Obit: Shelly, Lyman (1870 - 1905)

Contact:  Lani Bartelt


----Sources: Marathon Register Newspaper June 16,1905


Wednesday a telegram was received here from Wausau announcing the death of Lyman Shelley which occurred there Monday night.

Mrs. A Boyer went over and arranged for the body to be shipped here for burial.

The funeral was held Thursday from the home of George Shelly (Shelley) in the town of Unity and the remains laid to rest in the Unity cemetery.

The deceased was a resident of Unity for many years. (In) 1899 he was sent to the Marathon County Asylum in which institution he remained until his death.

He is survived by two brothers, Herbert, of this village and George of the town of Unity.

He was a nephew of Mrs. A Boyer of Brighton.

Another obituary from the Marathon Register newspaper dated June 25,1905 says:

Lyman Shelley was born in Brotherstown, Calumet Co Wi on May 22,1869. He came to Unity with his parents in 1878. In 1896 he was injured in a camp at McMillan, since then he had been afflicted with fits (epileptic seizures).

In 1899 his condition became such that it was necessary to send him to the asylum at Wausau where death releived him of his suffering on June 12,1905. The funeral was held from the home of his brother, George Shelley.


Researcher’s Notes:

The Mrs. A Boyer referred to in the first obit is Mrs. Almira (Marie) Allen Boyer, Lyman's maternal Aunt.

The George Shelley referred to in both ofthe obits is my Great-grandfather and the Herbert Shelley referred to in the first obit is my Great uncle. They also had another brother named David who died in 1903. All were the sone of Simon and Ruth (Johnson) Shelley.

Lyman Shelley was my great uncle. Below is the information I have for him.

This letter was written to me by a Marathon County Historical Society member Maryanne Norton who was nice enough to go to the Marathon County courthouse and research info on Lyman Shelley for me in 1980.

" I copied all pertinent information - Lyman Shelly died June 13,1905 at the Marathon County Insane Asylum from acute nephritis and tuberculosis which he had for three years.

He was an Indian,35 years old,married,born at Brothertown and buried in Unity.

The asylum records are housed in Probate Court and they are not usually available to the public (considered too sensitive) but I stopped in there and since it was such an old record the clerk very kindly pulled it and checked. It said: "Lyman Shelly was put in the asylum because he had epilepsy and "occasional fits"/seizures. He was committed Aug 26,1898 at age 29. He was single at that time but was married by Mar 1,1899 when there was another report. He probably was released and committed again. The reports said "he was helpful in every way" and the epilepsy was believed caused by a fall and a blow to the head."

Note - that would fit with the story I got from my oldest Great-Aunt, Dorothy Shelley Neuman who had told me "Lyman worked for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad but he fell off a caboose and was never right in the head again" (story told me in the 1980's) Well she was almost right.

At this time I don't know what McMillan's Camp was .... a logging camp...?

A follow up to the first obituary (see above) tells the real story.


Card of Thanks Marathon Register newspaper June 23,1905


We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to the kind friends who assisted us at the burial of our beloved brother.

Herbert Shelley George Shelley



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