Lyons Mill was among the earliest mills in Douglas County. Samuel Ford built the original structure in the 1840’s, but his habit of drowning overnight guests for their money cut short his career as an innmaster. The land was auctioned off at the courthouse steps in 1854 to Ladoc Phillips. Phillips sold it to Joseph Price Lyons who made it into three levels—the first for grinding corn, the second for flour and the third for loom and wool processing.
In July 1862 Joseph was sitting under a tree talking to Sam Day when ruffians rode up and shot him through the heart. The Lyons family sold it to Jasper Harless in 1878 who sold it to Frank M. Hart in 1882 and to the Stephen Jackson family in 1888. Hence, the name Jackson’s Mill as most of us remembers it being called.
J. W. Findley authored several books located in the Museum, some of which are: My Ozark Heritage, Footprints In The Ozarks, Sunrise Over The Ozark Hills, Ozark Glory, A Voice From The Ozark Hills, and Springtime In The Ozarks.
An ad in the Douglas County Herald in June 1891: Siber & Co’s Mammoth Aggregation, Educational Exhibition, Caravan of Wild Animals, will exhibit in Ava, Monday, June 15th. The largest show traveling; best performers in all branches. Trained horses and ponies, acrobats, gymnasts and equestrian & etc. Monster parade of elephants, campbels, and dromedaries, open dens of wild animals, tigers, pumas and hyenas in the streets. Beautiful chariots, tableux cars. Thorough bred horses and a cavalcade of elephants. Attired ladies and gentlemen mounted on richly comparisoned studs. One and a half miles of parade. Come early and don’t miss it. (Spelling left as it was.)
Stay tuned for more.