At 2 o’clock on Saturday, September 21, 1935, the final day of the three-day celebration began with free acts at 10:30 a.m., and at 2 o’clock the formal program commenced. Master of ceremonies, E. F. Meyer introduced the speakers, W.C. Eastland (Editor of the Clinton Herald) and Jim Poole, a regional livestock expert.
At the stadium dedication, Peter Matzen spoke of local progress, even “under the present economic upheaval” (referring to the Great Depression). He spoke of the programs that helped build the stadium (the W.P.A.) and the use of concrete and electricity, which our pioneers never imagined. Col. Wheeler was a speaker because he was instrumental in having Lock and Dam 13 built here, and was introduced by Halleck Seaman, who led the fight for it. These speakers were followed by the Queen’s crowning by the mayor of Clinton, W.L. Greene. The finalists were Jeanette Lueders (who won), and Berdella Vincent, Henrietta Hinrichsen, and Ann Holdgrafer. Several others received votes ranging from 2,400 to 21,800 in a very strong competition among 10 contestants. Iowa State Bank won the float contest and Becker Seed was a contender in several areas.
The main industries in Lyons were The Wire Cloth Factory, run by Seaman; The Lock Shop, and Lubbers and Bell. There were other factories also, like Disbrow’s Woodworking and Anderson-Winter Furniture Manufacturing.
Lyons had been an independent town from 1835 until it was annexed to Clinton in 1895. It had 24 mayors prior to annexation. A. R. Cotton was first and D. Whitney was the last. In between, C.L. Root, C.M Baldwin, David Joyce, C. Moeszinger, Ira Stockwell and a few others served.
Lyons, Iowa was a proud pioneer community which really started regional settlement in an important part of northeastern Iowa — on the Mississippi — and ushered in a time of fantastic growth and economic prosperity. The original citizens of Lyons taught its new neighbor of Clinton to prosper in an organized and law-abiding manner, which did us all proud.
Sources: Marvin “Muffy” Zastrow; Clinton Herald archives from September 19-21,1935; Clinton Co. Historical Museum; and ‘Rose’ from The Unicorn…… which BTW, has delicious breakfasts now!
Gary Herrity is the Clinton Herald’s historical columnist. His column appears on page 5A on Fridays.