Lyons is a flourishing town on the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad, eight miles from Oakland, and also on Logan Creek, on the far-famed Logan Valley. The first permanent settler in the vicinity of Lyons was Josiah Everett, who, with three brothers, came here in July, 1866. About the same time, however, possibly a little earlier in the year, Peter McMullen, M. Willsey and R. L. Hart came in to select their homesteads, but did not settle until 1867.
In 1868, Mr. Levi Richardson came here from Decatur, with his family, and in 1869, Mr. O. S. Comar and family. In the same year, Mr. Waldo Lyon came here from Arizona, Burt County, and it is after him the town is named.
William Waite move into the precinct in 1868, and into Lyons in 1874.
The first store was opened by a firm from Onawa, Iowa, in 1871, and Franklin Everett built a large store in 1874. O. S. Comar built the first wagon shop in 1873, and L. A. Peterson built his blacksmith shop in the same year, and was the first regular blacksmith, although Josiah Everett had previously done what labor in that line he was called upon to do.
The first child born in the neighborhood was a daughter of Peter McMullen, in 1867. The first death was that of a Mr. Hotchkiss, in 1868. The first minister was Rev. J. M. Peebles, now of Decatur, through whose influence the present Presbyterian Church edifice was built. At the present time, there are three churches in Lyons, being, in addition to the Presbyterian above mentioned, a Methodist and a Catholic organization.
Lyons has three general stores, one dry goods and millinery store, two drug stores, two groceries, two hardware stores, two blacksmith shops, one flouring-mill (built in 1870), two lumber yards, two agricultural stores, one bank, and other places of business. There is one lawyer and also one physician.
Lyons has a fine two-story frame school building, costing $3,000, with over one hundred pupils. This village contains about seventy-five buildings, most of which are neat two-story frames, and a population of 250. In 1880, there were less than one hundred in the town.
The farmers of Logan Valley, in which both Lyons and Oakland are situated, are engaged mostly in stock raising, although grain in considerable quantities is also raised. The soil of this valley is very fertile, and it would seem as though in it were to be found all the conditions of successful and satisfactory farming. The valley is broad, its slopes are gentle and easy of ascent, and, with the never-failing, rapid-running and beautiful Logan Creek, skirted with
trees standing singly, in rows and in groves, with its numerous farm buildings surrounded by hedges, orchards and domestic groves of cottonwood, maple and walnut, with its herds of cattle and sheep fattening upon the rich native grasses of its plains and hillsides, with its fields of waving cereals, it presents altogether a scene of picturesqueness, richness and beauty such as the eye of the traveler seldom sees.
This beautiful valley was named Logan in honor of Logan Fontanelle, by the Quincy colonists, and only a few days after they had named Fontanelle after the same friendly Omaha chief.