John F. Leachman is one of the prominent and substantial men of Nez Perces County, now living on his home place six miles southeast from Lewiston. He was born in Adams County, Illinois, on January 12, 1845, being the son of Samuel and Maria Leachman. The father was a farmer and merchant, born in Virginia and died before the war. His father, Thomas Leachman, died aged ninety-three. The mother of our subject was born in Ohio, in 1819 and lived in Illinois.

Our subject remained with his parents as a dutiful son until seventeen, attending school at the proper seasons, and then he enlisted in Company B, Seventy-eighth Illinois Infantry. He served under Grant at Missionary Ridge and under Sherman on the memorable march to the sea. He also participated in the battles of Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, Bentonville, Atlanta, Jonesborough and numerous others. He was captured by Morgan’s men and held a prisoner for seven months, learning by hard experience the miseries of a war prison. He was exchanged at St. Louis and at the close of the war returned to Illinois and went to farming, at which he continued for fourteen years, when he came to Walla Walla and two years later to his present place. He took a homestead and has devoted his labors and abilities to improvement and advancement since that time.

On January 30, 1863, Mr. Leachman married Miss Josephine, daughter of Emory S. and Rhoda (Beatty) Whitcomb. The father was a weaver, born in Keene, New Hampshire, in 1819, and died in 1899. The mother was born in Kentucky, in 1824, and died in 1889. Both the Whitcombs and the Beattys were prominent in the Revolutionary war. Mrs. Leachman was born in Adams County, Illinois, on May 10, 1844, and has brothers and sisters living as follows: William, Charles and Florence Nelson, all in this County. Mr. Leachman has the following named brothers and sister: Thomas, Elizabeth Grotz, Joseph Edward and Samuel S. The following named children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Leachman: Franklin, in this County: Edward A., at home: Nellie Perkins, in Wilbur, Washington: William, in this County: Nora, deceased; Lola M. Newman, in Lewiston; Benjamin, at home.

Mr. Leachman is a staunch Republican and was nominated by his party for sheriff, but as the party went down in that year. 1900 he was defeated. He is a member of the G. A. R., and is one of the leading men of our County.

The Leachmans are related to General Washington, the great great grandfather, a Welchman, having been secretary under him during the Revolution. Mr. Leachman’s mother is residing at present at Mayview, Washington.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903