Lyle Centennial 1870-1970

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We wish to express our appreciation to all those who contributed photos and historical information for this cen tennial booklet.
Our purpose was to take you down "memory lane" and to help you gain insight to some of the almost forgotten information of Lyie, Minnesota's first 100 years. It is our earnest desire that this booklet will create a continuing interest in preserving our community's past as a record for future generations. May this always be a treasured item in
your family.
The Centennial History of LyIe has been prepared from information supplied by many local residents who brought in their scrap books, pictures and news clippings, old copies of the LyIe Leader and the 1894 and 1911 Histories of Mower County. They brought their church histories and some wrote items of their own churches, clubs and families. Of special help were the scrap books of Mrs. Katherine (Mortensen) Howard, Amanda Mortensen and the 1960 history of LyIe prepared by Mrs. Nolan (Edna) Wold of Rochester, formerly of LyIe, which was especially for the LyIe Study Club.
The Centennial Committee is grateful to everyone who helped with this tremendous task.
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In order for the reader to capture a complete vision
of the favorable location of the Township and Village of
Lyie, it is necessary to have a larger glimpse of the area. It is also vi^ell to take note of the fact that many of the
earliest settlers were adventurous, fearless pioneers who came without their families, searching for suitable places to live, make their fortunes and rear their children. Their first abodes were rough, made of logs, covered with bark or sod. Many, before bringing their wives or families here, constructed a better dwelling place before they sent for them.
When the first settlers arrived in Mower County of
Southern Minnesota, it must have appeared to them as a
long-sought-for paradise where men could live comfort
ably in favorable weather and ideal agricultural condi tions.
It has been described in early histories as a vast
rolling sweep of prairie, a landscape of wondrous beauty where prairie flowers bloomed abundantly and poured out their fragrance. It was the haunt of the Sioux and Dakotah Indians with scarcely a trace of civilization; a place where birds and beasts reigned in absolute freedom.
In this pleasant setting is LyIe Township, located on
the Minnesota-Iowa state line, on an almost level prairie. It is bordered on the south by Mitchell and Worth coun ties of Iowa, on the west by Freeborn county of Minne
sota; on the north by Austin Township and on the east by Nevada Township. The surface of the township was de scribed as a very productive rich dark loam soil, which was green with varietgated shades of vegetation, tall prairie grasses and thick underbrush, but was void of timber, except along the Red River where there was a rich natural timber growth. By 1894 there were beautiful
groves of transplanted trees across the countryside.
Red Cedar River and its branches furnished the town
ship with drainage and available water power, which was not developed in earlier years.
First Claim
The first settler in the township was J. D. Woodbury, who came from unknown parts in the fall of 1853 and settled on the banks of Red Cedar River in section 33
within the territorial rights of LyIe, one of the oldest towns in Mower County.
Woodbury Creek, a branch of the river, also border ing his large claim and Woodbury School District 13,
were named for him.
The first marraige in Mower County was conducted in
the sod covered log cabin that Woodbury constructed In the northwest quarter of section 33.
His son-in-law, Pinkerton, soon joined him, and in the
spring of 1854, two other sons-in-law came. They were Marlott and Stilson.
Marlott settled in section 28. Pinkerton, who previous
ly lived with Woodbury, constructed a log house in sec tion 32 where he lived a year.
Stilson erected a bark dwelling on the site where
Woodbury established the Woodbury Cemetery in 1855 or earlier, also in section 33. He sold out and moved to Olmstead County in 1855, and was soon followed by his son-in-law, Marlott.
Pinkerton sold out and moved west to the Blue Earth River. Stilson left in late 1855 for Albert Lea and later took his family and formed a new home on the banks of Blue Earth River where a sad tragedy befell them. A severe rain storm caused the river to swell rapidly. Raging waters patrially filled and surrounded their home. Stilson managed to save his life and their infant child in a narrow escape, but three other children drowned.
^c^to%efr 0^ TttUme^a
WOODBURY SCHOOL AFTER TORNADO — This is Woodbury School, named after J. D. Woodbury, one of the early settlers.
Although settlers arrived from 1853 and on, Lyie Town ship was not officially organized until 1858, after Mower County had been formed and the Minnesota State Con stitution was adopted.
On April 16, 1858, the Mower County Commissioners met for the purpose of dividing the county into townships.
LyIe Township was one of the first townships organ ized in 1858 to remain as it was organized. Further chang
ing and reorganization for some of the townships con tinued until as late as 1874.
In 1854, Erastus H. Bedford, native of Michigan, came to LyIe, joined Wilder in farming and made a claim in section 30, which he later proved. In 1855 Bedford married Althea Townsend, a native of New York State. They made their home in the frame house he had constructed on his farm. Later they rented the farm out for two years and moved to St. Ansgar, Iowa, where he was engaged in farming and teaming. They returned to the farm in 1864, where they remained. Originally his farm was wild prairie land. He set out shade, ornamental and fruit trees and engaged in raising stock and grain.
James Foster
James Foster was born March 2, 1790, in New Jersey.
When a teenager, he learned the trade of carpenter and joiner and later the wheelwright trade. At the age of 30, he engaged in the provision business which he followed until 1849, when he moved to Menard County, Illinois, remain ing until 1854, when he sold out and moved to the Town ship of LyIe, bringing his family with a pair of horses, a wagon and their household goods. He first built a log house, then a frame house where he spent the rest of his life. His widow later lived with a daughter in Austin Township.
Eben Merry
Eben Merry was a native of New York State. He
settled on the west half of section 4 which he still owned in 1894, but at that time was living in Austin.
Village of Troy
John Tifft, one of those who came in 1854, entered
land in sections 4, 5 and 9. He laid out the Village of
Troy and erected a saw mill. He died a few years later and his family scattered.
1855 Influx
Most of the settlers who came in 1855 and 1856 stayed
only a short time. In 1855 they included: William Allen, George Carrier, Benjamin Coe, James Davis, Dilarzon and Lorenzo Moshier, Joseph Richards, Edward Sprague, John Woodworth and David West.
Allen, a pioneer of Nevada, and Carrier, both settled in section 20 for a short time. Allen left for the Pacific Coast and later lived in Oregon. Carrier went to Texas.
Buys Woodbury Place
Coe, Sprague and Woodworth arrived together in June. Coe bought J. D. Woodbury's place in section 33, where he lived until June, 1856, then sold to the Rev. Alanson Beach and A. M. St. John, then moved to Olmstead County.
Sprague, who settled on section 28, sold two or three
years later to Judge Robert LyIe and returned to Illinois and later lived in Otter Tail County, Minn.
Woodworth pre-empted land in sections 28 and 29,
leaving shortly for Olmstead County. In 1861 the Wood- worth property was purchased by Avery Strong and three
years later by Orrin Barnum. Strong went to Otranto and later to New York State.
Davis pre-empted the southeast quarter of section 22. He enlisted in Company K, Fourth Regiment and after serving in the Civil War, resumed farming and remained several years, later moving to Otter Tail County.
In early histories and in some localities today, town
ships are referred to as towns, which is confusing to many because today, the word "town" is used a great deal more in referring to villages.
Permanent Settlers
The first permanent settlers in LyIe Township and the vicinity of what was to become the village of LyIe, came in 1854 and included Orlando Wilder, Eben Merry, John Tifft, William Bean, James Foster and his son. Return Foster.
Wilder was a native of Vermont, the Green Mountain state. Coming with him were William Bean, stepfather of his wife, also his brother, Jackson Wilder, and Lewis West. They drove ten yoke of oxen and brought a small amount of household goods, arriving May 6, 1854. They immediate ly made a claim in section 33 and constructed a bark covered log house. Bean also took a claim in section 33.
Others of the party fenced 65 acres of land across the line in Iowa and planted corn, potatoes and garden
In the fall of 1854, Wilder went to McGregor, a dis
tance of 120 miles, with an ox team to meet his wife, who returned with him. He had replaced his original log cabin with a frame house where they were still living in 1894 when the first history of the county was written. They had three children. Prosper, Pete and Shedd. Wilder served as chairman of the first board of supervisors and was also
one of the Mower County Commissioners. 4
Dilarzon and Lorenzo Moshier, natives of New York
State, came from Pennsylvania arriving June 14, 1855. Dilarzon pre-empted in section 30 wliere lie was still
living in 1894. Lorenzo pre-empted in section 29 for a few
years before selling and leaving for Missouri. Here he found it unpleasant and unsafe for a union man during
the war and left for Illinois a few years before moving to Texas where he died in 1880.
Richards bought a claim from William N. Bean in section 33, but left in five or six years for Vernon Springs, Iowa.
David West, from New York State, lived several years in section 32, later moving to Otranto Station in Mitchell
County, Iowa, where he was serving as a postmaster in 1894. His son, C. L. West, was then a merchant in Austin.
1 8 5 6 I n fl u x
Settlers who came in 1856 includsd; Samuel Surface,
Ezra D. Ames, the Rev. Alanson Beach, John Beach, Wil son Beach, Chester Calwell, Edward Calwell, Lewis Eb- bers, Calvin H. Owen, Charles Owen, the Rev. Samuel Loomis, Henry Roberts, William Shellbach, A. M. St. John, Joseph Thompson and William West.
Surface came from Missouri early in 1856 and pre
empted land in sections 28 and 29. He built a log house and stables and improved a portion of his claim. In 1861
he enlisted in Company K, Fourth Minnesota Regiment and gave his life in the Civil War.
Ames came from Indiana in March, pre-empting 120 acres in section 21 where he lived six months before moving to section 19 where he was still living in 1894.
JOHN BEACH FAMILY — John Beach, son of Alanson Beach and his wife Cathrine (Morrison) Beach, with their children, Frank and Mary Beach.
FRANK M. BEACH FAMILY — Mr. Beach, president of First National Bank, his wife, Zetta (Churchill) Beach and their children (left to right) Catherine Beach (Raddant) and Marjorie M. Beach.
Second Death
William Shellbach and Louis Ebbers were immigrants
from Germany early in the year. Shellbach settled in sec tion 34, later moving to Fairmont. Ebbers settled in sec tion 34. His death late in the summer was the second in the township.
The Rev. Alanson Beach
After the Rev. Alanson Beach and A. M. St. John had
purchased Benjamin Coe's land in sections 32 and 33 in
July, 1856, they returned to New York where Beach and his wife, Salina (Tanner), were both born in 1810. In
November that fall. Beach, his wife and sons Wilson and John and his wife, Catherine (Morrison) returned to Lyie Township. Zilla, a daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. Beach, must have come with the family, although women were usually not mentioned in the early histories. The Beach family, including their son, Wilson, who was single, set tled in section 33. John and his wife pre-empted land in section 26. Wilson lived with his parents until after the war and then settled in section 33, later moving to Austin. The Rev. Alanson Beach served on the Mower County Board of Commissioners as chairman from 1863 to 1871.
John and his wife lived on their claim three years, then two years on land purchased in sections 32 to 33, before moving to the Alanson Beach homestead, moving to Austin in the late 1890's. John served as county com missioner from 1887 to 1895, he was a Master Mason and a Knight of Pythias. They had five children, two dying in
infancy. The others were Mary, Frank M. and Katie.
Charles Owen, who came with the Beach family, en tered section 26 for a short time, then returned to New York. He died before the end of the war.
Henry Roberts
An Englishman, Henry Roberts, came late in 1856 and
bought Carrier's claim in section 20, which he still owned in 1894.
William Pace
William M. Pace, a native of Ohio, where he was t>orn
August 31, 1822, came to LyIe in 1856 and located in sec tion 21 of LyIe Township where he lived eight years before
moving to section 22. There he built a small frame house where his family lived 15 years. In 1878 he erected a
dwelling 16 x 24, 14 feet high with an ell 16 x 16, 14 feet
high and a kitchen 12 x 16, 10 feet high, also a granary 16 X 24. He engaged in raising grain and stock and was
one of the prosperous farmers in the township.
Pace's nearest shipping point for his grain until 1864 was at McGregor, 120 miles away. He also hauled wheat to Rochester with ox teams and sold it for fifty and sixty cents a bushel. He was obligated to camp on the way,
as hotels were scarce as well as money.
Pace enlisted in Company K, Fourth Minnesota Vol
unteer Infantry in November, 1861, and served three years with the Army of the Potomac. He was honorably dis
charged and drew a pension of $14 a month for his dis ability.
He married Esther A, Martin, an adopted daughter of
Judge Robert LyIe, May 22, 1844. They were the parents of six children: Charles M., Emery N., Jane, Elizabeth A.,
Almira 0., and Eveline. They all married and moved from the family home.
Mrs. Pace died in 1866. After 13 years. Pace married Mrs. Electa Graham. They were still living in LyIe Town
ship in 1894.
William West
William West grew to manhood in New York State
where he was educated. He married Charlotte L. Gordon in 1845, and they were engaged in farming. In 1855 he came west to seek a home. He came by train to Galena, then by boat to McGregor. From there he traveled by foot to Mitchell County, Iowa, and engaged in a saw mill at Otranto. That fall he hired a team and drove to McGregor to meet his family and they spent the winter in Mitchell county.
In 1856 he made a claim in section 24 of Lyie Town
ship and built a log house, moving his family there in the fall. He improved the farm and constructed a frame house where they were living in 1894, They had three chil
dren, Frank, Willie and Florence. Frank died at the age of 24. Florence became the wife of James K. Clark.
Joseph Thompson, who came from Wisconsin, settled in section 27, where he lived two years before moving to Iowa. He served as a Union soldier in the war of the South ern Rebellion. Later he went to California where he died.
Calvin Own came from Iowa in late 1856 and bought land and made a home in section 30 where he was still living in 1894. He and his wife had three children, Mar- riet, Foster B. and Julius C.
Rev. Samuel Loomis
The Rev. Samuel Loomis, a Methodist divine, came in the fall of 1856 and pre-empted land in section 19. He enlisted in Company K, Fourth Minnesota Regiment, served in the war and was discharged for a disability in October, 1862. He returned to his home where he died in December.
Edward and Chester Calwell came from the Keystone State. Edward settled in section 30 and Chester in sec tion 19. After two years, they sold out and went to Kansas and later to Colorado.
Robert LyIe was a native of Ohio and came to the
vicinity which was to carry his name in 1856, in the month of November, when W. M. .Pace, also from Ohio, came.
In 1860 he was elected county court commissioner.
LyIe was Mower County Probate Judge from 1861 to 1866. He succeeded G. M. Cameron who served from 1869
to 1861, and was followed by Ormanzo Allen, who served from 1866 to 1869. He was also one of the 8th District
representatives in the Republican Wing in 1857.
The township of LyIe and the village of LyIe were
named for Robert LyIe.
In 1868 he moved to Missouri, where he continued to
Company "K", Fourth Minnesota, had settled at an early
day in Otranto, where he opened a land office. About 1859 he came to LyIe Township and lived in the southeast quar
ter of section 30. Captain Moore was killed in a skirmish. His family later lived in Brooklyn, N. Y.
Captain Robert Moore
Robert Moore, who served as captain of the famous
C. R. Hughson
C. R. Hughson, born July 23, 1827, in New York State, came to Mower County in 1858 and settled in section 25 of Lyie Township. His wife was Mary L. Owen from New York State, the youngest child of Albert G. and Hanna Owen. They were married January 31, 1855. Mr. and Mrs. Hughson had eight children: Harriet, George A., John L., Mary and Eugene W. Three children, Francis, Cephes and Herbert, died earlier.
In 1882, Hughson replaced his small frame house with a more "comodious" house 16 x 24, 14 feet high, with an addition of 16 x 22, 14 feet high. Hughson died April 7, 1884, at the age of 56. His widow and children remained on the homestead.
George C. Allen
George C. Allen, 1884 chairman of the township board of supervisors, was a native of Ashtabula County, Ohio, where he was born in 1840. When 21 years of age, he started out for himself and was engaged in the oil refin ing business in Titusville, Pa. In 1862 he enlisted in the 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Co. D. and served until January 2, 1864, when he was discharged due to a disability. He came to Minnesota and settled in Austin township in September, 1864, where he lived four years and settled in section 26 of LyIe Township where he constructed a frame house. He farmed and raised grain and stock. All of his 160 acres were improved by 1884.
His bride of 1861 was Caroline Holms from Ohio.
They had three children, George W., Carrie L and Edwin H. Allen held various other offices of trust in the town
ship besides the office of supervisor.
Thomas A. Hotson
Thomas A. Hotson came to Mower County in 1862 and
purchased 160 acres in LyIe Township, section 10. Only three or four acres of the land had been broken and the
only improvement on the place was a pre-emption shanty. By 1894 Hotson had all of his 160 acres improved and had constructed a good set of frame biuldings and planted
a grove.
Hotson was born in Norfolk, England, December 16,
1829, and married in 1849 to Esther Guttridge, also a native of Norfolk.
They left their native land in 1854 and came to America, sailing from Liverpool October 6 and landing at
New Orleans after a voyage of six weeks and four days.
They first settled in St. Louis, where he worked in a rolling mill shortly and then went to St. Clare County, Illinois, where he bought interest in a brick yard which he operated one season and then engaged in farming in St. Clare County, remaining until 1862 when they came to Mower County. They had five children, Atkins, Thomas,
Fred, William and Elmer.
Stephen A. Martin
Stephen A. Martin came to Mower County in March, 1865, and settled in section 29 of LyIe Township, where he remained. He was a native of New York State. His first wife died in 1847 leaving a child. Rosette. He remarried in 1848 to Mary A. Edson. They were the parents of five
children, Christiana, wife of W. F. Tubbs, William H., Les ter H., Pearlie, the wife of Joseph M. Whitford, and Rudell
William, the oldest son, lived at home and managed the farm and was a prominent member of the Christian Church.
D. P. Kittredge
D. P. Kittredge, native of Maine, who came to Min nesota in 1856 and was engaged in the lumber business at Stillwater until 1861, left to spend five years in Men docino County, then returned to Stillwater until he came
to LyIe in 1868 and bought the farm formerly owned by Jeremiah Phelps. He married Mary A. Decker from Illinois the following year. They had five children: Mary, Etta, Ella, William B. and Sadi. Only 20 acres of his land was broken when he became owner. There were no buildings. By 1894 he had constructed a comfortable frame dwelling and other buildings and had 75 acres of land under cul tivation. The farm had a natural grove and was crossed by a crystal stream.
ESTHER GEKLER AND HUSBAND — This is the daughter of David Geltler.
LORENZO GEKLER AND WIFE — This is the son of David Gekler, who was one of the early settlers in LyIe Township.
David Gekler
David Geklet, born in Germany in 1824, came to America in 1854 and was engaged in a cabinet factory in Utica, N. Y., before coming to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1857 and then to LyIe Township where he lived eight years before moving to section 14 where he took a home stead, brought the land under cultivation and engaged in raising grain and stock. His wife was also a native of Ger many. They were parents of eight children, Bennle, Emma, Mary, Catherine, Lorenzo, Christiana, Lowena and Esther.
J. S. Bowers
A native of Canada, J. S. Bowers came to Mower
County in 1871 from Osage, Iowa, and located in section 17 of Lyie Township. At Osage, J. S. Bowers and J. J.
Bowers built and operated a saw mill. The family remained in Lyie Township. Mr. and Mrs. Bowers were parents of seven children: Norman, Hannah, Harriet, Milton, Charles, Alberta and Wilhelmina. Norman married Mary Trowbridge. Hannah became the wife of Marshall Haney and Harriet married Maitland Varco. Milton married Elizabeth Dicker-
son; Charles married Augusta Dickerson, and Alberta mar ried Benjamin Wilder.
Henry C. Trowbridge
Henry C. Trowbridge, son of S. H. and Diana Trow
bridge, was born April 21, 1846, in Racine County, Wis., and lived with his parents until 1863. The date of their
settlement in Lyie was early in 1865, the same year Henry was discharged after serving his two year enlistment in
Comany I, Eleventh Illinois Cavalry with his regiment at Memphis, Tenn., where he was stationed until the end of the war. He returned to Lyie in July, 1865. In 1870 he
married Raxana Chandler, daughter of Welcome Chand
ler, pioneer of Mower County. Young Trowbridge engaged in farming in section 8. In 1875, he engaged in buying
grain in the village of LyIe and a year later took a posi tion as a clerk in a grocery at Austin for a year when he
returned to the farm. In 1883 he bought a farm in section 9, where they continued to live. They were parents of five.
The first population census in the county was in 1860. In Lyie Township there were 186 persons, 93 were female and 93 male. Of them, 27 were born in Minnesota, 141
born in the United States and 18 born in foreign coun
tries. There were 41 dwellings and no one in Lyie Town
ship over 21 was listed as not being able to read and write. There were 14 in the county over 21 who could not
read or write. Population in the township in 1865 was
310, in 1870 it was 480 and in 1875, 617. The first census of Lyie Village was in 1875 when there were 209. In 1880
Lyie Township had 805 in the Federal census.
In 1884, no records earlier than 1868 were to be found
in the office of the township clerk. The 1884 Lyie Town
ship officers were: G. C. Allen, chairman; M. J. Hawley and W. Watkins, supervisors; Atkins Hotson, clerk; Joseph
Wyburney, assessor; 0. H. Brown, treasurer; W. C. Potter and Peter Wilder, Justices of the Peace.
ISAAC MOSHIER AND WIFE — The first white child born in Lyie Township, August 16, 1855, son of Dilarzon and Elizabeth Moshier.
The first white child born in Lyie Township was Isaac
Moshier, son of Dilarzon and Elizabeth Moshier, born August 16, 1855.
The first death in the township was that of Mrs.
Margary Bean, wife of William N. Bean, in March, 1856. She was buried within the limits of Woodbury Cemetery
before it was surveyed. It was plotted before 1856. Louis
Ebbers, who came from Germany, died in the summer the same year and was also buried in Woodbury Cemetery.
The first marriage performed in the county under the
authority of a license issued by Mower County was July 19, 1857. So married were Robert B. Tifft and Anna Eliza
Crumen. 8
LYLE TOWNSHIP OFFICERS — Left to right: S. H. War
rington, 24 years, 1923 to 1947; W. J. Murphy, 26 years, 1921 to 1947; Henry Meyer, treasurer several years; T. H.
Murphy, 44 years, 1893 to 1937; Hollis Weber, 19 years, 1927 to 1946.
Early comers to Lyie Township were inquisitive about a locality called Cedar City, because it sounded as though it were a place of importance. One early comer, Andrew Gemmel told that when he inquired about Cedar City from the postmaster at St. Paul, he was told the location and that very likely he would find but one house there.
Land of this site was in section 4 on the Red Cedar River. It was first claimed by John Chandler who later waived his claim to Caleb Stock and John Phelps. In 1856 the two men began constructing a dam of stone and tim ber, their first efforts in a plan to build a mill. They were joined in the venture by T. N. Stone and two mills were built. One was furnished with a circular saw for sawing lumber and the other was a grist mill with one set of buhrstones or millstones. In 1858 Stock traded the mill to George Phelps. In August that year, the grist mill was completed. One sack of wheat had been ground when a flood from a sudden downpour came and swept both mills downstream. All hopes of the comany were lost. The mills were never rebuilt. Many in the neighborhood continued to believe that the excellent water power op portunity at this point would be developed and that Cedar City would some day flourish as a rival of Austin. In 1894,
nothing more had been done and all that remained of the dream were the ruins of the old mill dam.
The village of Lyie was originally comprised of forty acres in section 36 of LyIe Township. It was platted June
18, 1870, by Selah Chamberlain, D. C. Sheppard and Charles Mellrath and was incorporated March 9, 1875. The plat was filed November 10, 1870, with the county register of deeds.
First officers of the village of LyIe were: L. W. Sher
man, mayor and justice of the peace; John Trodler, 0. H. Lucken and J. H. McLaughlin, councilmen; T. Irgens,
treasurer; John Taskerud, recorder; F. Knutson, constable; P. McLaughlin, assessor. The first village council meet
ing was held May 17, 1875, when it was decided to hold regular meetings the first Monday of each month. The first order was drawn for $11.25 to H. Wiseman for painting
the village "lock-up."
Charles Ekie is the 1970 mayor. Councilmen Include
William Bell, Ronald Halverson, W. E. Wood, Louis L.
Taylor, with Jerry Reinartz as clerk and treasurer.
Charlie Berg is the village marshal. Assistant police
officers are Kenneth DeBoer and LyIe Niessen.
The first house in the village was built by Thomas
Irgens in 1870. He opened the first general merchandise store on the ground floor. He was commissioned as the first postmaster. Later that year two more stores were opened, one by George Anderson and John 0. Myhre and the other by C. H. Cole. Anderson and Myhre sold grocer ies and liquors and sold out a year later to Albert Thom son and John Gunderson. They sold to E. Olsen (who changed his name to Fausett) and John Taskerud. The firm later became the first hardware.
FIRST LUMBER YARD IN LYLE — First manager L. A. Page. ger), J. P. Mortensen, A. 0. Christianson, John Norris.
Pictured here from left to right: L. M, Sherman (3rd mana 9
Lumber and Coal
L. A. Page started the first lumber and coal business.
He soon sold to William Colton, in 1870. Colton sold to L. W. Sherman, who came to Lyie in 1871 as an agent for
Bassett, Huntting & Co., buying grain. He continued in the lumber and coal trade a number of years.
Bassett, Huntting & Co. erected the first warehouse in 1870. E. B. Walton built a warehouse in 1873, selling
two years later to Myhre and Johnson. Rhodes & Dayton from Cedar Falls, Iowa, built a third warehouse in 1874. Philip McLaughlin became the owner later.
Harness Shop
Peter Hanson made the first harness in LyIe. He
opened a shop in 1874 and continued many years. Meat Market
John Hader and Peter Schodson opened the first meat market which they operated about two years then
selling to Philip Bower. Successive owners were J. B. Hildebrand and E. H. Ahrends. Ahrends continued several
Mr. and Mrs. John Trodler conducted the first hotel
and also operated a bar.
The first shoemaker was Peter Johnson, who was
succeeded by Bernt D. Hedemark, native of Norway. He came in 1875 and added a stock of boots and shoes.
Wold and Olson were pioneers in the furniture and
upholstering business. Ed Johnson, native of Norv»/ay, who lived with his father at Adams until 21 years of age, then learned the painter's trade and came to LyIe in De cember, 1883, and opened a furniture business.
The first drug business was conducted by William
and Scarf, who also dispensed "spirituous, vinous and malt liquors." Capt. William Stanley, veteran of the Civil War and a native of New York City, came to LyIe in 1875 and was a druggist, and purchased the arug business
from Frank Jerabek.
JAMES P. MORTENSEN — Manager of Botsford Lumber Co. 1929.
Elevators and Warehouses
H. C. Trowbridge headed the first elevator built in
1874 by an association of farmers. They sold in 1877 to a
company of ten men and later to Charles Whitton of Aus tin. He hired E. H. Stone to buy grain. Brown & Co., Mil
waukee, became owners in 1878, later leasing to Bassett & Huntting, who in 1875 built an elevator with a capacity of 16,000. They also had control of two warehouses with a united capacity of 9,000 bushels.
First blacksmiths in 1870 were M. O'Brien and T. S.
Kilgore, who operated during the winter. Early in 1871 O'Brien moved the stock to Adams. Joseph Hall was the third blacksmith, starting in 1881. He sold a year later to John Reinsmidt. By 1894 he also had a wagon shop. He did general repairing as well as shoeing.
PETER HANSON — First harness maker in LyIe. He opened his shop in 1874.
CRIS JOHNSON — The mail carrier in 1911.
First settlers in LyIe Township were obliged to go to Auburn in Fayette County, Iowa, a distance of 80 miles, to get their mail and to buy provisions. The trip was made with ox teams.
There were no post offices in the county, but letters were often brought by travelers to settlers from friends back east or in the old country. The first post office in Mower County was called Elkhorn and was established in
1855 with Jacob McQuillan as postmaster. It was on the old stage route and mail was received once a week.
When the mail route was established from Osage to
Austin, mail was left at Orlando Wilder's for distribution in the neighborhood. This was not a regular post office,
but the arrangement was a great convenience to the hard
working pioneers.
A post office was established in 1856 with W. Means
as postmaster. It was on the route from Osage to Owa- tonna. Mail came once a week. Successor to Means was D. L Chandler, who kept the office at his house in sec tion 33 of Austin Township. It later was discontinued.
In 1867 the railroad was put through, touching at Lan
sing, Ramsey, Austin and LeRoy and other points. Some stage lines continued until as late as 1870. Included were stages to and from Austin and Albert Lea; Austin to Mos cow; Lansing to Neury; Mitchell to Adams; West Mitchell to Lyie; Northwood to Austin; Minneapolis to Lansing, Austin, Rose Creek, Adams and LeRoy. All were stage routes except the one from Austin to Albert Lea and the
one from Minneapolis to points in Mower County.
The LyIe post office was started at Minnereka April
25, 1870 with William Schellback as postmaster. January 19, 1871, the name was changed to LyIe and Thowald Irgens became postmaster.
Succeeding postmasters and dates of their appoint ments were as follows: Patrick J. Collins, Nov. 20, 1886; Olaus G. Myhre, March 22, 1889; William Stanley, June 6, 1892; Frank B. Losey, Sept. 22, 1894; George Robertson, Dec. 10, 1895; his son, Burton J. Robertson, Jan. 3, 1903; Harvey Hildebrand, May 22, 1913; Charley P. Fossey, June 17, 1930; Nels E. Fedson, Aug. 6, 1935; Jay P. Mortensen, Sept. 7, 1944; Orville J. Mortensen, Oct. 15, 1950; Darrell W. Matter, Nov, 15, 1953; Orville J. Mortensen, Dec. 8, 1961; Laurence L. Murphy, Aug. 3, 1962; Violet L. Howard,
Sept. 11, 1964, present postmistress.
The postoffice was once located in the building used
by Shirll Nelson next to the bank on main street. In Sept. 1965 it was moved to Grove Street.
In 1958 the grade for the Minneapolis & Cedar Valley Railroad was made in Mower County. Then came nine
years of waiting, during which time various propositions and wildcat plans were afloat. September 9, 1867, the first railroad engine ever operated in Mower County reached LeRoy.
In 1870, construction crews of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis Railroad Co. came to build the "cut-off" between Austin and Mason City. LyIe was then established as a station on the line. 0. N. Darling was the first station
LyIe immediately became prominent as a market,
owing to rivalry with Mona, one mile south in Iowa, then the treminus of the Cedar Falls branch of the Illinois
Central Railroad.
E. Hoxie was for several years conductor of the "mixed
passenger and freight train" running over the "cut-off", and it became known far and near as "Hoxie's train," the
name, "Milwaukee," being scarcely known or referred to. The Illinois Central Railroad had a turning table at
Mona. The village had a hotel, department store, cream
ery, other stores, an elevator, stockyards and was a busy place. Dr. Cobb, their first physician, later came to LyIe. Mona refused the Milwaukee Railroad.
H. B. Dockstader of Otranto, five miles from LyIe, served as depot clerk for the Milwaukee Railroad in LyIe for six years, starting in 1904 and later worked a short time at the Rexall Drug in LyIe. He says he never knew of any railroad depot being held up.
He remembers there were "too many" freight trains, two train freights and two weigh freights daily and three to five times a week extras out of Austin to Mason City on the Milwaukee. At one time there were 14 passenger trains a day going through LyIe; four on the Milwaukee; six on the Great Western and six on the Illinois Central. There were three depots.
During fair time the passenger trains were kept busy. Dockstader said ticket sales amounted to $150 a day dur
ing fair time.
John and Katherine Dockstader were H. B. Dock-
stader's grandparents. They came in the 1860's, originally to Osage and settled in Otranto township, Mitchell County,
There was a round house across the tracks west of
main street about two blocks. After its use by the rail
roads, it was used as a tow mill where they processed flax straw into thread. Later there was a sorghum mill. The
tow mill was operated by Boyd from LeRoy, where he had another mill.
In 1965, the Milwaukee depot was the last of the three
depots to be removed. John Lindberg was agent at that time. The railroad tracks remain and freight trains make
daily runs. There are no passenger trains.
OLE ANDERSON — First Jeweler.
LLOYD MORTENSEN — A telephone repairman in 1929.
School District 13 was the first in Lyie Township. The first school was taught the summer of 1856 by Maria
Vaughan in the Pinkerton log house, section 32.
The first school in District 12 was taught by the Rev.
Samuel Loomis in a log house in section 3.
District 14 had its first classes in a log house in
section 5, formerly owned by John Tifft.
District 15's first teacher was Thomas ParlUf^E DRUGS
Jewelry, Stationei'v. Wall Pa{)er
Paints, Oil and VaVnishes. Syndicate Block.—^
Oo to the>
Whei'e yoii mn sret u Sq«tni*e Meal for Twenty Five Cents,
From corner Elm an l Matii streets, soutlv Everybody invited to cill on us
Aceot for Val Blatz nllwaiikee Beer, About 10:80 a. QL
July 4,
Geo. J. Giuenberg, Prop.
on Maiii s- l oet to Oak .-;^^reet, eAst oil 0« k to. TJsird street, norrh on Tlurd to Gi'ov<; sneet west on Grove fureiU to SpejOcers' S>{tnfi.
10:00-» m. Musi by the Bumd.
10:10 " Praytu-IjV'Rev. Wra. Moore. " Sons by Male Qunrr^t.
10:2& *• Rending, of Declai-afion of Indn-
pcndenctt by lie v. E. Day.
I0;i0 " Music by OiTjirito .^iinci.'iiln Cluli. 10;50 Oration by Judv't' L. L. vrj!t?eloct<,
of 0*catiiiirtct.
11:30 " Address l>y Hon, N. K4n^.sley, of A u s t i n .
12:^P'ilv. .Vhistc ijjr Otninlo Mftudoiin f'lub. 12:30 " S<>niri)y in ale Quartet
tuasic by Lyle C^ofiret Band. AFTERNOON SPORXS I P. M.
ttorse r.oe (trotti'ig) in a 1st/ ?10. 2ijd 5. jruiiuiiv.;) " is 10.
2nd.. ... J5. (^^l> blooded or>ruinftdlK)rsofi udniirted^
100 yard foot race free for ;Til V^r n, ""atitJ3.
oO yd fatiOH»t nice not rba« ::.0Q ih.... *i. " '• 2nd.. ..1.
Wheelbarrow race 5i.
SacVrsce. ...... .. i.
Eggraea^........-,-....if. Barrel race..^ — 2.
Hui^le race 3 h urd ie.'*tt. m- Base Ball Gam0? Lyle va Cedar VHy
p. P-. rioOK, rrop.. SEVER.DOi K M-:-
E. i. S
^ StHtioiiery
Fancy Millinery All the Latest 8i\ le> iti f lat.s Hon- neU .'Uid rrinmi'nL^s.
Lvb*, - - Mij)ti!&vx»ta. JOWKT TvICi
Dry Goos Clothing. Fxiotwear, Notions, Furnisb- in or Goods and Groceries.
SYVEROD BROS. Dealers »n
i *-*. in t;« .
For tiue (iioceries Biy Gotxitf aii<{ thii latest .styles III Caps, l^a'dies and Gents Fninishintrs.
The Lyle Janlol's will play a *'kld" niim Ound's L< Grosjsc ilt-er. from Osage durin.if tlK: forAnooji-Giitaac ttAJ it>£.*
Alte cii aruo-^.
Grand display of Pitc-works in tiuf evoniti;? H, F. NISSEIPS Ou» STiOiOL Don't ft.
-See Our Display in the Parade R. FJIERSON
SJOUDMH*MafelBQefy tjefoeo elsewbi^re MiOnesont au