Richard W. Lyon
Richard W. LYON, one of Mt. Vernon's oldest and most highly respected citizens,
died at the family home, in this city at 2:30 o'clock yesterday, following an
illness of four weeks. Mr. LYON suffered considerable injury as a result of a
fall at the M. E. Church, a month ago yesterday. He was confined to bed as a
result of the fall, and never left it afterward.
Richard W. LYON was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, August 20, 1837, and came to
Mt. Vernon in 1857, at the age of 20 years. All of his life since that time was
spent in Illinois with the exceptions of about one year spent in California.
Mr. LYON was twice married, first in 1857, his first wife having been Miss Helen HOGUE.
She died many years ago. Of the children born to this union, two survive, Clarence L. LYON
of Oklahoma City, Okla., and Mrs. Lent POLLOCK, of Haddon Heights, N.J. Five grandchildren
and four great grandchildren survive. In the fall of 1872 Mr. LYON was united in marriage
with Miss Virginia HOUSE, who preceded him in death a few years ago. One daughter,
Miss Florence LYON, survives this union.
In 1864 with Mrs. LYON, he visited California, where they spent a year. They made the
trip east to New York, then by boat through the Gulf of Mexico. They crossed the isthmus,
then took passage to California by boat. Prior to coming to Mt. Vernon Mr. LYON spent
two years in Pittsburgh, PA.
Mr. LYON was one of the last of the old time business men of Mt. Vernon. Prior to the
death of John G. WALL there were three living who were engaged in business here before
the war. They were John A. WALL, Dr. A. C. JOHNSON and Mr. LYON. Mr. WALL died a few years ago,
and the only survivor of the three is Dr. A. C. JOHNSON. Dr. JOHNSON is stillactive in business.
Shortly after coming to Mt. Vernon Mr. LYON conducted a tanyard on ground on the north side
of Harrison Street. He then owned 40 acres of which the ground was a part. After disposing
of the tanyard he was bookkeeper and manager of the late George H. VARNELL, in his day one
of Mt. Vernon's leading business men. After leaving the employ of Mr. VARNELL he engaged in
the hardware business, with John BLACK, the firm being BLACK & LYON. Later Mr. LYON retired
from the hardware business and went on the road.
Mr. LYON was one of the best known traveling salesmen of Southern Illinois, and was popular
in all sections he visited. He traveled for 46 years. He retired about seven years ago.
Notwithstanding his age at that time he was very active until the last. He made his last
trips in the fall of 1919. For the greater part of the time he was on the road he sold boots
and shoes, but in the latter years he sold a line of clothing, overalls, hosiery, etc.
He suffered a severe attack of influenza in 1919, and he never after regained his former strength.
Mr. LYON saw Mt. Vernon grow from a struggling village of 600 to a city of approximately 15,000
and become one of the leading cities of its class in the state, and it has been truly said that
Mt. Vernon owes much to men of Mr. LYON's class, for he was of the highest type of citizenship,
his influence ever on the side of right.
Mr. LYON was one of the oldest members of the First M. E. Church both in point of years and
length of membership. He took a most active part in the work of the church and Sunday School
until the infirmities of age and ill health compelled his retirement. He served 50 years as
a teacher and superintendent of the school and until the close of his life his interest in
the church and all it stood for. He gave freely of his means and time to the support of the
church and all it stood for. In the old days of prohibition, when the saloon was an issue
in Mt. Vernon, he was one of the most zealous workers in the cause of temperance. In the year
1888 he was a lay delegate to the general conference of the M. E. Church in New York.
Funeral services were held this afternoon at 2:30 o'clock at the First M. E. Church, conducted
by the pastor, Dr. George R. GOODMAN, assisted by Dr. C. C. HALL and Dr. C. L. PETERSON,
burial at Old Union Cemetery.
Source: Paper Unknown - Assume Register News, Mt. Vernon, IL
Date: Monday, December 20, 1926
Submitted by: Mary Zinzilieta