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Funeral Services Today at Winnsboro Church

Served Throughout Confederate War
Clerk of Court of Fairfield For 28 Years

Funeral services for John Woodward Lyles, 87, of Winnsboro, who died at 4:30 Friday afternoon at the Columbia Hospital, will be held at 4:30 Saturday afternoon from the First Baptist church of Winnsboro, conducted by the Rev. H. F. Searles, pastor of the church. Interment will be in the Winnsboro Episcopal cemetery. Mr. Lyles died after an illness of about 10 days, although he had been in failing health for over a year.

Active pallbearers will be: Moultrie Douglas, J.S. Edmunds, George R. Lauderdale, H. E. Matthews, U. G. DesPortes, T. J. McDonald, J. W. Eddington, M. H. Doty.

Honorary: J. E. McDonald, W. D. Douglas, W. L. Holly, John J. McMahan, R. A. Meares, T. J. Cunningham, W.M. Mobley, J. B. S. Lyles, A. Lee Scruggs, Horace Traylor, Dr. A. G. Quattlebaum, P. M. Dees, L. Gantt, R. C. Gooding, and K. R. McMaster.

Born September 2, 1845, Mr. Lyles was nearly 88 years old at the time of his death. He was a son of Capt. Thomas M. and Eliza Peay Lyles, and was one of 11 children, there being seven sons and four daughters in the family. He was a descendent of Aromanus Lyles first white settler of Fairfield county.

At 16 years of age, Mr. Lyles volunteered his services to the Confederate army and served with Company K, Angus P. Brown’s company in cavalry. Moving to Winnsboro from the family home in Fairfield county about 1900, he took the position of clerk of court, a post he held for 28 years, filling it with credit and ability.

He was married at the age of 23 to Miss Sue Morris of Fairfield. Surviving him are the following children: Mrs. W. C. Boyd, Charlotte; Thomas M. and W. B. Lyles, Spartanburg; J. M. and S. E. Lyles and Mrs. F. S. DePortes, Winnsboro; Mrs. J. Feaster Lyles of Steedman, and a number of grandchildren.

Sketch of Life

John Woodward Lyles of Fairfield county was born September 2, 1845 near Lyles Ford, where the brothers John and Ephraim Lyles, made the first settlement of the county - coming from the Roanoke valley of Virginia through Butte county, N. C., a family noted for virility and longevity. One of the sons, Aromanos, the first white child born in the (Fairfield) county, became a leader in the Revolution, influential in the legislature and left seven sons. He is known as Colonel Lyles; his eldest son, Thomas, was Major Lyles, in the active militia of Nullification days, and had married Mary Woodward, granddaughter of Thomas Woodward the “Regulator”. His son, Capt. Thomas M. Lyles, married Eliza Peay, daughter of Col. Auston Peay, with extensive holdings on the Wateree river, and they had seven sons and four daughters to live to mature life. Of these seven sons, John W. Lyles, not 16, with five brothers, entered the Confederate army, two of his brothers being killed in battle and two others wounded. He served in the Seventh South Carolina regiment. His only surviving comrade now is Samuel T. McKeown of Cornwell, Chester county.

Returning from the war after Johnston’s surrender, the 19-year-old veteran farmed, went to the newly opened university in 1867, and after visiting his brothers, Thomas in Louisiana and Nicholas Peay in Alabama, bought from Dr. Jeff Lyles; then moving to Columbia, the plantation formerly of Col. William Strother near the station named after him. There Capt. John W. Lyles made his home, noted for hospitality, having married Susan Carolina Morris, daughter of Isaac Morris, near Monticello.

Mr. Lyles was of genial disposition, generous beyond measure, and intensely interested in public affairs, always zealous for the cause in which he believed. He was an intensively bred South Carolinian and Fairfield patriot gentleman. When quite young he was elected to the legislature by the largest majority ever given to a candidate in the county. Later he served on the board of directors of the penitentiary and from 1900 to 1928 was clerk of court of the county.

Popular in County

For a generation he was the most popular man in the politics of the county, though making many enemies by his fire-eating zeal. He was active for the redemption of (civilization in) the state in the period around 1876, ardently embraced the farmers’ cause in the various movements for economic relief, the Alliance, Free Silver, all the measures made memorable by the advocacy of William J. Bryan, and he bore the brunt of the Tillman revolution in his county, suffering the sundering of ties of kindred and life-long comradeships. Locally he was always a power, and personally he beamed with warm-hearted love for his fellow man.

His wife died July 6, 1930, and his remarkable buoyancy of mind and body began to give way from this disruption of his lovely home life. Yet on the Fourth of July, of this year, he said to a friend, “I am as well as I ever was.” His sudden illness came on him in less than two weeks, and on the 20th he was taken to the Columbia hospital, death ensuing from uremic poison, because he was too old to risk an operation.

He leaves four sons and two daughters, 12 grandsons, and six granddaughters, seven grandsons of the Lyles name: William Boykin Lyles, M.D., of Spartanburg, Thomas Minter Lyles, lawyer, of Spartanburg, J. Morris Lyles, cotton merchant of Winnsboro; Mrs. Bessie (W.C) Boyd of Charlotte (formerly of Ridgeway), and Mrs. Eliza Peay (Senator Fay A.) DesPortes of Winnsboro. Of his older grandchildren, W. Clarence Boyd, Jr., is a lawyer in Columbia and John Lyles Boyd is with the Central Hanover bank of New York; Lucy Byrant Boyd is the wife of Speight Adams of Graham, N. C. A grandson, Thomas Lyles, has graduated at Wofford college, and is a musician of talent, organist of the Baptist church for a number of years.

No brother survives him but his living sisters are: Mrs. Mattie (Amos E.) Davis of Winnsboro, Mrs. Rebecca (Thomas W.) Woodward of Winnsboro, Mrs. Carrie (J. Fester) Lyles of Steedman, Lexington county.

The children of his brother, Belton English Lyles, are: Austin P. and Estelle Lyles of Blair and Mrs. William Hicks of Greenville. In Columbia are many relatives through the Woodward connection, and also the families of his first cousins, the late William H. Lyles and Mrs. Florence (M.L.) Kinard, and the children of his deceased brother, James Septimus Lyles: James Lyles and Mrs. J.M. Mobley, Mrs. William M. Mobley and Charles T. Bradford.

Thus has passed a man long to remembered by his friend, a product of the old school of friendship, hospitality and patriotism.

From Pelham L Spong <fairfieldmus@InfoAve.Net> 10 Jan 2001 about John Woodward Lyles
John W. Lyles was my great grandfather. His son, James Morris Lyles was my grandfather for whom my father, brother, and brother's first son are named (yes, the fourth!).

My father remembers being only nine years old, driving the Model T over dusty roads to all the stump meetings. Grandpa always campaigned in his Confederate uniform and won. But one year Judge Holley decided to run against him for the Clerk of Court office. Not only did HE wear his uniform, but he had an empty sleeve due to wartime amputation. Guess who won!

Sue Morris's family lived in the Dawkins area in the old log house I am sure I have told the story about--too long to tell here. I'll have to save it for the next reunion!! They were there during Rev. War times and Sharon Avery found a requisition at Archives for "assistance and supplies" for the American cause.

There are two Morris creeks in the county, one connecting to Little River and the Broad, the other connecting to the Wateree River. I have seen the land plats to John Morris (her grandfather) on the western side and have only heard about family connections on the Eastern side.

As for the others in the obituary, time does not permit me to look back in the files, although I know many of the personages. Many are on record upstairs in our genealogy room files. Hope this is enough info!

I really intend to get out a Lyles newsletter at some near time, but there is also too much going on in my life and work right now to say when. -Pelham

Web master Stewart's guesses

Horace Traylor, a son of Thomas Woodward Traylor and Sibbie Coleman and a druggist in Fairfield County near the Broad River (Shelton?) was one of John Woodward Lyles Honorary Paul Bearers and his double second cousin once removed.

John Woodward Lyles was the great grandson of both (Captain) Thomas "the Regulator" Woodward and of (Colonel) Arromanus Lyles, who were also the gggrandparents of Horace Traylor.

When Horace Traylor's father, Thomas Woodward Traylor, returned from the Civil War with only a quarter in his pocket, he saw a great mansion and said he would own one like it one day. Thomas Woodward Traylor became the largest landowner in Fairfield County, founded the Bank of Fairfield, and lived in Winnsboro in the most beautiful mansion (now owned by "Brother" Lyles) I ever saw. Thomas Woodward Traylor was a son of Nancy B. Lyles and William E. Traylor, and a brother of my great grandfather William Henry Traylor, another soldier of the Confederacy.

Joseph Teems Stewart, a son of William Henry Traylor's daughter Carrie Lyles TRAYLOR Stewart married Thomas Woodward Traylor's granddaughter Pauline TRAYLOR Stewart and had sons named Horace and Robert Stewart.

Thomas Woodward Traylor's mother Nancy B. Lyles was a daughter of Arromanus Lyles II and Mary Woodward. Mary Woodward's father William "Preacher Billy" Woodward was a son of Thomas "the Regulator" [Captain] Woodward, who was killed in battle 5/12/1779 during South Carolina's first war to free itself from imperialism. Mary Woodward's first cousin Mary Woodward married Major Thomas Lyles (older brother of Arromanus Lyles II) and was the grandmother of John Woodward Lyles, the above Clerk of Court.

(Captain) Thomas "the Regulator" Woodward and (Colonel) Arromanus Lyles (born 1748) were two of Pelham and my gggggrandfathers, so she and I are double fifth cousins. It took about two hundred years to produce seven generations (averaging 28 years).

Stewart thanks Bill Liles <> of Houston for e-mailing me the obituary above. I thank Harry L.Huggins for typing it January 2, 2001: he said the exact date of death was not shown; that it was on a Friday, and reported in a Saturday Columbia, SC newspaper.

Stewart's corrections are colored red until someone checks the originals. Please write if you think Stewart's images and comments should or should not bxze removed from the text above.

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