The pioneer Lynch family was one of the early families which had its origin in Ireland. Daniel and Mary Lynch set out from Bally Leard, Ireland in 1836 for a new life in America.
They traveled to Joliet, Ill., where, like many other newcomers, Daniel worked on the canal. Staying there only a few weeks, they came to Lake County, Ind., and settled on a hill just south of Lowell and near the stream.
Pioneer Daniel Lynch died in February 1843, just a few years after coming across the ocean. During the bitter cold winter of 1843, he went to the Kankakee Marsh to hunt or to get wood and stayed too long, freezing both legs. The doctor wanted to amputate the limbs, but Daniel refused and as a result, he died.
Daniel and Mary's son, John Lynch, was but six months old when his parents traveled to America with him. He had very little education, but at seventeen he learned brick laying and masonry, working at this for quite a few years.
In 1857, John married Sarah Sherard, whose family came from Ohio. John had $21 and Sarah had $3, and all the furniture they had was a table, bed, rocking chair and a chest of drawers her family gave her. They started housekeeping in a little home near the present Lowell Town Hall. [Note from the year 2001: Since this article was written, the Lowell Town Hall has moved. The old Lynch home could now be said to have been located near the town square.]
In 1858, John became an American citizen. He and Sarah had three children: Ida, Ernest and W. Fay.
It was a big event in Sarah's life when the family moved into the new house on the hill to the southside of town, what is now Lincoln Ave. in Lowell. In about 1893, John built the big house next door to the Lynch family home and they moved there, where John resided until his death.
John achieved success the American way, engaging in the merchandising business for 25 years in the building on Commercial Ave. which later housed the Sears Store for many years and which is now a minimall divided into small shops. When John turned the business over to his sons, Ernest and W. Fay, the department store was called Lynch Bros.
John then devoted his time to his farm and his banking interests. He was a veteran of the Civil War, serving in Company A, 156th Illinois Infantry. According to a story told by his granddaughter, Madge Lynch, in 1952, the year of the Centennial in Lowell, his carpet covered canteen was still hanging in the attic. John died May 19, 1905.
Ida Lynch, the daughter of John and Sarah, married John Robert Driscoll. They both died while their two children were quite young and the grandparents raised the youngsters. The son, Don Carl, passed away while still a young man; and the daughter, Madeline married Ned Nelson.
Son Ernest Lynch was born in Lowell in 1866. In 1886 he married Alta Mary Hack and their children were Verna Fay, who died in infancy, and Madge Ernestine. Madge was well known as a busy clubwoman and was on the committee sponsoring the museum in the Lowell Public Library in the 1930's. The museum was in the lower level of the Library, located on Commercial Ave. and now used as the Lowell Town Hall. [Note from the year 2001: Since the Lowell Town Hall moved, this building is now used as a business office.]
Ernie was connected with the business life of Lowell for many years, living here all his life, except a few years when he was in business in South America and a short time in Chicago. He retired about 1930 and died while working in his garden at his home in Lowell in 1942.
The third child of John and Sarah, W. Fay Lynch never married. After Lynch Bros. department store was sold, Fay left Lowell for a while, but returned to spend his last years here.
The following was the Editor's Note reprinted in the Lowell Tribune in 1952: "From the will of the late W. Fay Lynch, Lowell received a gift of many thousands of dollars to be used for community betterment. From this working capital, Lowell Legionnaires erected Lowell's fine community building, with beauty and versatility unsurpassed by any in Southern Lake County. To the Lynch family, Lowell points with pride."
There is a plaque in the large hall at the Lowell Post 101, American Legion building which reads: "The erection of this community hall was made possible by the W. Fay Lynch estate, Ben Lynch, Executor, 1949." The money was used to pay for part of an addition to the old Legion building, which had formerly been a creamery very busy sending milk in to Chicago.
Daniel Lynch, the other child of pioneers Daniel and Mary Lynch of Ireland, was born in Cedar Creek Township in July 1843, after the death of his father in February 1843.
His mother afterward married again and Daniel remained at home with his mother and step-father until he was about fourteen years old. He then worked as a farm hand, earning his living in this way until the outbreak of the Civil War.
In 1861 he enlisted in Company H, 9th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and served in this outfit for about a year and a half. During this time he was wounded at the battle of Shiloh, after which he received an honorable discharge due to his disability.
After recovering for his wounds, he re-enlisted in Company A, 156th Illinois Infantry, where he served until the close of the war. He participated in several important engagements, faithfully performing his duty.
After the war, Daniel located in Hebron, where he ran a livery stable for two years. He then moved to Lowell, where he engaged in the same business for about twelve years, and then traded the stable for a farm in Center Township, near Cedar Lake. He farmed these acres for a period of seven years, then sold out and returned to Lowell.
Daniel was appointed Postmaster at Lowell in 1897 under President McKinley, and was re-appointed in 1902 by President Roosevelt. He held the office of Postmaster of Lowell for more than eleven years. He was also a member of Burnham Post 256 Grand Army of the Republic, at Lowell , and held several offices.
Daniel married Ada Starr in 1869 and they were the parents of five children: Fred J., Alva, Daniel, Benjamin L. and Ruby.
In his later years, Daniel went to Hot Springs, Ark., for his health, and then to Marion, Ind., where he worked in the National Military Home until his death in 1917.
Daughter Ruby married Orlo Alyea and moved to California. Their son, Loyal "Ty" Alyea, came back to Lowell when a young man and became a prominent insurance agent in Lowell. He was married to Catherine Fisher of Eagle Creek Township.
Benjamin L., known and remembered as "Ben", was a well known man in Lowell, having for about 50 years been in the insurance business located on Commercial Ave. just east of what was then McCarty's Barber Shop, and now operated as Jerry "Dugan's Barber Ship" at Clark St. In earlier years, Ben was a teacher in School District #3 in Cedar Creek Township. In 1902 he reported for the local paper the following pupils neither tardy or absent for the month: Mabel Ebert, Walter Miller, Tossie Brownell, Arthur Miller, Lester Ebert, Clara Wemple, Cordie Kenney, Laura Miller, Amy Dickinson, Carrie Potter, Mabel Craft and Flossie Newkirk.
How's The Weather?
Richard Schmal, president of the Three Creeks Historical Assoc. and author of the monthly column 'Pioneer History,' found a copy of the weather report for the year 1883, 100 years ago, and offered the share the data with our readers. How will next year compare?
"January a very cold month. February a wintry month, Feb. 24th sleet and rain. Mar. 1, spring birds, Mar. 18 mercury 42 degrees in the morning and down to 16 degrees about noon with a terrible wind from the north, but March a pleasant dry month, roads dry as summer, ground frozen too much for plowing.
"April dry and pleasant. May a rather cold and rough month. June cool and showery. July many hard showers and much lightning and thunder. August a cool month.
"October cold and wet. November mild and wet. December a rather mild month, very mild and pleasant until the 15th of December with 4 inches of snow on the 16th."
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