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Lyman J. Pendell

Lyman John Pendell was born in East Brookfield, Worcester County, Massachusetts on February 7, 1865, the son of Mary Jane Stevens (1833-1906) and Rev. John Rensselaer Pendell, a Baptist minister (1833-1907, born in Thurman, NY, the son of Lumen Pendell; John's brother was Lyman Pendell, 1843-1860, probably the namesake of Lyman J. Pendell). His name is given as "John L. Pendell" in the East Brookfield, Massachusetts birth record book, but is assumed to be Lyman John because his marriage record says he was born in East Brookfield in 1865; on the 1880 census for Thurman, New York he is also listed as John L. Pendell.

1866-1869 Moved to New York:

Shortly after Lyman was born, between 1866 and 1869, the family moved from East Brookfield to Thurman, New York, where brother George was born.

Ca. 1871 Moved to Edinboro, PA.

When Lyman was of school age the family moved to Edinboro, Pennsylvania, where Lyman's father took a post as minister at the Edinboro, Baptist Church; he was made minister-in-charge in 1882. In the May 16, 1885 issue of The Golden Argosy (a newspaper "Freighted with treasures for boys and girls"), Lyman Pendell of Edinboro, Pa. offers to trade books for a small printing press. He makes a similar offer of trade in the August 29, 1885 issue.

A 1928 biographical note has this to say:

"He [Lyman John Pendell] received his early education in the public schools of Edinborough [Edinboro], Pennsylvania, and then entered the Edinborough Normal School. When his course in the normal school was completed, he secured a position with a newspaper publishing house in Pennsylvania, and after making himself thoroughly familiar with many phases of the business, came to Maine, and located in Presque Isle, where for seven years [ca. 1898-1904] he was on the staff of the Star-Herald. In 1904 he purchased The Aroostock Republican." (from Maine: Resources, Attractions and Its People—A History, 1928).

This brief biography unfortunately omits his years in Waverly, New York, where he flourished as a mineral collector:

1885-1887 Moved to Waverly, New York.

At some time between 1885 and 1887, Lyman and his family moved to Waverly, New York. As of 1887, Lyman was residing with his brother Charles D. Pendell and sister (in-law?) Mary E. O. Pendell at 143 Lincoln, and was employed in a Toy Shop (probably the toy shop of Charles Crandall on Broad Street), next door to their father, Rev. John R. Pendell, at 144 Lincoln in Waverly, on the southern border of New York in Tioga County ("Directory of Tioga County, New York"). Lyman married Mary Ida May Mead (1872-1897) in Waverly in 1890; she died seven years later after giving birth to one daughter, Carlotta May, in 1892. Lyman served as foreman of the Waverly, New York fire department in 1894 (See History of Waverly, NY and Vicinity).

It was in Waverly, when Lyman was between 20 and 30 years old, that he published a small catalog of 93 minerals he had for sale, with prices (from 1 cent to 60 cents, mostly 10 cents or under) but no localities, listing himself as a "collector." The catalog measures just 3 x 4.5 inches and consists of 4 pages plus covers. The inside front cover describes Pendell's business principles, and the inside back cover gives instructions for ordering and making payment. The outside back cover states that the catalog was published by "Youth's Visitor" (no date or city, published in New Brunswick, Canada, by the Rev. J. D. Hopper).

1898 Moved to Caribou, Maine.

In 1898, Lyman moved to the small town of Caribou in northern Maine, to take over the position of editor of the Presque Isle (Maine) Star-Herald (published by George H. Collins & Pendell), and was listed as a "printer" on his 1900 marriage application. He also served as Chief Engineer for the Caribou Fire Department in 1913. He became editor and publisher of The Aroostock Republican newspaper in Caribou in 1904 (when he purchased it), through at least 1918 or later.

Lyman's first wife having died in 1897, he married Ethel C. Greenlaw in Presque Isle, Maine in 1900. They had three children: Louise Ethel (1910), Philip Greenlaw (1913) and Mary (1916).

His brother, Charles D. Pendell, published The Amateur Naturalist magazine beginning in 1904 through at least 1909, including articles by Lyman J. Pendell (e.g. "The sensitive plant"). The magazine was published from Binghamton, New York, and continued after Charles moved to Ashland, Maine in 1905.

Lyman J. Pendell died on August 26, 1931 and is buried in Presque Isle, Maine.


COE, H. B. (1928) Maine: Resources, Attractions and Its People—A History. Two vols. p. 57-59.
Find-a-Grave Index.
GRUNDEL, E. (1998) The mineral catalogue of Lyman J. Pendell. Matrix, 5 (4), 170-172.
Maine Marriage Records.
DONHAM (1913) Maine Register, State Year-Book and Legislative Manual,> U.S. Federal Census 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930.
GAY, W. B. (1887) Historical Gazetteer of Tioga County, New York. Syracuse.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Lyman J. Pendell Pendell's catalog published in 1885-1897. (Courtesy of Erich Grundel)
The Mineralogical Record - Lyman J. Pendell Front and back cover
The Mineralogical Record - Lyman J. Pendell Inside cover and page 1
The Mineralogical Record - Lyman J. Pendell Page 2-3
The Mineralogical Record - Lyman J. Pendell Page 4 and inside back cover
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