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Leonard Lyons


Nathan Kraulik


6th Grade 1994, Tri-County School, Karlstad,MN


In the early 1880's, Charles and Hulda Lyons came by boatfrom Sweden to the United States of America.

On July 18, 1894 in Stephen, Minnesota, Mrs. Lyons gavebirth to a baby boy. They named him Leonard. As a young child, Leonardlived in Stephen. He was the third oldest child and the oldest boy. Hehad six other sisters and brothers. The oldest was Nancy, then Ethel, himself,Myrtle, Vernon, Abner, then the youngest was Lucille.

His father was a blacksmith and had an implement business. He hired help for the blacksmith shop while he sold farm machinery, includingMilwaukee Haying equipment and Moline Plows. His mother was just a normalhouse wife.

The family had a garden in Stephen when he was young. It was about 3 city blocks big. It was filled with mainly potatoes. Leonardhated to go over there and work in it when all of the neighbor boys wereplaying. Sometimes he would sneak off to play instead of doing his work. If his parents found out, he would get scolded.

He had an uncle that lived in Pelan, who had a blacksmithshop also. It was a long drive from Stephen to Pelan, 36 miles, in fact. They used a team of horses and it took about a half a day just to get there.

Leonard's father died when he was only 11 years old, andthat made him the man of the house. He was 19 or 20 when he got his firstcar and it was an Overlund. His second one was a Durant which was smallerthan the Overlund. Almost every time they went out they got a flat tirebecause of too much weight in the car. They would always watch the weathervery carefully, because if it rained, the gumbo on the roads would get veryslippery and sometimes they would even get stuck. Only the main roads werekept up by the state.

When Leonard was in his early 20's, he worked as a postmaster in Stephen for 1 year. In 1918, he was drafted into the army forWorld War I. He served in the army for about 1 year, first going to anarmy camp in Texas. From there he went overseas as an infantry man to NorthernFrance. He was wounded on the battle fields by being shot in the chest(the bullet is still in him today). They sent him to a hospital in France. The hospital there was getting too crowded so after he was able to be moved,they put him on the hospital ship which went across the channel to London,England. He was at the England hospital about 5 weeks and during that time,after he was feeling better, they would let him go anywhere he wanted togo for 2 hours every day. One time, while out of the hospital, he met ablue-eyed, brown-haired young lady. She just begged him to take her backwith him to the states but he didn't dare. He didn't know what lay aheadfor him at home. He was sent back to France after he had recovered, tofight again. The war was almost over when he got back to France, only 3more weeks and he was discharged, going home once again to Stephen.

His younger brother, Vernon, worked in the offices of theGreat Northern Railway and he got Leonard a job in the Railway Mail Servicein St. Paul.

Leonard and his mother then moved to St. Paul. Lucille,at the time, worked in Hallock as a teacher. In 1926, she found a teachingjob in St. Paul and moved in with Leonard and their mother. His other brother,Abner, worked as an electrician. All of his other sisters were school teacherstoo until they got married.

Leonard worked in the mail service until he retired onDecember 27, 1962, after the Christmas rush. He mainly stayed home afterretiring in St. Paul. Now 99 years old, he found himself a home at theKarlstad Nursing Home. He has been there since April, 1991.


The End


Information came from Leonard Lyons.


Information came from Leonard Lyons.