THOMAS LYONS, one of the wealthy farmers of Pike Township, resides on section 34. He commenced life in Jay County with but little besides strong hands and a determination that no obstacle could overcome, and perhaps no man in Jay County has accomplished more, from so small a beginning as he, and few have done more to develop the county from a state of wildness of that of civilization. Mr. Lyons was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, February 13, 1829, a son of Thomas and Eve (Apple) Lyons. His mother was born in Pennsylvania of German descent; his father was of Irish descent. They were united in marriage in Columbiana County, Ohio. In 1837 they moved to Perry County, where the father died in 1838. In 1850 our subject's brother, Elijah Lyons, came to Jay County and located in Pike Township, and a little later Thomas followed him and bought eighty acres of heavily timbered land on section 26, of the same  township. His capital at that time consisted of $180. He erected a log cabin and commenced clearing his land. In 1852 he leased it to his brother-in-law, Enoch Drake, for a term of five years, and returned to Ohio. In 1855 he married Amanda Templeman, and in 1856 they came to Jay County and settled on the homestead on section 26, Pike Township. In 1864 he bought and moved to the homestead of his neighbor Edmond Rathburn. Steadily year by year, by industry and economy, he added to his property until he became a large land owner. His homestead contains 190 acres of finely improved land, and his substantial brick residence and other buildings and improvements denote wealth and prosperity. He has assisted his children to get a start in life by giving to the different ones as seemed most fitting, land or money, not wishing them to travel the weary road from poverty over which he so manfully made his way. His wife, who shared the hardships and privations of pioneer life and later the comforts of a good home with him, died in 1878. To them were born eleven children -John, now of Kansas; Mrs. Amanda Smiley, of Randolph County; Thomas and Elijah, also of Kansas; Mary, Jackson, Sarah and Eve, the latter deceased. In 1882 Mr. Lyons married Miss Florence Harkins, and to them have been born four children, but two of whom, Daniel and Elizabeth, are living. In politics Mr. Lyons is a Democrat. He enlisted during the war of the Rebellion and served nine months, a member of the Twenty-third Indiana Infantry. He is a member of the Baptist church, as was also the wife of his youth.

 

Biographical and Historical Record of Jay and Blackford Counties, Indiana, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1887