Aaron P. Hyer, the earliest member of the family of whom we have definitive information, was a son of Peter Hyer, of Monmouth county, New Jersey, where he was born about 1798 and died in 1878. The family is said to have been of English origin, although the emigrant ancestor associated himself with the old Dutch colonists, and five members of the family intermarried with five children of Teunis Van Pelt. Aaron P. Hyer married Gertrude, daughter of Gershom Cottrell, of Monmouth county, who was born about 1796 and died in 1880. Children: 1. Rebecca, married Gordon Bowd. 2. James A., died November 17, 1883, aged sixty-five years; married a sister of Sheriff Clayton Robbins; lived at Toms River. 3. Mary Ann, married Henry Bills. 4. Lewis Spencer, referred to below.
(II) Lewis Spencer, son of Aaron P. and Gertrude (Cottrell) Hyer, was born in Freehold township, Monmouth county, New Jersey, March 1, 1839, and died in Rahway, Union county, New Jersey, August 15, 1909. He received his education in a small district school house about half a mile from his home. In May, 1855, he entered the Monmouth Democrat office as an apprentice, and became foreman before he reached his majority. In March, 1865, he went to Rahway, and the following year purchased the National Democrat, after having leased it from Hon. Josephus Shann for a year. He changed its name to the Union Democrat, which title it retained throughout his management, and until Mr. Hyer retired from editorial and newspaper work, when its new proprietor gave it the name of the Rahway News Herald. Mr. Hyer held a number of public offices beginning in 1874, when he was elected mayor of the city of Rahway, and was at the same time appointed clerk of the board of freeholders of the county. In 1881 he accepted the nomination or state senator, but was defeated by a small majority on account of adverse party combinations. March 1, 1882, he was appointed by Governor Ludlow for five years a judge of the court of common pleas for Union county, was reappointed by Governor Green in 1887, and again by Governor Abbet in 1892, and served continuously until April 1, 1896, when changes in the formation of the county courts caused the office to be abolished. In 1889 he was again elected for one year mayor of Rahway, re-elected in 1890 to succeed himself for two years, and after this he withdrew from active politics and devoted his life to this paper, his church and his family. He joined the Methodist Episcopal church in early life, and for many years held various lay ecclesiastical positions. He was musical director of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the trustees, and chairman of the building committee during the erection of Trinity edifice, and many of its attractions are due to his suggestions. Mr. Hyer was a member of Layette Lodge, No. 27, Free and Accepted Masons, of New Jersey; of Chapter, No. 26, Royal Arch Masons; of Esex county Lodge, No. 27, Independent Order of Odd Fellows., [sic] and for twenty years a member of the executive committee of the New Jersey Editorial Association, of which he was an honorary member at his death. When this occurred the Rahway News Herald, his old paper, in a long obituary said of him: "Judge Lewis S. Hyer is dead, and into every home in Rahway sorrow has come because of it. Patiently, faithfully, year after year for forty-four years, has he come in and gone out before the people, making friends and neighbors of them all; gentlemanly, courteous, a thorough Christian, and one who lived up to his professions. Nearly two years ago his health began failing, since which time his friends and associates have watched him gradually losing in strength and vitality, although he kept still t his desk, writing kindly articles and editorials, counselling peaceful tactics to his fellow-workmen, and doing many a kindly deed with the right hand of which the left hand knew nothing. After an association of twelve years, with not a shadow of misunderstanding or an unpleasant word, the writer feels that one of the best friends he ever had in the world has passed peaceful to other realms and 'is reaping his reward for the good deeds done here in the body.' The sorrowing family may rest assured of the sympathy, earnest and sincere, of the people at large, not only of Rahway, but a large territory round about. The loss to the city, the newspaper field, the church, and the large circle of relative and friends, is not one to be made up again, for there has never been but one Judge Lewis S. Hyer in Rahway, and now he is gone. Coming here at a time when all was turmoil and strife, he pushed his way as a young man to the front in political matters, and kept ever in the van, counselling for what he firmly believed was for the best interests, and generally in the right, he showed himself a safe leader to the last." He married Jane, daughter of Jacob and Minchie (Morris) Young, who was born May 22, 1839. Only child, Frederick C., referred to below.
(III) Frederick C., son of Lewis Spencer and Jane (Young) Hyer, was born in Rahway, Union county, New Jersey, December 10, 1874. Mr. Hyer received his education in the Rahway public school, and shortly after leaving school became connected with the printing establishment of his father and assisted in the newspaper and mechanical work for two years, after which, in 1892, he entered the law offices of Shafer & Durand, in Rahway, subsequently attending the New York Law School, from which he graduated with the degree of L.L.B. in 1894. He then entered as a student in the offices of Guild & Lum, in Newark, and remained with them until 1896, when he was admitted to the New Jersey bar as an attorney, becoming counsellor [sic] February, 1899. He then took offices in Newark, at the same time doing clerical work in the law offices of John Oliver Halsted Pitney. Shortly after becoming counsellor, Mr. Hyer opened offices in Rahway, occupying those of the late firm of Shafer & Durand, both members of the firm having then recently died. Since that time he has had a gradual increasing law practice. In 1903 Mr. Hyer was admitted to practice in the United States supreme court. For a number of years he acted in the capacity of associate editor of his father's paper, the Union Democrat. In 1904 he was honored by the appointment of city attorney for five years, but resigned at the end of one year, finding that the duties interfered with his general practice of law. In 1908 he became Democrat candidate for New Jersey state senator from Union county. He is now attorney and director of the Rahway National Bank. Mr. Hyer is a member of Lafayette Lodge, No. 27, Free and Accepted Masons, of New Jersey; of Chapter No. 26, Royal Arch Masons; of Lodge No. 1075, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; of the Royal Arcanum; and of the Sons of the American Revolution. He is also an ex-secretary of the Union County Bar Association, and a trustee of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, Rahway. He married, in Elizabeth, January 12, 1898, Edit, daughter of James H. and Mary (Phillips) Cook, who was born in Jersey City, November 25, 1874. Children: Virginia, born February 23, 1904; Frederick Lewis, born October 2, 1907.