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aaaNothing is known of Lyman's early life. From the Beverly vital records it's apparent that he was to be called Samuel, surely after his grandfather Haskell, but "Lyman" Haskell was ultimately chosen. It's very likey that he and his brothers were sent to a preparatory school of some sort. Oral history in the family had brother Charles attending the Groton School, but this is erroneous given only the fact that the school didn't exist at that time. Lyman's considerable involvement in the Civil War will eventually be outlined on this page based on field reports. He was dishonorably discharged from the army for what was supposedly a deceitful claim that he needed to attend to his sick father. This is detailed at a website devoted to the 15th Massachusetts Volunteers, although Lyman's side of the story has yet to be found.
aaaThe rest of Lyman's life continued to be poorly represented in public records. In 1867 his father willed him one sixth of his house and land at Federal and Cabot Streets in Beverly. He only appears in one census as an adult in 1910 and several New York city directories. The New York Times reported his death in a brief notice and that, as a surrogate matter, he left his townhouse at 144 W. 80th St. to Gertrude A. Dubois. The 1910 census lists her as born in Louisiana and Lyman's servant. In the 1880s she appears on several ship passenger lists from London to New York as an attendant to Charlotte Draper, wife of Dr. John C. Draper. Father and son named John Draper were on the science faculty at New York University, and the elder John was a pioneer in photography. Lyman also traveled with the Drapers on these transatlantic voyages. John, Jr.'s, widow lived with Lyman for a time in his townhouse, which explains Gertrude's appearance there after her death. Leaving her his townhouse seems odd, but deed records may reveal that the Drapers, who had no children, had left the house to Lyman, and upon his death, to Gertrude. Lyman and Gertrude are buried in the Draper plot at Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, NY. Lyman's great-niece Virginia (Ellingwood) Carpenter referred to some of the pieces of silver in the family as being from the Drapers. No clue has been found to explain this significant connection.
aaaLyman's death certificate says that he died of "broncho pneumonia, acute articular rheumatism" and "endocarditis" at his townhouse and that he was a "broker." The census calls him a commission merchant. He was likely a broker for commercial goods of some sort. In 1900 he can be found writing to the U. S. Army, Ordinance Department, as Treasurer of the Dittmar Powder & Chemical Company, 309 Broadway.
     Adding to Lyman's mystique is his will. It was excerpted in local papers because of it's damning statements about his sisters and brother Edward. He gave them each a dollar and said that was all they deserved for taking sides against him and not being in contact with him for about 30 years. No details are given, leaving us to wonder what happened. It may have been over Lyman's dishonorable discharge, but why 20 or so years later? He said he didn't know if Edward was still alive, and this may have been true for all of the remaining family. He hasn't been found in a single record after the 1850 census. Family tradition says that he turned up from time to time to ask for money - the proverbial black sheep. An article posted at the "Beverly Citizen" website in 2005 discusses some lore surrounding the Ellingwood sisters. The author says that their lives nearly stopped in time during the Civil War, foregoing such things as repairs to the house and buying new clothes in favor of pining for a lost brother. Lyman is said to have been the brother, but if there was pining, it was undoubtedly for Edward. The sisters may very well have been eccentric, but to what degree their characterization in the article is true won't ever be known. There is a photograph of them with their mother, none of whom look like they were happy to oblige. They were not wearing Civil War era dresses, but one of the sisters had a medal pinned to her. It is an odd picture.

all text and photographs © 1998-2009 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted