Three miles west of the village of Roanoke, along the Roanoke and Christian Gravel Road is the eighty-acre farm of John H. Ahner, comprising the north half of the northeast quarter of section 19 of Jackson Township. This is a wll improved and well appointed farmstead, and represents the business enterprise and much of the accomplishment of John H. Ahner as a business man and citizen. Since he was a few months old, Mr. Ahner had had his home in Huntington County, and is a product of the old log cabin days, since the home to which he was introduced in this county was a rude house built of logs, and had furnishings which were primitve in the extreme.
John H. Ahner was born in Fairfield County, Ohio January 25,1853, a son of Mary A. (Eschbach) Ahner. The parents were both born near Philadelphia. When about nine years old the father was left an orphan and was put out among strangers to be reared. He had varied experiences and hardships as a young man and finally found his way into the state of Ohio, where he was married. In the fall of 1853, when their son John was less than a year of age, they came out to Indiana, and located in Jackson Township of Huntington County. Section 19 on which they located was then a dense forest, and it was necessary for the father to clear away a small patch before he could erect his log cabin and have a place for his first crops. The parents lived to see all the surrounding country settled and improved with splendid farms, and they lived in the one locality all the rest of their lives. The father died in 1900 and the mother in March, 1912. Both were devout Christians, and were among the excellent people who composed the early citizenship of Huntington County. There were six children, two of whom died in infancy, and the four now living are: Catherine, wife of Nicholas Kreamer; John H.; Jacob, a resident of Fort Wayne, where he is a carpenter; and Charles of Detroit, Michigan. Besides their own family, the parents took into their home a daughter, names Charlotte Moss, who is now the wife of Frank Berry of Fort Wayne.
John H. Ahner was reared in Jackson Township, and when old enough entered the district schools which he attended with more or less regularity, until he was about eighteen years of age. At the same time he had for a number of years devoted his summers to work on the farm, and in that way got a practical education for life. Mr. Ahner has been dependent on his own resources for his livelihood since he was sixteen, and worked as a farm hand and in other employments at monthly wages for a number of years. In this way he gradually got ahead in the workd, and at the age of thirty-one took upon himself the responsibilities of a home and family. He was married in 1887 to Elmira J. Christian. She is one of the daughters of Samuel Christian, who was one of the pioneers of Huntingon County. She grew up and received her education in the local schools and since her marriage has become the mother of two children: Grace M., who is a graduate of the common schools, and is now a student in the Roanoke High School, and Ray C., who is still in the grade school.