Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Edwin Lyman

EDWIN LYMAN. Owing to the increased valuations set upon productive activities as a result of the great war, popular attention is fixed upon and fired by the statement that one man's supervision and enterprise has raised in a single season 35,000 bushels of wheat. Such an achievement was the performance of Edwin Lyman of McDonald for the season of 1916. With wheat worth at the price of a dollar a bushel, his yield signified a modest fortune to its owner and was a generous contribution to the big undertaking of feeding the world from American farms.

With the above statement in mind it is hardly necessary to say that Mr. Lyman is one of the extensive farmers and ranchmen of Western Kansas. However, he owns thirteen sections of land, totaling 8,320 acres, at once a farm and a pasture where things worth while are happening every day. Mr. Lyman grew up on a Nebraska farm and at an early age gave evidence of ability to handle money and transact successful business, and at eighteen, financed by his father, be began buying and selling stock and for many years has been recognized as one of the largest stock traders and dealers in Kansas.

Edwin Lyman was born in Pawnee County, Nebraska, July 29, 1872. He comes of good old American and pioneer stock. Colonial settlers around Hadley, Massachusetts, were his Lyman ancestors, and his grandfather was William Graves Lyman, who was born near Northampton in the Old Bay State. That call of the wild which kept the Daniel Boones of this country always moving out to the fringe of civilization was strong within him, and while he rendered a valuable service as an advance guard of settlement he was not content to remain long enough to enjoy the fruits of his enterprise. It is declared that he was a farmer in eleven different states and territories, owned a farm in every one of these states and on each farm he planted an orchard. He never ate an apple from a tree set out by himself except from the orchard planted in Pawnee County, Nebraska. He finally ended his days on a farm in Oregon, 125 miles southeast of The Dalles.

W. G. Lyman, father of Edwin, is living at McDonald at the age of seventy-one. He was born in Jo Daviess County, Illinois, December 12, 1847. In 1867 he migrated to Pawnee County, Nebraska, and acquired a tract of land under some college scrip valued at $120. He took this land in preference to waiting six months for his majority, when he could have taken a homestead. He lived on his homestead, developed it to the proportions of a good farm, until he retired in 1895. For five years his home was at Table Rock, Nebraska, then at Lincoln, and, since 1913, at McDonald. He is a republican and has always been a hardworking, consistent Christian and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a charter member of Table Rock Camp of the Modern Woodmen of America.

W. G. Lyman married Sophia Lee Allen, who was born at Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 1849. Edwin is the oldest of their three children: Rufus Ashley, the second child, is dean of the School of Pharmacy of the Nebraska State University at Lincoln. Adelaide is the wife of Alah Green, cashier of the State Bank of McDonald.

Edwin Lyman spent the first twenty-one years of his life on his father's farm in Pawnee County, Nebraska, and while there attended the rural schools. For nearly thirty years he has been in the livestock business and besides the ownership of his extensive farms and grazing lands he has dealt in large bodies of real estate and has influenced much of the development in this section. Since 1908 he has been president and majority stockholder of the State Bank of McDonald, of which his brother-in-law, Alah Green, is the cashier. The bank was chartered in 1905, and its capital is $10,000 and surplus $5,000.

Mr. Lyman feels a becoming pride in his beautiful home at McDonald, where he established his residence in 1900. It comprises an entire block of ground and he took it from the bare prairie covered with buffalo grass. He planted fruit and shade trees, watched them grow and develop, and the fruit trees yield an abundance of cherries, peaches and other crops. His home was finished in January, 1904, and was remodeled in 1916 to a modern home with electricity and water. Mr. Lyman is an independent republican and has never aspired to office. In early life he joined the Methodist Church but later became a Presbyterian. He is affiliated with McDonald Lodge of Masons and the Camp of Modern Woodmen of America.

In 1895, at Table Rock, Nebraska, he married Miss Anna L. Cleaveland, daughter of K. E. and Alvira (Smith) Cleaveland, both now deceased. Mr. Cleaveland served in the Union army and was with Sherman on the march to the sea. After the war he was a contractor and had an interesting and somewhat dangerous experience when, as a foreman, he directed the stringing of telegraph wires from Omaha to Cheyenne along the line of the Union Pacific Railroad. Later he entered railroad service and was a passenger conductor and continued at his post of duty until killed September 19, 1917, while running a train out of Atchison, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Lyman are the parents of eight children: William Roy, a member of the Students Navy Training Corps at the University of Nebraska; Edwin, a junior in the McDonald High School; Anna, in the eighth grade of the public schools; Marjorie, Mildred and Richard, also in schools; and Albert and Lois, who are the youngest of this happy household.