HON. JOHN S. LYMAN. - Hon. John S. Lyman is a prominent and influential citizen of Cartwright township, residing on section 13, where he follows general agricultural pursuits. While he has been active and energetic in business and has won success through persistent and carefully directed efforts, he has at the same time been a factor in public affairs and his labors have been of benefit to his community. During the dark days of the Civil war he served his country as a loyal defender of the Union and he has represented his district in the state legislature.
Mr. Lyman is a native son of Sangamon county, his birth having occurred July 31, 1841, on the farm where he now resides, his father being Henry P. Lyman. The ancestry is English and the family was founded in America by Richard Lyman, who sailed on the ship Lyon for the new world in 1631, the vessel weighing anchor in the harbor of Bristol, England. He located in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and afterward became one of the first settlers and a very prominent citizen of Hartford, Connecticut. He possessed considerable means and had a number of servants, maintaining his household in the old English style. He was married in Bethel, Vermont, in 1633 to Mercy Sanders, who was born and reared in the Green Mountain state; her people have been very early settlers of New England. Richard Lyman served as a soldier in one of the early colonial wars of this country. The grandfather of John S. Lyman was Dr. John Lyman, who was born at Lebanon, New Hampshire, April 2, 1780, and throughout his business career engaged on the practice of medicine. Her served as a surgeon in the army in one of the early wars in America.
Henry P. Lyman, the father of our subject, was born in Randolph, Orange county, Vermont, on the 10th of August, 1805, and in 1833 he came to Illinois, settling in Sangamon county in the fall of that year. In 1835 he located on the farm where his son John is now residing. He first owned one hundred and sixty acres of land, but afterward added to his original farm and also purchased different tracts in other parts of the state. Here he developed an excellent property, placing his land under a high state of cultivation so that it returned to him golden harvests for his labors. He reared his family in this neighborhood and died here March 23, 1882, at the advanced age of seventy-six years. His wife survived him for about five years and spent her last days in the home of her son, John S. Lyman, there dying on the 27th of March, 1887. In the family were four children, namely: Calista M. Became the wife of Ralph C. Curtis and they settled in Waverly, Illinois, where he died and where his widow now resides. John S. Of this review is the second of the family. Sarah A. Is the wife of Rev. James D. Kerr, a minister of the Presbyterian church, now residing in Omaha, Nebraska. George H. Makes his home in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
John S. Lyman pursued his education in the common schools of Sangamon county and Illinois College and in his youth became familiar with farm work in all of its departments so that he was well qualified to carry on agricultural pursuits when he started out upon an independent business career. He was twenty-one years of age when he enlisted as a soldier in the Union army - August 9, 1862. He joined Company G, One Hundred and First Illinois Volunteer Infantry, as a private and later was promoted to the rank of sergeant. He was sent to the south and the first year was spent on a gunboat with Farragut. Later he was with General Sherman's army which he joined in 1863. He assisted in the capture of Vicksburg and in the movements of the army at Great Gulf and Warrington and did picket duty along the river at various points. Subsequently he participated in the Atlantic campaign and all of the engagements under the command of Sherman and afterward accompanied that celebrated leader on the march to the sea. He then went with the army through the Carolinas and at the close of the war marched from Richmond to Washington, where he participated in the grand review, the most celebrated military pageant ever seen in the western hemisphere. Returning to Springfield he received an honorable discharge and was mustered out July 21, 1865.
Mr. Lyman's military record is a most creditable one, for he was ever found at his post of duty, putting forth his best efforts to advance the Union. Upon his return he resumed work upon his father's farm and in 1867 assumed its management. He has since devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits with excellent results and is today numbered among the substantial farmers, stock-raisers and builders of his county. He owns and operates a farm of four hundred and sixty acres which is well improved and valuable and in all of his work he is practical and progressive.
On the 13th of September, 1870, Mr. Lyman was united in marriage to Miss Mary Cain Happer, a native of Sangamon county and a daughter of James Happer. She is also a sister of Frank Happer, who met his death by accident in his elevator at Farmingdale, Illinois, February 9, 1903, and who was one of the prominent men of the county. After his marriage Mr. Lyman located on the old homestead and has since purchased more land until the place now comprises four hundred and sixty acres. In addition he has land elsewhere and his property holdings are valuable. The home of Mr. And Mrs. Lyman has been blessed with three children: Edward H., who married Lillian Connelly, of Springfield, and owns and operates a farm adjoining his father's land; Frank H., who is engaged in the real estate business in Fort Smith, Arkansas; and Mabel A. The family are all members of the Farmingdale Presbyterian church and Mr. Lyman is a prominent Mason, being a member of Tyrian Lodge, NO. 333, A. F. & A. M., of Springfield. His political support has ever been given to the Republican party since he attained his majority, his first presidential vote being cast for Abraham Lincoln in 1864, while he was in the army. His father cast the first and only vote in the county for John C. Fremont in 1856. Mr. Lyman has always kept well informed on the questions and issues of the day and regards it the duty as well as the privilege of a man to exercise his right of franchise. He was elected a member of the thirty-seventh general assembly in 1891 and served for two sessions, making an honorable record as a legislator. He acted on a number of important committees and was the only Republican member elected from Sangamon county that year. He has, however, never been an aspirant for public office, preferring to give his time and energies to his business affairs, but in all matters of citizenship he is progressive, alert and practical. Mr. Lyman has spent his entire life in Sangamon county, covering a period of more than sixty-three years, during which time he has witnessed remarkable changes as the county has taken its place among the most progressive in all the great Mississippi valley. He has ever upheld the measures and movements that tend to advance public stability and the legal and moral status of the state and he is a man of true and tried integrity and worth, enjoying the unqualified confidence and good will of those with whom he has been associated. That he is popular with his fellow citizens and has their warm friendship is shown by the fact that he is usually addressed by his first name. This is indicative of good comradeship and of personal popularity and no man is more deserving of the regard of his fellow men that is Hon. John S. Lyman.