The History of the John T. Lehman Log Cabin
John T. Lehman was born on December 12, 1832 in Laubnitz, Prussia. On October 12, 1846, his father Daniel Lehman and his mother Johanna Erdmuth and their three children John, Caroline and Pauline Lehman left their home in Friedersdorf, Laubnitz, Silesia, Prussia and departed from the Port of Bremen on the ship "Louise" along with Daniel's parents Gottfried and Anna Lehman, his brothers Mortiz, August, Wilhelm and Samuel as well as Gottfried's twin brother Gottlieb Lehman and his wife Ernestine. They arrived in Texas at the Port of Indianola (Indian Point) on November 9, 1846. While most of the family settled in Fredericksburg, Daniel Lehman and MortizLehman remained in Bastrop County, Texas. Daniel Lehman was one of the first German settlers to arrive in this area. In 1851 Daniel Lehman and his brother Moritz Lehman became naturalized citizens.
Daniel Lehman purchased 175 acres of land out of the Andrew Mays league in 1857 for $400. It was described as being on the waters of Walnut Creek in Bastrop County on the west side of the Colorado River. This includes the property where the Sacred Heart Catholic Church is now located in Rockne, Texas. In 1891 his son John T. Lehman donated 10 acres of this land to the church on which it was re-built after the previous church had burned down.
Daniel Lehman chose a site just north of Rockne where he built a temporary home. Later, he and his son, John T. Lehman built the cabin for their permanent home. The cabin was of hand hewn cedar logs with square butt joints. Wood shavings were used for chinking, with lime, horsehair and sand plaster. The chimney was made of local limestone and held together with an adobe mix. Stake and rail fences were built around the property. A single room downstairs, a lean-to and a sleeping loft reached by an outside stairway comprised the living quarters. Later a detached kitchen was connected to the house by a "dog trot".
At one time the cabin housed Daniel and Johanna Lehman and their three children as well as Daniel's brother Mortiz Lehman and his wife Augusta Adams. After the death of Daniel's first wife he married a second time to a woman by the name of Mary. Moritz Lehman later moved to Loyal Valley in Mason County, Texas. His sons Herman and Willie Lehman were captured by Indians in 1870. Willie Lehman escaped soon after but Herman Lehman remained with the Indians for 9 years before he was returned to his family.
John T. Lehman lived in the home with his first wife Maria Anna Eichhorn. There five children were born. Portraits of John T. Lehman and Maria Anna Lehman were displayed in the cabin after it was restored and can now be found at the Rockne Museum, a gift from Minnie Bartsch. Following the death of his wife Maria in 1871, John T. Lehman married Rosina Brasch and they had one daughter. John T. Lehman's son Martin Lehman was the postmaster for the town of Rockne which was once called Lehmannville. John T. Lehman also served with the 17th Texas Infantry Co. B in the Civil War. John T. Lehman died on July 14, 1892 at the age of 59 and was the first person to be buried in Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Rockne.
After serving as a home for many years, the cabin was used as a barn and for hay storage. In 1984 it was purchased by Dr. G. R. Wagner and moved to a site on Wilson Street in Bastrop, Texas. Restoration was completed under the direction of Clay Terrell. Some time later the log cabin was torn down and the logs were auctioned off and sold to Mr. Verlin Lehman, a descendant of John T. Lehman.
Verlin Lehman had made plans to rebuild the log cabin, but he passed away in 1999 leaving the log cabin to be built by his son Rodney Lehman. Sadly, Rodney Lehman was killed in an automobile accident in November, 2002. The remaining descendents of John T. Lehman are now planning to rebuild the log cabin with the original logs on a site near the Rockne Historical Association's New Museum located next to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Rockne, Texas.