Columbus Hawkins Lyda
 
Story furnished by Clarence Crocker



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 stoves.

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 life.

Picture courtesy of Gerald Quinn, a former resident of Glendale.

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