Lydia Ann Appleton (1824-1903) was born to an English father and American mother. She earned her first-class teaching certificate in Upper Canada in 1853, and that same year placed second in the examination in agriculture for the Governor General's Prize. She spent her life as a single woman, teaching school in townships near present-day Toronto, such as King, Whitchurch, and Aurora, after her poems were published in Toronto as a volume titled MISCELLANEOUS POEMS, MORAL AND RELIGIOUS, WRITTEN ON VARIOUS OCCASIONS (1850). Lydia seems to have adopted a son, Victor Arthur Appleton (1882-1917), in the 1880s. After his mother's death from heart disease on Christmas Day in 1903, Victor migrated west and settled in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia.
Some sources suggest that Appleton was at one time in Mercer, New Jersey and married on 4 July 1854 to an Aaron Van Hise. Death record and others, however, read "single" and not widowed or divorced.
Siblings: Mary Elizabeth Appleton (1820-1916), m. William Hartman; Teavill Cumberland Appleton (1822-1880), m. Abigail Rush, and was a farmer and miller; Susan Keziah Appleton (1827-1878), m. Samuel P. Irwin; Clayton Hollinshead Appleton (1830-1894), m. Candace Stiles, and was a blacksmith.
Honours and awards
2nd place, Examination in agriculture, Governor General's Prize (1853)
King Township, York, Ontario (1851); Whitchurch, Ontario (1861); Aurora, Ontario (1891, 1901)
MISCELLANEOUS POEMS, MORAL AND RELIGIOUS, WRITTEN ON VARIOUS OCCASIONS (1850)
Anthologized in: Whyte-Edgar, WREATH OF CANADIAN SONG (1910)
Thomas Frederick Henry Appleton
Life dates of father
22 February 1784, Millington, England - 30 July 1866, Aurora, Ontario; m. 1821
Life dates of mother
19 September 1790, Burlington, New Jersey - 29 August 1857, King, York, Ontario
1 adopted son
Children's names and dates
Victor Arthur Appleton (6 April 1882 - 24 October 1917), m. to Mary Ida Brillinger
1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia; 1861 Census of Canada; 1891 Census of Canada; 1901 Census of Canada; Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1936 and Deaths Oversea, 1939-1947
Watters, CHECKLIST OF CANADIAN LITERATURE...1620-1960 (1970), p. 9
Line drawing by Una Vernelli (Vancouver, British Columbia).