|Robinson E Lyon
|Robinson E. Lyon was born in Richmond, Ontario, the son of
Captain George Lyon
and his wife Catherine Radenhurst. For several years, he farmed
in the Richmond area. On August 20, 1849 he married Elizabeth
Ann Maxwell (born June 9, 1825) of Richmond. Elizabeth Ann died
of "Quick TB" about 3 months after they were married. In about
1850, Robinson E. Lyon (sometimes written as Robertson E. Lyon
in documents) married Sarah Maria Maxwell (born in Richmond,
Canada on October 6, 1833), the younger sister of his first
wife. They continued to farm in the area although Robinson E.
is also listed sometimes as "barrister" and "merchant".
|During this time he is known to have taken his turn in public
life serving as a school trustee and in 1874 as Reeve. It is
interesting to note that the father and his sons Omer and Robert
were in competition responding to tenders for the supplying
of wood to the local school. We must assume from this that Robert
still owns his farm even though he is a successful Ottawa lawyer
and has served a term as Mayor of Ottawa (1867). It could be,
however, that the "Robert" listed in the sale of 1873 is a corruption
of "Robertson" Lyon. Robinson E. Lyon was baptized as "Robertson
E." This usage appears several times.
1861 and 1871 Census
|The Census of 1861 does not include their eldest child, "Joseph
Maxwell Lyon", as he was born in 1852 and died in 1855. It does list
the family as including "William B." Lyon at one year of age. It has
an error listing "Louisa" as the wife of Robinson E. Lyon though.
The 1871 census does not list William Bradley Lyon so, as we had understood,
he had died as a child in May 1861. The same would be true for "Ida
Catherine" who was born in 1866 and died that same year. She would
not appear on either the 1861 or 1871 census. The 1871 census has
an error listing "Sarah Marion", wife of Robinson E., instead of "Sarah
Maria". Omer is listed as "Ometrton D." instead of "Omerton C." In
1871, Omer, Charles, George
and Albert are all listed as going to school.
Working on the Kingston & Pembroke Railroad
|Around 1880, the lure of a job with the railroad attracted Robinson
E. away from Richmond to Flower Station, one of the stops on the new
Kingston & Pembroke Railroad north of Kingston, Ontario. Robinson
became station agent there. Other members of his family who accompanied
him and his wife on this move were also attracted to railway careers
here and at other railway stops. In 1886, Robinson E. Lyon died of
heart disease at either Flower Station or Clyde Forks, one of the
other nearby stops in Lavant Township. His body was taken home to
Richmond for burial. It would appear that no tomb stone was erected
for him. Following his death, his wife Sarah, took over for him as
station agent at Flower Station. She occupied that position for about
3 years until her son Fred Lyon was appointed station master at 18
years of age. Fred died in 1897 at 25 years of age. His sister Edith
took over and held the position until her marriage in 1903. In the
census of 1891, Sarah is listed as "occupation" being "general store"
and her children Mary, Frederick and Henry are all listed as "telegraph
opp." for "operators". Daughter Edith is only 15 so not with an occupation.
Her son Robert Lyon, his wife Susan and 2 year old daughter Edith
are listed as living in Flower Station as well. The 1901 census lists
Sarah as "Post Mistress" (67 years of age) and only her daughter Edith
at home at age 24 years. Her son Robert with wife and children - Edith,
Benjamin, Rosswell, Lina and Gladys - are listed as still residing
there. We know that Sarah resigned from her position as post mistress
and moved to Calgary in 1907 to live with her youngest daughter Edith
Lyon Stewart. Sarah died and was buried in Calgary in 1910.
The Lyon Family and The Railway in Canada
|Railways provided the promise to Confederation that this vast territory,
the northern half of the North American continent, would be bound
together for both community and economic advantages. It must be remembered
that the original Confederation of 1867 was made up of only eastern
territories. It was only in the latter part of the 19'h century and
the early 1900's that western provinces joined the union one by one.
The railway pioneering followed that time span in those territories.
|In Ontario, one of the early railways played a great role in the
lives of the Lyon family members. This was the Kingston & Pembroke
Railway, always fondly referred to as the "Kick & Push". The K & P
was chartered on April 14, 1871. This was to open up communication
to remote areas of settlement and to bring about an economic boom
with jobs created in the building of the railway and in the creation
of communities with stores and hotels etc. at the railway stops along
the way. Jobs would also be created in the running and maintenance
of the railway. Logging and mining would have a boom as a result of
being able to get their products out to markets in the United States,
Europe and the rest of Canada.
|There were difficulties in completing the railway, though. The railway
never did reach Pembroke. It took 12 years to build the 112 miles
of track as far as Renfrew. This total included spur lines which ran
to the mines. It was rough and wild terrain. With problems in slow
construction came problems in maintaining both private and public
funding for the project. Other problems are illustrated in the book
"In Search of the K & P" where they quote for June 29, 1883 : "A telegram
has been received in Kingston stating that a steamship having 4,000
tons of rails for the K & P is a total wreck in the Gulf of St. Lawrence."
It is noted that during the North American Railroad boom, steel for
Canadian railways came mostly from the mills of England and Wales.
There was of course steel to be had in such American states as Pennsylvania,
but this was earmarked for the American railroad expansion, and there
was little or none for export to Canada. It was expensive to bring
rail across the Atlantic to Canada. As well, the financial squabbles
led to problems of vandalism
|In 1913, the Kingston & Pembroke Railway Company officially became
part of the Canadian Pacific Railway system. This had not been a sudden
takeover by the CPR. For years there had been bargaining among financial
investors and between the K & P and other railway lines for exchanges
of services and ways of making its functioning more viable. The Lyon
family involvement began around 1880 when Robinson E. Lyon, his wife
Sarah Maxwell Lyon and their family moved from their farm in Richmond,
Ontario to Flower Station on the K & P line. Richmond no longer had
much to offer since it had been by-passed in influence.
|Robinson E. was Station Agent at Flower Station until his death
in 1886. He was replaced by his wife for some time and then by his
son Fred W. Lyon, when he became 18 years of age. Fred died in 1897
at the age of 25 years. Charles H. Lyon also sold his farm in the
Richmond area around this time and worked on the log drives through
this area and lived in Snow Road where he likely worked in the Allen
Saw Mill. Mary Maxwell Lyon Appleby, Robinson E. Lyon's daughter,
worked as Station Agent at Clarendon Station for many years. Pictured
is the original train station where she lived and raised her children
(Edith Appleby Moss and Dr. Lyon Appleby). She was known in the area
as being a rather no nonsense person. In the book "Back of Sunset",
it is noted that "In contravention of railway rules - which demanded
a clear line of sight up and down the track - Miss Appleby filled
the windows of her station with red geraniums. None of the railway
officials had the nerve to tell her to take them down!," "Miss Appleby"
should of course be "Mrs. Appleby".
|Harry Lyon, youngest son of Robinson E. Lyon left the Flower Station
area in the late 1890's and established the CPR drop off point in
Crowsnest Pass near the Rockies. He basically established the community
which later became known as Blairmore, Alberta. Another son Robert
Lyon of Lavant and Kingston also had a career in railway work. As
illustrated, the Lyon family mentioned here as well as others participated
to a considerable degree in the early life with the railway in this
"K & P" area and throughout Canada.
|Mary Maxwell Lyon Appleby served as Station Agent at both the old
and new stations at Clarendon. Many stations along the K & P were
not nearly as large and elaborate as these.
| insert picture
|fire little ;ration at P lower on the Kingston and Pcmbroke Railway
line where Robinson E. Leon, his wife Sarah and family member, Frederick,
Mary,:, Harry and Edith worker) as station agents and/or telegraph
operators for almost _'3 years beginning, in approx. 1830. Others
such as their son, Robert Ernest Lyon, also worker) on the railway
line. Sarah worked as Post Mistress in the Wage until she resigned
in 1907 and moved to be with her daughter EMS Lyon Stewart in Calgary.
|fire tombstone in I nion Cemetery-. it*, ( Calgary which marks the
grave of Sarah Maxwell Lyon -Mho died there in !`1!U. Her husband.
Robinson E. Lyon died in 1886 and was buried in Richmond, Ontario.
" In Memory beloved wife of the late Robinson Lyon Born at Richmond,
Octoberb- h. I S-13