Aaron Lyerla

AARON LYERLA, a former well known farmer of Cherokee County, whose farm was in sections 9 and 16, Shawnee township, died April 3, 1892. He was born in Union County, Illinois, February 28, 1850, and was a son of Solomon and Delilah (Williams) Lyerla. The Lyerla family were among the pioneer settlers in Illinois, having moved to that state from North Carolina at an early day. Aaron Lyerla's grandfather moved to Jackson County, Illinois, form[sic] the Old North State, bringing all he had in a two-wheel ox cart.

Solomon Lyerla was born in Jackson County, Illinois, and remained on the home farm until about the time of his marriage, when he entered a tract of land and engaged in farming. He continued adding to his property, which was situated in Union County, until he became an extensive land owner for those days. This property he sold about the year 1859, and bought a 360-acre farm in Montgomery County, Illinois, where he lived until his death. He was a justice of the peace for many years, in Union and Montgomery counties. He was married twice, and 11 children were born to his union with Delilah Williams, his second wife. Of these, the following grew to maturity: Jacob, a resident of Montgomery County, Illinois; Calvin; William R., who is engaged in farming in Shawnee township, Cherokee County; Richard, of Montgomery County, Illinois; Mary Jane, wife of P. W. Plyler, of Montgomery County; Sarah Ann, deceased, who was the wife of Frank Sellers; Margaret E., wife of William Redmond, of Montgomery County; Solomon, of Jackson County, Illinois; and Aaron. The parents of the subject of this sketch were members of the Christian Church.

Aaron Lyerla spent the first nine years of his life on his father's farm in Union County, Illinois, and then moved with the family to the Montgomery County farm, where he grew to manhood, becoming familiar with all kinds of farm work. There he remained, following the occupation of farming, until 1883, when he moved to Kansas, and located on a 160-acre tract which he had purchased. Four years afterward he returned to Illinois, and managed his mother's farm until the time of his death.

A stanch Democrat, Mr. Lyerla always voted the ticket as set fourth by that party, yet did not take a prominent part in political affairs. Fraternally, he affiliated with the Masons, having become a member of that order in his native State. He was a consistent member of the Christian Church, in which he was a faithful worker. In 1872 Mr. Lyerla was married to Sarah Catherine Sellers, a daughter of Samuel Sellers, of Montgomery County, Illinois. Four children were born to this union, all of whom are living. They are as follows: Adah Heletha (Mrs. Fay Stone), of Villa Ridge, Illinois; Eva Delilah (Mrs. Earl Bray), of Joplin, Missouri; Elsie Addie Euphemia (Mrs. Authur Gibson), now living at Messer, Kansas; and Walter S., living on the old home place. Mrs. Lyerla's father was born and reared near Dayton, Ohio. Although much of his time was spent in doing farm work, he was a carpenter by trade, and at intervals followed that occupation. Although not a politician, he took some interest in politics, always voting the Democratic ticket. He married Ruth Isarurah Moniah Isabelle Buchanan Beck, a daughter of John Beck. Of the seven children born to them, six are now living, namely: Sarah Catherine, widow of the subject of this sketch; Euphemia Alice (Mrs. William R. Lyerla), of Shawnee township, Cherokee County; Andrew Preston, of Decatur, Illinois; Melvin Powell, living at Grand Junction, Colorado; Amasa Erastus, of Illinois; and Samuel Wesley, of Grand Junction, Colorado. Mrs. Sellers was a member of the Christian Church. Her death occurred during the Civil War, in 1864. The father is still living, hale and hearty, at the age of 77 years. His home is in Coffeen, Montgomery County, Illinois.

Mrs. Lyerla resides on the 160 acres originally purchased by her husband on his arrival in Kansas. It is good, rich farm land, much of it under cultivation, and with the assistance and good management of her son, Walter S., who lives on the farm, it brings forth all the products of the average farm. As is the custom of large land holders in this part of the country, a part of the farm is rented out.

History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Lolly Qualls, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 1-8-97.

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