60. LYON COUNTY, IOWA

 

Section I: History and Geography


History

 

Lyon County was originally called Buncombe County in honor of Edward Buncombe of North Carolina.  It was created in 1851 from a part of Woodbury County.  In 1862 the county’s name was changed to Lyon County in honor of General Nathaniel Lyon, a Civil War general who was killed while leading the First Iowa Infantry at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek in Missouri.

 

A county seat was not designated until 1873, when Rock Rapids was named the county seat.  Prior to that, county business was conducted at the homes of various county officials.  Some offices were located in Beloit.  The current courthouse was built in 1916.

 

Boundaries

 

Lyon County is in the extreme northwest corner of Iowa.  It is bordered by the states of Minnesota on the north and South Dakota on the west.  The Big Sioux River is its west boundary.  Adjacent counties include: west – Lincoln County, South Dakota; north – Minnehaha County, South Dakota, Rock and Noble Counties, Minnesota; east – Osceola County, SE – O’Brien County, and south – Sioux County

 

Current towns and communities (Zip codes given for towns having Post Offices)

 

Town/Community        Township                                             Population

1890                                  2000

Alvord 51230                  Doon                                                         50                   187                            

Beloit                            Lyon                                                         50                       

Doon 51235                   Doon                                                       200                   533

Edna                             Liberal                                                         

George 51237                Liberty, Wheeler                                       250                1,051

Inwood 51240                Richland                                                  300                   875

Larchwood 51241           Larchwood                                               200                   788

Lester 51242                 Allison                                                      25                   251

Little Rock 51243           Elgin                                                       100                   489

Rock Rapids 51246        Rock, Riverside                                     1,394                2,573

 

Abandoned towns

 

Town                           Township                                 Town                           Township


 


 

Ernest                           Doon                                         Pennington                    Richland

Gilbraltar                       Sioux                                        River View                     Grant

Granite                          Sioux                                        Royal Ridge                   Rock    

Iuka                              became Granite                         Smead                          Rock

Klondike                        Centennial                                 Upland                          Centennial

Krogness                      Richland                                    Warren                          became Inwood

Park                             became Alvord                           Willda                           Dale


 

 

Section II: Resource Centers

 

Courthouse:

 

·         [LCCH] Lyon County Court House

Rock Rapids, Iowa 51246

 

Historical Societies

 

·         [LCHS] Lyon County Historical Society

605 South Boone, Rock Rapids, Iowa 51246

 

Libraries with Genealogical or Historical Collections

 

·         [DPL] Doon Public Library

207 Barton Avenue, Doon, Iowa 51235

·         [GPL] George Public Library

119 South Main Street, George, Iowa 51237

·         [IPL] Inwood Public Library

103 South Main Street, Inwood, Iowa 51240

·         [LPL] Larchwood Public Library

1020 Broadway, Larchwood, Iowa 51241

·         [LRPL] Little Rock Public Library

402 Main Street, Little Rock, Iowa 51243

·         [RRPL] Rock Rapids Public Library

102 South Greene, Rock Rapids, Iowa 51246

·         [IGSL] Iowa Genealogical Society Library

628 East Grand Avenue

Des Moines, Iowa 50309

·         [ISHL] Iowa State Historical Library

600 East Locust Street

Des Moines, Iowa 50319

 

Section III: Records – records may be found at the record sites abbreviated after each entry.  See Section II for complete record site information.


Census

 

·         Federal: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, microfilm: [ISHL], [IGSL]; 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920; [RRPL]

·         Federal Indexes: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1920: [ISHL], [IGSL]

·         Iowa State: 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925, microfilm: [ISHL], [IGSL]; 1885, 1895, 1915, 1925: [RRPL]

 

Vital Records

 

·         Birth records, (from 1880): [LCCH]; (1880 – 1936), microfilm: [ISHL], [IGSL]

·         Index to birth records, (1880 – 1894), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Marriage records, (from 1876): [LCCH]; (1872 – 1928), microfilm: [ISHL], [IGSL]

·         Indexes to marriage records, (1872 – 1913), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Death records, (from 1880): [LCCH]; (1880 – 1919), microfilm: [ISHL], (1880-1935), microfilm: [IGSL]

 

Probate and related records

 

·         Probate records, (from 1885): [LCCH]; (1872 – 1926), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Will records, (1875 – 1894), microfilm: [ISHL]

 

 

 

 

Land and related records

 

·         Land records, (from 1862): [LCCH]

·         Town lot deeds, (1872 - 1893), microfilm: [ISHL]; index (1872 - 1905), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Land deed records, (1868 – 1904), microfilm: [ISHL]; index (1868 – 1905), microfilm: [ISHL]; (1900-1902), microfilm: [IGSL]

·         Land homestead records, (1875 – 1934), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Land patent deed records, (1889 – 1908), microfilm: [ISHL]

 

Maps, atlases and gazetteers

 

·         Rockford Map Pub: Atlas and Directory of Lyon County, Iowa, (1972): [ISHL]

·         Alden Pub Co.: Standard Atlas of Lyon County, Iowa, (1911): [ISHL]

·         Lyon County maps for 1888, 1911, 1931, 1935, 1946, 1947-8, 1949-50, 1953, 1972, 1987, 1988, 1993-2: [RRPL]

·         Rock Rapids directories for 1968 – 1995: [RRPL]

·         Selected area maps and directories: [GPL]

 

Court records

 

·         Court records, (from 1874): [LCCH]

·         Administrators, Guardians, Executors records, (1911 -  ), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Naturalization records, (1873 – 1934), microfilm: [ISHL]; index to naturalization records, (1873 – 1954), microfilm: [ISHL]

·         Divorce records, (from 1899): [LCCH]

 

Cemetery

 

·         Dale Cemetery in Lyon County, Iowa and other stories, n.d.: [ISHL], [IGSL]

·         Area cemetery records: [RRPL], [GPL]

 

Funeral homes

 

·         George

-          Bolin Funeral Service

300 East Michigan, George, Iowa 51237

·         Larchwood

-          Roste Funeral Home

1004 Broadway, Larchwood, Iowa 51241

·         Rock Rapids

-          Palmer and Swank Funeral Home

528 Main Street, Rock Rapids, Iowa 51246

 

Church, Bible

 

·         Hill: Holy Name Heritate: our Catholic Past in Rock Rapids, 1871 – 1975, (1975): [ISHL]

·         Minor: All about Beloit: a history … and memories of the Beloit Lutheran Church, (1998): [ISHL]

 

Newspapers:  (on microfilm for towns listed)

 

·         Selected area newspapers: [GPL], [LRPL]

·         Inwood Herald Newspaper, reprint (1905): [IGSL]

·         Doon

-          Door Press, (1991 – 1992): [ISHL]; (1903 – 1992): [RRPL]

·         George

-          The Lyon County News, (1915 – 1998): [ISHL]; (1910 – 1990): [RRPL]

·         Inwood

-          Inwood Herald, (1890 – 1974): [ISHL], [RRPL]

-          The West Lyon Herald, (1976 – 1997): [ISHL], [RRPL]

·         Larchwood

-          The Larchwood Leader, (1888 – 1892, 1894 – 1932): [ISHL]; (1888 – 1932): [RRPL]

-          The Leader, (1874): [ISHL]

·         Little Rock

-          Little Rock Free Press, (1900 – 1951): [RRPL]

·         Rock Rapids

-          Rock Rapids Journal, (1871 – 1872): [RRPL]

-          Rock Rapids Review, (1876, 1880, 1883 – 1884): [ISHL]; (1873 – 1928): [RRPL]

-          The Lyon County Reporter, (1885 – 1899, 1929 – 1944, 1956 – 1996): [ISHL]; (1881 – 1892): [RRPL]

-          The Review, (1893 – 1916): [ISHL]

-          The Reporter, (1899- 1910): [ISHL]

-          Rock Rapids Reporter, (1910 – 1929): [ISHL]

-          Lyon County Leader, (1932-1944): [RRPL]

-          The Lyon County Reporter and the Lyon County Leader, (1944 – 1955): [ISHL]

 

Military

 

·         Soldier’s discharge papers: [LCCH]

 

Educational, business and other:

 

·         Kohrt: Nine months at $90., [school related], (1997): [ISHL]

 

Miscellaneous:

 

·         Vande Berg: Northwest Iowa historical and genealogical resources by community, (1999): [ISHL]

 

County & Local Histories:

 

·         Hyde: Historical Sketch of Lyon County, Iowa, (1872): [ISHL]; (reprint 1960): [IGSL], [RRPL]

·         Ogle Co.: Compendium of History, Reminiscences and Biography of Lyon County, Iowa, (1904), reprint (1974): [ISHL], [RRPL]; microfilm: [IGSL]

·         Monlux: Early History of Lyon County, (1909): [ISHL], [RRPL]

·         Sullivan: Memories of Alvord, 1893 – 1968,  (1968): [ISHL]

·         Kock: Alvord, Iowa Centennial, 1893 – 1993, (1993): [ISHL]

·         Lawrence: Bonnie Doon, our town … 1868 – 1992, (1992): [ISHL], [RRPL]

·         Knoblock: Yesterday’s memories are today’s treasures [Lester, Iowa], 1889 – 1989, (1989): [ISHL], [RRPL]

·         Smith: Buncombe to “Twenty-two”, (1975): [ISHL], [RRPL]

·         Kruse: Those bygone years – the town of Little Rock, (1976): [ISHL], [RRPL]

·         In and Around George, Iowa, 1871-1912, (1976): [IGSL], [RRPL]

·         Getman: “Early Lyon” – Clippings from The Lyon County Reporter, (1932): [RRPL]

·         Inwood Centennial Book Committee: Inwood’s First 100 Years, 1884 – 1984, (1984): [RRPL]

 

Publications

 

·         Iowa Genealogical Society: Hawkeye Heritage articles through 1993, [IGSL]  (Entries indicate year, issue number and page number.)

-          Lyon County Cemetery List (1989), 3:154

-          Lyon County Marriages, 1872 – 1880, (1991), 2:76

 

Section IV: Credits

 

We wish to acknowledge the contributions made by the Lyon County Courthouse, the Lyon County Historical Society, the Iowa State Historical Society and volunteers at the Iowa Genealogical Society in providing data contained in this research guide. Their efforts have been of immeasurable help in gathering this information.