When there is to be mention of the leading men of Wallowa County, men who have wrought for its up building and advancement, the name of the subject of this appear in prominence in the list, and we are pleased to note the capabilities of the man, manifested in his skillful and wise manipulation of business affairs, as well, also, do we see his uprightness, integrity and probity in his entire career, and the chronicling of these items is ever a pleasure to be desired.
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John B. was born in Des Moines county, Iowa, on December 27, 1854, being the son of James Riley and Sarah (Whitehead) Lent, natives respectively of Kentucky and Indiana. The father was a farmer in Warren county, Iowa, and later, 1869, removed to Riley county, Kansas, where he remained until the time of his death, which occurred in 1875. The mother still lives with this son and also with a daughter in Trout creek. At the age of nineteen our subject started out in the world for himself. His education was obtained during the winters in the schools of his native place and the summers were spent in toil for the neighboring farmers. He acquired a good property and in 1876 sold his entire holdings and came to the Willamette valley. In that section he remained for one year, then sought a better place, finding the same in Wallowa County, where he settled on February 8, 1878, taking up a homestead of one-quarter section near Lostine. For twelve years he gave his attention to developing the estate, being one of the enterprising and energetic tillers of the soil in the county. Also during these years he gave much attention to raising stock, and was successful in all these endeavors. In 1890 he sold out and went to California, Charles Fitzpatrick purchasing his farm. For one and one-half years he remained in that state, sounding its resources and investigating the different portions for him. At the end of that time he was satisfied to return to Wallowa county as a better place, and accordingly he was welcomed back here. He at once rented a farm from J.A. Tulley and in 1897 bought a place eighteen miles north of Wallowa, which he sold in 1901. He still lives on J.A. Tulley’s place, which is situated two and one-half miles southeast from Wallowa, and is improved in fine shape. He has good orchards and all other accessories for a first-class ranch.