A native of Donegal, Ireland, who came to San Diego in 1847. He had been carpenter on board a whaler on the Northwest coast. He kept a store in Old Town from 1851 to 1858. In the latter year he was elected sheriff and served two terms, until 1862, when he was succeeded by James McCoy. He was city trustee and postmaster in 1853-4, trustee again in 1855, etc. He was also a director of the San Diego & Gila Railroad from its organization in 1854.
In 1850, he married Bernarda Billar, daughter of Lieutenant Billar, at one time commandant of the San Diego Presidio. They had ten children, seven sons and three daughters. Their eldest son, William J. Lyons, married Sarah Ames. He was associated with H. A. Howard in the real estate business in boom days, and the Souvenir, published by the firm of Howard & Lyons, consisting of advertisements written for them by Thomas I.. Fitch, is famous. He has also been largely interested in mining in the Alamo district, Lower California. His daughter, Mary Dolores, was married to J. B. Hinton. She is now deceased. They had no children.
Son, Benj. Lyons, married Hattie Connors, daughter of Jas. W. Connors. They live at Coronado and have three children.
George Lyons is one of the best known of the few survivors of the days before the 50’s.
[from Smythe, William Ellsworth. History of San Diego, 1542-1908. San Diego: History Co., 1907. (pages 277-278)]
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