Lyon County Genealogy


A History of Beloit, Iowa

Beloit is situated on a fine, level tract of land in the Southwest corner of the county. The Big Sioux River here, winds away to the west from the bluffs that extend across the west end of the county, and forms as beautiful a valley, containing about 1,800 acres, as one will see anywhere in the Northwest. The town is laid out on the banks of the river and runs back about halfway across the valley and is near the center north and south. The bluffs, to the east, rises rather precipitately to the height of about 100 feet, but not so abruptly that a team might be driven up them most anywhere.

In the direction of Canton the surface on the country rises to high, rolling prairie, that is, it does not seem at all bluffy as it does to the south and east.

We regard the location of Beloit as among the finest situations for a town that we ever saw.

At present, there is one flouring mill, a saw mill, one blacksmith shop, an agricultural implement warehouse, one good business block, one hardware store, and several residences at Beloit.

The mill is a fine frame structure two stories and a half high, and is 34x44 on the ground; it is new and has only been in operation about eight months. It has three run of stone, and all the requisite machinery and fixtures of a complete and first class mill, and its capacity for grinding is over 300 bushels of grain per day. The mill is managed by a competent miller and turns out flour that gives a good satisfaction as any mill in the state. The sawmill is a rough frame structure on the north side of the flouring mill and is now kept in operation but little of the time. The motive power of the two mills is derived from five turbine water wheels. The milldam is constructed of logs and brush and high enough to give even 'head.' This mill property is owned by Mr. J.A. Carpenter, and is valued at $16,000.

The principal store in the place is the 'Pioneer Store,' which was established by Messrs. Goetz and Thorson in April 1871. These gentlemen have gradually worked up a good trade and are now doing a good business. They keep an excellent stock of dry goods, groceries and provisions, constantly on hand, which they are selling at very low prices. These gentlemen have their respective offices of County Auditor and County Recorder in the back part of the store room, where they keep the various books of the County belonging to their offices, and which require their attention a considerable portion of the time. They also transact a general real estate business, and are agents for the Cunard and Inman lines of ocean streamers.

Mr. H.T. Helgerson has just completed two new buildings, one that he uses for his agricultural implement warehouse, and the other is for a dwelling house. During the past season Mr. Helgerson did an excellent business, far beyond his expectations, and is confident that he can increase it the coming season. He is agent for two of the best reapers made-the Buckeye and Kirby-besides various other farm implements.

Mr. Bradley has been keeping a general dry goods and grocery store in the same building with Goetz and Thorson, but is now closing out his business at Beloit with the intention of moving to Rock Rapids. This will leave a clear field to Goetz and Thorson unless other parties see fit to start up a business in Mr. Bradley's place.

Mr. Michael Nelson, who has a fair stock of goods, and keeps a good tin shop in connection and makes the tinware that he sells, keeps the hardware store.

Source: Bonnie Doon, Our Town, Doon, Iowa 1868-1992
with written permission by Harold Aardema, Delores Keegan, and Galen Lawrence