Col. John Lofland, b. Jan. 10, 1830


biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887

COL. JOHN LOFLAND has been a resident of Mahaska County for a third of a century, during which time he has witnessed many changes, and has been an active factor in many of the stirring events of the time. He is a native of the great Buckeye State, the State that has given to the country such eminent men as Grant, Garfield, Wade, Sherman, Corwin, and others, and was born in Belmont County, Jan. 10, 1830. His father, Joseph Lofland, was a native of Maryland, while his mother, Elizabeth (Lippincott) Lofland, was a native of Pennsylvania. Both emigrated to Ohio at a very early day, when that present populous State was but little better than a wilderness, there became acquainted, were married, reared a family of four children, three sons and one daughter, and there both died, the former in 1857, at the age of sixty~eight, and the latter in 1878, at the age of eighty-eight years. John Lofland, the subject of this sketch, was reared upon a farm, and there remained till sixteen years of age, assisting his father in its cultivation, and as opportunity offered, attending the common schools of the neighborhood in which the family lived. When he was sixteen he entered upon a four years' apprenticeship to learn the trade of a watchmaker and jeweler, in Cambridge, Ohio. At the expiration of his apprenticeship, and when but twenty years of age, he went to Cadiz, Ohio, purchased a jewelry store, and commenced his mercantile career. About a year afterward, on the 4th day of December, 1851, M. Lofland was united in marriage with Sarah J. Bartlett, a native of Harrison County, Ohio, born in April, 1830, and a daughter of George and Ursula (Wycoff) Bartlett, both of whom have since died. Four children have been born unto them. One daughter died in infancy. The other children were: George B., born Jan. 28, 1854, and died Jan. 28, 1874, upon his twentieth birthday; Frank C., born in 1856, was for about twelve years a clerk in the Oskaloosa post-office; Charles E. is now cashier of the Oskaloosa National Bank. Believing the West a better field for business, in 1854 Mr. Lofland sold out in Ohio and came to Mahaska County, locating in Oskaloosa, where for the next three years he engaged in the marble business. he then purchased the watchmaking and jewelry establishment of S. H. Chapman, who moved to Newton, Jasper County. from which place he subsequently entered the army. Early in 1861, the war having commenced, John W. Irwin, another jeweler in Oskaloosa, desiring to enter the service, Mr. Lofland purchased his establishment, uniting the stocks of the two. The war for the Union now being in active progress, and call after call being made for more men to put down the rebellion, Mr. Lofland could no longer resist the appeal. The service being too hard for Mr. Chapman, he was discharged, and in the summer of 1862 returned to Oskaloosa. A trade was soon effected between him and Mr. Lofland, and Mr. Chapman became the owner of the latter's stock of goods. Being free from all business engagements, Mr. Lofland proceeded to raise a company for the service, and in August, 1862, Co. D, 33d Iowa Vol. Inf., was sworn into the service, with Mr. L. as Captain. The regiment was soon ordered to the field, and its record is well known to all who are familiar with Iowa's part in the war. Suffice it to say, its record is a commendable one, it seeing as much hard service as any other regiment from the State, during the time of its enlistment. Its first important service was in the Yazoo Pass expedition in the rear of Vicksburg, during which time the attack upon Ft. Pemberton was made. Then followed the battles of Helena, Little Rock, Camden, Jenkin's Ferry, Spanish Fort, Blakely and Mobile, together with numerous smaller engagements and raids. In August, 1863, Capt. Lofland was promoted over the Major and three Captains, his seniors in rank, to the Lieutenant Colonelcy of the regiment. From the time of his promotion till the final muster out of the regiment at Davenport, Iowa, in August, 1865, Col. Lofland was almost continually in command. As an officer, he was a man of unflinching courage, though never foolhardy. He had the confidence of the entire regiment and none would refuse to follow his lead. Though a strict disciplinarian, his men all respected and loved him, and that affectionate regard he retains to this day. Returning from the army, Col. Lofland soon afterward moved to a farm, and for three years followed the occupation of a farmer. In August, 1869, he entered the Internal Revenue Service as Assistant Assessor, with headquarters at Oskaloosa, continuing to act as such till 1873, when he was appointed Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue. He discharged the duties of this latter office till August, 1882, when, having been duly proved, he was appointed Internal Revenue Agent, which position he still retains. As a revenue agent he has made an enviable record, and has been sent on the most difficult missions in almost every section of the country. It may not be well known, but as revenue agent he has supervision of every part of the Internal Revenue system in the section to which he is assigned, and therefore all the liquor interests come under his observation, and it requires a very sharp man to "pull the wool over his eyes" in the least. To Col. Lofland is given the credit of discovering the frauds practiced by the Cincinnati manufacturers by the use of false staves in the barrels, by which the Government was defrauded out of large sums of money. Discovering the fraud, the manufactures were compelled to make good the amount out of which the Government was defrauded, and were otherwise punished as the law directs. Col. Lofland has now had eighteen years' continual service in the revenue department of the General Government, and is to-day one of the oldest officers in that branch of the service. That he is a faithful officer is attested by his retention by the present administration. Those in authority know full well his record, his faithfulness in the discharge of every duty, and that bribe-givers stand no show with him. Those with whom he is brought in contact in his official relations, know that he treats every man alike, without fear or favor, and so long as they act honestly toward the Government there is nothing in him to fear. Such a reputation is to be prized above all things. In early life Col. Lofland was politically a Whig, but on the organization of the Republican party, became an advocate of its principles, and continues as such to this day, never having swerved in the least from the teachings of the party. In a personal notice, the Louisville Courter-Journal said that he was "an intense Republican, though not an offensive partisan." That is, as an officer of the Government, he knew no politics, but as a citizen, he did not hesitate to advocate upon all proper occasions those views he believed to be right, and that he thought would best advance the interests of his country. Religiously Col. Lofland is connected with the Presbyterian Church, of which body his wife is also a member. Socially he is a man who has the respect and good-will of all by whom he is known. As a citizen he is ever ready to do his duty upon every occasion.

Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887

Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

Iowa Genealogy

Home Page