By Jeff Blakley
Lyman B. Gould was born in Brown Township, Washington County, Indiana. His grandfather, John Gould (1790-1858), was in Washington County as early as 1840 and one of John’s brothers, Lyman, owned a store in Claysville in Vernon Township in 1830. It is likely that Lyman was the first of the Gould family to move from Ontario County, New York, where John was born, to Indiana. John had married Anna Hilton and they had at least 7 children, including Riley, the father of Lyman B., who was born in about 1823. In the 1850 census, Riley Harrison Gould and his wife, Sarah Irene Wheelock, were the parents of four children: William K., born in about 1846; Cynthia A., born in about 1849; Lyman B. Gould, born in July of 1857 and Samuel Lincoln, born in about 1860. Lyman was named after his uncle, who died in 1837.
Riley Harrison Gould enlisted in Company C, 56th Regiment, Illinois Infantry as a private on September 28, 1861 and was discharged on January 28, 1862. He re-enlisted as a sergeant in Company A of the 66th Indiana Infantry on August 3, 1862 and was discharged on June 3, 1865. After the war ended, Riley and his brother Norton moved their families to the Cuming City area in Washington County, Nebraska, where he was a farmer.
On October 15, 1876, Riley’s son Lyman married Henrietta Williams at Fort Calhoun in Washington County, Nebraska. He was 21 and she was 17. The 1880 census of Blair, Nebraska lists Lyman Gould as 24. He was a brakeman on the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad and was living in a hotel, which may explain why his wife was not listed. Lyman next appears in the historical record in Pueblo County, Colorado, where he married Sarah Catherine Berry on November 17, 1889. I was unable to discover the fate of Henrietta Williams. It is unclear why Lyman moved to Pueblo but the town was served by railroads and had a booming steel industry.
At some point, Lyman and his second wife moved back to Indiana, where they were living in New Albany in the mid-1890s. The first mention of Lyman B. Gould in Miami was in 1898 when it was noted that “Lyman B. Gould, of New Albany, Ind., has been in Miami for some days prospecting for a future home…”.1 Voice of the boom town that it was, the newspaper reported on September 23 that Lyman had “struck it rich by finding a homestead a little over six miles west of town consisting of 160 acres…”.2 His property was “four miles west of the Everglades schoolhouse.”3 He apparently sold that property quickly for a tidy profit and moved closer to Miami as Mary Brickell and her husband sold L. B. Gould “lot 1, block 4 section 38, tp. 54, range 41 east” for $280.4 This was a residential lot on the south side of 20th St. west of Avenue G, as shown on a 1918 map of the City of Miami. 20th St. was south of the Miami River, in an upscale section of town. This lot, owned by Lyman, had appeared on lists of tax deeds offered for sale by the City of Miami as early as May 31, 1901.5
In the 1900 census, Lyman and his wife, S. Catherine, lived in the Cocoanut Grove enumeration district, where he was a watchman on the railroad. That enumeration district extended from the settlement of Cutler all the way up to 20th St. in Miami so it is likely that Gould and his wife lived in a house on the lot he purchased from the Brickells. Many notable early settlers in South Dade lived in that enumeration district in 1900, among them John S. Frederick, the surveyor who platted the Town of Homestead in 1904.
In May of 1902, Henry H. Harrison filed a homestead claim for property that straddled the future route of the F.E.C.’s Homestead Extension at Silver Palm Dr. This was likely because he and Samuel H. Richmond, the registered land agent for the Model Land Company, petitioned the County Commission in early August of 1901 for a road to be built from the settlement of Cutler southwest to the southeast corner of 13-56-39 (the intersection of Silver Palm Dr. and S.W. 117th Avenue) and then west to the southeast corner of 16-56-39, the intersection of Silver Palm and SW 147th Avenue. The committee appointed to lay out the road was composed of Charles Gossman, Thomas R. Pinder and Frank Caldwell. Caldwell’s claim, filed in 1901, was at S.W. 137th Avenue and Silver Palm and Gossman’s claim, filed in 1898, was further west, at S.W. 167th Avenue and Silver Palm. Caldwell and Gossman, along with a number of other early settlers in the Silver Palm area, would benefit from the new road.6
On August 26, 1901, Lyman B. Gould filed a claim7 for the S 1/2 of the S.E. and S.W. quarters of section 13-56-39. The boundaries of this claim are from S.W. 117 to S.W. 127 Avenues and from S.W. 228 Street down to S.W. 232 Street. The new road, surveyed by Samuel H. Richmond and Thomas R. Pinder, conveniently ran right past his claim in section 13. On April 25, 1906, he relinquished his claim and it was purchased by Frank J. Sanford on July 9, 1906.8
Click on the title below the map to download the survey of the Perrine Grant, showing Samuel H. Richmond as Land Agent.
Lyman first appeared as a registered voter in the City of Miami in October, 1901.9 In November of 1902, he was a trustee on the incorporation papers of the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Miami.10
Lyman’s wife, Sarah Catherine, was the victim of an assault by a “negro” on January 23, 1903 while she was on her way home from her job as a tailoress for the firm of Kronowitter & Worley in Miami.11 In the ensuing days, Miami was caught up in a racial frenzy and when the alleged perpetrator was caught, his whereabouts were not advertised for fear of a lynching.12 The assailant, one Richard Dedwilley, was tried on February 27, 1903. The prosecution and defense rested after “two or three hours” and the jury returned its verdict of guilty and recommended a death sentence in less than 15 minutes. The judge, Minor S. Jones,13 promptly followed the jurors recommendation.14 He was hung in “an inclosure adjoining the new county jail” on the morning of March 13th. The reporter for The Miami Metropolis complained that Sheriff Frohock had ignored the “universal custom of having representatives of the press present on such occasions” and thus he was not able to “give any particulars” about the hanging.15
The construction of the Cutler Extension of the F.E.C. Railway, which extended the line from Miami to Homestead, started in late January of 1903. Charles T. McCrimmon had a contract with the railroad for the timber on the right-of-way16 and it is likely that Gould worked for him cutting down the virgin pine trees for lumber and cross ties. According to Jean Taylor’s oral history, The Villages of South Dade, Gould was the foreman of a tie-cutting crew. There is no mention of Gould in the Miami Metropolis from late December, 1903 until July of 1905, when there was a note that L. B. Gould and his wife had granted the F.E.C. Railway a “right-of-way across [his] property for extension purposes for $1.00.”17 It is likely that during this time Gould, who was unlikely the only foreman, was busy supervising a crew of African-Americans along the route of the Cutler Extension, as it was called, who were cutting down pine trees on the railroad right-of-way. McCrimmon reported that he had orders for 200,000 feet of lumber within the “last day or two” and he was cutting 20,000 feet per day.18
On February 23, 1906, Sam C. Lawrence filed an “ejectment” lawsuit against Mary Brickell, W. B. Brickell and L. B. Gould.19 This was probably related to Gould’s property in Cocoanut Grove. On April 27, 1906, “Lyman G. (sic) Gould et ux” sold lot 4, block 58 in the City of Miami to E. W. Stephens20 for $1,100.
Since the railroad ran through a portion of his homestead claim, it is very likely that Gould took advantage of that and timbered his claim once the tracks reached his property. Once that was complete, Gould, with money in his pockets, relinquished21 his homestead claim on April 23, 1906 and prepared to depart for greener pastures. In late May of 1906, he wrote to the editor of The Miami Metropolis from Phoenix, Arizona that “fruits and vegetables are plentiful” and that “stock raising is an enormous industry.”22
Having made his money in Dade County, like so many other early “homesteaders,” Gould moved to the bustling town of Phoenix, where he and his wife got into the real estate business. On April 22, 1909, he registered to vote in Maricopa County, Arizona.23 From 1914 until 1916, the Phoenix City Directory shows them living at 312 N. 1st Avenue, where he was in real estate and his wife, S. Katherine, was a dressmaker, an occupation she had followed in Miami.24
Lyman and his wife came back from Arizona in October of 1913 and settled in Florida City.25 He and his wife may have moved to Miami, as at the time of his death he lived with Charles Gould at 1166 N.W. 7th Ct. Lyman died at the Kendall Hospital on March 4, 1928.26 Charles, most likely Lyman’s younger brother, born in about 1869, was the informant on his death certificate. His widow apparently moved back to Phoenix, where she died on April 6, 1961.
Lyman B. Gould was only in Dade County for eight years and in the Goulds area for perhaps three. He was one of many engaged in cutting down the virgin stands of Dade County pine in the Goulds area. The volume of timber that needed to be shipped justified the cost for the F.E.C. to build a siding for railroad cars to be loaded. As late as 1909, the community was known as Gould’s Siding.27 Gould was a very typical early pioneer who came here to make his fortune by exploiting the abundant natural resources of this area and then decamped for the greener pastures in Arizona. In a future post, following up on my previous post, I’ll tell the story of Bailes Road.
Updated on May 18, 2023.
- The Miami Metropolis, September 2, 1898, p. 1
- The Miami Metropolis, September 23, 1898, p. 7
- Ibid, p. 7
- The Miami MetropolisMay 5, 1905, p. 4
- The Miami Metropolis, May 31, 1901, p. 6
- The Miami Metropolis, August 9, 1901, p. 8
- Family Search BLM Tract Book 32, p. 207
- Family Search BLM Tract Book 32, p. 207
- The Miami Metropolis, October 11, 1901, p. 7
- The Miami Metropolis, November 21, 1902, p. 3
- The Miami Metropolis, January 23, 1903, p. 4
- The Miami Metropolis, February 6, 1903, p. 1
- The Miami Metropolis, March 13, 1903, p. 1
- The Miami Metropolis, February 27, 1903, p. 1
- The Miami Metropolis, March 13, 1903, p. 1
- The Miami Metropolis, January 29, 1904, p. 8
- The Miami MetropolisJuly 28, 1905, p. 4
- The Miami Metropolis, January 29, 1904
- The Miami Metropolis, February 23, 1906, p. 5
- The Miami Metropolis, April 27, 1906, p. 4
- Relinquishing a claim did not mean giving it up for nothing. Relinquishments were sold, often at a substantial profit to the original claimant.
- The Miami Metropolis, June 1, 1906, p. 3
- Arizona voter registration records, available from Ancestry.com
- Phoenix City directories, available through Ancestry.com. Why the South Florida Banner (see note 25) reported that they were in Florida City in October of 1913 is unknown. City directories have been known to be inaccurate, though.
- South Florida Banner, October 10, 1913, p. 1
- Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics Death Certificate #3908.
- The Weekly Miami Metropolis, September 17, 1909, p. 7