LANE, (Rev.) JOHN M., (deceased), one of the most devoted, faithful and efficient of the early ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Morgan County, Ill., was born in Madison County, Ohio, October 26, 1826. He was the youngest son of Rev. Joseph and Margaret (Krouse) Lane, natives of that State. His father was a teacher in the public schools, and also a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church. In boyhood Mr. Lane attended the district schools in Ohio, and in his nineteenth year became a pupil in the Danville (Ill.) Seminary, where his scholastic training was completed. Quite early in youth, he was converted to Christ and united with the denomination to which his father belonged, in which a few years later he was licensed to preach.
In the fall of 1853, Mr. Lane was received into the Illinois Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and remained in that connection until his death. He was at one time junior pastor with Newton Cloud on the Lynnville Circuit, Morgan County, and was pastor for two years on the Concord Circuit. As to his church appointments, he was sent, in the fall of 1860, to a church in the western portion of Springfield, Ill., and there, in the summer of 1862, was stirred to patriotic ardor by the President's call for 300,000 more men to serve the Union. Shortly afterward, while in charge of the church at Moweaqua, Ill., he was instrumental in raising a company of soldiers, of which he was made Captain. It was mustered into the service as Company E, One Hundred and Fifteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with Jesse Hale Moore, a former pastor of Grace Church, Jacksonville, as Colonel. Mr. Lane went to the seat of war, and remained with the company until his health was so much impaired that he was compelled to resign. While in the military service, he filled (on Sundays) a church pulpit at Alexandria, Va. He also preached, almost every Sabbath during his connection with the army, either in camp, or in the churches near which the soldiers were stationed. Returning home in 1863, he spent some time, for the purpose of recuperation, upon the farm of J. Sibert, near Meredosia, Ill. In the fall of 1866, he was appointed to organize a church society in the then rapidly growing southeast section of Jacksonville, and the Brooklyn church structure resulted from his efforts in that direction. Death claimed him, however, before his task was finished. He died August 6, 1867, when the walls of the edifice were about two-thirds raised, a martyr to his country's cause.
On October 5, 1858, Mr. Lane was united in marriage with Mary E. Sibert, a daughter of Jeremiah and Eliza (Wildey) Sibert, the ceremony taking place at their "Diamond Grove" home, in the vicinity of Jacksonville. Two children resulted from this union, namely: William J., who resides with his mother in Jacksonville; and Margaret L., wife of Charles S. Anthony, of Los Angeles, Cal.
Politically, the sympathies and views of Mr. Lane were in accord with the policies of the Republican party. His first Presidential vote was cast for Abraham Lincoln. In 1865, while in Meredosia, he was nominated on the Republican ticket in Morgan County, as one of the Associate Justices of the Peace. Mr. Lane was a faithful and steadfast soldier of the Cross, and his diligent and untiring service in the cause of his Master resulted in the conversion of many souls. His mortal remains now repose in Diamond Grove Cemetery, near Jacksonville.