The Lyons of Vermont apparently didn’t know how to lead boring lives as can be seen in these two 1851 newspaper articles:
Newell my 5xgreat Uncle survived this harrowing adventure as did his wife Arrietta (Tiknor) and their two children, Asa N. and Edward, (who were about 2 and 1 years old respectively). We know this for several reasons, the most important being the 1860 census which shows everyone alive and well in Burlington, along with several other children that had been added to the family nest.
I can find nothing else out about the incident in the papers, possibly because the issues that are relevant to the story haven’t been digitized yet. The servant mentioned in the article could be one of two women who are found in the 1850 census record living with the family: Electa Stevens, a 20 year old Canadian; or Mary Sullivan, age 23, from Ireland.
Newell died in 1868. He was 62. Like his mother he suffered from some form of insanity, possibly alzheimers, as he died in an asylum. He had been a respected lawyer in Burlington until he, apparently, lost his mind. His wife Arrietta married again and died many years later in Florida. Their only surviving heir was Asa N. who died childless, but married, in St. Louis.
Asa Newell Lyon, the only surviving child of Newell and his wife Arrietta, was born in 1848 in Burlington, Vermont. When I was researching his background, in an effort to find out more about Esther, I found that he was living in St. Louis, Missouri by 1870 working in an advertising agency, at the age of 21, and in later years he was working in a tailor shop, always as a clerk. He spent the rest of his life in St. Louis eventually marrying and dying there.
I was curious about why he might have moved all that way from home, when I ran into an article in the New York Herald from September of 1874.
Court of General Sessions.
Asa N. Lyon, who was indicted for stealing, on the 10th of July, four coats, worth $80, the property of the Wilde Brothers, No. 452 Broadway, pleaded guilty to an attempt at grand larceny. In consequence of the previous good character and the respectable connections of the prisoner His Honor sent him to the Penitentiary for six months instead of to the State Prison.
Asa, grandson of Asa Lyon, a former representative of Vermont, found out that having well known and ‘rich’ relatives sure helps grease the wheels of justice in your favor. HIs father had died in 1868, and his mother remarried to Ardin Styles. I am sure that his incarceration was an embarrassment for him, and the family, as he high-tailed it back to a far away city, where no one knew his family or his “respectable connections.”
One of my goals on my trip to Salt Lake City the week before last, was to see if I could find more out about my crazy 5x great grandmother Esther (Newell) Lyon.
My belief was that because I could not find a death record for her in Vermont, maybe there is something in Asa Lyon’s probate records that could help answer the question. The assumption being that if she wasn’t mentioned in his probate records she had probably died.
I am happy to say that she was.
For those who don’t remember – Esther was born in 1761 in Goshen, Litchfield County, Connecticut eldest daughter of the Rev. Abel Newell and his wife Abigail Smith. She married Rev. Asa Lyon, who was two years younger than her, in 1796 when she was 34 years old. They lived in Grand Isle County, Vermont for most of their married life and had three known children together: Abigail, who married Abijah Hatch, Esther, who married Daniel Brown, and Newell, who married Arrietta unknown.
Asa Lyon, the patriarch of the family, died in 1841, and thankfully he left us probate records regarding his estate. In these estate papers I learned several interesting things, the most important was that Esther, his wife, was still alive at the time of his death. However, it was also learned that his daughter Esther had died. She had lived long enough to marry, but it is doubtful she had any children as they are not mentioned in the probate record. The only two children inheriting any part of the estate were Abigail and her brother Newell.
When Asa died he owned close to 1500 acres of land in Vermont, the largest tract being about 300 acres. not all together, but in various places in the state. Its total worth was about $29,000 (that would be about $830,000 in 2015 dollars). So needless to say the Lyons were a family of means and property. I guess it helps if you are a bit of a skinflint, as Asa was known to be.
Abigail’s husband Abijah had been named as Esther’s guardian:
On Application of Abijah B. Hatch guardian of Esther Lyon, widow of Asa Lyon, late of Grand Isle, deceased, an insane person.
and one of the responsibilities of probate court was to make sure that Esther’s needs were going to be taken care of, as seen in this entry:
The said Abijah & Abigail agree to maintain and support the widow of the said Asa Lyon during the residue of her natural life free of any charges upon the said Newell or upon that part of the estate of the said Asa Lyon which shall in the distribution thereof be set to him by procuring for her suitable apartments in the house in which she now resides, and such meats and drinks medicines, bedding, attendance and other accommodations as shall render her as comfortable and happy as in her circumstances she can be made during her life, and inter her remains and lay her coffin beside that of her husband Asa Lyon.
The court even makes sure that her body is properly ‘placed’ when she does pass out of this world.
The probate case file continues until 1843, at no time during this period is it indicated that Esther has died, but, she is not listed in the 1850 census as living with her daughter Abigail. So I can only assume that sometime between 1843 and 1850 Esther died.
This was more than I knew before, so even if I don’t have an exact date I am very pleased.
Their son Newell married and had 6 children with his wife Arrietta. Only his eldest, Asa N. Lyon, survived to adulthood. But Asa married very late in life and never had any children of his own, so, it was up to my 4x great grandmother Abigail to keep the family line going, which she did with great gusto as she had 11 children with Abijah, (that we know of). Her son Oscar Ebenezer Hatch is my ancestor.