Lyle, Eugene P. (Eugene Percy), 1873-1961

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Eugene P. Lyle Jr. was born December 31, 1873 in Dallas, Texas. His father Eugene Lyle Sr. was a mining engineer, his mother Mary was a member of the Angers pioneer family of Louisiana. The family moved to Lathrop, Missouri in 1879. Lyle attended high school in Kansas City, Missouri, spent two years at the University of Michigan, and worked at the Kansas City Times 1894-1897.

Eugene Lyle had a close relationship with Mexico. His parents lived in San Luis Potosi from the 1890s through the 1910s. His father was employed by the Compañia Metalúrgica Mexicana, and San Luis Potosi was the site of the company's smelter. Lyle lived with them 1897-1902, and came back to Mexico 1903-1905 and 1906-1907. He wrote fiction and non-fiction about the region. His sister, Gertie, was also a Mexican resident after her marriage, and escaped with her family to Veracruz during the 1914 invasion.

With his first wife, Ethel McGill, Lyle tried farming on the James River in Virginia from 1907-1916. They had three children, Eugene the 3rd, Marjorie Virginia, and Ethel. The couple divorced in 1914 and Lyle retained custody of his son, who later became a writer. In 1927 Lyle married Gwladys Myfanwy Morgan, a physician who wrote juvenile literature about Wales and poetry.

Lyle began writing short stories and magazine articles and published his first novel in 1898. He began contributing regularly to Everybody's Magazine, Munsey's, and World's Work, primarily investigative articles. He met O'Henry and Jack London. Lyle traveled to Europe as a correspondent for Everybody's Magazine in 1902-1905; worked for World's Work in Central America for several years; and in 1909 became a staff writer for Hampton's Magazine . After 1914 his work appeared in many venues including Collier's, The Saturday Evening Post, Sunset, and McBride's . After the war he moved with his son to San Diego, and in addition to writing, helped bring some of his stories to the screen (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. starred in The Gaucho in 1928).

In San Diego Lyle became involved with a writers' club, The Padres, and continued his interest in researching local history through explorations at the Mission San Diego de Alcala. Eugene P. Lyle Jr. died in San Diego in 1961.

Lyle's novels include Don Swashbuckler (1898); a best-seller, The Missourian (1905); Lone Star (1907); and The Transformation of Krag (1911); and Castaways' Island (1925). A serial, "D'Artagnan of Kansas," appeared in Everybody's Magazine while his co-authored work "A Dash of Irish" was being printed in Adventure in 1912-1914. His investigative journalism topics included the Supreme Court, the Kentucky tobacco wars, and the Guggenheim Trust in the US, while his writings about Central America explored politics, economy, and developing countries. Many short stories are in the Western genre, such as "Blaze Derringer"; others are adventures or speculative fiction.

Lyle wrote two articles that continue to be notable and led to the nickname, "The Prophet of Mission Hills," that titled a biographical article by fellow Padre E.L. Dieckmann in American History Illustrated (November 1976). Lyle's article, "The War of 1938," foresaw many of the issues that led to World War II and was published in Everybody's Magazine in September 1918. The article was widely reprinted during the final days of the First World War, and again in 1940. "The Advance of Wireless," a contemplation on emerging technologies and progress that appeared in World's Work in February 1905, has been cited in conjunction with the development of wireless computer networks.

From the guide to the Eugene P. Lyle Jr. papers, 1890-1961, (Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Eugene P. Lyle Jr. papers, 1890-1961 Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries
referencedIn Letters from various correspondents, American period, 1876-1937. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Biography -- Lyle, Eugene. Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
referencedIn Century Company records, 1870-1924 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Eugene P. Lyle Jr. papers, 1890-1961 Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company reader reports on manuscripts submitted for publication, 1882-1931. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Alumni Association (University of Michigan), Individual Photographs, ca. 1880-ca. 1960s Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Century Company corporateBody
associatedWith Cox, Percy person
associatedWith Cox, Percy S. of Mexico person
correspondedWith Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel, 1853-1935 person
associatedWith Fotocromo Milan person
associatedWith Freeman, Alfred of Dallas, Texas person
associatedWith Gobbato, Ferd. of Venice person
associatedWith Hermanos, Schlattman person
correspondedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith LaCour, F. of Marseille person
associatedWith Lillie, George H. of Kansas City, MO person
associatedWith Lyle, Eugene P., 1873-1961 person
associatedWith Lynch, Charles E. of Hollywood, CA person
associatedWith Mexican Herald person
associatedWith Page, Walter Hines, 1855-1918 person
associatedWith Pellandina, C. of Mexico person
associatedWith Schlattman Hermanos of Mexico person
associatedWith University of Michigan. Alumni Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Waite, C. B. (Charles Burlingame), 1861-1929 person
associatedWith Williamson, Lizzie person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Holy City (Calif.)
San Diego de Alcalá (Chihuahua, Mexico)
San Diego (Calif.)
Authors--Societies, etc
Fine Arts


Birth 1873

Death 1961



Ark ID: w6715djc

SNAC ID: 11442011