Lida died before I was born. A couple great grandmothers hung around until I arrived. The one I knew most of Lillie Margaret Wood Ryan.
Lillie had a long hard life. She was a daughter of Berryman B. Wood. Her paternal grandfather was Solomon Wood, 2nd Coroner of Logan County, Illinois. Her great grandfather was Abraham Lucas saw Revolutionary War service and whose proven line goes back to the Huguenots in France. [Unproven and somewhat creative reports go to Charlemagne.] The Lucases arrived in America in 1710. Other early ancestors were Quakers, arriving on the second voyage of the Kent. On her mother’s side she was a great great great granddaughter of the same Abraham and Marcy Kelsey Lucas. Marcy’s father served in the Revolutionary War and her Kelsey ancestors arrived in New England in 1631.
As previously mentioned, Berryman B. Wood was not a great provider. While the family was in Kansas for a few years Lillie met Edward Daniel Ryan, son of a neighboring farmer, and they married. When her parents returned to Illinois the newlyweds remained.
That went sour fast. Apparently there was a major disagreement over the religion of their first child, daughter Sarah Catherine. Lillie came from a long line of early adopters of the “new religion.” Daniel and his family were Catholics, the religion her ancestors left. His parents came from Ireland as toddlers. Apparently they failed to discuss this prior to the marriage. There was no compromise.
In the 18 months between their first and second child the couple packed up a covered wagon and moved to Mt. Pulaski, Logan County, Illinois, where Lillie’s family lived. They never saw his family or any relative again although we know he received correspondence from his mother. His father died within two years of their departure.
Lillie and Daniel had 10 children, eight of whom survived childhood. They never had much. Edward took up drinking although he worked every day there was work. According to my grandfather, who never had a drop of liquor in his life, his father-in-law put in a good full day’s work every day and closed the bar each night before rolling home to begin all over again.
In 1950, a few days before Christmas, Daniel died while exchanging gifts with his youngest daughter. He was 85. They buried him on Christmas Eve beside her parents and in the shadow of her maternal ancestors. Shortly thereafter Lillie took to her bed. For a few years she got away with it, her children and grandchildren coming in to cook and clean. Eventually she went to the Christian nursing home. On Christmas Eve 1956 Lillie died at the age of 85.