land that makes up Lyon County was ceded to the federal government by
the Sioux Indians through a treaty signed on July 23, 1851. The
boundaries of the county were set on January 15, 1851 and attached to
Woodbury County (then called Wahkaw County) for administration purposes.
Lyon County officially split from Woodbury County on January 1, 1872.
first white man to live in Lyon County was Daniel McLaren, known as
"Uncle Dan". He lived near the Sioux River for a short time, spending
his time hunting and trapping. He moved out of the county very early in
its settlement to stake a claim further west. The second settler in the
area was known as "Old Tom", a hunter and trapper who lived briefly near
present-day Rock Rapids. While setting his traps, Old Tom was killed by
1862–1863, a group of men from the east coast spent time in the county
on a hunting trip. They were: Roy McGregor, George Clark and Thomas
Lockhart. During the winter, Lockhart and McGregor were hunting elk
along the Little Rock creek and encountered a group of Sioux Indians.
Lockhart was killed by an arrow, but McGregor was able to escape and
rejoin Clark. The two continued to hunt and trap until March 1863.
During a spring flood, Clark was drowned and McGregor decided to move
first permanent settlement in Lyon County was built by Lewis P. Hyde in
July 1866. The county's population reached 100 persons in 1869,
entirely through migration and settlement. The first white child born in
the county was Odena Lee, born on May 28, 1871. The first election in
the county was held on October 10, 1871, and recorded 97 votes.