Lyman C. Howe was born in Butternuts, New York in 1832 to Jared and Clarissa Howe. They couldn’t afford a good education for all of their ten children but raised them as strict Calvinists who lived by the Bible. When Lyman was ten, his mother died, and the family was separated. Lyman went to live with Perry Aylsworth for nearly three years before moving in with his brother who lived in Hornell, New York. He attended public school and in 1851 began teaching school until his health failed him.
Beginning in 1853, Lyman trained as a Spiritualist medium and began work as an inspirational speaker. He said many incidents happened to him from 1854 to 1859. In 1858 he was almost forced to be a platform speaker, but he was too shy. The first few years most of his lectures were in rhyme. His first public lecture was in the Free Church at Lama near Fredonia. He did not expect to be successful and traveled from 5-20 miles on foot to appointments, and frequently wasn’t paid.
By the end of 1858, he had regular speaking engagements in several New York towns. In 1862, he married Sarah E. North and they had a daughter, Sarah Maude born in 1867. A year later, they moved to Fredonia, New York. By then Lyman’s inspirational speaking was taking him around the country. He spoke in at least 17 states and cities, including Titusville, PA, Chicago, Kansas City, Binghamton, NY and Elmira NY, Troy, Grand Rapids and New York City, and Washington DC, spending about a year in each. He wrote for many periodicals, including The Sunbeam, Banner of Light and Psychic Review. He also held public debates with Rev. William Rogers of Gowanda, NY, Rev. Niles of Corry, PA and Uriah Clark of Nunda Station, NY.
In Light of Truth, vol. 20, no. 5, 1897 Lyman wrote: “I first realized phenomenal mediumship in 1854. My sight had become subject to unseen influences and would answer questions, oral or mental, while no other part of my body or mind seemed to be afflicted at all. Then followed a series of phases, automatic writing, personating, talking. Immediately after I began to talk it developed rhyme of a very perfect rhythm and meter, some of it arose to the standard of poetry. Then prophesy, and often giving names, dates and personal communications, called tests. Answering mental questions was a very common and successful phase.”
Lymon was one of the first speakers at Alden’s Grove and served for twenty-five years at Lily Dale without missing a season. In Cassadaga its History and Teaching, A.W. McCoy wrote, “His services have been required in all of the largest cities as well as in the smaller towns and villages, at all of which he has drawn large and intelligent audiences. His inspiration is of the highest and purest order.” Lyman died in 1910 at the age of seventy-five after many years of dedicated service.