LYMAN, CHARLES, United States civil service commissioner from April, 1886 to May, 1895, and president of the commission from May, 1889, to December, 1893; chief of division of appointments of the United States treasury department; former president of the Young Men's Christian Association, Washington, District of Columbia, and president of the Reform Bureau for Promotion of Christian Reforms; was born in Bolton, Connecticut, April 10, 1843. His father, Jacob Lyman, was a farmer by occupation, and he held the offices of justice of the peace, selectman and captain of militia. He was a man of "sound judgment, thorough honesty and a strong sense of justice and fairness." His mother's maiden name was Dorcas Chaffee Chapman. Her son says of her: "She was kind, gentle and lovable. She loved righteousness and hated iniquity—a thoroughly good woman." He is ninth in descent from Richard Lyman, first of the name in this country, who came in 1631 to Charlestown, Massachusetts, and was one of the early colonists of Hartford, Connecticut, in 1635.
Charles was fond of reading as a young boy, and earnestly desired a good education. The farm work which fell to his share gave him physical strength; and the fixed habits of industry and self reliance, and of exercising his own judgment formed in early life, have proved a great benefit to him as a man. When the resources of the local schools were exhausted, he pursued further study at Vernon academy and at Rockville high school, with a partial business course; taught school three terms, and was graduated from the National university law school in 1875, receiving the degree of LL.B. He had already served in the Civil war in the 14th Connecticut volunteers, for about a year, commanding a company at nineteen years of age, and participating in the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.
He began the active work of life in 1864, by entering the government service in Washington, District of Columbia, as a clerk in the treasury department. He passed through all grades of clerkship