Francis S. Lyon

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Francis Strother Lyon
Black and white daguerreotype of Francis Strother Lyon
Antebellum daguerreotype of Francis Strother Lyon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1835 – March 3, 1839
Preceded byJohn Murphy
Succeeded byJames Dellet
Personal details
Born(1800-02-25)February 25, 1800
Stokes County, North Carolina
DiedDecember 31, 1882(1882-12-31) (aged 82)
Marengo County, Alabama
Political partyWhig
Other political
Anti-Jacksonian (before 1837)
OccupationAttorney, Planter, Politician

Francis Strother Lyon (February 25, 1800 – December 31, 1882) was a prominent Alabama attorney and politician. He served two terms in the Confederate States Congress during the American Civil War after being an antebellum member of the United States Congress.

Early life[edit]

Lyon was born in Stokes County, North Carolina, the son of James Lyon and Behetheland Gaines Lyon. He was a nephew of General Edmund Pendleton Gaines and Col. George Strother Gaines, prominent figures in Alabama history. Lyon moved to Marengo County, Alabama, in 1817 to live with his uncle George Gaines and was admitted to the bar in 1821. His primary residence was at Bluff Hall in Demopolis, with a country estate nearby at Bermuda Hill.[1] Lyon was secretary of the State Senate from 1822 to 1830, and then served in the Alabama State Senate from 1833 to 1834. He represented Alabama's Fifth District in the United States House of Representatives from 1835 to 1839. From 1845 to 1853, Lyon served as a commissioner in charge of administering the bankrupt state banking system.

Civil War[edit]

At the start of the Civil War, he served in the Alabama State House of Representatives in 1861. Lyon then represented Alabama in the First Confederate Congress and the Second Confederate Congress from 1862 to 1865.


Following the collapse of the Confederacy in the spring of 1865, Lyon eventually returned home and resumed his legal career. He was elected as a delegate to the 1875 Alabama constitutional convention and was elected to the State Senate again in 1876. Lyon died in Demopolis, Alabama, and was buried there in Riverside Cemetery's Glover Mausoleum. His daughter, Ida Ashe Lyon (1845-1912), married physician William Mecklenburg Polk, and was the mother of Frank Polk, who served as counselor to the Department of State through World War One and later became the first US Under Secretary of State.[2]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ "Frank Lyon Polk". The New York Times. February 7, 1943. Retrieved 2015-11-05.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by