William Lyall is the son
of Charles Lyall, of Dumfermline, Scotland, and Mary Cooper, of Perth,
Scotland, and was born on the 28th October, 1840, in Jersey City, New
His father came to the
United States in 1839, and taking up his residence in the City of New
York, soon laid the foundations of a prosperous commercial career.
Mr. Lyall, the future
President, pursued his youthful studies in the New York schools, and in
due course commenced business life in 1861. Success marked his efforts
from the start, and he rapidly built up a thriving business, being
successively connected with the Planet Mills, the United States Corset
Company, the Chelsea Jute Mills, and other manufacturing enterprises.
In later years he
established the J. & W. Lyall Loom and Machine Works, for the
manufacture of textile machinery, and particularly the Positive Motion
Loom, of which his brother and partner, Mr. James Lyall, now deceased,
was the inventor. This loom was a marked improvement in weaving
machinery, being the basis of many other textile enterprises, and the
American Institute awarded the inventor the first Great Gold Medal of
Honor, and he also obtained many awards from the Centennial Exposition
At the present time Mr.
Lyall is the President of the Brighton Mills, for the manufacture of
cotton goods, and senior member of the well-known firm of J. & W. Lyall.
Mr. Lyall is a director
in several banks and fire insurance companies, and identified with
various social and charitable organizations. He is also a member of the
Union League Club, and the Chamber of Commerce of the City of New York.
He has had a long and
intimate connection with Saint Andrew’s Society, having been a Manager,
1874-1878 and 1882-1893; Second Vice-President, 1893-1895; First
Vice-President, 1895-1897, and President, 1897-1898; besides serving as
a member of the Standing Committee from 1898.
Mr. Lyall married on the
26th June, 1862, in New York City, Kittie Earl, daughter of Tarleton B.
Earl and Mary McCollough, and after her death, married 011 the 25th
April, 1882, in New York City, Pamelia W. Warren, daughter of George H.
Warren and Jane Hammond. He has had issue: (1) William Lord, born 24th
June, 1863, at New York City; (2) Charles E., born 20th March, 1865, at
New York City; (3) Herbert J., born nth December, 1869, at London,
England; (4) Kitty Earl, born 3d October, 1871, at Elizabeth, N. J.; (5)
Earl Harvey, born 25th April, 1877, at New York City; (6) Pamelia
Warren, born 30th June, 1884, at New York City.
His portrait is
reproduced from an excellent photograph, now in the possession of the