Name:   Dr. Helen Tehodesia (Ives) Lyon

From:  The Wellsboro Gazette, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania
Date:  Thursday, April 8, 1965

Funeral services will be held this afternoon at 1:30 o'clock at the Kuhl Funeral Home for Dr. Helen Ives Lyon of 37 Pearl Street, Wellsboro, dean of Tioga County church and club women, retired physician, and author of the widely acclaimed book "The Little Red Schoolhouse."  She was 93 -- and still an active women's club president.

Dr. Lyon died Monday evening at Wellsboro Hospital, which she had entered March 15.  The Rev. Gordon E. Abrams, pastor of the Wellsboro Baptist Church will conduct the services.  Interment will be in the Wellsville Cemetery.

She was the widow of Dr. Louis Augustus Lyon, who died March 1, 1950, and the mother of Robert L. Lyon of Corning, N.Y.  She was related to Sir Winston Churchill through his mother, Jennie Jerome Churchill.

A direct descendant of eight Mayflower pilgrims and the devout Puritan founder of New Haven, Conn., William Ives, Dr. Lyon was a lifelong Bible student, steadfast in the "Faith of Her Fathers."  The First Baptist Church honored her recently for a half century of service.  This included a number of years as superintendent of the primary department and 35 years as a teacher of the adult women's Bible class.

She was indomitable in her life as well as in her Christianity.  In her 82nd year, she toured the United States and Canada and made her first air flight -- home from Chicago alone.  In her 84th year, she toured Europe.

Currently president of the Wellsboro Friday, she was serving her fifth term.  Previously, she served two terms as president of the Tioga County Federation of Women's Clubs, and two terms as president of the Wellsboro Current Events Club.  She was a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants, the Society of the Hall in the Grove, and the Republican Women's Council and a one-time official of the Wellsboro Suffrage Club.

Helen Theodosia Ives was born in Wellsboro December 12, 1871, the daughter of James Valoris Ives and Rachel Sisbee Trull Ives.  Her book "The Little Red Schoolhouse" which has been described as "part of the documentary materials of the history of education," is a memoir of a youthful teaching career which followed her graduation from Wellsboro High School in 1890. 

The career took her to Muskegon, Mich. and Altoona, Pa., where she met her future husband.  They were united Aug 3, 1898, at Wellsboro.  A graduate of the four-year Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, which provided a classical liberal arts education, she joined with her husband in study at the Atlantic College of Osteopathy.  After graduation in 1903 as valedictorian and salutatorian respectively, they practiced their profession in Wellsboro.

They are among the organizers of the Green Free Library and the Swarthmore Chautauqua at Wellsboro, Dr. Louis serving as a library director for 27 years.  

Among Dr, Helen's ancestors were Tioga County's earliest pioneers, including Revolutionary patriot Samuel Carpenter.  In medieval England her descent stemmed from John Carpenter, member of Parliament in 1323 A.D.  His grandson, also named John, was an associated of Sir Richard Whityngton, Lord Mayor of London and hero of the "Dick Whittington"  legend.  He is mentioned most recently in "A History of London Life," Mitchell and Leys, 1958: "One of Whittington's executors who carried out his many charitable bequests... was John Carpenter, the famous Town Clerk of London, like him an enlightened philanthropist.

Surviving in addition to Dr. Lyon's son are a niece, Mrs. Wallace Malcolm Rowland of Abington, Pa., and a nephew, James Briggs Ives of Villanova, Pa., and Vermont.  Several cousins also survive.  A brother, Robert Trull Ives, retired Philadelphia Republican leader, died in Miami, Fla., June 28, 1962.