John J. Plank
(Transferred from 114th OVI to 48th Ohio Battalion)
Men of Western Colorado
Published 1905, A.W. Bowen & Co., Chicago, Ill.
Transcribed by Judy Crook
Having met every requirement of duty throughout a long and not uneventful life, and labored industriously to provide himself and his family against adversity, conducting his operations amid varying circumstances of fortune, John J. Plank, a prosperous and successful fruit-grower of Mesa county, living about one mile and a half west of Palisades, is now enjoying in the evening of life the benefits of his labors in a snug competence and the lasting esteem and good will of his fellow men. He was born in Wayne county, Ohio, on September 28, 1830, and is the son of David and ________ (Kurtz) Plank, natives of Pennsylvania who died in Ohio, whither they moved in their early married life. They had a family of eight children, of whom but four are living. John received a common-school education and assisted his parents on the paternal homestead until he reached the age of eighteen. He was then apprenticed to a gunsmith to learn his trade at Wooster in his native county, and worked at the trade until 1862. He then enlisted in the Union army for the Civil war as a member of the One Hundred and Twentieth Ohio Infantry and served to the close of the war. He was in the Vicksburg and Arkansas Post campaigns, and with General Bauks on his Red River expedition. On this expedition all but seventy men in his command of four hundred were killed, the seventy saving themselves by climbing a ten-foot bank by the aid of brush and vines. This was the last important engagement in which he took part. He then became a member of the One Hundred and Fourteenth Volunteer Infantry and served till the fall of 1865 and was then transferred to the Forty-eighth Ohio Veteran Battalion. After being mustered out of the service at Houston, Texas, he returned to Wooster, where he lived and worked at his trade until the spring of 1876. He then moved to Winfield, Kansas, and continued at his trade there until 1893. In the autumn of that year he came to this state and located at Canon City. Nearly a year later, in August, 1894, he moved to Grand Junction and soon afterward bought ten acres of land in the vicinity of Palisades. The land was wholly wild and unimproved, and after preparing it for the purpose he set out six and a half acres in fruit trees. Four years later he set out an additional acre and a half in fruit, and he now has eight acres of trees in a thrifty and productive condition, yielding large returns for his labor and bringing him in a comfortable revenue. In 1903 he sold one thousand five hundred dollars' worth of fruit off of this land, besides other farm products of value. In November, 1866, he was married to Miss Laura L. Flohr, who was born at Canton, Ohio, the daughter of Jacob and Matilda (Wagley) Flohr, natives of Pennsylvania who settled in Ohio in early life. Mr. and Mrs. Plank have had seven children, of whom three, Nellie A., Clara A. and Harry G. are living; and Lewin H., Charles L., Josephine and an infant are dead. Mr. Plank is a stanch Republican in politics and belongs to the Brethren's church in religious affiliation. His wife died on April 10, 1900. He is energetic and enterprising in his business and earnestly attentive to all the duties of citizenship. Among the residents of his and other portions of Mesa county he is highly esteemed for his sterling worth and manly qualities.