JOHN D. LYLE, M. D. .C.
The very desirable quality of faithful citizenship is not monopolized entirely by those of us who have been born beneath the protection of the flag of that nation whose citizens we are. That fact has been demonstrated on repeated occasions, and is particularly exemplified in the history of the Lyle family. Born and reared in Ireland, both the father and grandfather of John D. Lyle gave to the land of their adoption every drop of allegiance and loyalty that was common to their make-up, and rendered a service to the Union that was
surpassed by none, in that they did what they could for the cause. In this connection it is entirely in keeping with the demands of this occasion that more extended mention be made of the ancestry of John D. Lyle.
Dr. John D. Lyle is the son of William J. Lyle and the grandson of James Lyle. The last named was born and reared in Ireland, in the town of Larne in County Down, and there he also settled down and reared his family. His wife died just prior to the immigration of the family to the United States, and when James Lyle arrived in America he was accompanied by his children, among whom were: Martha, who later became the wife of James H. Dickey, one of the old and honored merchants of Sparta, Illinois; Eliza, who married James Miller and passed away in Sparta; William J.; and Thomas, who made his home in Seattle, Washington, where he lately passed away, leaving one son. James Lyle settled in Randolph county, Illinois, upon a farm near Sparta. He had not been a resident of the United States for long when the Civil war broke out, and it was then that the splendid patriotism, fealty and honor of the true son of Erin was made manifest in the Lyle family. Father and son, James and William, both enlisted in the cause of the Union, and as members of Company I, Forty-ninth Illinois Infantry, did valiant and heroic duty throughout the long and bitter struggle, serving with their regiment in its activities on both sides of the Mississippi river and in various campaigns until the close of the war.
Civil life again resumed, father and son returned to the farm, where they made as admirable records as citizens as they had made as soldiers. The senior Lyle continued for some years with the farm life, but the younger man became interested in the mercantile business, and his early experience in that line was gained in the employ of a Mr. Dickey, a merchant of Sparta. In 1894, James Lyle died at Sparta at the age of seventy-four years, serene in the knowledge that he had been a factor in the preservation of a great nation, and in the further knowledge of a life of better than three score and ten years well spent.
The education of William J. Lyle was acquired chiefly after his return from the war, and then entirely by his own efforts. A man of exceptionally bright mind and an inordinate desire for knowledge, he has always been a wide reader and a student of life from every point of view. While his actual book learning as a student in his youthful days was but meagre, he has by his own careful and well directed studies attained a knowledge and education that is of a high order.
After a career of several years in merchandising, in which time he succeeded to the business of Mr. Dickey, his brother-in-law, he directed his efforts in a new departure and became actively engaged in the livery and live stock business in Sparta in 1881. His mania for blooded horses was at last to be given expression, and for thirty years he conducted a breeding stable in conjunction with a well equipped livery, and he became the owner of many fine imported Percherons and standard bred stallions, as well as thoroughbred mules, and he has been in that time an important factor in improving the stock of mules and horses in Randolph county. After thirty years of life as a stock breeder he surrendered active business life and has virtually retired from the field. In 1911 he made his first trip back to the land of his birth, and incidentally to visit Europe on a sightseeing tour and to study at first hand the social and economic conditions of the old world, in which he has always been deeply interested.
William J. Lyle married Miss Ellen Miller, a daughter of Andrew Miller, and she died July 12, 1887. Their children were: Charles, of Blair, Illinois; Millard, of Telluride, Colorado; James, of Sparta; Dr. John D., of this review, and Harry, Ella and Martha, all of Sparta.
Until 1896 Mr. Lyle was an adherent to Republican principles, but at that time he was drawn by the “Free Silver” slogan to unite with the party who was then the exponent of that cause, and he has continued in harmony with progressive Democracy since that time.
Dr. John D. Lyle was a student in the Sparta high school, about to be graduated with his class, when he gave up school and, imitating the examples of his father and grandfather, went in for army life. The war with Spain had just been concluded, and he, with many another young man, became fired with the desire to see our new possessions and to serve in the army, not alone as a matter of service, but for the experience and the wider fields of knowledge it opened up to him. Accordingly, in September, 1899, he enlisted in Company I, of the Forty-first United States Volunteer Infantry, with Colonel Richmond in command. His was the largest regiment ever recruited by the United States army and it was mobilized at Camp Meade, Pennsylvania, and sailed in November, 1899, from New York harbor for the Philippine Islands. In January, 1900, the regiment was distributed through the interior of Luzon, doing patrol duty, teaching the natives and in every way endeavoring to introduce the spirit of Americanism, until in May, 1901, when The command embarked for home, completing the world's circuit at San Francisco on June 26th following. The regiment was mustered out at Presidio, July 3rd, and Dr. Lyle came directly home.
His plans already matured for the preparation required for his profession, he became a student in the Chicago Veterinary College, being graduated therefrom in April, 1904. No fitter location could be desired than the home of his boyhood and youth, and there he settled to follow the practice of his profession, where he has remained to the present time. He is recognized as one of the ablest of his profession in Southern Illinois, and has been particularly successful in demonstrating the value of the sciences as applied to diseases of the animal world. He is a member of the Illinois Veterinary Medical Association, and is a careful student of all that applies to the profession to which he is devoted.
Dr. Lyle is able to give some of his time to the affairs of the city, and is now serving his second term as a member of the city council, in which capacity he has given especially praiseworthy service. He was chosen to that office without regard to his political faith, although he is responsive to the demands of the Democratic party, and subscribes to the doctrines enunciated by the more advanced thinkers of that faith.
On New Year's day, 1907, Dr. Lyle married Miss Mayme H. Neil, a daughter of Robert Neil, the head of an old and honored Scotch family of Sparta, and Dr. and Mrs. Lyle are the parents of two children, Catherine and Robert.