Lyman Wakefield of Arizona

Submitted by Lisa Slaski

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record of Arizona: Commemorating the Achievements of Citizens Who have Contributed to the Progress of Arizona and the Development of Its Resources," Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1901.

Click to Enlarge


Of English descent, Mr. Wakefield was born in Malone, Franklin county, N. Y., October 5, 1855. The earlier members of the family lived in Connecticut, and the paternal grandfather, Eben, was born at Windham. He married Salinda Bennett, a native of Connecticut, and subsequently settled in Franklin county, N. Y., where he eventually died. His son, James Madison, the father of L. W. Wakefield, was born in Franklin county, and later became a farmer near Malone, N. Y., going thence in 1863 to the vicinity of Rochester, Olmstead county, Minn. During the Civil war he volunteered in the northern army, but was rejected on account of disability. He died in Minnesota October 5, 1884. Mrs. Wakefield, formerly Clarinda Brown, was born in Malone, N. Y., December 15, 1820, and was a daughter of Samuel Brown, a native of Hero Island, Lake Champlain. The Brown family history is interestingly interwoven with that of .the vicinity of Lake Champlain, to which the paternal great-grandfather came upon emigrating from England with his nine sons. He bought nine of the islands in the lake, called Hero Islands, where he located, and where he eventually died. The paternal grandfather, Solomon Brown, lived near New Haven, Vt., where he carried on general farming and there died. He married Miss Marina Lamb. Samuel Brown married Hannah Heath, who was born in Vermont, a daughter of Samuel C. Heath, who was a soldier in the war of the Revolution, and who married Leah Tracy, of an old New England family. Mrs. Wakefield, who is now living with her daughter, Mrs. E. N. Fish, of Tucson, is the mother of six sons and three daughters, viz: Maria, who is the wife of E. N. Fish of Tucson: Harvey, now in Texas, and who was a member of the Minnesota Regiment Heavy Artillery: Achsa M., who married J. C. Craymond of Rugby, N. D.; Alfred J., who is the superintendent of the Santa Cruz Milling Company, at Santa Cruz, Ariz.; William L., who is in the cattle business at Tucson; Frank N., who is a mine operator in Missouri; Lyman W., who is living in Tucson; Clara E., who is the widow of A. J. Knapp of Langdon, N. D., and Julius A., who is living in Kasson, Minn.

The early life of Mr. Wakefield was on the uneventful order, and was devoted to a mastery of the details of farming and to acquiring the education of the public schools. When twenty two years of age he started out to face alone the conditions in a new and strange part of the country, and in Tucson started in the cattle business. In 1878 he removed to Pantano, Pima county, forty miles east of Tucson, and started a general merchandise business, and was also interested in mining, conducting his affairs in partnership with his brother William. He was also made postmaster of the place, and was the first to hold the position. Upon removing to the Whetstone mountains, Pima county, where he established a fine ranch, which was plentifully supplied with water, and had a fine corral, the Indians were very numerous and troublesome, and some of the surrounding neighbors were killed by the treacherous and ever alert Apaches. When they were surrounded by special danger he traveled at night to the railroad, and carried his wife and babies to the safety of the town. The present ranch of Mr. Wakefield is situated twenty-five miles west of Tucson, and is given over almost entirely to the cattle industry. To this branch of work Mr. Wakefield brings a wide range of knowledge, and is one of the best informed men in the county. His cattle are fattened from the seeds of flowers and on Indian wheat, and he finds that as an article of diet they are quite as satisfactory as the usual feed of corn. He is one of the most successful cattle men in the county, and is otherwise widely interested in the affairs of the locality. He is a member of and was formerly director in the Arizona Stockmen's Association. A Republican in politics, he is an ex-member of the territorial committee on organization, and in 1898 was nominated county sheriff of what is now Pima and Santa Cruz counties, and elected by a majority of one hundred and fifty, the term of office extending from January, 1899, until January, 1901.

It is doubtful if any who have held a like position in the territory more acceptably filled the various and arduous duties incident to their responsible position than did Mr. Wakefield, or exercised more tact in the adjustment of often complicated and annoying situations. Assisted by a profound knowledge of human nature and its workings under favorable and unfavorable circumstances, he knew how to avoid the exercise of the gentle art of making enemies, and has instead won the approval of even those who were his political antagonists. In Tucson, in May, 1891, Mr. Wakefield married Anna Patrick, who was born in Missouri and reared in California. Of this union there are five children: Walter, William H., Edith, Clarence and Marguerite. Walter is attending the University of Arizona, and the other children are students at the public schools of Tucson. Fraternally Mr. Wakefield is associated with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Red Men and the Knights of Pythias. He is one of the esteemed and reliable citizens of Tucson, and has aided materially in bringing about the renewed high state of affairs in this old-new section of the country.


James Madison Wakefield and his family are found in the 1860 Federal Census in the town of Bangor in Franklin County:

Wakefield, James, 47, m, farmer, $3000, $770, NY
    Clarinda A., 40, f, farmer, NY
    Maria M., 15, f, farmer, NY
    Harvey B., 14, m, NY
    Achsee, 12, f, NY
    Alfred J., 10, m, NY
    william L., 9, m, NY
    Franlin M., 7, m, NY
    Lyman W., 5, m, NY
    Clarra E., 4, f, NY
    Julius A., 4 mos., m, NY

It appears that his inlaws were living with them in the 1850 census in Bangor:

Wakefield, James M., 36, m, farmer, $500, NY
    Clarinda, 29, f, NY
    Maria, 5, f, NY
    Harvey B., 3, m, NY
    Achsa M., 2, f, NY
    James A., 7 mos., m, NY
Brown, Samuel, 63, m, NY
    Hannah, 56, f, VT
    Mary, 18, m [sic], NY

The family is found in the 1865 Minnesota State Census in Kalmar, Olmsted County.

Clarinda's death certificate from Tucson, AZ states that she had been in Arizona for 25 years, d. 13 Apr 1910, parents were unknown, she was born in NY on 15 Dec 1820, father was born in Lake Champlain, mother in Mass., the informant was Lyman Wakefield. She is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in or near Tucson, AZ.

Lyman's death certificate shows his occupation as that of an electrician, he was born on 5 Oct 1855 in NY, a son of James M. Wakefield, b. in NY and clarinda Brown, b. in NY. He died on 3 Sep 1919 in Tucson, and the informant was Mrs. W. Wakefield. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in or near Tucson.