Biography of Lyman W. Watkins



Allegan County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

Lyman W. Watkins, one of the pioneers of Allegan village, was born in Chester, Vt., March 10, 1817. In 1819 the family removed to Bethany, Genesee Co., N. Y., where they remained until 1829, when they went to Titusville, Pa., where the elder Watkins died at an advanced age; but little is known of his history farther than that he served his country in the war of 1812 as a privaue soldier. He was a farmer by occupation, and an exemplary man in all respects. He reared a family of eleven children,—four boys and seven girls. Lyman improved his meagre facilities for education, and at an early age was obliged to rely upon his own resources. At the age of nineteen he decided to try his fortune in the West, and in May of 1836 came to Allegan. He was first employed by Alexander Ely, and did his first work upon what was known as the big mill. For several years he was engaged in the lumber trade, and about 1844 he purchased the steamboat “Pioneer,” which he ran for several years, when he engaged in the manufacture of lath; this business he carried on for some time, when he went into the grocery trade, but soon changed his stock to that of drugs, in which trade he was engaged about twenty years. The life of Mr. Watkins has been comparatively uneventful, and marked but by few changes save such as occur in the lives of most business men. His name has not been known in uffleiai circles, with the exception of eight years in which he served his fellow-townsmen as magistrate, but among those men who have, by their own industry and energy, developed the resources of Allegan County, he occupies a conspicuous position. In November, 1845, he was married to Miss Sylvania Snedaker. Five children were born to them, all of whom died in infancy. In his religious and political affiliations Mr. Watkins is a Presbyterian and a Democrat. All in all, he is one of those gentlemen whose identification with any community is always productive of good.

History of Allegan and Berry Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Their Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.

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