N.W. Utley, Eddyville, Ky.
This county is especially adapted to agriculture and stock raising. For agricultural uses it embraces a great variety of soil. The broad stretch of original prairie lands in the northern part of the county known as the Fredonia Valley is the equal of any portion of the Blue Grass region. The broad alluvial bottoms of Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, of Eddy Creek, Livingston Creek, Clay Lick, Skin Frame, Dry Fork, Long Creek and other smaller streams are of unsurpassed fertility and are pre-eminently suited to raising corn. The uplands and hilly sections produce the finest variety of dark tobacco, and under proper cultivation yield large returns.
In this county nature has been lavish in providing a liberal abundance of natural pasturage and in supplying every section, and almost every farm, with natural ponds, everlasting brooks and purling springs of purest water. This combination renders Lyon one of the leading counties of the State in its adaption for stock raising.
There are unmistakable indications of vast deposits of spar, zinc, and oil in this county, although they are as yet undeveloped. The unlimited quantity and superior quality of iron ore is amply testified to by the fact that during the period of our history immediately preceding the Civil War at this was the greatest iron producing region west of Pittsburgh, and Lyon county was the center and heart of the region. The Hillman irons, produced at the Hillman mills, six miles above Eddyville on the Cumberland river down to 1880, were pronounced superior to the iron produced anywhere else in the country. But the war and ensuing conditions so depressed that industry, and so boosted other sections, that recovery to this date has been impossible. It is in this county and at the Kelly furnace two miles northwest of Eddyville that the method of manufacturing and refining steel known as the Bessemer process was discovered and perfected, the ownership of which was in litigation in both hemispheres for years.
Published 11 April 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/