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Biography of John A. Lanman

John A. Lanman is one of the best known men in Wallowa County, and also in eastern Oregon, having spent a career of exceptional success in the capacity of rider of race horses in this section, while in his business enterprises since that time he has manifested talent and energy that have commended him to his fellows. John A. was born in Wayne County, Iowa, on October 23, 1859, being the son of William and Betsey (Dobson) Lanman, natives of Illinois. They soon removed to Iowa after their nuptials, about 1843, and twenty years subsequent to that time they crossed the plains with their family to Boise, Idaho, and the next year came to the Grande Ronde valley. In 1865 the father took his present farm as a homestead, situated seven and one-half miles southwest from Summerville. In 1901 he retired from active business and now resides in Summerville. At the age of fourteen our subject was sent for by Joe Lamara, of Walla Walla, to ride the latter’s horse, Tom Benton, in a race. John A. was compelled to ride the entire distance of ninety miles to Walla Walla, but still he was in shape to place Tom Benton a winner in the race, thus capturing a purse of two hundred and fifty dollars for himself and two thousand for the owner. That commenced a career of jockey riding that continued until he was twenty-three years of age. He rode for Alex LaBuff in La Grande and for six years he never lost a race, a record seldom equaled. He rode four years steadily for Sturgell Brothers and...

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