself to be a true patriot, devoted to his country and community, and holding his personal interests secondary to the public welfare.  His record is that of an honest, straightforward man, who has continued faithfully in the path of duty, doing good to all as he had opportunity, and winning the commendation of his own conscience and the good opinion of his acquaintances.

He is a grandson of Thomas, and son of Jesse LANAM, who were natives of Pennsylvania.  The latter chose Martha STEWART, of the same state, for a wife, and in the early part of the ‘30s settled in Noble County, Ohio, where Mrs. Lanam died.  Later, in 1846, he removed to Indiana, and thenceforth made his home in Clinton county, rearing his children to take useful places in society.  In 1864,  he bought eighty acres of land in Newcomb township, Champaign county, but died soon afterwards. 

The birth of Stewart Lanam occurred July 2, 1836, in Noble county, Ohio, and much of his youth was spent in Indiana, where he received his education and became familiar with the details of arm work.  In August, 1862, he enlisted in the third Indiana Cavalry, which was attached to the Army of the Cumberland.  With his regiment, he participated in many of the severe campaigns and engagements of the Civil war, including the battles of Stone River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and march through Georgia to the sea under command of General Sherman.  He was ever at the post of duty and was fortunate in escaping wounds or illness, so his army record is of the best, in every respect.  Returning home after receiving an honorable discharge from the army, Mr. Lanam rented land and worked for farmers in Indiana until after his marriage at the beginning of the year 1868.  He then rented the farm which his father had purchased in Newcomb township, Champaign county, and within a few years was able to buy the place.  Subsequently, he bought an adjoining tract of eighty acres, and built a neat, modern residence, barns and fences, besides putting in tiling wherever needed.  By his well directed efforts he has won financial success, and his example is worthy of emulation.

On the 9th of January, 1868, Mr. Lanam married Eliza Jane WYANT, a native of Boone county, Indiana, and daughter of Wilson and Maria Ann (BOWEN) WYANT, both of whom died by the time Mrs. Lanam was three years old, and she was reared by her grandmother Wyant.  Of the five children born to our subject and wife, the eldest, Martha Ann, is the wife of G. W. FUNSTON, a farmer of this township; Maria, who married Charles CHENOWETH, a farmer, resides in McLean county, this state; Joseph S., unmarried, assists in the management of the home farm; Clara Belle is the wife of William HINTON, one of the enterprising farmers of this township; and Nannie, a young lady, is at home.

Originally Mr. Lanam was identified with the Democratic party, but of late years he has given his ballot and influence to the nominees of the Prohibition party.  He was elected and served for a term as commissioner of highways, and also served as one of the township trustees.  During the eighteen years when he was a member of the school board, a part of the time as president of that body, he did effective service for the cause of education in this locality.  He belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic, being identified with Dewey Post at Fisher.  With his family, he holds membership with Shiloh Methodist Episcopal church, and for several years has been an officer in the congregation.

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