Views of the Past is currently featuring brief biographies of former Abilene residents. These photographs and biographies were recently featured in an exhibit at the Jeffcoat Photography Studio Museum. Both the photograph and text of this post are courtesy of the Jeffcoat Photography Studio Museum. The following was written by Bill Jeffcoat about John H. Lehman:
He worked himself up off a farm south of Abilene, to become a leading attorney in town and was on the board of the Eisenhower Foundation. John was in on everything in town. When asked why he wanted to go into law, he replied, “As a young man, I drove around and saw that all the big homes were owned by either doctors or lawyers, and knowing I could not become a doctor, I thought I could make it in the practice of law.” He was a very imposing looking man, very tall, and always well dressed. He did much to help draft papers for the Eisenhower Center when it was being built, to buy the homes and property around this, so that nothing shabby would be around it. He knew all the important people in town and made the most of these contacts with large estate work. He loved Abilene history and on the second floor of his office in the old Sterl Building, he kept a regular museum of historic memorabilia which he adored showing off. Out of law school, he obtained his ground work as a partner of Matt Guilfoyle, another well known lawyer who did much for the town and was active in civic projects. I think we can be sure that Ike appreciated all the work that went on here, from all his friends in Abilene. Had it not been for these friends, the Eisenhower Center would not have grown to the size that it is.