Lyon County

US States / H-L / Iowa / Lyon County
Lyon

Lyon County is named for Nathaniel Lyon, a soldier from Iowa, who was the first United States general killed in the American Civil War.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Minnehaha County, South Dakota, Rock County, Minnesota and Nobles County, Minnesota

E – Osceola County

S – Sioux County

W – Lincoln County, South Dakota

 

Created:  January 15, 1851                    Map of Iowa highlighting Lyon County

County Seat:

Rock Rapids 1851 – present

 

County Courthouse – Rock Rapids

 

Location:  206 South 2nd Avenue / Marshall Street

Built:  1915 – 1916

Style:  Classical Revival

Architect:  Joseph Schwartz

Contractor:  Amwold Construction

 

Description: The building faces north and is a three story gray colored stone and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Rock Rapids. The north front has a projecting entrance section in the center. There are eight columns rising from the second story to the top of the third story with recessed windows. A cornice runs below the wide band along the roof line. The roof line is flat. In the interior, the main staircases and corridor wainscoting are of Italian marble, while the floor of the rotunda displays the county seal in a mosaic of ceramic tile. The third story, which houses the legal and judicial functions and the courtroom, displays in the rotunda area four semicircular murals, set within the tympana of the arches which open off the rotunda to the corridors. These murals, Entitled “Pioneer”, “Immigrant”, “Rock Rapids 1873″, and “Modern Farm 1917″ were possibly the work of artist William Peaco (Peace’s “Pioneer” and “Immigrant” murals in the Greene County Courthouse, Jefferson, are remarkably like those at Rock Rapids). The courtroom on the third floor is also of note, featuring an early jury box (with swivel chairs bolted to the floor), judge’s bench and chair, and fine aedicular doorframes. With the exception of new lighting in some areas and the partitioning of one ground-floor room, the interior spaces of the courthouse are essentially untouched. The building houses the County District Court of the 3A Judicial District. 

 

See:  National Register of Historic Places – Lyon County Courthouse

 

See:  The 3A Judicial District includes Buena Vista CountyCherokee CountyClay CountyDickinson County, Emmet CountyKossuth County, O’Brien CountyOsceola County and Palo Alto County.

 

History:  The county was created in 1851 and Rock Rapids was designated as the county seat. The county was attached to Wodbury County ( Wahkaw County ) for administration until 1872. The first courthouse was three story frame structure designed by O H Cheney and built by S C Hyde in Rock Rapids in 1874 to 1875 at a cost of $15,000. The building was moved a few blocks and was used as an apartment house. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1916 to 1917 at a cost of $109,695.

 

 

430f07

County Courthouse – Rock Rapids

 

 

431f07

 

 

432f07

 

 

433f07

 

 

434f07

 

 

435f07

Photos taken 2007