Columbus Hawkins Lyda
Story furnished by Clarence
Best known simply as “Hawk”,
a native of Hendersonville, North Carolina, Columbus Hawkins Lyda was
born in 1874 according to 1880 census records. He was the son of Mr.
Pinckney and Mrs. Carolyn Green Lyda. His obituary in the Spartanburg
Herald and Journal stated that he died Sunday night January 23, 1949 in
a local hospital. His survivors were; his wife, Mrs. Rosa Stepp Lyda,
of Hendersonville; four sisters, Mrs. Emma Rogers of Hendersonville,
Mrs. Lillie Hyder of East Flat Rock, N. C., Mrs. Ester Rodes of
Hendersonville and Mrs. Julia Hyder of Glendale; two brothers, Mr. Bud
Lyda of Hendersonville and Mr. Lewis Perry Lyda of Glendale and one
grandchild. His funeral service was held in the M. W. Bobo Funeral
Chapel at Spartanburg, S. C. with interment following in the St. Paul’s
Episcopal Church Cemetery near Hendersonville. Reverend Timothy L.
Hottel was the officiating Minister.
I have no records showing
exactly when “Hawk” came to Glendale. The 1910 Henderson county N.C.
census listed Columbus Hawkins Lyda at 36 years of age, head of
household, a farmer and married to Rosa A. Lyda, 29 years of age. They
were the parents of three children; the 1910 census listed a daughter
named Nanny, age 7 and a son Thomas E, age 2 and were living in the
Clear Creek community of Henderson County. The 1920 census listed Rosa
A Lyda as head of household with two children;, son Thomas E. 11 years
of age and daughter Oneva, 9 years of age and were still living in
Clear Creek Community. Nanny had apparently married. It appears that
Hawk came to Glendale, leaving his family behind somewhere about 1919.
Rosa had not remarried at the time of Hawk’s death in 1949.
Hawk’s relatives told this
writer that Hawk, his sister Mrs. Julia Hyder and her husband along
with Hawk’s brother Perry, all came to
Glendale to work in the mill. Hawk first lived with his sister, Mrs.
Julie Hyder who had married in Hendersonville and had moved to Glendale
with her husband. Perry worked in the machine
shop, eventually becoming Mill Master Mechanic before his retirement. I
have no knowledge of where or how long Hawk, Julia and her husband
worked in the mill.
After leaving the mill, Hawk
became Glendale’s “Unique” person. This writer came to know Hawk in the
late 30s. He lived alone in his home on a small farm located on the
Glendale-Bethesda road (now Emma Cudd road) about one mile from the
Glendale Post Office. Hawk had been a farmer all his life until he came
to Glendale. Except for an occasional trip to the post office and the
grocery store he was seldom seen in the village. He could be seen
almost daily on Lawson Fork shoals below the dam where he fished and
picked up wooden boards and timbers which had washed down the river
with which he built small buildings on his place or burned in his
Though they may have made
many visits, my only knowledge of Hawk having a visit from any member
of his family was on the occasion when his son Thomas came down to see
him. Apparently hoping Thomas would stay with him, Hawk and Thomas went
to Spartanburg where Hawk bought a car. The son drove the car back home
but did not stay. Since Hawk could not drive and apparently had no
desire to learn how, he built a garage over the car without a door to
get the car out, only a walk through door. (Probably from boards
floating down the river) I was told that Hawk, for a number of years,
kept the car polished though it was never moved until after his death.
When Hawk died and his
property was sold, James Patton, a black neighbor of this writer bought
the car. He told me that it was a copper head T-model Ford and that
after cleaning the ignition and putting some gas in the tank, it fired
on the first or second crank. After putting some wheels on the car,(
the old wood spoke wheels were shot) he pulled it to his home since he
had no license. James set the engine up to pull a saw to cut fire
longs. Johnny DuPre bought Hawk’s old home place. Tearing down the old
buildings and plowing the land, old coins stored in jars and coffee
cans were found. A policeman told me that Confederate money was found
sewn in the lining of his coat when he was carried to the hospital.
Yes, “Hawk” was a unique
individual but he occupied a warm spot in the hearts of the Glendale
residents who had come to really know him. After reading some of the
Glendale history which I have written, I have had numerous inquiries
from the readers regarding Hawk Lyda and felt that I should record his
Picture courtesy of Gerald Quinn, a former
resident of Glendale.
This web site has been started as a
public service to share the story of Glendale. The web master and
person to contact about putting information on the web site is Mary
McKinney Teaster. Contact her at:
or by telephone at (843) 873-8117. See
more information about Mary and her Glendale connection at Mary McKinney Teaster.