Showing posts with label Lyon Quintuplets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lyon Quintuplets. Show all posts

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Letter of the day, November 13

Not one letter but a series starting on today's date, negotiating the transfer of the bodies of her quintuplets to the Museum.

Kevil, Ky. Nov 13- 1915

President Woodrow Wilson
Dear sir
In the year of Our Lord 1896 I gave Birth to five Boy Babies on April the 29th but had the missfortune of loosing them all and was afraid to bury them for fear the grave would be robbed of there Boddies as there was such excitement over them[.] I had them embalmed and they are now In a mummyfied condition. and I wish to know if they would be any benefit to the Goverment for Educational Purposes I have any amount of afidavits which I can furnish with them to the face I don’t want to sell them but Will let them out on a limited time for a reasonable sum. My Husband and I Both are getting old and have lost all of our family but four and we both are In very Bad Health and will ask you If you can do any thing for us Please answer soon as possiable.

I am living at Kevil Ky R#4.
Mrs. O.D. Lyon.

War Department,
Office of the Surgeon General,
Army Medical Museum and Library,

No. 577.

November 19, 1915

Mrs. O.D. Lyon
Kevil, Ky.

Dear Madam:

Your letter addressed to the President, relative to the five boy babies to which you gave birth April 29, 1896, has been referred to this office.

The Army Medical Museum would like to have these specimens to add to its collection, provided they are in condition and would be desirable for exhibit; but they cannot be accepted as a loan.

Should you wish to donate them the Museum would be pleased to receive them and will give you credit for them; otherwise their purchase would be considered if you will inform us of the amount at which you would be willing to dispose of them.

But before further action in the matter, the Museum would like to obtain a statement from some reliable physician as to their condition and desirability, and it is suggested that some physician in Kevil be asked to examine and report to this office the condition and desirability of the specimens for exhibit in the collection of this Museum. Such a report from Dr. D.E. Burrows or Dr. Thos. E. Scott would be acceptable.

Very respectfully,
C.C. McCulloch, Jr.
Lt. Col. Medical Corps, U.S.A.
Curator, Army Medical Museum.

The statement from the physician:

Hospital College of Medicine
Louisville, Ky.
Thomas E. Moss
Physician and Surgeon
Specialty: Diseases of Infancy and Childhood
Cumberland Phone, 12 ring 2
Home phone, No. 73, Kevil Exchange

Kevil, Ky. December, 5- 1915

1st Indorsement.
Respectfully returned to C.C. McCulloch Jr. Lt. Col. Medical Corps, U.S.A. Curator, Army Medical Museum with the information, as requested, that the five boy babies of Mrs. O.D. Lyon born April, 29th. 1896. are in a fair state of mummification and will, I believe, be a valuable addition to any museum. Any other information desired will be forwarded upon request.

[signed] Thomas E. Moss, M.D.

Kevil Ky. Dec 6th 1915
C.C. McCulloch Jr
Washington D.C.

Dear Sir
If you think the Babies are desirable from the statement of the Dr and want to purchase them I will sell them for the consiteration of $1500. Fifteen hundred Dollars and If further Information be wanted I will be glad to furnish all I can-
Yours Truely
Mrs O.D. Lyon

December 9, 1915
No. 584

Mrs. O.D. Lyon
Kevil, Ky.

Dear Madam:

Yours of 6th inst. enclosing statement of Dr. Moss, which is quite satisfactory, concerning the five babies to which you gave birth April 29, 1896, has been received. In reply you are informed that your proposition to dispose of them for $1500.00 is hereby declined.

Very respectfully,
C.C. McCulloch Jr.
Lt. Col. Medical Corps, U.S.A.
Curator, Army Medical Museum.

A note in the file:
Mrs Lyon might be told that the statement of Dr. Moss is quite satisfactory. However we think that her price is too low; that $15000.00 (ahem!) would be more appropriate[e.] All the same the museum cannot afford such prices and therefore is unable to further consider the purchase.

[signed] Lamb


Kevil Ky 12/13-1915

Mr C.C. McCulloch Jr
Dear Sir:
I am in receipt of yours of the 9th declining my proposition of $1500.00 for the disposal of the five babies. I thought my proposition a reasonable one for such a rare collection[.]
But I am willing to be reasonable and now ask you to make me a proposal.

Very respectfully yours
Mrs OD Lyon
Kevil Ky
Route #4


Kevil Ky Dec 29-1915

Mr C.C. McCulloch
Washington D.C.

Dear sir
In regard to your letter of the 15th I wish to ask If the appropriation Is so limited That you could not give me any thing what Ever for the Quintuptels. I had rather for them to be In the hands of the Goverment than any where else.for I know that they would be taken care of There. and would like to make a deal with you If possible.

I remain yours
Mrs O.D. Lyon.
R#4 Kevil Ky


Kevil Ky. 1/8-1915 [sic 1916 ERW 21 June 1979]

Mr. CC McCulloch Jr

Dear sir
In reply to yours of the 3rd I will say that I had much rather have the Credit of donating the Quintuplets than to sell them but I am not able to do so. I have had several offers to sell them for much more than your Price but never thought of selling them untill now and I had much rather for the Goverment to have them than any one else. For I might stand a chance to see them sometime then otherwise I would not. and I am unwilling to dispose of them to the Govenment for $200.00 which I think is little enough and If you except my proposition you can send me directions for preparing and shipping them to the Museum.
Yours very Truely
Mrs O.D. Lyon.


Kevil Ky. Feb 12th 1916.

Mr C.C. McCulloch Jr

Dear sir
Replying to your of Jan 3rd I will say that I have decided to except your offer of $100.00 for the Quintuplets and you can send me directions for preparing and shipping them to the Museum
I remain yours Truly

Mrs. O.D. Lyon
R#4 Kevil Ky.


Kevil Ky. Feb 28-1916
Curator. Army. Medical Museum
Washington D.C.

Dear sirs
In reply to yours of the 25th I will say that Each Infant was In a seperate sack with one afterbirth. There was no twins In my family or my Husbands. There was an Embalmer at Paducah Ky. that
Embalmed the Children but did not five satisfaction and I carried them to Nashville Tenn where they was Embalmed In a dry stage as they are now[.] I herewith Inclose Picture of afterbirth the only one I have[.]
Yours very Truely
Mrs O.D. Lyon


Kevil Ky 11-16-1916

Mr CC McCulloch
Will you be so Kind as to let me here from the Lyon Quintuplets as I Study a bout them so much[.] My health is give down and that causes me to Study more than I would if I was well[.] Do they create much Interest among people and do you Know whether the President has seen them or not[.]
I have a curiosity to know

Very Respectfully
Mrs. OD Lyon

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Letter of the day, May 4

We have several exchanges between Mrs. Lyon and the Museum scheduled for November, so check back for them.

This is the same J.E. Ash who made the comment about "bottled monsters," where we got our blog's name.

Noble J. Gregory

Member of Congress
First Kentucky District

Home Address:
Mayfield, Kentucky

Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.

May 4, 1939

Colonel James E. Ash,
Curator, Army Medical Museum,
Washington, D.C.

Dear Colonel Ash:

On display in your museum you have the bodies of five babies, and the placard by these bodies merely gives the date of their birth.

For your information, these babies were born in my home town of Mayfield, Kentucky, on April 29, 1896, to Mrs. Elizabeth Lyon, who is now a resident of Kevil, Kentucky, and who is eighty-two years of age. These boys were named Matthew, Mark, Luke, James and John. It strikes me that proper recognition should be given in this instance, and it is my suggestion that a placard be placed with these bodies giving the facts which I have above outlined.

I am sending you herewith two newspaper clippings recently appearing in the Mayfield, Kentucky, Messenger giving additional facts pertinent to this case.

I will appreciate your reaction to my suggestion, and if you desire further or more complete information before giving recognition as is due, I will be glad to secure the information for you.

Sincerely yours,
N.J. Gregory


And the reply:

War Department
Office of the Surgeon General

May 8, 1939

Honorable Noble J. Gregory
Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. Gregory:

My assistant, Lt. Col. J.E. Ash, Curator of the Army Medical Museum, has furnished me with the enclosed photostat copy of the caption that is at present in the case with the “Mayfield Quintuplets” and a photostat copy of a letter from the then Curator of the Museum to Mrs. Lyon, in which you will note it was promised the specimen would simply be numbered. It is contrary to the policy to use names on specimens at the Museum, particularly when they are from persons still alive. The effort is made to maintain as high a scientific atmosphere as possible at the Museum and to keep the exhibits as impersonal as practicable.

I appreciate your interest in this particular “specimen” and thank you for the recent clippings. We are particularly glad to learn that Mrs. Lyon is still living. You might be interested to know that she visited the Museum during her trip to Canada in 1934 to see the Dionne Quintuplets.

In response to your suggestions, Colonel Ash has prepared a new caption, a copy of which is also enclosed, in which you will note that the name of the town has been added and also the interesting point about the babies’ names. According to our file, the fifth name was Paul instead of James. We still feel it would be well to adhere to our policy of omitting Mrs. Lyon’s name.


C.R. Reynolds,
Major General, U.S. Army,
The Surgeon General.

1. Present caption.
2. Ltr 2/25/16 from A.M.M. to Mrs. Lyon.
3. New caption.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Letter of the Day: April 12

12 April 1956


Honorable Noble J. Gregory

House of Representatives


Dear Mr. Gregory:


Reference is made to your letter of 19 March and our reply of 21 March 1956 in which you requested a change be made in the exhibit label of the Lyon Quintuplets.


In accordance with the letter you enclosed from Mrs. Tilford and the birth certificate, the exhibit label has been changed to indicated the correct date of death of the quintuplet mother. The label now also includes the date of death of the father.


The exhibit, as it is now presented in our Museum, has been rephotographed. Prints of this photograph are enclosed as requested. May I thank you for your interest in this matter.


Sincerely yours,


W.M. Silliphant

Captain, MC, USN


Incl Photograph


c.c. Curator, Med. Museum