Lewis Perry Lyda
(Master Mechanic at Glendale Mills)
Story furnished by Clarence Crocker



Lewis Perry Lyda was the son of Pinckney and Carolyn Green Lyda and was born in Hendersonville, N. C. on February 1, 1877. He came to Spartanburg in 1898 at the age of 21 and began working at Converse Mills. He transferred to Glendale about the turn of the century and began working in the machine shop. Following the retirement of John Taylor Varner Sr. in 1938, Mr. Lyda was promoted to Master Mechanic, continuing some 8 years until his retirement. 


Perry was a peach of a guy, admired and appreciated by everyone who knew him. He was a musician, playing the fiddle and banjo, perhaps other instruments. He was a genuine craftsman. He made numerous metal and wood products for his family and friends. He made a multi-drawer wood cabinet for the Sunday School Department of the Glendale Baptist Church which is being used at this date.(2010)


Perry also loved to raise chickens and peacocks. The above pictures shows him at the cage of the peacocks. He was always in a trot. Someone said that he was always in such a hurry that he started his car in high gear. He and his family were good friends of this writer. He was a member of the Glendale Baptist Church where he attended the Men’s Bible Class. This writer was his Sunday School Teacher for some 8 or 10 years. 

Perry was twice married. His first marriage was to Mary Bruce Lyda, born in 1884. They were the parents of five children. Three sons; Hoyt Perry Lyda was born September 16, 1905, died May 18, 1927. Coy Lyda was born January 6, 1907, died November 1, 1911. Lector P. Lyda was born August 11, 1911, died January 19, 1961. Neither of the boys married. Lector served in the army during WW2, being injured on the battlefield from which he never recovered. Two daughters; Fannie Lyda was born April 12, 1909. Fannie married James R. Reaves of Glendale. They were the parents of two children; Tommy Reaves who married Monte Ballard of Spartanburg and Patsy Reaves who married Raymond Rowan of Leeds, Ala. Fannie Lyda Reaves died May 31, 1993. The second daughter, Labama Lyda was born June 5, 1915. Labama married Grover Phillips of Reidville, S.C. They were the parents of one daughter, Elaine Phillips Walden of Pacolet, S.C. Labama Lyda Phillips died November 23, 1952.

Mary Bruce Lyda died at her home on Saturday, September 26, 1936, after a lingering illness. She was 57 years of age. Her obituary stated that she had lived in Glendale over 30 years and was well known. They lived for many years in the last house on Sixteen (Highland) street. She was a member of the Glendale Baptist Church. Her survivors were listed as; her husband, Perry Lyda; two daughters, Mrs. Fannie L. Reaves and Labama Lyda; one son, Lector Lyda, all of Glendale; one brother, Crawford Bruce of Spartanburg, S. C; two grandchildren. Flower Bearers; Sally Lancaster, Clistie Thomas, and Bonnie Hyder. Services were held in the Glendale Baptist Church. She and all her children are buried in the Glendale Cemetery. (flower bearers were common at funerals in those days)

Perry’s second marriage was to Alice Kennedy, born September 30, 1904. A native of Rutherford County, N. C., she was the daughter of Thomas and Laura Jolly Kennedy. She became a member of the Glendale Baptist Church. They became the parents of two sons. Bruce Lyda, who married Joyce Rochester of Gaffney, S.C., and  Stanley Lyda who married Shirley Ann Sprouse of Clifton, S. C. 

Perry Lyda’s obituary, published in the Spartanburg Herald & Journal, stated that he had died at 9:45 A.M. Tuesday, October 10, 1972 at the age of 95 following a sudden illness. He was survived by; his two sons, Stanley Lyda of Country Club Road, Bruce Lyda of R.4 Spartanburg, S.C.; his daughter, Fannie Reaves of Glendale; four grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Services were held in the Glendale Baptist Church with interment following in the Greenlawn Memorial Gardens. 

The Spartanburg Herald and Journal had honored him on Father’s day, Sunday June 18, 1972 with a full page spread telling of his work and activities. 

Alice Kennedy Lyda died August 9, 1989 at the age of 84 in the Spartanburg Regional Hospital. Survivors were listed as; two sons, Bruce and Stanley Lyda of Spartanburg; two sisters, Ethel Sanders of Spartanburg, Vivian Hicks of Rutherfordton, N.C.; two grandchildren. Funeral services were held at the Glendale Baptist Church with interment being in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens along side of her husband.

My deep appreciation to Bruce Lyda for helping me pull together some facts and pictures for this article.

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