H.S. and J.M. LYONS--The paternal grandfather of our subjects was of Scotch and Irish origin, and in an early day settled in the state of Pennsylvania, where was born Robert Lyons, his son, and the father of our subjects. This son’s father died and left him an orphan. He grew up to manhood in Pennsylvania, and on reaching his majority, went to Mercer County, KY, where he settled about the year 1811. Later, he became a soldier in the War of 1812. After the close of the war he returned to Mercer County, KY, and there married Jane Vanarsdall. The husband was born April 10, 1792, and the wife, a native of Mercer County, KY, was born August 17, 1792. This marriage resulted in the birth of nine children, namely: Harvey S., Catherine, John M., Abraham, Thomas, Margaret, Rachel, Ellen and Elizabeth. In the fall of 1825, this family (excepting the children born in this county) came from Kentucky to Indiana, and settled in what is now known as Pleasant Township, Johnson County. The father of this pioneer family was a poor man, but, nevertheless, industrious and hardy. He settled in the forest and at once began to clear the same and prepare for tilling the soil. On arriving from the "Corn-Cracker" state he had but eighteen dollars, which was his entire fortune, and the removal was made by traveling with a two-horse team and wagon. He brought with him two cows and eighteen hogs. This constituted all the early pioneer’s possessions. The family consisted of eight members. The father constructed one of the first saw and grist mills in the county, and also, at an early day, operated a tannery. In the fall of 1827, the Lyon family removed from Pleasant Township, and settled in the Northeast corner of what is now White River Township. Here the father and mother died; the former at the age of eighty-four years, and the latter at the age of eighty-six years. Harvey S. Lyons, the elder of our subjects, was born in Mercer County, KY, August 16, 1813. September 17, 1835, he married Sarah, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Alexander. Sarah was born in Dearborn County, Ind., May 18, 1818, and died in this county June 23, 1843. The above marriage was blessed by the birth of three children: Elizabeth, Mary Ann and Louisiana. October 17, 1843, he wedded Mahala A., daughter of Nicholas and Penelope Orme. Mahala A. was born in Clark County, Ind., April 28, 1821, and died July 20, 1885. This union resulted in the birth of these children: Rachel Frances, deceased, Benjamin F., George H., Sarah, Malissa, Robert, Samantha, Ellen and Daniel C. John M. Lyons, the younger of our subjects, was also born in Mercer County, KY, October 29, 1818. In 1837, he was united in marriage with Elizabeth Presser, who died in 1840, leaving no offspring. September 5, 1842, Mr. Lyons married for a second wife Mrs. Mary Jennings, ne Miss Mary Davis. She was born in Pennsylvania, April 20, 1818, and is the daughter of Thomas and Nancy Davis. By her first marriage she became the mother of three children, and by her second marriage the mother of William F. M., who is deceased, and is represented by these offspring: Joseph, Inda Jane, and John W., and Robert Andrew, deceased, Jane Elizabeth, deceased, Thomas Edward, Richard Abram, Robert H., deceased, and John W.
Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker
Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 902.