Part V


Towns and Manufacturing Facilities

Considering the fact that all our towns are less than two years old, we evidently can give but a description of

Index to Sections


those resources and conditions which promise future municipal growth and prosperity.  In so doing we follow the order in which improvements began on the sites of our several towns.

Beloit is situated in the extreme southwest corner of the county, on a smooth plain which rises gradually from the east bank of the Sioux river.   The town has a charming location on the south, the river bends abruptly to the east, and the high bluffs on either side loom up in a thousand weird and fantastic forms; to the north and west the view takes in beautiful groves of maple and elm, the wide valley of the Sioux and the rolling prairies of Dakota.

In natural resources, advantages of location, present improvements and future prospects, Beloit surpasses any town in the extensive and fertile valley of the Sioux.  It is the commercial and manufacturing center of a large and productive region, and now does a flourishing business.

The town is connected by daily and tri-weekly mail and stage lines with Doon, Sheldon, Lemars, and Sioux City, Iowa, and Yankton, Vermillion, Canton and Sioux Falls, Dakota.  The Sioux City and Pembina and Iowa and Dakota railroads are both expected to strike Beloit.  The former is now under construction and the company has secured grounds near the town plat for a depot.  There are also excellent water privileges near by which are beginning to be improved.


now contains one flouring mill, a fine structure, 34x44, four stories high, with a grinding capacity of forty bushels per hour.  It has also a grain elevator, saw mills, several real estate offices, stores, shops, an hotel, public hall, fine school building and some twenty residences.

The following are the leading business firms:

J.A. Carpenter & Sons, proprietors of the Beloit saw and flouring mills, and dealers in lands and town property.

Goetz & Thorson, real estate and tax paying agents and examiners of titles.

Keep & Carpenter, dealers in general merchandise.

H.T. Helgerson, dealer in agricultural implements, lands and town property, and proprietor of the Lyon county nursery.

M. Nelson, dealer in hardware, stoves and tinware.

K. Gesley, saddlery and harness making.

The Lyon county nurseries contain 20,000 apple trees hardy varieties selected especially for this climate; 5,000 evergreen and ornamental trees, over  200,000 silver maple, larch and other varieties, adapted to forest culture; also a full stock of small fruits.

The farm of J.A. Carpenter & Sons, near town, is worthy of mention as showing how farming may be carried on in the west.  It contains over 5,000 acres, 1,600 of which are now under cultivation, and 2,000 acres more will be put under the plow the coming season.

Over 40,000 acres of farming lands surrounding Beloit are for sale to settlers upon easy terms.  Town property is held at merely nominal prices, and every inducement is offered by one of the most promising towns in the Northwest.

Information concerning Beloit and surrounding country will be cheerfully given by addressing any of its business firms.


Doon is situated upon a smooth plateau on the east bank of the Rock, at the confluence of the West Branch, Rock and Little Rock rivers.  It commands a view of the valleys of these streams, whose sweeping bends, shady groves, and sparkling waters, present a beautiful landscape as far as the eye can reach.  Here fancy would again restore to us some eastern village, surrounded by orchards, meadows and farms, were it not for that enterprise so characteristic of rising towns in the West.

Its geographical situation is very nearly at the middle of the county east and west, and one mile and a half from its southern boundary.  It is located on the line of the Rock Valley Railway, and will also be the crossing of the Iowa and Dakota Railroad.

Doon has been amply provided by nature with the foundation for a substantial and flourishing town.

The country drained by the several streams that unite at this place is tributary to Doon.  Two of the finest water powers on Rock River are conveniently located.  The water has cut out an almost perfect mill race, the banks of the stream are solid, and the power can be utilized at little expense.  Timber and stone are also plenty and convenient.

With the improvement of these advantages for manufacture, the development of the surrounding country, and completion of railroads, Doon will rank as one our finest western towns.  For the purpose of encouraging these objects some of our leading business men have organized "The Lyon County Town Lot and Real Estate Company."  The objects of this Company are to deal in real estate, and in particular to invite immigration, encourage manufacturers, and promote the growth of Doon.

The town has already made rapid progress.  Tri-weekly mail stages connect it with Sheldon and Sibley, on the St. Paul railroad, and with Rock Rapids, Beloit and Lemars.  A lively newspaper, Republican in politics, is also published at Doon.  The first paper ever printed in Lyon county was issued from this office, Sept. 20th, 1872.  It also contains a good hotel, several real estate offices and stores, a public hall and an elegant school building.  Other buildings are going up and steps are being taken to erect a church.  The Rock river is being spanned near town with an iron bridge.  At present a flouring mill is urgently needed; other manufactures must follow.  More than 50,000 acres of our best farming lands are held for sale at Doon.  The home-seeker and the capitalist are urged to investigate the inducements which are here offered, either by visit or correspondence with any of the following firms:

The Lyon County Town Lot and Real Estate Company, A.J. Warren, President; H.D. Rice, Vice President; James H. Wagner, Treasurer; Charles E. Goetz, Secretary.

M.W. Jeffries, dealer in general merchandise and agricultural implements.

The Lyon County Press, L.B. Raymond & Co., editors and proprietors.

James H. Wagner, real estate, tax paying and collection Agent.

G.R. Badgerow, real estate and tax paying agent. Geo. W. McQueen, dealer in real estate.

S.C. Hyde, real estate agent and surveyor.

Rock Rapids

Among the many Northwestern towns that have sprung into existence within the last two years, none have shown more life and vigor than Rock Rapids, and none now offer superior inducements to capitalists or immigrants.

Located upon a beautiful table land at the junction of the Rock and Kanaranzi rivers, abounding in foliage from stately trees to tiny flowers, and within the sound of water falls it is, indeed a lovely town.

Geographically it is situated very near the middle of the county east and west, and five miles from its northern boundary.  It is also located on the line of the Rock Valley Railway, and will be the crossing of the Rock Rapids and Sioux Falls Division of the McGregor and Missouri River Railroad.  Tri-weekly mail and stage lines also connect the town with Sibley, on the St. Paul Railway, with Doon, LeMars and Larchwood, Iowa, Luvern, Minnesota, and Sioux Falls, Dakota.

An extensive region of country, embracing the northern part of Lyon County and a large district in Minnesota, is its natural tributary.  But a surer foundation for the future greatness and permanence of Rock Rapids, stronger than all local advantages, are its exhaustless manufacturing facilities.  Three first-class water powers are situated within one mile of the town.  Their power is ample for milling and manufacturing purposes.  The banks of the stream and building sites are safe and substantial.  An abundance of rock for the construction of dams lies loose in the bed of the stream where it is needed for use.

Rock Rapids contains a good hotel, several real estate offices, stores, shops, a newspaper, public hall and a fine school building.  A church has been organized, and steps are being taken to erect a house of worship.   Other buildings are also under construction, and an iron bridge is now being stretched across the Rock River opposite the town.

Many of the buildings are fine structures.  The residence of C.H. Moon, the finest in the country, does credit to so young a town.  A visit to the garden of J.S. Smith, filled with plants, flowers and shrubbery of all kinds, would show what may be accomplished in horticulture on our western soil.  The grounds surrounding the residence of J.S. Howell, near town, would do credit to one of our eastern cities.  They are regularly and tastefully laid out, with walks, drives, orchards and groves, the latter containing over 20,000 trees of many rare varieties.

A large nursery is being planted near town, which will be able to supply the whole valley with all kinds of fruit and forest trees.

The different real estate firms of Rock Rapids are agent for the sale of more than 50,000 acres of adjoining farming lands, for all of which settlers are earnestly desired.  A flouring mill is also urgently demanded and would richly repay the investment.  With the development of the surrounding country other manufactures must spring up and Rock Rapids take an importance far beyond what is most hopeful citizens ever anticipated.

We invite an examination of the town and surrounding country or correspondence with any of the following named parties:

The Rock Rapids Water Power Improvement, Milling and Manufacturing Company; J.S. Howell, president; C.H. Moon, vice-president; O.A. Cheney, secretary; D.C. Whitehead, superintendent; T.K. Bradley, treasurer; J.F. Eccleston, attorney.

Van Sickle Brothers, dealers in general merchandise and agricultural implements.

T.K. Bradley, dealer in general merchandise.

D.C. Whitehead, attorney at law and real estate agent.

J.S. Howell, real estate broker and notary public.

Mount Brothers, real estate, title and insurance agents.

Smith & Monlux, dealers in agricultural implements.

The Rock Rapids Review, O.A. Cheney, editor and proprietor.

J.F. Eccleston, attorney at law.

Ethan Allen, real estate agent and surveyor.

Rock Rapids Hotel, T.E. Convers, proprietor.

Rock River Nurseries, D.E. Sweet, proprietor.


Larchwood is situated in the northwestern part of the county, surrounded by some of our best farming lands.  The place has a handsome location, on the Rock Rapids and Sioux Falls stage line, and expects to receive the McGregor railroad.  It  is now the central point for a colony from Illinois, which is changing this portion of the county from a wilderness to a fine farming district.  One of the principal advantages offered at Larchwood is improved farms with artificial timber for settlers.  The surrounding vacant lands are owned by J.W. Fell, of Bloomington, Ill., who is taking every pains to prepare them for settlement.  Ten acres are broken on each quarter section and planted to timber-principally European larch.  The new comer may thus find lands ready for cultivation the first year and a grove of timber growing.  These lands are among the best in the county and the colony is prosperous.  For further information address J.W. Fell, Bloomington, Ill., or J.F. Geiser, real estate agent, Larchwood, Lyon county, Iowa.  The county seat of Lyon has not yet been established, but the legal steps are now being taken for its location.


Prices of Land

There is room enough in Lyon county for 1,500 families with 160 acres of land each, which may be bought for $5.00 per acre.  The best lands in the county are offered at $5.00 much at $4.00, and we know of none for which more than $6.00 per acre is asked.  Thousands in Northwestern Iowa are paying for these lands from the proceeds of the soil alone.  The new-comer arrives in the spring, which is the best time puts up a temporary cabin and breaks up forty or fifty acres the first season, there being none of that laborious process of removing trees, stumps and stones.  A part of this land may be planted to "sod corn" the first year, yielding a good crop.  He then finds time to cut hay and prepare for winter.  The next season this land is ready for wheat, and from this time on he finds no difficulty in making his annual payments from the proceeds of this crop alone.  A large share of our vacant lands are held by railroad companies, which offer it upon long time and easy terms.  Look at the payments upon the usual plan:


160 acres, at $5 per acre, cost   $800
Paid at time of purchase     80
One year's interest on balance $50.40  
End of first year  44.80   80
End of second year  39.20   80
End of third year  33.60   80
End of fourth year  28.00   80
End of fifth year  22.40   80
End of sixth year  17.80   80
End of seventh year  11.20   80
End of eighth year    5.60   80
End of ninth year     80
  $252.00 $800



"Westward the star of empire takes its way."  Five years ago the land we occupy was a howling wilderness.  Vast herds of buffalo roamed over our prairies, or came thundering down our green slopes, where the husbandman's flocks now graze in quiet.  The huts of savages marked the sites of our flourishing villages.  The aged man of New England can recollect when central New York constituted the west.  Following down the aisles of time he will recall the period when the few enterprising men who decided to emigrate to the "far west," collected their household goods hitched their ox teams to their wagons, and started on a two months journey to Ohio.  Their friends crowded around them to speak their sad farewells, little expecting they would ever be able to return.  Today, although a thousand miles further west, we are yet east of the middle of the United States, and still the course is west.  We can take the railroad almost at our doors, and in three days reach the Atlantic or Pacific coast.  Flourishing communities, cities, territories and powerful states have been established, among which the noble state of Iowa occupies a proud position.

Blessed with favorable climate, personal liberty and energy protected and encouraged by equal laws, great strides have been made in agriculture, commerce, art, science and learning.  Thousands of poor men from the Old World and the New, have followed this march of progress up the rugged valley of pioneer life, to fortune and independence.  Hundreds of thousands of young men have here begun life and grown up with the country, sharing its wealth and prosperity.  And yet there is room for millions more with opportunities equal to those who have preceded them.  In the region which it is hoped this little pamphlet will describe are hundreds of thousands of acres of rich lands, as fresh as when first from the hands of nature, whose surface has never been furrowed by the plow.  This must be made to contribute to the sustenance of man.  Our water-powers are to be made useful' our railroad system is to be developed; our institutions are to be founded and our history shaped.  Who will join us in this noble work and share the blessings which it will confer?

"I hear the tread of pioneers of nations yet to be--

The first low wash of waves, where soon shall roll a human sea.

The rudiments of empire here are plastic yet, and warm.

The chaos of a mighty world is rounding into form."





Webization by Kermit Kittleson - Aug. 2006