Colonel William Lavender Lyles
From the 1889 Goodspeed History
          Col. William Lavender Lyles, late editor and proprietor of the Mountain Howitzer, of Salem, and now of the Houston Herald, was born in Newberry District, S. C., in 1829, being the son of Robert and Jane (Lavender) Lyles, both natives of Newberry District, S. C., born in 1776 and 1786, and died in 1847 and 1857, respectively. Robert Lyles was the son of Ephraim Lyles, who was a Revolutionary soldier. Robert Lyles was twice married, and Col. William L. Lyles was the eldest child by the second marriage. He remained at home as long as his father lived, and in 1849 he and his mother and sister moved to Pickens County, Ala., and the following year to Chickasaw County, Miss. Here he purchased land, and followed farming until the breaking out of the late war. In the fall of 1861 he raised Company B, Twenty-fourth Mississippi Regiment, was elected captain of the same, and served until the close of hostilities. He was at Shiloh, Perryville, Corinth, Resaca, Murfreesboro, Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta, and at Jonesboro, where he was shot in the neck, which disabled him for years, not being able to eat food for seven days. He was at the hospital at Griffin, Ga., but was not paroled until the surrender. At Dalton, Ga., he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. After the war he engaged in merchandising at West Point, and in 1867 he went to Oxford, Miss., where he remained until 1873, and then moved to Salem. He here following merchandising for a short time, and in 1878 was elected to the position of circuit clerk and ex-officio recorder of Dent County, serving four years. The subsequent four years he was in the real estate business, and in 1886 he established the Mountain Howitzer, editing its columns until recently. On the 24th of January, 1889, Col. Lyles sold this paper to Mr. John C. Pugh, and purchased the Houston Herald of Mr. Beauregard Ross, of Houston, Mo., and took charge of the same February 10, 1889. His motto is: “My gun is the Press; my ammunition, Truth, Justice, Morality and Democracy, deliberately aimed.” His journal is a newsy, bright sheet, and has a good circulation. Col. Lyles is a true Christian gentleman, and an esteemed citizen. During the years 1870 and 1872 he was a member of the State Legislature in Mississippi. In 1853, previous to the war, he married Miss Elizabeth P. Kilgore, who was born in Greenville District, S. C., in 1834. They have three children: Pleasant L., Edgar K. and Cecil E. Col. Lyles is a member of the Masonic fraternity, is a Democrat in his political views, casting his first presidential vote for Pierce in 1852, and he and wife are members of the Baptist Church, of which he is a deacon.


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