Schuyler Dwyer was the son of John Dwyer and Cornelia Clark Dwyer (daughter of Dr. Jabez and Marietta Barrows Clark, 1837 Lowell pioneers).
John Dwyer was born June 26, 1833, * and raised in Knox County, Ohio. He was educated at Frederickton Academy and Oberlin College, went to Iowa for a few months, and came to Crown Point in 1854, where he farmed until 1856. He married Cornelia Clark and soon moved to a farm near Lowell.
In the spring of 1861, John M. Dwyer joined Company B, 20th Indiana Volunteer Infantry of the Federal Army at the time of the Civil War and soon was promoted to Corporal. He was wounded by a rifle ball in the shoulder at Gettysburg, lost his left leg above the knee at the Battle of Wilderness, and was honorably discharged on Sept. 25, 1864.
He returned to Lowell, where he taught school until he was appointed by Vice President Colfax as a clerk at the War Department in Washington, D.C., came home in 1871 and was elected to the office of Lake County Recorder. He later moved to Greencastle until he was again appointed in the War Dept., where he stayed until 1890, when he resigned to enjoy his retirement at his Lowell home.
He died in 1910 and was laid to rest in the mausoleum (the building was later demolished and the bodies buried nearby) at the Lowell Cemetery. His wife, Cornelia A. Clark Dwyer, was also entombed there in 1925.
Their son, Schuyler Colfax Dwyer, was born in Washington, D.C., on July 22, 1869, and was named after his father’s friend, Schuyler Colfax, Vice President of the United States under Ulysses S. Grant.
Reared in an atmosphere of pioneer patriotism, he became very interested in Civic affairs and law. He received his early schooling at Crown Point and Lowell, attended high school in the nation’s capital, and began his law studies at Georgetown University, then received liberal arts and law degrees at DePauw University, Greencastle, in 1889. He practiced his profession in Chicago for a short time.
In 1890 Schuyler C. Dwyer and Sylvia Bacon were married. Their two daughters were Portia and Helen. Sylvia was the daughter of Dr. E.R. and Martha Sanger Bacon, who built their fine landmark home in 1869 at the northwest corner of Fremont St. and Commercial Ave. in Lowell. Schuyler and Sylvia spent many years there together. Mrs. Bacon was the only daughter of pioneer James Sanger, Sr., who farmed at the present site of the Lowell High school.
Soon after their marriage, Schuyler and Sylvia moved to Lowell, where he established a law office over a downtown store building. He also became the Lowell town attorney, and in this capacity named the streets of Lowell.
About the same time, he was appointed Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for southern Lake County and was elected to the state legislature as a joint representative for Lake and Newton counties.
In 1909 a sign could be seen in a window of the second level of the "Knights of Pythias" building at the northeast corner of Mill Street and Commercial Avenue: "S.C. Dwyer & T.S. Robinson, Lawyers." The partnership also advertised insurance and real estate.
At that time, the Robinson family lived at 124 North Fremont, north of Dr. Bacon’s home.
In 1909, when the east-west dividing line was Clark Street, the address of the Bacon home was 133 East Commercial, now in the East 400 block with the railroad as the dividing line. The 1909 Directory of Lake County listed "Mrs. Martha Bacon, widow" at that address.
In 1911 Dwyer opened a law office in Hammond, and in 1917 he moved his family to Whiting, where he became Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the city. While the family lived in Whiting, they retained the family home in Lowell and enjoyed many summertime and weekend retreats.
In 1925 Schuyler Dwyer delivered a fine oration at the original dedication of the memorial markers at the old Main Street school in honor of pioneers Melvin Halsted and Jabez Clark (grandfather of Schuyler), both early school benefactors. He spoke as if the two famous men were actually standing in the crowd.
The speech was reenacted in August 2002 by retired teacher Ron Mills during Lowell’s sesquicentennial celebration, when new plaques were placed on the stone, replacing the originals that had been missing for decades. In 1927 Dwyer was appointed United States commissioner for the northern Indiana district, holding this position until 1944.
During his busy life, he also found time to become the editor of one of Lowell’s newspapers, The Lowell Souvenir, a small paper that was printed for a few years early in the 1900’s. He often wrote interesting editorials and local history stories about the south county area. In 1906 a paperback history of the county with a similar name printed by King and Woodcock was called Souvenir of Lake County, and one of the pages featured a photo of Schuyler and a short biography.
The last line read: "He is respected for his ability and fairness at the bar and for his public spirit in his own town." The page was shared with a photo and biography of Lowell businessman Thomas Grant.
Schuyler Dwyer, prominent in political circles and highly esteemed, was an active member of the Methodist Church, the Masonic Lodge, Knights of Pythias, and Odd Fellows Lodge. His wife, Sylvia Bacon Dwyer, passed away December 21, 1948.
During Lowell’s centennial in 1952, Schuyler Dwyer took part in the celebration by writing a series of articles about "Lowell Doctors of the Past" that were featured in The Lowell Tribune. Because he was the son-in-law of E.R. Bacon and grandson of Dr. Jabez Clark and lived in the same neighborhood of other early doctors, Schuyler was able to write stories about them which were not recorded in other histories.
The March 2004 "Pioneer History" column will feature interesting new information about our early physicians as written by Mr. Dwyer in 1952, just a few months before his death in 1953.
Several clippings concerning Dwyer’s series about the early doctors, donated by Nancy Bydalek of Lowell, were gratefully received and will be quoted next month.
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