Mr. Hilliary Quinton Lyles was born in Caldwell Co, TX one of 13
children. He was the son of beloved minister and rancher Rev.
John H. Lyles, who in 1854 moved to Prairie Lea, TX from Allen
Co, KY, moving out west in search of a dream.
During these antebellum years, it was a struggle to raise a
family. His father, John Hilliary Lyles was widowed and
remarried several times. His mother Tennessee born, Miss Nancy
Jane Frost, was the second wife of the preacher. One year after
his birth and during the Civil War his mother died, leaving his
father a widower for the second time.
H. Q. Lyles was a man with vision and rough determination to prevail in this remote oasis of West Texas.
Ranching in West Texas
photo courtesy Tom Green County Historical Society
| John H. was a prominent
Baptist minister, one of the early pioneer preachers of Texas.
He took up ranching, farming and cabinet-making on his South
Texas plantation. The well-loved reverend, took up the cause to
support the Confederacy in the War for Southern Independence. In
1861, he served as a member of a committee to solicit
contributions and make arrangements for the famous, Civil War's
Sibley's Expedition. This was " a grandiose plan to capture
New Mexico Territory and use it as a gateway for Confederate
occupation of Colorado and California. It was a gallant attempt
to capture the Southwestern Territory for the Confederate
States." It was clear H. Q. Lyles was born a "child of
He grew up close to Lockhart, TX near the Chisholm Trail. No
doubt, where he eventually acquired a taste for life on the
frontier. Lockhart was the southernmost point of the Chisholm
Trail. Mr. Lyles settled in West Texas (Tom Green County) in
1881 and married Miss Helen Canon in Montvale, TX in 1887. He
was a rancher/cattleman in Coke Co, TX. It is believed, that the
frontier cabin was part of the Lyles Ranch and dates to circa
1890. The Lyles family lived on their beloved ranch from about
1890-1900. At one point their heard numbered 300 head of cattle
and his brand was "Z." On the homestead, several of
their children were born, the last child born on the Lyles Ranch
was an auburn haired baby girl, named Allie Mattie in 1899.
Their children received their education by a governess, Miss
Allie Roberts while on the family ranch. The family later loaded
their wagons and supplies and headed for Sterling City, TX ,
around the turn of the century, selling out nearly 2000 acres to
an Englishman named, Ainslie Turner. It was here that Mr. Lyles
was noted for his "square dealings in the mercantile and
banking business." Mr. Lyles was a pioneer cattleman in
West Texas as well as a Baptist, prohibitionist, and a man with
splendid religious ideals. He left behind an incredible legacy
and lived a "Cowboy's Dream." Mr. and Mrs. Lyles are
buried in the Montavle Cemetery in Sterling City, TX.
(The Lyles family was known for their prominence in the field of
ministry and came to this country during colonial times. The
William Lyle family, one of prominence, arrived from England in
1652. They settled in Calvert Co, MD. Another ancestor, Col.
William Lyles was close friends with General George Washington
and remembered for his plantations Want Water and Harmony Hall,
two of the oldest plantation homes in the Washington D. C. area.
Col. William Lyle was a wealthy landowner and lived at Want
Water at the time of the American Revolution.)