Florence L. Lyon, whose family owned the Lyon Lumber Company of Decatur, graduated from the University of Chicago with an associate's degree in 1902. She then earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree at the Decatur College and Industrial School of the James Millikin University in 1904, as one of the first three graduates of the new university's first class and as the first woman graduate. While at Millikin, she served as a teaching assistant in the English Deprtament, and also studied German and Anglo-Saxon literatures.
Ms. Lyon then travelled west on the railroad, and served as a teacher in various schools in North & South Dakota before teaching in Oregon. She died in September 1918 in Portland, attended by her sister Myrtle.
Ms. Lyon is buried with her parents, her sister Myrtle and Myrtle's husband Rensealler Jenks, and her two infant siblings in Decatur's Greenwood Cemetery. Her grave was the fourth stop on the Heritage Network's fifth cemetery tour on June 9, 2001.
|Florence Lyon's family:
Father: George S.,
1832- March 20, 1899.
The family lived at 748 W. Eldorado St. in Decatur (now an empty lot next to the Muller plant.)
Brother: Fred C.,
1862-1936. (married Minnie B.)
(plus two additional infant siblings, gender not known)
|Lyon Lumber Company.
At George Lyon's death in 1899, Clyde (president) and Fred (vice president) took over managing the company which continued as G.S.Lyon & Sons, Lumber & Manufacturing Company. The "mill, yard and office" was located at 546 E. Cerro Gordo Street in Dectaur. Their business was "Manufacturers of Sash, Doors, Blinds, and all Building Materials of Wood" according to the 1899 Decatur City Directory. Some of the materials in the new Millikin University's first buildings came from Lyon Lumber.
In 1916, a new six-story company structure was built on Broadway (now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, at #540 North). This structure burned in December 2000, right before its scheduled demolition.