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California Genealogy and History Archives

San Bernardino County and Riverside County


LORENZO SNOW LYMAN, whose attractive home is on Cedar Avenue Bloomington, San Bernardino County, has the unique distinction of having been the first white child born within the borders of San Bernardino County as now constituted, this county having been still a part of Los Angeles County at the time of his birth, November 6, 1851. The pioneer dwelling in which he was born was situated on the bank of Lytle Creek, not far distant from the site of the present city of San Bernardino. He is a son of Amasa Mason Lyman and Cornelia (Leavett) Lyman, the former of whom was born in New Hampshire and the latter at Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio, she having been born in 1824 and her death having occurred December 14, 1864. Amasa M. Lyman became an early convert of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was an associate and personal friend of Joseph Smith, one of the leaders of the great Mormon organization, and he served forty years as an earnest and efficient missionary of the church, much of this service having been in European countries. He was one of the twelve apostles of the church organization and was influential in the councils and work of the same. He firmly believed in the teachings of the Latter Day Saints relative to plural marriages, and upon coming to San Bernardino, California, in the pioneer days he was accompanied by his four wives. In this hazardous overland journey from Salt Lake City to California in 1851 he was leader of a section of the ox trains of the Mormon colonists. He was appointed one of the delegates selected to purchase the historic California ranch known as the Lugo ranch, in the present San Bernardino County, his associate delegates having been Charles C. Rich, who likewise was an apostle of the church, and Ebenezer Hanks. In the general historical department of this publication adequate record is made concerning this ranch and the founding of the Mormon colony, in all of the affairs of which Mr. Lyman was a leader. In December, 1857, when Brigham Young, head of the Latter Day Saints, ordered all of the faithful members to return to Utah, Mr. Lyman, with his wives and children, again made the long and hazardous overland journey, and upon arriving in Utah he settled at Parowan, judicial center of Iron County, where occurred the death of the mother of Lorenzo S: Lyman, of this sketch. Amasa R. Lyman was a close friend of Brigham Young and other leaders in the church, but about 1870 he seceded from the organization and renounced the faith of Mormonism. He was a resident of Fillmore, Millard County, Utah, at the time of his death.

Lorenzo S. Lyman was a child of but four and one-half years when he became a pupil in the old adobe schoolhouse established in the Mormon colony in San Bernardino County, his teacher having been W. S. Warren. In 1857, when about six years of age, he accompanied his parents to Utah, where he continued his studies in the schools of Parowan, Fillmore and Salt Lake City, his school work having continued until he was eighteen years of age. As a child he played on the foundation of the great Mormon Temple at Salt Lake City, and as a youth he was frequently a guest in the home of Brigham Young:, one of whose daughters he escorted to dances and other entertainments. His great aunt, Eliza R. Snow, became the wife of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, and after the death of her first husband she became the wife of his successor, Brigham Young. Mr. Lyman gained full experience in hard work and self-reliance under the pioneer conditions in Utah, and early formed opinions of his own, his convictions leading him to withdraw from membership in the Mormon Church when he was seventeen years old, and he later joined the Congregational Church, of which he has continued a zealous member to the present time. At the age of twenty-four years, accompanied by his young wife, he returned to California, his native state, the trip having been made with team and wagon. He was engaged in farm enterprise in             Santa Barbara County six years, and he passed the ensuing four years at Parowan, Utah, where he served as postmaster and county registration officer, under appointment by President Grover Cleveland. He again availed himself of team and wagon in making the return trip to California, and at this time he settled in ban Bernardino County. He entered the service of the Santa Fe Railroad. He supplied transportation to the chief engineer and his assistants in the making of the first and the final surveys of the right of way of this railroad from San Bernardino to Los Angeles, this having been in the year 1886. He next took up a homestead claim in the Alessandro valley, a property which he mortgaged and which he lost as the result of a great drought that caused failure of all crops in this section. With his financial resources reduced to the minimum, he removed to Merced County, but the family there suffered from malaria, with the result that he returned to San Bernardino County, where he purchased a partially improved tract of orange land, at Bloomington. He has since developed this property into one of the fine orange groves of this district and with the passing years substantial prosperity has attended his well ordered efforts.

As a youth in Salt Lake City Mr. Lyman learned the printer's trade, and was employed on early newspapers in that city.

On November 23, 1874, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Lyman to Miss Zuie Rowley, who was born and reared in England, her father having been converted to Mormonism, but her mother having refused to follow his example, with the result that the parents were divorced, the father having contracted a second marriage, in England, and having come to Salt Lake City and passed the remainder of his life in Utah. He sent. for his daughter Zuie, who joined him in Salt Lake City and who later became the wife of Lorenzo S. Lyman. Mary E., eldest of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Lyman, was born in Utah, October 2, 1875, and she is now the wife of Emil Anderson, of Bloomington, California, their two children being Charles and^ Robert. Cornelius, the second child, was born at Santa Barbara, California, in April, 1877 and he served in the Spanish-American war in the Seventh Regiment California Volunteer Infantry. He is married and has four children: Dorothy, employed in a bank at Fresno ; Chester, in service in the United States Navy ; and Celenia and Vivian, at the parental home. Rosa, the third child, was born in Santa Barbara, in 1878, is the wife of William Moore, of Armada, Riverside County, and their one child, Walter, is secretary to one of the high officials of the Santa Fe Railroad. Nora, who was born at Santa Barbara in 1880, is the wife of William Stone, of San Bernardino County, and they have three children: Marion, Edwin and Lyman. Ina, the fifth child, was born at Parowan, Utah, is the widow of Worth Mort and is in charge of a dormitory at Leland Stanford. Jr., University. Amasa Henry, who resides at Los Angeles, is married and has two daughters, Pamela and Amasetta Henrietta. Mrs. Zuie (Rowley) Lyman died in 1889, and in 1892. Mr. Lyman married Alpha A. Easton, who was born in Tuscola, Illinois. Of the two children of this union the elder is Arthur, who was born in September, 1898, and who is, in 1922, a junior in the University of California. He left his studies to enter the United States Navy when the nation became involved in the World war, he having enlisted in April, 1917, and having received his honorable discharge in July, 1919. As a member of the signal corps he saw fourteen months of service in the North Sea, on the battleship "New York," under Admiral Rodman, and incidentally he saw the surrendered German fleet on its last voyage, an ignoble end in an English port. Ella Lucile, the younger child, was born in September, 1903, and is a sophomore in the Junior College at Riverside.


History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties 
By: John Brown, Jr., Editor for San Bernardino County 
And James Boyd, Editor for Riverside County 
With selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period 
of growth and achievement.
Volume III, the Western Historical Association, 1922, 
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011