Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.] p. 943-945 transcribed on July 19, 2001.


T. J. Lyons

T. J. LYONS. - He whose name forms the caption for this article has succeeded in winning a high place for himself in the business world of Kansas City, Kansas, where he is engaged in the real estate business at the present time, in 1911. Mr. Lyons himself built the ladder by which he has climbed to affluence, and in view of that fact his splendid success is the more gratifying to contemplate. Success along any line of endeavor would not be proporly[sic] appreciated if it came with a single effort and unaccompanied by some hardships. Persistency and a determination to forge ahead have characterized all Mr. Lyons' efforts and his career but accentuates the fact that success is bound to come to those who join brains with ambition and are willing to work.

A native of the fair Emerald Isle, T. J. Lyons was born in Limerick county, Ireland, on the 14th of October, 1868, and he is a son of T. J. and Joe (Ford) Lyons, both of whom were likewise born in Limerick county, Ireland. The aged father is still living on the old homestead farm in Ireland and his cherished and devoted wife passed to the life eternal in 1910, at a venerable age. Of the eleven children born to Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Lyons nine are living at the present time and of the number the subject of this review was the first born. T. J. Lyons, Sr., has been engaged in farming operations during practically his entire active career and in his religious faith he is a devout communicant of the Roman Catholic church.

T. J. Lyons, Jr., was reared to the invigorating discipline of the old home farm in his native land, in the work and management of which he early became associated with his father. His preliminary educational training consisted of such meager advantages as were afforded in the schools of the locality in which he lived. When seventeen years of age he became restless to see something of the world, and with that object in view he ran away from home and worked his passage to America on a cattle steamship, which had for its final destination the city of Baltimore, Maryland. For a time after his arrival in this country he was in the employ of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, working as a section hand. He then met Mr. John Kelly, superintendent of a division of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in Ohio and an old friend of Mr. Lyons' father. Mr. Kelly obtained a position for T. J. Lyons in a machine shop in Ohio, where he continued to work until he was finally made assistant time keeper. While holding this position Mr. Lyons attended night school, continuing so to do for a period of three years, at the expiration of which he removed to Des Moines, Iowa, where he also attended night school and where he worked for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad as a fireman up to the time of the engineers' and fireman's strike in 1888. Mr. Lyons then severed his connection in Des Moines and removed to Kansas City, Missouri, where he secured a position with the Kingman Packing Company, managing to thoroughly familiarize himself with the various branches of the meat packing business. With the passage of time he was placed in charge of the retail and wholesale market of the above company, retaining that position for four years, during which time he was also a studious attendant in night school. In 1892 he decided to launch out into business on his own account and in that year opened a retail meat market and grocery store, his place of business having been located on Summit street in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1893, however, he disposed of that business and opened a saloon in the same city, later conducting a saloon in Kansas City, Kansas. He never grew very enthusiastic about the saloon business, however, and eventually disposing of his establishment he turned his attention to real estate operations, in which line of enterprise he has since been engaged and in which he has achieved unusual success. In addition to his various transactions for outside people he is himself an extensive property owner and a great deal of his attention is devoted to his individual interests along this line.

In 1891 was recorded the marriage of Mr. Lyons to Miss Katherine Griffin, who was born and reared in the state of Kentucky and who is a daughter of Thomas and Johanna (Collins) Griffin, the former of whom was born in Limerick county, Ireland, and the latter of whom was a native of the old Blue Grass commonwealth. Mr. and Mrs. Griffin, are both deceased, he having been summoned to the life eternal in 1907, and she having passed away in 1904. They were the parents of ten children, seven of whom are now living. Thomas Griffin came to the United States as a young man and he located in Kentucky, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits and where was solemnized his marriage. Subsequently he disposed of his farm in Kentucky and removed to Kansas, whore he purchased a fine estate and where he passed the residue of his life. He was a communicant of the Roman Catholic church and in politics was an unswerving advocate of the cause of the Democratic party. Mr. and Mrs. Lyons became the parents of five children, one of whom, Irene, died at the age of two years. The others are Theodore J., Marie T., Genevieve and Rosie. They have also adopted a small boy whose name is Manus Donagon and whom they are rearing and educating as their own child.

In politics Mr. Lyons endorses the cause of the Democratic party and he is ever on the alert and enthusiastically in sympathy with all measures and enterprises advanced for the good of the general welfare. He was elected a member of the city council and was re-elected to that office. During his second term as city councilman he had charge of the street cleaning in Armourdale. In 1908 he was further honored by his fellow citizens in that he was then elected county commissioner, of which office he is the present, able and popular incumbent. He is very conscientious in discharging the duties connected with his official position, looking upon a public office as a public trust. He is a man of honor in all the relations of life and as such is everywhere accorded the unqualified confidence and high regard of his fellow men. In their religious faith he and his wife are both devout communicants of the Roman Catholic church and they are liberal contributors both of their time and means to all social, educational and philanthropical projects advanced for the welfare and betterment of their home community and of the county and state at large.



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