LYON COUNTY GENEALOGY
FIRST EVENTS OF LYON COUNTY, IOWA
As more or less interest always centers around the first events transpiring in the settlement of a new country, the following have been gleaned from the most authentic sources:
The first taxes paid in the county after its organization was by B.F. Smith, January 1, 1872, to the amount of $72.35 for property in Lyon township.
The first county bond was payable to Joy & Wright, a law firm of Sioux City. Amount $1,000. Dated July 29, 1872.
The first county warrant was issued to Mills & Co., of DeMoines, Iowa for blank books, February 15, 1872. Amount $10.00.
The first village incorporated was Rock Rapids.
The first newspaper published in the county was the Rock Rapids Journal, established by C. E. Bristol, July 25, 1871.
The first U.S. mail route to the county was a stage line from LeMars, via Doon, to LuVerne, Minnesota. This was established in the early spring of 1871.
The first school house was the one erected at Rock Rapids in 1871.
The first mill was completed at Beloit in 1871.
The first election was held October 10, 1871, at which ninety-seven votes were cast -- all Republican!
The first Agricultural Society was formed in 1872 and held its first county exhibit that fall.
The first resident physician in the county was Doctor Budge -- about the same time came Dr. E.W. McCord, in 1874.
The first school was taught by Mrs. D.C. Whitehead, at Rock Rapids, in the winter of 1870-71.
The first female child born within the county was Odena Lee, born to Mr. and Mrs. A.K. Lee, May 28, 1871, in Lyon township.
The first child (male) was born September 21, 1870 -- W.H. Lewis, son of Mr. and Mrs. E.W. Lewis, homesteaders, on section 13, township 99, range 48.
The first marriage ceremony performed was that of Ole Olson and Petrina Peterson September 6, 1870, at Beloit.
The first regular Fourth of July celebration within Lyon county was July, 1873, when the editor of the Review and Hon. George D. Perkins, of the Sioux City Journal, orated.
The first county fair was held in 1873.
The first attorney admitted to the bar was S.C Hyde, November, 1873, before Judge Ford, of Sioux City.
The first store opened was at Beloit in the spring of 1871, by Goetz & Thorson.
The first store at Rock Rapids was that of Mr. VanSickle, near the river bank.
The Presbyterian was the first church organized. It was a mission church. The date being August 13, 1872, by Rev. Carroll.
The first appearance of grasshoppers in the county was June 27, 1873.
The first post office was established just below present Rock Rapids town site, by G.W. Badgerow, and called "Smead City." No mail was ever sent there, except in the mind of Mr. Badgerow! Rock Rapids and Doon offices came in 1872.
The first mortgage filed for record in the county, was one recorded by P.J.B. Marvin, December 17, 1869. It was from Iver Johnson, of Story county, Iowa, to John Shelldorff, of Cook county, Illinois, for the amount of $160.00 and was to be secured by the north half of the southwest quarter and the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 15, township 98, range 47. It contained upon its face a fifty cent United States Internal revenue stamp, as was then required by law -- a Civil war enactment.
Among the largest deeds recorded was the second filed within the county -- deeding lands of Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, to the McGregor & Sioux City Railway Company. It required the placing of $16 worth of the above mentioned revenue stamps upon its face.
The first warrantee deed recorded was that of Halvor Nelson and wife, of Clayton County, Iowa, to Lars Aneson of Buchanan county, "Territory of Dakota," November 13, 1868. The consideration was $900 for lot 1, in section 17 and lots 1, 2, 3 and 4, in section 20; also the northwest quarter of section 21, township 98, range 48, for 213 acres of land. F.I. Lambert was the recorder of the above instrument.
The first sermon preached was delivered by Rev. Ellef Oleson, of Dakota, September 6, 1870, at the home of Mr. Nelson at Beloit.
The first death (after the organization of the county) was that of Lyman A. Wagner, son of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Wagner, December 26, 1870.
There seems no doubt that the first white man's habitation in Lyon county, was the log cabin erected by the pioneer hunter and trapper, Daniel McLaren, at the confluence of a stream now bearing his name and the Big Sioux river. It is certain from other historic facts, that it was built between 1858 and 1862.
The first person to effect actual settlement, was Lewis P. Hyde, who took a homestead on lots 1 and 2, section 19, and lot 5, section 20, township 98, range 48, on the Sioux river, two miles above Beloit in July, 1866.
The first United States homestead was claimed by Lewis P. Hyde, July 23, 1866.
The first attorney in the county was J.K.P. Thompson, at Rock Rapids, in 1872. He died in January, 1903. About co-temporary with him was J.F. Eccleston.
The first justice of the peace, who gave his bond, in Lyon county, was S. G. Martin, who served from January 1, 1871, in Rock township.
The first United States patent for lands in Lyon county dated, June 4, 1877, signed by Gen. U.S. Grant, the president. It was issued under the act of Congress passed April 18 (1820) eighteen hundred and twenty, and was for the southwest quarter of section 28, township 98, range 47 -- 160 acres, now within what is known as Richland township, Lyon county, Iowa.
The first telephone communication was had from Rock Rapids office, in 1895.
The first term of court in the county was held at a school house near Rock Rapids, July 19, 1872. Judge Ford presided and C.H. Lewis -- now Judge Lewis -- of Sioux City, was prosecuting attorney. There were but three cases called -- two of which the record shows to be, one G.W. Fitts vs. District Township of Doon, and the other H.B. Wilson and William Joy vs. County of Lyon. Attorneys Joy and Wilson appeared for plaintiff and C.H. Lewis for the defendant. Judgment was given to the plaintiff, for $6,018 and costs. This was for attorneys' fee of Joy and Wilson, in the Swamp Land cases.
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