Some Books of Lyon County


A West Ender's Scrapbook
By Diane Johnson

Over one hundred and thirty-five years ago pioneers began the settlement of Sioux Township, Lyon County, Iowa, an area rich in history dating back to Native Americans inhabiting the prairies of western Sioux township in the 1300's.  A new softcover book now available, entitled "A West Ender's Scrapbook", acquaints you with the history through the years and the people who settled and lived in Sioux Township.

Author and data compiler, Diane Johnson, of Denver, Iowa, grew up in rural Larchwood, Iowa.   Through her interest in the history of the area and genealogy, she took on the challenge of giving residents a book that delves into the growth and life of this township on the west end of Lyon County from the late 1860's to today.  Titling the book, A West Ender's Scrapbook, came from hearing the people of her community often referred to as West Enders.  The scrapbook reference relates to the content of the book.  A chronological time line allows readers to follow the growth of the area through the years.  This section includes newspaper clippings, farm sale bills, letters, remembrances, poems, drawings and photos.  Biographies of  400 families also include selected immigrant records, weddings, newspaper articles, obituaries and photos.  Diary excerpts from two local women are included from the 1930's - 1960's.

Grandview Covenant Church, which has a history in the area dating back to 1873, is represented through church history and records of confirmation classes and those buried in the church cemetery that overlooks the Sioux River valley. 

Other areas of interest include mention of the Blood Run National Historic Landmark, Gitchie Manitou State Park, and the Tri-State Corner iron post.  Rural school photos and maps from 1888 and 1911 complete the book which gives readers a glimpse into the rich history of Sioux Township.

Two years of researching, interviewing residents, and compiling information has now come to an end for Johnson with this 278 page account.  The book, which started after she was asked by the Granite Threshermen's Association to write the history of Granite for the metal sign erected in the town 3 years ago, also gives readers a look at life in the town of Granite, that had the only bank in Lyon County to survive The Great Depression.  Granite was the starting point for trainloads of cattle shipped on special non stop Rock Island trains to the Chicago Stockyards and during the years of prohibition, it was the largest source of liquor for the city of Sioux Falls.

Johnson, the daughter of Calvin and Darlene Johnson of rural Larchwood, is currently a middle and high school art teacher in Denver, Iowa.  

She is selling the book for $25, including tax, at the Larchwood Security Savings Bank. 

The book can also be purchased at the Calvin Johnson farm at 1348 120th St., Larchwood, Iowa, phone 712-477-2960.  Books can be mailed for an additional $2. shipping and handling fee.  Diane would be glad to hear from you  at

Diane Johnson
125 E. Franklin St.
Denver, IA   50622

Ph 319-984-5107


Memories of a Country Boy
by Raymond Winter

As a legacy to his children and grandchildren, Ray Winter has documented his memories which chronicles his growing-up years on a farm southwest of Rock Rapids.

Raymond Winter, P.O. Box 764, Luverne, MN 56156.   They are also available in Rock Rapids at Doris Doty Casuals, 312 First Avenue Rock Rapids, Iowa, Corner Rexall Drugs, 220 First Avenue, Rock Rapids, Iowa and in Sioux Falls, S.D., at Crossroads Book and Music. Cost $14.95

22 Years of Smalltown Iowa Lore
by E.C. Fitzgerald "Babe"

A book about Sports in Four Lyon County Area High Schools.

Available at Corner Rexall Drugs, 220 First Avenue, Rock Rapids, Iowa, 712-472-3143, Cost $15


Resolute Expressions of Love
by Emma Lange Brinkhouse

A book of poems regarding her childhood, growing up on a farm in Iowa, or commemorating some event in her family.


Alvord's 75th Anniversary History Book

$8.00 plus shipping and handling,

Available at American State Bank, 215 Main Street, Box 116, Alvord, IA, 51230-0116


Alvord's 100th Anniversary History Book

$15.00 plus shipping and handling.

Available at American State Bank, 215 Main Street, Box 116, Alvord, IA, 51230-0116


Rock Rapids Buncombe to Twenty Two

By Paul Smith, Lucy Jo Colby, Lyon County Reporter, Rock Rapids, Iowa, 1975, 251 pages, photos and history of Rock Rapids & Lyon County, Iowa. Lucy Jo Colby, P.O Box 406, Rock Rapids, Iowa 51246 $35.00



Becoming Sgt. Kahl
by Vernon Kahl

Vernon Kahl, the son of Marcus and Elise (Kock) Kahl, spent the years 1941-1946 in the U.S. Infantry. He married Agnes Watland, and they have five children. Mr. Kahl tells of his infantry combat service in New Guinea and the Phillippines.

Vernon Kahl P.O. Box 158, Inwood, Iowa 51240;


There I Was At 20,000 Feet
by Glen V. Hetrick

Glen, born and raised in Rock Rapids, Iowa tells of his World War II memories as he flew in bombers in North Africa and Italy.

Glen Hetrick, 1431 Sunset Lane, Waynesboro, Virginia 22980



My Storytelling Of Our Family

Family History Book For Sale

One of the main branches of my family is strongly rooted in the Northwest portion of Iowa, mainly Sioux and Lyon Counties. Branches include, the Breuer, Hollander, Schuett and Sohl lines. My thanks to the Sioux County Genealogical Society for the wonderful work on their web site and the assistance they have offered me over the past several years that helped me find my roots.

"My Storytelling Of Our Family" is a 470 page book, originally written for my daughter. Research through vital records, family letters, census data, land grants and so much more were used to start off the journey through my family history. The book includes photographs, stories from interviews and newspaper articles and family trees for all branches of our family. Several trees date back to the 1500's and before.

The book is a private publication; meaning that it is not available through a publisher, book store or on line. Included are detailed family trees of several of the surnames mentioned above, that have their branches extending from ancestors back into Germany.

To order a copy of "My Storytelling Of Our Family," send a check for $100.00 per copy, to me, Peggy Chong. Mail the check with your request to:

Peggy Chong
3663 Grand Ave. Unit 606,
Des Moines IA 50312

I can also be reached by email at

Those that purchase a copy of the book will receive updated stories as they become available.