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A Guide to the Lisk Family Papers

Finding aid created by Sarah Kleinman

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
December 2009

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Lisk family
Title: Lisk Family Papers
Dates: 1864-1999
Abstract: Personal papers, correspondence and photos of Lisk family members and others (including Alonson C. Lisk, Bev Lisk, Alex Bueno Edwards, Joyce E. Viggiano, and John F. Lisk).
Extent: 2 Linear feet. 3 boxes.
Identification: MS 264
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Dr. Benjamin Franklin Lisk was born in North Java, New York on August 24, 1839. He enlisted with the 11th Regiment of Wisconsin infantry volunteers during the Civil War in 1861. In 1863 he was transferred and promoted to the rank of captain of the 2nd Regiment of Mississippi Volunteers of African Descent. At the close of the war he was granted a section of land in Nebraska by the U.S. Government. He and his wife, Susan Thoman, settled in Love Tree, Nebraska (now Central City, Neb.). There he was made postmaster general and a notary. In 1876 Benjamin and Susan moved to north central Florida and bought land on Lake George (what is now known as Lisk Point). Here Benjamin and Susan had four children: Edna Pearl, Philip, Percy Franklin and Henrietta. Benjamin also bought land on the Ocklawaha River at the then flourishing village of Conner. He and his family lived at Conner until 1904 when they purchased the Russell Orange grove and moved to Grahamville, FL. Dr. Lisk practiced medicine widely in Marion County. He lived in Grahamville until his death on November 7, 1910.

The brother of Susan Lisk, John Adam Thoman (1838-1906), also served as a Union soldier in the Civil War, first in C Company of the 7th Kentucky Cavalry, then as a hospital nurse at the Asylum hospital in Knoxville, Tenn., and then in the 1st Company, 1st Squadron Provisional Cavalry, Washington, D.C. (1865). The Lisks settled the Ohio estate of Susan's father, Johann Adam Thomann [sic] (1807-1875).

Benjamin's and Susan's daughter, Henrietta Lisk, attended Stetson University from 1899-1903, Florida State College for Women (circa 1903-1906) and taught biology as a teacher at Oxford College, Ohio, Brenau College, Georgia, and various other institutions.

Benjamin's and Susan's eldest son Philip died at age thirteen. A second son, Percy F. Lisk, was born in 1881 in north central Florida. Percy attended the Atlanta College of Pharmacy from 1901-1903 and then the Atlanta School of Medicine (now Emory University) where he graduated in 1906. Dr. Lisk married Ola Howell and practiced medicine in Ocala and other locations in Marion County. Percy and Ola's four children are Henrietta Susan, Percy Franklin Jr., Louise, and Alonson.

Percy F. Lisk's son, Alonson C. Lisk, was born on September 11, 1924 in Fort McCoy, FL. He attended Fort McCoy High School, earned his diploma and then attended the University of Florida for three months before joining the armed forces. During World War II he was a member of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment 101st Airborne Division (Company F). He served as a light machine gunner in France, Holland, Austria and Germany. He received an honorable discharge from the army on November 20, 1945. Alonson married Elizabeth Godwin on September 29, 1946.

A brief family tree is available online in PDF format.

Scope and Content

The Lisk Family papers include information on the family, the medical practices of Dr. Benjamin Lisk and his son Dr. Percy F. Lisk, Civil War correspondence of a Thoman relative, and World War II records of Alonson C. Lisk. The documents span four generations of the Lisk family, including correspondence, personal papers, real estate transactions, account books and photographs. The materials are organized according to each family member.

The largest group of papers pertains to Benjamin F. Lisk. It includes photocopies of documents related to his claims for pension (originals are retained by the National Archives and Records Administration) and original documents related to Civil War service (including orders, supply inventories, etc.). The papers also include proceedings relating to the settlement of the estate of his father in-law Johann A. Thomann in Ohio in 1875, and original documents relating to the Lisk homestead in Nebraska (1865-1875), including land grant papers, warranty deeds, postmaster commission, notary commission, etc.

The papers of Percy F. Lisk pertain mostly to his career as a country doctor in Fort McCoy (Marion County) including family correspondence while in medical school, general correspondence, financial receipts, account books, prescriptions and medical licenses.

The papers of Miss Henrietta Lisk contain documents relating to her teaching career.

The papers of John A. Thoman consist of Civil War correspondence (1862-1865) to his sister, Susan Thoman, and other members of the family. Thoman was a corporal in Company C of the 7th Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry. The letters cover his time in Kentucky and Tennessee from the mustering of the 7th Kentucky on August 16, 1862 through 1863, then his service as a hospital nurse at the Asylum hospital in Knoxville, Tenn. (1864), and his remaining service in 1st Company, 1st Squadron Provisional Cavalry, Washington, D.C. (1865).

The papers of Percy F. Lisk, Jr. include an oral history given in 1991. Of particular interest are descriptions of his life in Fort McCoy, Florida during the late 1920s and early 1930s, his time as a student at the University of Florida (1936-1940), and his career as a professor at York College in Pennsylvania.

The papers of Alonson C. Lisk include photocopies of a hand-written memoir entitled "A Father's Legacy For My Children" and correspondence to family members during World War II. All of his service records have been retained by the family.

The collection also includes family photographs. Most of the photos are in a photo album which has been digitized and also reproduced as a photocopy. There are photos of family members including Benjamin, Susan, Henrietta, Percy Sr., Ola, Percy Jr., Alonson, Louise, Henrietta Susan and various other relations. There are photos of St. Augustine, the Ocklawaha River, Lake George, Silver Springs, Oxford College, Stetson University, the Alabama Girls Technical School, Columbia University and Central Park. Of particular interest are the photos of Florida State College (including the Florida State football team of 1904) dating 1903 to 1906.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research. The account books have suffered from insect damage at some time in the past and are very fragile. Please use the digital versions of the photo album photographs.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Lisk Family Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

The collection is a gift of Alonson C. Lisk and Alex Bueno Edwards and of Joyce E. Viggiano and John F. Lisk. The Lisk family has retained additional papers related to Alonson C. Lisk.

Contents List

1 Benjamin F. Lisk and Percy F. Lisk Biography. 1839-1906
1 Benjamin F. Lisk, Civil War - Chattanooga, Tenn.
1 Benjamin F. Lisk, Civil War - Wisconsin Volunteers. 1861 - 1863, 1886
1 Benjamin F. Lisk, Civil War - Vicksburg, Miss. Jan. 1864 - July 1864
1 Benjamin F. Lisk, Civil War - Pension claims/forms. 1864-1909
1 Benjamin F. Lisk, Civil War - Misc. Forms
1 Benjamin F. Lisk, Nebraska. 1865-1875, 1916
1 Benjamin F. Lisk - Estate of Johann Adam Thomann. 1875
1 Benjamin F. Lisk, Florida. 1880s, 1905
1 Susan Lisk - Financial records and transfer of property. 1898-1917
1 Susan Lisk - Post cards. 1904-1905
1 John A. Thoman - Civil War Letters. The correspondence spans three folders and is addressed to John's sister, Susan Lisk, and other family members. The letters are arranged chronologically. 1862-1865
1 Camp near Paris, Ky. August 3, 1862
1 Camp near Louisville, Ky. August 15, 1862
1 Courthouse, Richmond. August 20, 1862
1 Camp near Richmond. August 28, 1862
1 Near Ruddell Mills. Septermber 15, 1862
1 Location unknown. Semptember 27, 1862
1 Location unknown. September 29, 1862
1 Camp Chase. March 14, 1863
1 On board steamboat La Crope, Cumberland River, Tenn. April 4, 1863
1 Barracks No. 1 at Nashville, Tenn. April 26, 1863
1 On picket near Franklin, Tenn. May 11, 1863
1 Camp, 7th Kentucky Cavalry near Franklin, Tenn. June 5, 1863
1 Camp, 7th KY Cavalry, state fair grounds near Nashville, Tenn. July 5, 1863
1 Camp, 7th KY Cavalry near Nashville, Tenn. August 15, 1863
1 Hospital, No. 2 Laurel House, Knoxville, Tenn. February 29, 1864
1 Hospital, Laurel House, Knoxville, Tenn. March 28, 1864
1 Asylum hospital No. 1, Knoxville, Tenn. April 7, 1864
1 Asylum hospital No. 1, Knoxville, Tenn. May 16, 1864
1 Guardroom, Cliffburne barracks, Washington D.C. November 5, 1864
1 Unassigned detachment, depot camp, Cliffburne, D.C. November 18, 1864
1 1st Co. Provisional Cavalry Barracks, K. Street, D.C. December 26, 1864
1 1st Co. 1st squadron Provisional Cavalry, D.C. February 22, 1865
1 1st Co. 1st squadron Provisional Cavalry, D.C. March 12, 1865
1 Unknown location. March 20, 1865
1 1st Co. 1st detachment Provisional Cavalry 22nd army corps, D.C. April 27, 1865
1 1st Co. 1st Detachment Provisional Cavalry, D.C. May 21, 1865
1 1st Co. 1st Detachment Provisional Cavalry, D.C. May 22, 1865
1 1st Co. 1st Detachment Provisional Cavalry, D.C. June 7, 1865
1 1st Co. 1st Detachment Provisional Cavalry, D.C., Addressed to Henrietta. June 18, 1865
1 1st Co. 1st Detachment Provisional Cavalry, D.C. June 18, 1865
1 1st Co. 1st Detachment Provisional Cavalry, D.C. July 12, 1865
1 1st Co. 1st Detachment Provisional Cavalry, D.C. July 26, 1865
1 1st Co. 1st Detachment Provisional Cavalry, D.C. July 31, 1865
1 1st Co. 1st Detachment Provisional Cavalry, D.C. July 31, 1865
1 1st Co. 1st Detachment Provisional Cavalry, D.C. August 10, 1865
1 Photos - Family members including Percy, Henrietta, Ola, Franklin and Percy, Jr. (15 photos)
1 Photo - Henrietta Lisk
1 Photos - Miscellaneous: Southern Turpentine Still, Ocklawaha River near Conner, Feeding "Flag" (Deer) at Silver Glen Springs
1 Photo - Percy F. Lisk circa 1900-1901, FL Agricultural College, Lake City
1 Photo - Percy F. Lisk, Jr., 1940 Graduation, University of Florida
1 Lisk Family Photo Album (Photocopy; digital version in Box 3)
2 Percy F. Lisk - Letters to Henrietta Lisk. 1921-1929
2 Percy F. Lisk - Letters to parents, Benjamin F. Lisk and Susan Lisk. 1905-1921
2 Percy F. Lisk - Misc. Documents (e.g. last will, memberships, licenses, etc. 1917-1945
2 Percy F. Lisk - Pharmacy school commencement. 1906
2 Percy F. Lisk - Taxes and Financial Records. 1917-1945
2 Ola Lisk - General correspondence and transfer of property. 1913,1925
2 Henrietta Lisk - Stetson University. 1899-1903
2 Henrietta Lisk - Teaching, Letters of recommendation and contracts. 1911-1928
2 Henrietta Lisk - Letters to Percy F. Lisk. 1914
2 Henrietta Lisk - Business papers. 1946-1959
2 Percy F. Lisk, Jr. - Death and Estate of his father, Percy F. Lisk. 1958
2 Alonson C. Lisk - World War II correspondence. 1943-1945
2 Pearl (Lisk) Gibson - Correspondence. 1882, 1910
2 Percy F. Lisk, Jr. - Oral History. 1991
2 Miscellaneous - family and friends, includes Charles Chittick, James H. Lyons, etc. Not dated
2 Memorial Service Eulogy for Percy F. Lisk, Jr. 1999
2 Alonson C. Lisk - Personal Portrait: "A Father's Legacy"
2 Lisk Family Photo Album (Original; please use photocopy or digital version)
3 Account books (2) of Percy F. Lisk, fragile
3 Digital Version of Photo Album (6 DVDs)

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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