Lyman Allen Sayles was born on October 21, 1844, in Lowell, Kent County or Keene, Ionia County, Michigan, the son of New York native Cyrenius Chapin Sayles (1812-1893 ) and Canadian Eliza Gardner (b. 1816).
Cyrenius and Eliza were married in East Dumfries, Canada, in 1835. Between 1842 and 1844 Cyrenius, probably along with his brother Elias, took his family and left Canada, eventually settling in Keene, Ionia County, Michigan where he farmed for many years and raised 15 children. (Elias also settled in Keene.) One source described Cyrenius as “a man universally respected and liked, while having strong opinions his humerous expressions of them gave no one offence.”
By 1850 Lyman was living with his family on a farm in Keene. Nearby lived his cousins John and William Sayles, two of Elias’ sons, who would also enlist in the 3rd Michigan, as would two of the Soules boys who lived near both Sayles families. By 1860 Lyman was living with his family and attending school with ten of his siblings, one of whom, Olive, was the teacher, in Keene.
Lyman stood 5’6” with dark eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion and was a 17-year-old farmer probably living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company H on November 21, 1861, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on December 13 at Detroit. (He was probably related to John and/or William Sayles of Company G and Company C respectively.) Lyman was reported absent sick in the hospital from July of 1862 through August, but according to Lieutenant William Ryan of Company H, in fact he had been absent in the hospital since the first of May.
Although he was reported as having deserted on September 21 at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, Lyman had in fact been discharged from the army on either June 28, 1862, at Detroit or October 3, 1862 at Edward’s Ferry, Maryland, for “anchylosis of the fingers of his right hand, prior to enlistment.”
Lyman listed Lowell, Ionia County as his mailing address on his discharge paper (he probably lived along the border between Kent and Ionia counties), and he probably returned to the Lowell/Keene area after his discharge.
It appears that he was living in Lowell when he enlisted at the age of 20 on March 24, 1865, in Company A, 6th Michigan Cavalry and was mustered the same day. He was discharged on August 4, 1865, at Fort Laramie, Dakota Territory.
Lyman eventually returned to Michigan.
He may have been living in Eaton County in 1870.
For reasons which remain unclear, Pinkney Cemetery records in Ionia County report that Lyman died on July 2, 1878 (or July 16, 1868), presumably in Ionia County and was buried in Pinkney cemetery, Ionia County: lot 13, row 3, grave 8.
Lyman married Maine native Sarah Martin or Marston (b. 1847) on February 23, 1863 in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, and they had at least two children: Emmanuel or Emmet (1867-1930) and a son Jesse E. (1870-1886).
They were probably living in Illinois in 1867 when Emmanuel was born but by 1870 Lyman was working as a farm laborer and living with Sarah and two children in Osolo, Elkhart County, Indiana.
Lyman was working as a teacher in Pierson, Montcalm County when he married New York native Emma Jane Huntington (b. 1852), in Pierson, Montcalm County, Michigan, on July 5, 1874, and that they had at least three children: Laverne (1878-1879), and Ingersoll (b. 1879).
By 1880 Lyman was farming and teaching school and living with his wife Emma and his children Emmanuel, Jesse and Ingersoll in Vergennes, Kent County.
Lyman was working as a school teacher and living in Lowell, Kent County when he married 16-year-old Cattaraugus County, New York native Hattie Belle Griswold (b. 1866) on December 3, 1882 in Clarksville, Ionia County, Michigan. They had at least four children: Hattie Mae (b. 1883), Lilla Alta (1886-1980, Mrs. Sopp), Lyman Jay (1891-1959), and Elma Alta (1895-1896).
Lyman and Hattie lived in Evergreen, Montcalm County for some years before moving to South Lyon, Oakland County. Lyman who had worked as a farmer and school teacher eventually became a physician and for many years he practiced in South Lyon, Oakland County. Lyman was living in South Lyon, Oakland County in 1894. In 1900 Lyman and Hattie were living in South Lyon where he was working as a physician; also living with them were their four children. By 1910 Lyman was still working as a physician and living with Hattie in South Lyon; also living with them was their son Jay and mother-in-law New Yorker June Randall (b. 1844). In 1920 Lyman was working as a physician and living with Hattie in South Lyon; their granddaughter Mildred Sayles (b. 1813) was also living with them.
In 1928 Lyman was admitted to the hospital at the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 8184) in Grand Rapids, and was apparently under the guardianship of one Allen Wilkinson of South Lyon, Oakland County; his nearest relative was Hattie living in South Lyon and a daughter Lillie Sopp in Rushton, Michigan.
Lyman was living in the Home in 1930.
In 1880 Lyman applied for and received a pension (no. 354745), drawing $72.00 per month by 1928.
Lyman was still living at the Home when he died of “cirrhosis of the liver (not alcoholic)” on October 19, 1931, and his body was sent to South Lyon for burial.
His widow applied for a pension (no. 1706373), but the certificate was never granted.