Lee County Biography

George A. Lyman

George Alexander Lyman, editor and proprietor of the Amboy Journal, although entering upon his profession at a comparatively recent date, after making his mark in an entirely different walk, has won recognition for his ability to conduct a well-regulated, readable paper, which is a potent force in the literary, social and political life of the county, as well as an influence in forwarding the material concerns of the community.

Mr. Lyman was born in the town of Winchester, N.H. June 26, 1838, and is a son of Tertius A. and Sarah P. Lyman. He was given excellent educational advantages, and was graduated in the Class of '55, from the Northfield Institute, at Northfield, Mass. which has since been merged into Dwight Moody's famous school at that place. In 1856, our subject accompanied the family to this county, and in due time he became one of the active, practical farmers of Bradford Twp. owning and operating a good farm in that place. He devoted himself to agricultural pursuits and to his duties as a public official until 1888, when he turned his energies to the congenial profession of a journalist, for which his scholarly tastes, knowledge ofm en and affairs, and experience in politics seemed to make him peculiarly adapted. He rented his farm and purchased the Amboy Journal, of which he is sole proprietor. This paper has more than a local reputation, as it is the second oldest in Lee County, having been founded in 1855. It is an eight-column quarto, is a Republican organ and its editorials are sound and clear expositions of the principles of that party, and treat intelligently all matters of general public interest.

The marriage of our subject with Miss Mary E. daughter of james A. Jones, was soleminized Feb. 13, 1865. She was born in Sept. 1839. Two sons were born to them - James Alex and George Richard. James the eldest, was graduated from Beloit Collegein the Class of 88, with the highest honros, he being Valedictorian of his class. He is now pursuing his studies at the Johns Hopkins Univ., at Baltimore, one of the foremost institutions of learning in the country, and he will finish his course in 1892, when he will receive the degree of Dr. of Philosophy. The younger son is under-graduate at Beloit.

Mr. Lyman has always been an active politician, working in the interests of the Repbulican party, of which he is an ardent champion, although free from bitter partisan bias. He has been, for many years, Chairman of the Township Committee, and has been a delegate to District and State conventions. While a resident of Bradford, he was Township Assessor for some ten years, and held the responsible office of Township Treasurer fifteen years.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892 Pg 620


Among the men of force, experience and capacity who have for many years past influenced the trend of general development in Lee county is numbered George Alexander Lyman, who since 1889 has owned and edited the Amboy Journal, which by reason of his excellent journalistic work he has made powerful as a director of public thought and opinion. His interests have extended to many other fields, touching closely the political and social life of the community, and his name has come to be regarded as synonymous with advancement and reform. He was born in "Winchester, New Hampshire, June 26, 1838, and is a son of Tertius Alexander and Sarah Pierce (Codding) Lyman, the former a carpenter and joiner and house builder. He came to Illinois in 1856 and died at Amboy, February 5, 1900. at the age of eighty-eight. The Lyman family is very ancient and can be traced back in the official English records to Wodin, king of North Europe in the third century, about 225 A.D. The line includes such illustrious representatives as Hengist, king of Saxons, A.D. 434; Cerdic, the first king of West Saxons, who died A.D. 534; Alfred the Great, king of England, A.D. 871; William, the Conqueror, A.D. 1066; Lady Isabel de Vermandois; Robert, second Earl of Leicester; Hugh Capet, king of France, A.D. 987; Charlemagne, emperor of the West; Saier de Quincey, Earl of Winchester, one of the twenty-five barons that stood surety for the observance of the Magna Charta by King John at Runnymede, A.D. 1215. The American progentor was Richard Lyman, who was born at High Ongar, England, in 1580 and who emigrated to America in August, 1631. He landed at Boston, November 11th and became a settler in Charlestown. On October 15, 1635, he went with a party of about one hundred persons and became one of the first settlers of Hartford, Connecticut, and one of the original proprietors of the town. He died in August, 1641, and his name is inscribed on a stone column now standing in the rear of the Center church of Hartford, erected in memory of the first settlers of the city. His son, Richard Lyman II, was born in England in 1617 and came to America with his father. He moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1655 and died there in 1662. His grandson, Joshua Lyman, served upwards of fourteen years in the Colonial wars, holding the commission of lieutenant in the British army. He married Miss Sarah Narmon, and their son. Captain Seth Lyman, served six years in the Revolutionary war. Captain Seth Lyman's son, Tertius Lyman, was also a member of the Continental army during the last two years of the war. He had one son, Tertius Alexander Lyman, father of the subject of this review and the founder of the family in Illinois.

George A. Lyman acquired his primary education in the public schools of Winchester and completed his studies in Northfield. Institute at Northfield, Massachusetts, from which he was graduated in the fall of 1855. He accompanied his parents to Lee county, Illinois, in the following year and afterward assisted with the work of the farm upon which his father settled after his arrival. He remained at home until he was twenty-one years of age and then purchased land from his father, continuing active in agricultural pursuits until 1889, when he moved to Amboy, becoming proprietor and editor of the Journal. Since that time he has made this one of the leading newspapers in the state, advocating in its columns many measures of advancement and reform and making its influence a vital factor in community growth.

In Bradford, Lee county, February 13, 1865, Mr. Lyman was united in marriage to Miss Mary Eliza Jones, a daughter of James and Margaret Jones, pioneer farmers of this locality. Both have passed away and are buried in the Woodside cemetery, Lee Center. Mr. and Mrs. Lyman have two children. James Alexander is professor of chemistry in Pomona College, Claremont, California. He holds the degrees of A.B., M.A. and Ph.D., conferred by Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. His birth occurred October 17, 1866, and on June 7, 1897, he married Miss Ethel Anna Skinner, of Portland, Oregon. They have become the parents of three children: Mary Ethel, born July 8, 1899; Ida Grace, whose birth occurred on the 14th of April, 1902; and George Porter, born in 1906. George Richard, the younger son of Mr. and Mrs. George A. Lyman, was born December 1, 1871. He took the degrees of A.B., M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is now assistant professor of botany in Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. On June 23, 1903, he married Miss Frances Ella Badger and they have become the parents of one child, Mavis K. Lyman, born October 16, 1907.

Mr. Lyman is a member of the Congregational church, is a blue lodge Mason, and gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He is a member of the Baronial Order of Runnymede, the Society of Colonial Wars, and the Sons of the American Revolution. He has been town clerk, assessor, justice of the peace and township trustee; and since March 1, 1898, has served as postmaster of Amboy, discharging his duties in a capable and practical manner. His fourth term as postmaster will expire April 25, 1914. During the half-century he has lived in the community he has done all in his power to promote its interests and his record is a credit to an honored and worthy name.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.

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