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 rectangular shaped building is located on spacious 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 on the second story displays the county seal in a mosaic of ceramic tile. The third story, which houses the legal and judicial functions 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 in Jefferson, are remarkably like those at Rock Rapids). The County District courtroom is located on the west side of the third story and 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.

 

 

x_3

County Courthouse – Rock Rapids

 

 

430f07

 

 

 

431f07

 

 

432f07

 

 

2527mk23

 

 

2528mk23

 

 

2529mk23

 

 

2530mk23

 

 

2532mk23

 

 

51i24

 

 

54i24

 

 

53i24

 

 

55i24

 

 

434f07

 

 

63i24

 

 

64i24

 

 

433f07

 

 

66i24

 

 

68i24

 

 

69i24

Mural – Modern Farm 1917

 

 

70i24

Mural – Rock Rapids 1873

 

 

71i24

Mural – Immigrant

 

 

72i24

Mural – Pioneer

 

 

73i24

County District Court courtroom

 

 

74i24

 

 

77i24

 

 

80i24

 

 

79i24

 

 

82i24

 

 

83i24

 

 

84i24

 

 

85i24

 

 

86i24

Old Judge’s chair

 

 

2533mk23

Photos taken 2007, 2023 and 2024