Lyons High School 1871-1954

History of Lyons High School from the 1954 yearbook

Lyons High School first originated on the third floor of the Old Central building in 1868 and 1869. The school was located on Pearl and Ninth Streets, now Twenty-fifth Avenue North and North Third Street, on about the same spot as the present Lyons Junior-Senior High School. The first graduating class, consisting of Letitia Stumbaugh and Sallie A Lukens, received their diplomas in 1871. At this time high school was only a three-year course. Because of the crowded conditions and the objections to the occupancy of the upper floor of the building --

The present Industrial Arts building was erected in 1885. It was situated on the square bounded by Main and Pearl, Ninth and Tenth Streets. It was in this building in 1899 that high school was changed to a four-year course. In 1905 $40,000 was voted to build -- The third Lyons High School, now Intermediate School, which was erected in 1906, facing Main Avenue on the corner of Main and Roosevelt Street. In the early 1900's the school had two basketball teams, a girls' and a boys'. The first games were played in the school gym, but after the players received a few hard bumps from the post in the middle of the floor, the games took place in the Odeon Club. Around 1910, athletics with out-of-town teams was banned because the team members neglected to pay a hotel bill on a trip to Savanna. This ban lasted until the spring of 1916. The year 1926 brought an event which went down in the history of Lyons -- the defeat of Clinton High School in football. Among the teams Lyons played in those years were Mt. Vernon, Tipton, Davenport, St. Ambrose, Clinton and Cedar Rapids Grant High School. The final organized baseball season was in the spring of 1927. In November 1935, The Illowa League was formed, the name being suggested by the principal of Savanna High School. The original members of this league were Lyons, Maquoketa, DeWitt, and Savanna. In 1926 we joined the National Athletic Scholarship Society. The year prior to this, Lyons High School became a member of the National Honor Society. In the middle of the 20's Band was introduced as a subject. The first of a series of Illowa Music Festivals was held at the Modernistic in the spring of 1949. Because of the crowded conditions --

In the fall of 1949 Lyons High students began school at a new location, the Central building at 318 Main Avenue, approximately the same location as the first Lyons High School. The last five years for a high school in the Northend of Clinton were completed there. Bonny Bean was the most outstanding honor student. Among the honors she received were valedictorian of her class, D. A. R. Citizenship Award, co-president of the student body, and winner in the local and state Elks Scholarship Award. The athletic record during these five years was very good -- the teams winning four football titles, with an undefeated season in 1953, and one basketball title in the Illowa League. In June of 1954 the student body sang for the last time "Stand up and cheer, Stand up and cheer for Lyons High School".

From the Clinton Herald 08 Nov 1989
Do You Remember When ...

...Coach John Crimmings directed Lyons High School football teams? This was his club (There is a photo but it's not very good - anyone have the original?) of 41 years ago (1948) that shut out Clinton St. Mary's, Maquoketa, Sterling, and Fulton during the season. Squad members included Bill Stuedemann, Paul Parker, Pat Hall, Dick Dieterich, Bob Jacobsen, Don Schneider, James Young, Wayne Goettsch, Corky Mallinger, Russell Parker, Paul Toland, Don Johnson, Ray Spiemann, Dick Asmussen, Ed Miller, Don Nyberg, Harris Meyer, David Stumbaugh, Dick Thoms, Dick Hannafan, Bob Stevens, Joe Borbeck, John Shields, Tom McCutcheon, Jack Meyer, Dick Andersen, Fred Robinson, Bob Hill, John Sullivan, Jim Wiggins, John Wyatt, Dick Lanaghan, Carrell McCreery, Larry Roper, Dick Smith, Marvin Proud, Jerry Kreucher, Jerry Dorathy, Jack Cavanaugh, Billy Goltman, Jim Pirch, George Stremlow, Marvin Jack, David Marlowe, Don Murphy, Stanley Petersen, and Lowell Kair.

Coach Crimmings, who coached nine years at Lyons High School with a 63-13-3 record and four years at Clinton High following the merger of the two districts, will be inducted posthumously into the Iowa Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame during halftime ceremonies at the Class 3A championship game in Cedar Falls, Friday night.


This information comes from the Golden Jubilee souvenir booklet celebrating the 50th year of the Lyons High School Alumni Association. This lists a lot of extra info such as married names and address.

Bob Chada (email: ) sent us this wonderful collection of photos from members of the Lyons High school. The first group, from 1928, are all identified -- they have the names written on the back. They belonged to Bob's mother, Marian Willihnganz. Many are signed on the front by the classmate.

The second group only has the signatures on the front.

The photos were taken by The McFarland Portrait and Commercial Studio, Buell Block (corner of 6th and Main St.), Lyons, Iowa.

Scanning did not do these photos justice. Some of them have so much depth to them, you feel the subject will move at any moment.

The photos are presented here as "thumbnails". You can click on them to see a larger version. I scanned them a bit larger than the actual, wallet-sized photos.

Please let us know if you have any corrections to make or if you have more info on any of these students. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a page of info linked to each person?

Lyons High School Alumni 1871-1954 This is as complete a list as we can get at this time. The Historical Society is in need of any LHS class yearbooks.

Lyons High School Faculty 1950-1954 I will add more to this as yearbooks become available.

Mr. Donald Farr may be able to offer more information for those of you with ancestors on the alumni list.  He wrote:

I took it upon myself (with significant help from many others) to dedicate a stone memorial to my old high school at Main and 3rd St.  Then I got addresses for over 1700 LHS Alumni for invitations to last year's All-Classes Reunion which was extremely successful.  Along the way I took responsibility to put together an email list to promote communication.  I have been trying to keep up my all-classes (1918 - 1954) address list and we have lost many just in the past few months.  We have tried in the past 3 years to donate everything to the Historical Society.  Carole Rohr Gilbert (from my class) has been extremely helpful and I did see a lot of photos when we had the open house last September.

I have borrowed (for scanning) many photos to put together a 50 year story for my class.  I have been soliciting 'life stories & memories' from my class mates.  Lots of GREAT memories.  We have our 50th reunion scheduled for the weekend of September 15th.  I will be glad to help in any way (and advertise) the very interesting and memorable site that will be of interest to many.

Thanks again for your communication.  I will be sending 'stuff' as I find time.

Best regards!

Donald E. Farr
LHS Class of '51
Newhall, CA

From Maureen Burke Salmi

My grandmother was in the Salutorian of the Class of 1903.  Would you be interested in a class photo and individual photos?  I have them posted on my website. They are listed under "Clinton Historical Photos"   Thanks so much for all of your wonderful work.

Maureen Burke Salmi
Temecula, CA

From Ann Boeker Kobs

Nettie Mae,

I'm a bit new to genealogy, but was delighted to see my father's name on the 1925 roster of graduates from Lyons High School.  Amazingly, he is alive and well living on Buell Ave - where he has resided since he was 4!  He is 94, continues to drive, and go out to dinner - frequently with my mother who is 91.

He is addicted to CNN, CSPAN, the Hawkeyes, and reads two newspapers a day.  He certainly is with the program!

My mother was Leora Sodeman, St. Mary's - Class of 1928, my brother class of 1963. Me, I was class of 1962 - OLA.

Thanks for all of your good work.  As I progress, I would be delighted to add to the Clinton County site.

Ann Boeker Kobs
Cape Coral, FL 33990


Your truly doing good work! I wish I had more time to dedicate to genealogy, but doing my PhD is all consuming for the next year and a half.
I would like to update the information re: Francis Boeker - Class of '25 at Lyons High School. Bless his heart - he died at age 98 in 1995. Mother, Leora Sodeman Boeker, St. Mary's High School Class of '28, died at age 93 in 1993.

Keep up your good work. Will join you after dissertation. I have some wonderful pictures from mom and dad.