Jacob Lichty is extensively engaged in feeding and shipping cattle and his large business interests have brought to him a comfortable competence. He resides in Morrill township, where he owns a valuable tract of land, having been a resident of this county for thirty years. He was born in Somerset county. Pennsylvania, December 6, 1848, his parents being Jonathan and Susan (Miller) Lichty, of Pennsylvania. His paternal grandparents were Jacob and Barbara (Myers) Lichty and the former was a son of Christian Lichty and a grandson of John Lichty. The last named was a native of Switzerland and became the founder of the family in America, establishing his home near Baltimore, Maryland, in colonial days.
His son, Christian, was one of the first settlers in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, and there located, establishing a farm, which lies in the center of the great coal region of Pennsylvania. The coal vein on the place was fifteen feet deep and the yield added greatly to the prosperity of the owners. The farm has always been retained in the possession of the descendants of Christian Lichty, who died upon that place, leaving the property to his children.
In his family were the following: Jacob, born in 1791; Susanna, in 1794; Anna, in 1796; John, in 1798; Samuel, in 1800; Daniel, in 1802; David, in 1804; Magdalena, in 1807; Elizabeth, in 1809; Joseph, in 1813; and Daniel, in 1818. Of this family, Jacob, the first named and the grandfather of our subject, was born and reared in Pennsylvania and wedded Barbara Myers, by whom he had eight children: Jonathan, born February 17, 1818; Mrs. Mary Oben, in January, 1821; Mrs. Susan Kelso, in 1826; Abraham, in 1829; Anna, who was born May 10, 1831, and died in childhood; Mrs. Lidia Livingood, born in 1834, Samuel, in 1836, and John, in 1842. The two last named died in childhood.
Jonathan Lichty, the father of our subject, was also a native of Pennsylvania and was reared to farm pursuits in Somerset county, that state. His educational privileges were somewhat limited, but by industry and perseverance he acquired a good education and for a number of years engaged in mercantile pursuits. He also became a Dunkard preacher, in which faith he has been reared, all of the original members of the family being representatives of that faith. In 1863 Jonathan Lichty removed to Lee county, Illinois, where he engaged in the operation of a woolen factory and in merchandising until 1870. In that year he removed to Kansas, locating upon a farm which is now the home of our subject. Here he improved a quarter-section of land, giving his attention to the cultivation of grain and to stock dealing, meeting with creditable success in his business. He was one of the first Dunkard preachers in this part of Kansas and lived to see the church flourish. His death occurred March 7, 1881, and his wife, who survived him eighteen years, passed away July 18, 1899. They had but two children: Anna, who was born in October, 1845, and is now the wife of C. A. Saylor, and Jacob, of this review. The mother was a daughter of Daniel and Mary (Longmiller) Lichty and a granddaughter of Henry Miller, a resident of Somerset county, Pennsylvania, and of Swiss lineage. Daniel Miller was a wagonmaker and farmer known throughout this community as an intelligent and substantial citizen, who enjoyed the high regard of many friends. He was a consistent member of the Dunkard church and his children were also church members, becoming identified with the Episcopal and Baptist faiths. In the family were eleven sons and daughters: Rachel, the wife of Daniel Lichty; Jacob; Gabriel; Josiah; Lydia, the wife of P. Myers, the founder of Myersdale, Pennsylvania; Daniel; Ephraim, who has served as postmaster of his town for over fifty years, a record unparalleled in the country and the oldest continuous postmaster in the United States; Mannasa, a civil engineer; Susan, mother of our subject; Mrs. Mary Myers and Mrs. Magdalene Saylor. Michael Myers was born in Pennsylvania in 1762 and made farming his life work. His wife was born in 1775 and both died in Pennsylvania. In their family were eleven children: Jacob; Barbara; Henry; Susan, the wife of Jonathan Kimble; Elizabeth, the wife of Daniel Lichty; Samuel; Michael; Abram; John; Anna, the wife of D. Livingood; and Martin.
Jacob Lichty, whose name introduces this review, spent his early boyhood days on the home farm in Pennsylvania. After the removal of the family to Illinois he assisted his father in the store and woolen factory. His educational privileges were those afforded by the common schools. In 1870 he accompanied his parents to Kansas, a location being made in Morrill township. Here he aided in the work of the home farm and in caring for the stock. He was married in 1877, but remained upon the old homestead, acting as his father's assistant in business. He cared for his parents in their old age and when they were called to their final rest tenderly laid them away in a beautiful cemetery in the neighborhood. By his father's will he became the possessor of the old homestead, upon which he has resided continuously since his arrival in Kansas. He still carries on general farming and is one of the most extensive cattle dealers in the county. As his financial resources have increased he has made judicious investments in real estate and is to-day the owner of five well-improved farms, comprising more than seven hundred acres, together with a cattle ranch in Nebraska. Although he has prospered his career has not always been one of continuous success. In 1896 he suffered considerable loss, his farm lying in the path of the cyclone which swept over this section of the country, destroying his residence, barns and outbuildings, and totally demolishing his orchard. Everything was carried away by the force of the wind, leaving the family not even a change of clothing; many relics, prized on account of their value as heirlooms, were also destroyed. The family had taken refuge in a cellar and were thus uninjured. With characteristic energy, Mr. Lichty began the work of retrieving his lost possessions and the farm is now improved with new and commodious buildings, everything being replaced except the trees, for time must aid man in making up for this loss.
Mr. Lichty was married, in 1877, to Miss Emma Heikes, who was born in Sandusky county, Ohio, September 18, 1857, a daughter of Jacob and Lydia (Borman) Heikes, the former born in Snyder county, Pennsylvania, June 23, 1826, the latter in Juniata county, that state, March 17, 1832. The parental grandfather was Jacob Heiks, also of Pennsylvania, and the maternal grandparents were John and Anna (Showers) Borman, also natives of Pennsylvania. All were of German lineage and both the Heikes and Borman families were connected with the Lutheran church. The paternal grandparents died in Pennsylvania, but the maternal grandparents spent their last days in Ohio. The brothers and sisters of Jacob Heikes were John; George; William; Peggy; Elizabeth; Susan, the wife of J. Bowman, of Brown county, Kansas; David; Mollie, the wife of D. Young; Anna, the wife of D. Kochenhour; Frederick; Sarah, the wife of A. Cline; Katie, now Mrs. Kleck; Mrs. Polly Grose; and Jacob. The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Heikes were Elias; Levi; Tobias; Mrs. Adeline Bates; John; Mrs. Mary Frederick; Mrs. Sarah Richards; William, who died in the civil war; Elizabeth, the wife of William Frederick; and Mrs. Susana Bates.
Jacob Heikes and Lydia Bowman were married in Muffin county, Pennsylvania, and resided upon a rented farm there until 1856, when they removed to Seneca county, Ohio, where Mr. Heikes purchased a farm, running it until 1865. He then sold out and removed to Richardson county, Nebraska, where he purchased wild prairie land, which he transformed into a rich tract. In 1871, however, he sold that property and bought a farm in Brown county, Kansas, upon which he lived until his retirement to private life. After putting aside business cares he made his home in Morrill, from 1885 until his death, which occurred November 18, 1896. His wife still survives him and is now living in Morrill. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Heikes are Henry; Emma, the wife of Jacob Lichty; Ella, the wife of J. Heikes; Milton; Samuel; Ira; Addie, the wife of C. W. Flickinger, a merchant of Morrill; Anna, the wife of William Haldman; and Mary, the wife of S. Miller. The family are connected with the Dunkard church.
Nine interesting children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Lichty and all are yet at their parental home, namely: Nora, born May 25, 1878; Jonathan J., February 24, 1880; David, May 31, 1881; Ezra, May 5, 1883; Lewis, May 19, 1885; Millard, May 23, 1888; Geneva, January 20, 1892; Florence, March 10, 1895; and Warren Dewey, May 4, 1898.
Mr. and Mrs. Lichty are members of the Progressive Dunkard church and take an active interest in its work. He also belongs to the Masonic fraternity, and in politics is a stanch Republican, taking an active interest in the welfare and success of the party. He has filled the office of county commissioner and is president of the Farmers' Insurance Company of this and adjoining counties. His life has been an active and useful one and his prosperity has resulted from capable management and untiring industry.