Lyons, James H.

Born: 1805-02-08 Kentucky

Died: 1881-01-01 Texas

Flourished: Champaign County, Illinois

Lyons was one of the pioneer physicians in Champaign County, opening a practice two miles east of Urbana in 1832. In 1835, he moved to the area that would become the village of Sidney, where he practiced medicine and acquired substantial property. In 1837, he became one of the proprietors of the town. In August 1836, he was elected to represent Champaign County in the Illinois House of Representatives, where he served alongside Abraham Lincoln. He won reelection in August 1838 but lost his seat in August 1840. The Panic of 1837 disrupted Lyons's plans for Sidney and ruined him financially. Sometime in the 1840s, he moved from Champaign County to Texas. In 1847, he won election to the Texas Legislature. During the Mexican War, he was captain of the Second Texas Mounted Volunteers, receiving accolades for storming Monterrey. By 1850, he was practicing medicine in San Antonio, Texas and owned real estate valued at $8,000. In 1854, San Antonio voters elected him treasurer. In 1860, he was still practicing medicine in San Antonio and owned real and personal property valued at $12,000. From January to October 1865, he was mayor of San Antonio.

Gravestone, Pleasanton City Cemetery, Pleasanton, TX; Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, vol. 18 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923), 294, 316, 339; Charles B. Johnson, Medicine in Champaign County: A Historical Sketch (Champaign, IL: Times, 1901), 6-7; J. R. Stewart, ed., A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois (Chicago: Lewis, 1918), 1:196, 210, 500; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), San Antonio, Bexar County, TX, 233; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 2, San Antonio, Bexar County, TX, 392; Handbook of Texas Online, Lois Burmeister Talley, "Lyons, James H.," accessed April 19, 2018,