THE HISTORY OF THE BUILDING
In the year 1877 interested residents of the Village of Lyons met to become incorporated in an association, to be known as the Lyons Hall Association, of the Town of Lyons, in the County of Walworth, and State of Wisconsin. Eleven articles were included in the document written, one being that the Hall should be located in Burk’s and Campbell’s addition to the village. It was also agreed that the association should be a stock company and twenty-five dollars should constitute one share. The fourth article provided that, It shall be the duty of the President, Vice-President and Trustees or a majority of them to lease, hire, purchase and procure, build, or cause to be built a building in said Village on such site as shall be agreed upon, suitable in size and structure for holding meetings and gatherings of various kinds, providing always that no gambling with any device or implement shall ever be allowed in said Hall or in any shed or other building, or structure pertaining to the same; nor shall any meeting ever be held in said hall, the teaching of tendency of which would be in any way immoral
On May the twenty-sixth, 1877, the first meeting of the stockholders was held, and the following officers were elected: President, William Meadows; Vice-President, A.J. Host; Trustees, L.S. Weeks, G.G. Reeve, and Gain R. Allen; Secretary, F.B. Udall; Treasurer, George Vernon Weeks. It was voted to locate the building on Burk’s Lot, No. 18, and the erection of the Hall began. Sumner Chapin did the carpentering, Fred Malsch built the foundation, George Comstock drew the stone, L Bemis built the chimney, James Green painted the structure, T.K. Hudson did the necessary grading, James Lewis plastered the hall, J.P. Frazer furnished the tinware and stovepipes, and the chandeliers and lamps were purchased by J.S. Crane.
At the seventh Annual Meeting of the stockholders, held at their hall on Saturday, May 26, 1883,, it was motioned and carried that the name of the Hall be painted on the Hall, and the Trustees procure fifty chairs for use during the year. During he ninth Annual Meeting in 1885 the question of renting the hall was considered and by an expression of those present, without a vote on the same it was decided that the Town pay $15.00 for years when there was no Fall election; $20.00 for years when there are State elections in the Fall; $25.00 for years when there are Presidential elections.
In 1918 an agreement was made between C.H. Stubbs, Treasurer of the Lyons Hall Association and the Rice-Lemmerhirt Post of Lyons, providing that the use and control of Lyons Hall be turned over for an indefinite time to the Legion Post. And in 1936 the Lyons Hall Association was dissolved and its assets distributed to the stockholders, share and share alike; the building was purchased by the Town of Lyons and was known as the Lyons Town Hall. The Hall became the center for official, civic and social activities for many years.
In the 1980’s the Lyons Township Historical Society was organized to preserve the building from threatened destruction. Richard Wagner acted as chairman with contributed assistance by interested citizens. Necessary improvements were achieved.
In the 1990’s the Lyons Jaycee Chapter leased the building from the Historical Society and took over management until disbanding in 2000.
The building is known today as the Historic Town Hall. As the building stands, the Lyons Lions Club has made the upper level their meeting home and the lower level is rented out by the Lyons Township Historical Society for family and community social gatherings.
Information above was taken from the book, “Things I Know and The Stories I’ve Been Told” by Linda Skiles. To purchase a book about the history of Lyons, click here.