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Lyman Family Papers

Identifier: M/A 0310

Description of Contents

The collection includes World War II-era correspondence, yacht logs, and biographical material on the Lyman family.


  • Creation: 1933 - 1960



The collection is available for use in Special Collections at Minneapolis Central Library during the department's open hours.


A wealthy Minneapolis family that made a fortune through grain trading, the Lymans lived on Lowry Hill in Minneapolis before moving to Minnetonka. All three male Lymans served in World War II and sent letters home.

Frederick C. Lyman, Sr. (1890-1979): A midcentury Minneapolis grain trader and Yale graduate, Lyman was the president of the firm McCaull-Lyman Company. He was a veteran of three wars: the 1916 Mexican Expedition; World War I; and World War II. In the last war, he worked for the Harbor Defenses of the Columbia, a division responsible for protecting the Pacific Northwest from attack. Immediately after V-E day, he worked to reestablish food storage systems in Belgium and Germany.
Upon his retirement in 1959, his company changed its name to the McCaull Grain Company. An avid yachter, he was a yacht club commodore in the Minneapolis Club and sailed along the East Coast and in the Caribbean on multiple voyages, often with his wife and occasionally with his children. At the age of 60, he sailed from Hempstead Bay, New York, to Bergen, Norway, in a 45-foot sloop.

Clara Cross Lyman (1900-1991): A philanthropist, committee member of the Friends of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and a member of the Minneapolis Athenaeum's board of directors. She was interviewed in “When Bread Cost a Nickel,” a video produced as part of "Minneapolis: Portrait of a Lifestyle, Peoples," a series of talks given as part of the National Endowment for the Humanities Learning Library Program at Minneapolis Central Library.

Frederick (“Fred”) Clark Lyman, Jr.: (1925-2011) Graduated from the Blake school and Yale. He served in the European theater of World War II and received a purple heart. A musician and artist, he moved from Minneapolis to New York in the 1950s. He designed and built musical instruments, including the “piccolo bass.”

Norton Cross Lyman: (1927-). Received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering in 1957 and enlisted in the Armed Forces at 17. In 1945 and 1946, he worked in Korea as a telephone switchboard engineer.

Charlotte Lyman Fardelmann (1928-): A philanthropist and author. Upon receiving a family inheritance, Charlotte and a group of other women created the “Lyman Fund” that grants funds to individuals for religious purposes. She published Nudged by the Spirit: Stories of People Responding to the Still, Small Voice of God (Wallingford, PA: Pendle Hill Publications, 2001).


1.5 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



Letters are described chronologically by author and date. With no original order, they are arranged by author and by date, but new additions to the collection have been added in batches at the end.

Lyman Family Papers
Stewart Van Cleve and Edward W. Hathaway
September 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.