Lybrand & Myron
Lybrand was the first townsite platted within Allamakee county. The town was founded by Jacob Lybrand of West Union. It was located in the central part of Post township. The town was started in the spring of 1850 and was platted on May 3, 1851, from a survey made by S.P. HIcks, the county surveyor. It was located at the time on the main traveled road between McGregor's landing and Decorah and soon became a place of considerable importance.
Mr. Lybrand opened a store, and a post office was established here on May 12, 1852, with Hiram Jones as its first postmaster. During the later 1860's the post office was discontinued and the town passed into the farm home of one Elisha Harris who used the buildings for barns or sheds and he finished the hotel which became his house for a number of years.
The town of Myron dates its platted existence only from May 8, 1873, but its settlement, however, dates back much further. It has more right to be called a village than many of the other so-called mythical towns of this period. The town was located in the north central part of Post township on the Yellow river. It possessed a large and excellent four mill which Mr. R.T. Burnham had moved there from Hardin in 1865 because of the excellent opportunities for cheap water power available from the Yellow river.
The mill for many years provided the necessary incentive for the budding prosperity of a thriving village, and the town at one time had a general store, saloon, blacksmith shop, shoe shop and several dwellings. The town was platted into lots in 1866 and in 1868 the post office which had until that time been located at Lybrand, was transferred to Myron and its name changed to Myron.
The post office remained here until 1895 when it was closed down due to the introduction of rural mail service. By then the decline in the millling industry had taken its toll upon the life of the town and it soon faded away with the rest of these so-called towns. Today all that remains to remind us of tis once progressive town are a few of the old foundations. the towns one grasp of fame came through the marriage of one of the close relatives of the Folsoms to Grover Cleveland which was frequently mentioned in the local papers of that time.
~old newspaper clipping, undated ~transcribed by S. Ferrall
District Court at Waukon last week refused to vacate the town plat of Lybrand, an Allamakee town of the days when Moneek, Hardin, Frankville, etc., were in the swim. There never were more than twelve houses in the town; and only a local school house remains.
Source: Decorah Republican, Feb. 12, 1903 Page 3
Contributed by Bill Waters
When Myron Was a Thriving Town
Joe O'Brien of Waukon, a former resident of the community north of here, sends us the following letter in which he relates interesting happenings and people when Myron was a thriving town with stores, mill, post-office and quite a settlement of families. Nothing today remains of this town, but the old mill race is still discernible if one studies the land closely. Here's Mr. O'Brien's letter:
Publisher, Postville Herald,
The old flour mill in Myron in the long ago was operated by a Mr. Ben Folsom. He was a good miller but he quit the mill and entered the ministry. One of his first sermons he preached in the school house in district No. 1 in Ludlow township. Later when Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom the press over the country, both weeklies and dailies, were full of sensational headlines telling of Miss Frances Folsom having relatives down in the classic precincts of Yellow River in Iowa. I have forgotten whether there was any truth in this story -- maybe Hugh Shepherd can tell us. I believe Thomas Folsom was Ben Folsom's son.
The first saloon in Myron that I recall was owned by Mrs. Ellen Murray. She was about as broad as she was tall and sometime later she was joined there by Jimmie Stuart who worked on the section west of Postville, near Castalia. They joined hands and fortunes and continued the business for about one year. Jimmie Stuart was working for Bill Daulton about two miles north of Myron in haying and harvest time and I used to see him coming over the hill mornings with a small jug in one hand and a pitchfork in the other. I worked for Daulton along with Jimmie during that year off and on. Where he and Ellen went from Myron I can't recall.
There lived near Myron, or just across the line in Ludlow a many by the name of Dave Vick (that was his real name). He was a thresherman in the old days. I knew him when he followed his line of work with the Terrill boys, Greeley, Newt and Plin. I saw Dave just outside the Center School house in Ludlow on an election day in November and this is what he told me just as he came out of the voting place: "Well Joe, I am a democrat, but Mart Wood said if I would vote the republican ticket, he would give me two pounds of butter. We were all out of butter at our house and it was better than nothing, so I took it." Many a man has received much less for his vote than did Dave.
M.G., or Mart, Wood was a Union soldier and had no time for democrats. Mr. Wood's family came from [New] York State like ourselves; we're New York Yankees, you know. There was a lodging house just to the north of the old school house in Myron and one night a man died there and there was an outside stairway on the building. In bringing the coffin down, something happened and the box slipped away from those carrying it and slid down to the ground. Nothing very serious happened through and the procession continued to the cemetery. I believe the man's name was Head; what his given name was, I do not remember now.
I remember well when the Indians were moved from Wisconsin to the reservation at Tama, Iowa. i and a neighbor boy were in the road south of the P.G. Wright farm on the Postville-Waukon stage road and we heard them coming. We lay down just inside the rail fence between the corn rows to watch them. They made an awful noise - the papooses crying, the dogs barking, the buck-board wagons squeaking. They camped in Myron on that night - it was after harvest and the Indians scooped up the chinch bugs and put them in the dog soup they were cooking, as they had butchered several dogs that evening. Some of the dogs they no doubt took along the road they traveled. There was no black-out in Myron that night. The Indians were a friendly lot and went their way in the morning, as I remember, through Postville.
The store in Myron, a small general store, was owned by Mrs. John Press. She was also postmaster. It was located just west of the school house, about a rod north, not directly west. The saloon was just south of the mill race on the west side of the road.
..... Joe O'Brien, 16 Bearce Street, Waukon, Iowa
~published in the Postville Herald, December 9, 1942 ~transcribed by S. Ferrall
Return to 'other history' index