Wanted: anything from Lyle, Minnesota!

It is more difficult to find items from small towns like Lyle than it is to find items from larger towns. There are fewer businesses, fewer students, smaller batch sizes of items produced, and fewer people that may still have them. We need to locate and preserve historical Lyle items for research and for the use of future historians. For the purposes of this book, I need to find these previously unknown Lyle items and secure publishing rights so they can be included in the historical record. There are many interesting artifacts that come to light at estate sales, auctions and on eBay so I know there are many more things out there waiting to be discovered.

I need your help in locating these items! I would love to hear from you even if you don't have an item personally, but know of someone who has something unique. Photographs, letters, organization newsletters, annual reports and records are the most useful for research but I'm really interested in anything from Lyle, anything that says Lyle and anything about Lyle.


Lend me your Lyle items and I will photograph or scan them. You can drop them off in Lyle, I can pick them up or you can mail them to me and I will mail them back to you.


You can donate Lyle items to me or to the Mower County Historical Society with the condition that I have the rights for publishing any scans or photographs I take of those items. Donating to Mower County Historical Society is the best way to ensure long-term access to your Lyle items for future generations.


I may be willing to buy some items for my personal collection. I'm especially interested in hard-to-find pre-1950s items from Lyle, personal photographs, yearbooks and uniforms. If you want to sell something, let me know what you have and I'll make you an offer.

Partial List of Wanted Items


  • Homecoming buttons
  • Sports pictures (individual/team/action shots)
  • Sports programs, team rosters, award lists
  • Film and video of school sports, concerts, graduation, plays
  • Yearbooks, Lyloneons, Annuals
  • Class pictures, senior pictures, individual school pictures
  • School newsletters and newspapers
  • Organization minutes, meeting notes, membership lists, scrapbooks
  • Trophies, plaques, certificates, awards of any type
  • Uniforms from any sport and any time period, sports equipment
  • Country school pictures and memorabilia
  • Teacher and administrator lists, gradebooks, personal scrapbooks
  • Report cards, copies of old tests


  • Confirmation pictures
  • Printed church directories
  • Funeral, marriage, baptism announcements, programs and bulletins
  • Membership lists
  • Annual giving lists
  • Church anniversary (eg. 150th) pictures, videos and documents
  • Cemetery lists and maps
  • Board member, pastor/priest, employee lists
  • Printed histories


  • Postcards
  • Newspapers (eg. The Lyle Tribune, Lyle Lyte)
  • Newspaper inserts (eg. Lyle Highlights in the Austin Daily Herald)


  • Advertising trinkets (eg. Thermometers, key chains, pens, pencils, calendars, fans, salt and pepper shakers)
  • Advertising clothing and uniforms
  • Matchbooks
  • Bills, letterhead
  • Trade tokens, wooden nickels, promotional coins
  • Sales literature
  • Pictures of buildings, owners, employees



  • Phone books of any year
  • Plat books of any year
  • Hand-drawn or printed local maps
  • Aerial photos
  • Copies of land records