Biography of Lucius Noyes Sizer

Lucius Noyes Sizer was a member of the firm Sizer Brothers, comprising himself and his brother Oscar Bertrand Sizer, proprietors of the Maple Lawn Stock Farm in Newcomb Township. Both brothers became too well known to require any extended introduction. They proved themselves capable as farmers, stock raisers, and business men and in every relationship of life.

Of the two brothers, Lucius Noyes Sizer was born in Kankakee County, Illinois, November 15, 1860. His brother Oscar Bertrand was born in Champaign County, December 29, 1863. His birth occurred on the farm where he now resides. He is the only survivor of seven children, four sons and three daughters, born to Albert Dann and Mary (Noyes) Sizer.

Mr. Bert Sizer was educated in the Mahomet public schools and acquired the equivalent of a high school training. His life has throughout been devoted to farming and Champaign County has always been his home. His wife, now deceased, bore the maiden name of Emma Judy. Bert Sizer is a Republican, served as road commissioner six years and as supervisor of Newcomb Township four years. He is a member of the Elks Lodge at Champaign and belongs to the Shiloh Methodist Episcopal Church in Newcomb Township.

The two brothers acquired an estate of two hundred forty acres in Newcomb Township. The Sizer Brothers gave several years to the breeding of English Shire horses. Some of the finest animals of this class in the Middle West have been raised under their supervision. Their fine stock has been awarded many first prizes, trophies and gold medals, their trophy exhibition containing twenty-five silver trophies, three gold medals, won at the state fairs of Illinois, Indiana and Iowa and the International Stock Show at Chicago. One of the finest animals of this class on the Sizer farm today is Tatton Eldorado, which was a first prize winner in the four year class at the International Stock Show in Chicago in 1916. It is an animal of great value and it indicates how the Sizer Brothers were able to make their live stock enterprise a matter of practical benefit to a large community.

Albert Dann Sizer, father of these brothers, was born in Otsego County, New York, in 1823 and died in 1885. His ancestry is traced back to colonial days. His grandfather, Daniel Sizer, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He was a private in the Fourth Company under Capt. R. J. Meys from Middletown and in the Second Connecticut Regiment under Col. Joseph Spencer. He served during the siege of Boston, and the remainder of his official record as given in the Revolutionary archives is as follows: Private, November, 1777; Prisoner of war and was exchanged July, 1778; was a corporal March 20, 1780, and sergeant January, 1781, in the Third Regiment from Connecticut; was in the line formation 1781 till 1783 under Col. Samuel B. Webb. Served as a private in the retreat from Rhode Island. Such is the record of his activities as found in the adjutant general’s report.

Albert Dann Sizer was reared to manhood in his native state, was educated in common schools and the academy at Batavia, New York, and spent most of his active career as a teacher. His two sons are children of his second marriage. His second marriage occurred in Vermont and in 1857 he came to Kankakee County, Illinois, where he became principal of the Kankakee schools. In the fall of 1862 he removed to Newcomb Township of Champaign County, where in the meantime he had bought 160 acres of land. This purchase is part of the 240 acres now owned and managed by his sons. ‘Fifty years have served to bring about remarkable changes in land values in Champaign County. He paid only $5 an acre for his quarter section, but it is now worth $200 or $300 an acre. It was Illinois Central Railroad land and in an absolutely raw and unimproved state when he bought it. In 1865 Albert D. Sizer assumed principal of the Mahomet schools, and when his death occurred twenty years later he had put in sixteen years of the time at these schools. Among old time teachers he is rated as one of the most successful and is remembered by many hundreds of men and women now in mature years who went to school to him when children. He was a Republican in politics and began voting in that political faith at the time the party was organized. He and his wife were also members of the Presbyterian Church. They are laid to rest in the Riverside cemetery.

The mother of the Sizer brothers was born in Vermont, September 1, 1831, and died in October, 1899. She was well educated. Her grandfather and her great-grandfather on the paternal side were in the Revolutionary War, the great-grandfather being a lieutenant. He was of English origin in the Noyes line.

The late Lucius Noyes Sizer was educated in the public schools at Mahomet and also attended the State University of Illinois, where he was graduated in the civil engineering department with the class of 1884. Though his home was in the country and his time was devoted to the stock farm, Mr. Sizer gave the greater part of his thirty years after leaving college to the civil engineering profession. He made a record for himself in that line in Champaign and Ford counties. It was Mr. Sizer who planned one of the largest open ditches in either of these counties, the big Ford ditch in Ford County, built at a cost of a hundred thousand dollars. For three and a half years he served as city engineer of Champaign, during which period his chief work was paving.

In June 30, 1892, Mr. Sizer married Miss M. Anna Shurts. To their marriage were born four children, three sons and one daughter. Albert Dann, the oldest, is now principal of the public schools of Pesotum in Champaign County. He was educated in the Champaign High School, graduating in 1911, and three years after that pursued his studies in the University of Illinois, in the agricultural course. Albert D. Sizer married Miss Pauline Moss Carter, and they have a son, Albert Carter. Mr. Sizer is a Republican and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Bruce Lucius, the second son, finished his education in the Champaign High School with the class of 1912, then entered the State University and was given an appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and spent one year in training in that institution. On account of failing health he had to give up his intention of training for officer in the United States Navy and he is now at Las Animas, Colorado. Donald Eugene, the third of the sons, finished the course of the common schools and is now carrying forward his work of a higher education in the high school at Fisher. The only daughter, Dorothy M., has finished the work of the common schools and has spent one year in the Fisher High School. The parents of these children exercised much care in bringing them up and gave them an excellent training, above the ordinary in preparation for the duties and responsibilities of life.

Mrs. Sizer was born in Tazewell County, Illinois, November 14, 1865, the fourth in a family of seven children, five sons and two daughters. Her parents were Joseph Nitzer and Emily (Blair) Shurts. Three of the children are still living and Mrs. Shurts and her brother Fred are living in Champaign County. The father was born in New Jersey in 1824 and died in 1906. When a young man he accompanied the family to Ohio, lived there a number of years, and he then moved west and located in Delavan, Tazewell County, Illinois. He acquired land in that beautiful section of the state and finally retired from farming into Delavan, where he spent his last years. He was a Democrat in politics. His wife was born in Michigan in 1836 and died in 1900. She was an active member of the Christian Church. Mrs. Sizer was educated in the common schools, and had two years instruction in the State Normal University at Normal, Illinois. After this preparation she became a teacher and followed the profession for eight years very successfully, and the satisfaction that her labors afforded is well indicated by the fact that she taught five years in one school in Tazewell County. For three years of her teaching she was at Delavan. Mrs. Sizer was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Champaign and of the Domestic Science Club at Fisher. She proved a very able and capable woman in the establishment of her home and in bearing her social duties.

Mr. Sizer was a Republican and the only office he accepted was director of the public schools. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Lucius Noyes Sizer passed away July 6, 1917, and after the funeral services his remains were interred in Riverside cemetery at Mahomet, Illinois. The death of Mr. Sizer caused much sorrow amongst his many life long friends in Newcomb Township, as well as the cities of Champaign and Urbana. His life was one of honor, and upright living, and he left a worthy heritage to his children as a man amongst men. Mrs. Sizer died October 5, 1917.



Stewart, J. R. A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1918.

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