Who says Lyons can’t swim?

The Lyons of Vermont apparently didn’t know how to lead boring lives as can be seen in these two 1851 newspaper articles:

This article is from “The Vermont Journal”, March 1851.
This article is from “The Boston Daily Atlas” on the same date as above.

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’s great heist…

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.”

asa n lyon court
New York Herald, September 30, 1874 vol.XXXIX, Issue 273, page 5.