Henderson County, Kentucky Biography


       JOSEPH LANE, born December 14, 1801, in Buncombe County, North Carolina, was the second son of John and Elizabeth STREET Lane, who brought him, in 1804, to Henderson County, Kentucky.  He attended school for a short time but, having to support himself, took a position under the county clerk.  At fifteen he went to Warwick County, Indiana, where for several years he clerked in a store.  There, in 1820, he married Mary (Polly) PIERRE HART and settled on a farm in Brandenburg County, Indiana.  In 1822 he was elected to the lower house of the Indiana Legislature and continued in office until 1846, when he enlisted as a private in the Second Regiment of Indiana Volunteers in the Mexican War.  He served with such valor that he emerged one of the outstanding heroes of the war, brevetted major-general.  In December, 1848, President POLK commissioned him Governor of the Territory of Oregon.  Resigning the governorship, June 18, 1850, he was elected to Congress from the territory, was re-elected three times, and when Oregon became a state, February 14, 1859, he entered the upper house as United States Senator, remaining until March, 1861.  In 1860 he was nominated for Vice President on the John C. BRECKINRIDGE ticket.  His defeat ended his political career.  He retired to his farm near Roseberg, Oregon, where he lived in semi-seclusion for twenty years.  He was one of the ablest and most vivid personalities of his time in Western History.  His conversational powers were extraordinary; he was an effective public speaker and an independent thinker on public questions.

        Story was found on pages 83 & 84 in the “Henderson, Home of Audubon”Henderson, Home of Audubon was compiled by the Workers of the Writers’ Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Kentucky and sponsored by Susan Starling Towles, Librarian, Public Library, Henderson, KY.

       According to William S. Powell, Ed. “Dictionary of North Carolina Biography”, Vol. 4 Chapel Hill NC: The University of North Carolina Press, pp. 13-14.Joseph LANE and his wife were the parents of ten children who lived to maturity:  Ratliffe B., Malissa, Joseph, Simon, John, Lafayette, Roseburg, Mary Emily and Winifred.

       In 1867 Lane, his wife and three of their children (Simon, Lafayette and Winifred) were baptized and confirmed into the Roman Catholic faith.  At his own request, however, following his death 19 April 1881, Lane was buried in the Memorial Garden (Masonic) Cemetery at Roseburg without religious ceremony.

       Lane’s grandfather was Jesse LANE; Jesse’s brothers were Joseph and Joel, the latter of whom provided the land on which Raleigh was established.  Lane’s father, John LANE, fought at the Battle of Kings Mountain and after the Revolution, in 1795, settled with his brother Charles LANE in Buncombe County and established an ironworks.  Lane’s mother, Elizabeth STREET, was a daughter of an early sheriff of Buncombe County.


Contributed by Netta Mullin, HCH&GS

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