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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

LYON, Delos E.

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Ancestry: https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/41873957:60525?tid=&pid=&queryId=394ae69b-5517-40d0-892c-a9dfcc99675f&_phsrc=ubM679&_phstart=successSource

Photos courtesy: the Spensley descendants of Col. D. E. Lyon.

LYON, Delos E. (Franklinville, NY, Nov. 14, 1834--Dubuque, IA, Apr. 10, 1913). The fifth in the family of six children, Lyon attended the public schools and later entered the Buffalo Academy. He attended Oberlin College for three years and then returned to his home in New York. (1)

Lyon worked in the commission and mercantile business for five years. In 1857 he sold his business interests to N. F. Weed and his father William F. Weed and began the study of law in Judge Spring's office in Franklinville. He was admitted to the bar in 1859. (2)

He traveled to Denver, Colorado at the suggestion of a friend. It was full of lawyers and doctors. After visiting many of the then important places in the West, he found no promising field and concluded as a sight seeing trip to take the overland stage to Pike's Peak and then return to New York State. On the way back, he stopped at Dubuque. (3)

Linwood Cemetery

During the CIVIL WAR, Lyon was a recruiting officer and aide de camp to Governor Kirkwood. Celebrating the surrender of Lee at Appomattox and the end of the Civil War, the church bell of First Congregational Church (later FIRST CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST) cracked as it was rung by Union Colonel Lyon on the night on April 9, 1865. (4)

Lyon established one of the city's major legal firms, Foulke and Lyon, with clients ranging from RAILROADS to corporations. He served as city attorney and in 1880 held the office of surveyor of the port of Dubuque. (5) In September, 1895 Lyon was elected president of the St. Cloud Minnesota Milling Company. (6)

Col. D. E. Lyon's daughter (Abigail Farwell Lyon) married Andrew Young MCDONALD II. Delos Lyon MCDONALD was their son.

See: D. E. LYON-1005 BLUFF



1. Portrait and Biographical Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties, Iowa. Chicago: Chapman Publishing Company, 1894, p. 184

2. "The Town of Franklinville Early Pioneers," USGenWeb Project. Online: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nycattar/towns/franklin/lyon.htm

3. Ibid.

4. "Extensive Remodeling Program Begins at First Congregational," Telegraph Herald, September 4, 1955, p. 3

5. Oldt, Franklin T. The History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago: Western Historical Association, 1880, p. 841

6. "Brief Locals," Dubuque Daily Herald, September 4, 1895, p. 5

Christa Hughes, descendant