This county was formed in 1854 from the southwestern part of Caldwell, and called in honor of Chittenden Lyon. It is bounded on the north by Crittenden and Caldwell, east by Caldwell and Trigg, south by Trigg and Marshall, and west by Marshall and Livingston counties.
Cumberland river runs entirely through the county from southeast to northwest, and Tennessee river passes along its southwestern border, so that no part of the county is further than from six to twelve miles of never failing steamboat navigation, on two of the principal streams of the Mississippi Valley. The Louisville and Paducah Railroad also passes through the county from northeast to southwest, affording daily communication for freight and travel to all points South and North.
One of the largest and most successful rolling-mills in the United States is that of Hillman & Sons, Empire Iron Works, of this county. The amount of iron made here in bars and boiler sheets equals that of any similar mills in the West.
Eddyville, the county seat, is pleasantly located on the north bank of the Cumberland river, and contains about 500 persons. It has a good court-house, four handsome churches, large warehouses and tobacco factories, wagon and carriage shops, woolen factory, tan-yard, a well-taught academy, half a dozen mechanic shops, and may near private residences.
Parkersville, ten miles southeast of Eddyville, is a thriving town of 200 population. It has a flourishing academy, steam mills, and several churches and mechanic shops.
Eureka, at the crossing of the railroad over the Tennessee, and Kuttawa, at its crossing over Cumberland, are young, growing towns, with great expectations.
Star Lime Worksand Empire Iron Works are villages doing a large local trade with the families of the workmen engaged in the iron business.
The churches are numerous and generally well attended, and the people are a high-minded, moral community. The free public school system of the State has been inaugurated in every district, and a commendable spirit of schooling all the children is apparent. The academies in Parkersville and Eddyville are under the control of well-qualified professors.
The good ladies of Lyon still practice regularly on those fine old instruments, once so popular throughout the State, the spinning-wheel and hand-loom, and manufacture every year jeans, cotton-ades, linseys, linen, blankets, counterpanes, and other goods for home wear, and a surplus to traffic for "Sunday clothes." Butter, eggs, poultry, feathers, beeswax, ginseng, and cotton socks are sold extensively at the river towns and railroad depots.