Profile of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Lyke
From Palatine, NY to Janesville, WI
Near and England Family Descendants
John J. Lyke, now living retired in Janesville, Rock County, where he has a neat and pleasant home
at No. 260 South Main street, has led a career of singular probity, and by industry and honesty has
accumulated a considerable fortune, and achieved a large success in life.
Mr. Lyke was born in Montgomery County, N.Y., July 28, 1823, only child of John and Nancy (Near)
Lyke, both natives of New York. The father, who was a farmer, died in Steuben County, that State. In
1856 the widow came West with her son, and made her home with him until her death, in 1863. She and
her husband were Lutherans in religion. His father, John Lyke, came from Germany, and settled in New
York before the Revolution, locating in Dutchess County. He afterward moved to Montgomery County,
where he died at an advanced age. He was a farmer, and had five or six children. Her father,
Zachariah Near, who was a farmer, was of Mohawk-Dutch descent, and lived to about
ninety years of age. He was the father of four children.
John J. Lyke was reared in the town of Palatine, Montgomery Co., N.Y., on a farm, attended district
schools, and worked out by the year until after he came West. Here he did farming on shares for six
years, and then bought a farm of eighty acres in La Prairie township, section 7, which he still owns.
He brought it to a high state of perfection, and made his home there until 1887, when he moved to
Janesville. For some years he owned a second and adjoining eighty acres, but sold it after a time.
On Feb. 2, 1854, Mr. Lyke married Miss Catherine Ann England, who was born April 20, 1828, a daughter
of Benjamin and Jane (Vantwerpt) England, and they have had four children, Benjamin Clark, Mary J.,
Rachel Ann and Alice Catherine. Benjamin C. married Margaret Austin, now deceased, and they had six
children, John, Alice, William, Robert, Benjamin, and Alexander; he is a farmer. Mary J. is single,
and lives at home. Rachel Ann married William A. Read, and has her home in La Prairie; they have one
son, Arthur Victor. Alice Catherine married Webster C. Hugunin; they live in Rock township, Rock Co.,
Wis., and have two children, Hattie and Ira. Mr. and Mrs. Lyke are members of the Congregational
Church. He is a Republican, has been supervisor two years, and school treasurer of La Prairie
township seventeen years. Mr. Lyke has always been a hard-working man, and has lived an upright life.
He contemplates with satisfaction that he was never sued, and has never had occasion to sue any one.
He has treated the world squarely, and it in turn has used him well.
The parents of Mrs. Lyke, Montgomery County (N.Y.) people, had six children, Mrs. Lyke being the
only one now living. Her father was a farmer, and died in New York in 1849, when about fifty-seven
years old. Her mother died at the old homestead a number of years later. Mrs. Lyke's paternal
grandfather, Benjamin England, was born and educated in Germany, and was a farmer in his early life.
Coming to America, he served throughout the Revolutionary war as a minister; he belonged to the
Lutheran denomination. He lived many years after the war, continuing to serve his Master. He married
Jane Godnew, and had five children. Mrs. Lyke's maternal grandfather, John Vantwerpt, was born in
Holland, came to this country when young, became a farmer, and died in New York State when quite old.
Throughout the Revolution he served as a home guard and the incidents connected therewith which
remained strongest in his memory were those of the famous period of starvation which occurred when the
soldiers were under a traitor commander. His wife Rachel (Vanantwerp), became blind, and died in old age. Ê
Source: "Commemorative biographical record of the counties of Rock, Green, Grant, Iowa and Lafayette,
Wisconsin, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, and of many of
the early settled families." Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co., 1901. Pages 240-41.
[Note: we have no information on this Lyke or Near family on our site, and would appreciate any additional information
provided by descendants to post on this page. Likewise, we would appreciate receiving any information about the England or
Vantwerpt/Vanantwerp family of Montgomery County.]