EARLY DAYS IN THE TOWN OF LYMAN
by Bela Foster
Continuing . . .
In 1869 we heard more about the railroad coming. We heard of bonds and right of way. Melvin, Thaw, and quite a lot about the town of Beset, soon to be started. A. M. Haling had his eye on Beset grove and about one half a section of land that was to be crossed by the railroad. It looked a favorable spot for a town.
At the town meeting in April 1869 the following officers were elected: Supervisor, A. M. Haling who lived on the Louis Stiegman farm. Town Clerk, A. A. Haling who lived where Milo Higgens now lives. Assessor, W. S. Larkin, who lived on what is now John Rock's east farm. Collector, Lyman Peck who lived in the house north of Louis Chambers farm. Constable, Sethe Woodward who lived in northwest corner of Section 13, Seward Arnold's farm. Road Commissioners Joseph Hurst who lived where Mrs. Dodson now lives, T. A. Ireland who lived where S. McCorkel now lives. This year the town was divided into ten road districts. The pathmasters were N. G. Barber who lived on the Martin Grohler farm, D. Blakely who lived on the E. Hornickel farm about sixty rods west of the NE corner. His house is now the Henry Onken home. C. S. Pierce who lived on the east end of the Onken farm, N. McNeil who lived where Robert Madden lives, O. D. Sacket who lived where Fred Sturm lives, William Hurst who lived where Bert Moseman lives, R. Pettit who lived in the NE corner of Section 31, C. B. Finch, A. Schaeffer who lived where Edw. Russell lives, Patrick Russell who lived on the hill near the center of the NE quarter of section 26.
The officers this year were pretty well scattered and showed more interest. A special election was called for Sept. 11, 1869, to vote upon R. R. bonds and right of way of the proposed Gilman, Clinton and Springfield railway. There were 42 votes cast, 34 for and 8 against. In giving the right of way 16 were for and 26 against.
William Bentley, son of W. H. Bentley, one of the Connecticut settlers who settled near Onarga was a music teacher, instrumental and vocal, held singing school in Smith School house in 1869 and 1870. Nearly all the young people of North Lyman attended. I did not attend but enjoyed the meetings they had at our house. I remember the membership card he gave his pupils. It read "Come and learn to sing and bring along your lady, For Bentley is the agent for Messrs. Root and Cadey." That was my first winter in school. I remember the teacher very distinctly. he was a corpulent man about the size of Glenn Yackee. One afternoon two young ladies, Maggie and Eliza McDonald from the Smith school visited our school and of course, if I ever received a "paddling" it was when company was present. To make my chagrin more acute, the visitors went home with my sister. Though I may have been black and blue, I could not see, so sat pat.
Some evenings we would collect on the ice. The professor enjoyed skating and was always present and nothing gave me more joy than to see his feet go up and his body come down with a thud upon that part of his anatomy that he paddled on me.
At the town meeting in 1870, A. C. Maxson was chosen moderator. The adopted several rules of government. One of them was in regard to pasturing and cutting hay off the unoccupied land. It was declared unlawful to cut grass or pasture the land without a permit. The fences began to be used at that time. People who had a few cows staked them out and others sent their cattle to herds. Our cattle were few and were staked. I can remember going skidding one time when the cow chain got around my foot. It was fun but hard on the clothing.
The officers elected in 1870 were: Supervisor, P. S. Gose who lived on the S. W. Netherton farm. Town Clerk, A. B. Graham lived where Joe Sans does. Assessor, Joseph Hurst, Collector F. G. Atwood, lived on section 22. Road Commissioner, Patrick Russell, Justice of the Peace J. F. Smith, lived on Section 4. The pathmasters were: John Davis lived where John Woodward does, W. A. Conger lived where Tornowski does, J. B. Jones lived where Roy Stiner does. John Hummel, James Drummond, James Dycus, Horace Lester, F. G. Atwood, A. Shafer, P. Russell.
The next two years were much occupied in surveying and building new roads and bridges. We also notice familiar faces, those with whom I worked.
Next week we will tell you what became of Bungtown.
--Roberts Herald. 10 April 1935.