Biographical Sketch of


Jonas Haney, one of the pioneers of Lansing, was born on a farm in New Jersey in 1828. He was one of nine children and obtained a good business education by attending the district school winters. From the age of ten to twenty young Haney followed canalling on the Delaware and Hudson rivers during the season. The first seven years he drove a team on the tow path and the last three years had charge of the canal boar. He then went to southern Kentucky and learned the carpenter trade of an uncle, and two years later returned to Port Jervis to work at his trade. Here he married Miss Sophia Miller in 1853.

In 1856 with his wife and child he emigrated to Minnesota, spending the first summer building in Winona, and then coming to Lansing. Heaving received a letter of introduction to Lewis and Yates he came to Austin to see them. During his first night here occurred the first murder in the country, occasioned by the opening of a new saloon. The murdered man was Leverich, the owner. During the winter of 1857 provisions were very scarce and for days at a time some families lived on turnips alone. Mr. Haney worked at his trade in connection with opening up his farm.

Politically he is a man of influence and has held numerous town offices. During the early days that the county board consisted of the chairman of the board from each town. Mr. Haney represented Lansing. This was in 1859-1860, when the disappearance of the treasurer's books occurred.

In the fall of 1888 he came to Austin to live, and entered the farm machinery business and built him a house in Morgan's addition. He has since brought out his partners, Gilbertson & Edgerton and remains the sole proprietor of the old stand.

This information is from a book handed down through four generations starting with Jonas Haney (1882- ): Frank Haney (1858-1938): Lenard J. Haney (1892-1975): Agnes Viola Haney Waters (1919). The farm Jonas Haney homesteaded still remains in the Haney family.


Transcribed by Darrel K. Waters