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On the Porch

“Governor Marshall appointed a few county officers and vested them with power to begin county government. It was proposed to organize in December 1869, but owing to the absence of two of the county commissioners it had to be postponed, and the machinery of county government was not set in motion until August 12, 1870. At that time the first meeting of the Board of County Commissioners was held at the home of Luman Ticknor, in Upper Lynd.”

The above passage is from Arthur P. Rose’s 1912 book, “An Illustrated History of Lyon County, Minnesota.” In this detailed history of the early settlement of Lyon County, Rose described the county and township organization along with the early political dynamics. The first act of the newly formed board of county commissioners was the selection of the county seat. The county seat was established in Upper Lynd, and it remained there for two years until the county business was transacted at Lower Lynd. Lower Lynd remained the seat of government until it moved to Marshall in January of 1874, as the result of an election the year prior.

There were unsuccessful attempts in 1874 to levy a tax to build a courthouse, but a small building was constructed in Marshall in 1876. It was not until 15 years later that interest in building a new courthouse was renewed. Excavation work for the courthouse began in July on 1891, with a dedication set for Jan. 15, 1892. A fire on Jan. 8 virtually destroyed the completed building. A contract for rebuilding was set in March, and the building was accepted by the county commissioners in November of 1892. Renovations and additions to the original structure occurred in 1939 and 1975. The remaining original building was demolished in 1994. The photograph featured this week from the museum’s collection is a picture of the 1892 courthouse in Marshall.

The Lyon County Historical Society and Lyon County are producing a photograph book for Lyon County’s 150th anniversary this year. We are looking for pictures to include in the book. We are especially looking for photographs from 1970 to today and from the communities of Amiret, Florence, Garvin, Ghent, Green Valley, and Taunton. But, we will accept photographs from any time and any community in Lyon County. Categories include: Agriculture, Commerce, Public Service and Military, Religion, Education, Sports and Leisure, Transportation, Scenes, Disasters, Celebrations, and Community.

The deadline to submit photographs is March 9. The book is expected to be published around Memorial Day and will go on sale afterwards. Photographs may be submitted to director@lyoncomuseum.org or dropped off at the Lyon County Museum to be scanned and then returned.

The Lyon County Historical Society is a nonprofit, member-supported organization. For more information on membership, research, volunteering, or the museum’s collection, please contact us at 537-6580 or director@lyoncomuseum.org. Like our page and follow us on Facebook.

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