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Irving M. Lyon Diaries

A description of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 9 Jan 2017

Biographical History

Irving M. Lyon (1802 or 1803-1870) was a farmer and businessman in Naples, Ontario County, New York. His parents, Hannah and Simon (or Simeon) Lyon, were early settlers of Naples who came from Woodstock, New York in 1798.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Irving M. Lyon Diaries consists of seventeen small volumes, hand-stitched and without covers. The volumes contain diary entries and a few financial records of Irving M. Lyon of Naples, Ontario County, New York. Lyon recorded every major aspect of his life as an industrious small farmer and businessman: crop plantings, weather, harvests, hiring of laborers, and so on. One entry from December 15, 1840, reads as follows: "Began to plow Parade ground with four horses helped L. W. Gerome get the number and description of the lots of land in this town." Over the years Lyon built and sold houses and barns, as well as selling lumber and the produce of his farm. Diary entries also document his keen interest in town business, such as his attendance at court and local elections. An entry from March 22, 1861, reads "Went to war meeting at Independent Hall." The diaries provide a vivid picture of the life of a successful small farmer and entrepreneur in mid-nineteenth century central New York.

Arrangement of the Collection



Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Lyon, Irving M.


Businesspeople -- New York (State) -- Ontario County.
Farmers -- New York (State) -- Ontario County.


Naples (N.Y.) -- History.
Ontario County (N.Y.) -- History.

Genres and Forms


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Irving M. Lyon Diaries,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2016.

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