County Seat in Dayton, Nevada
Lyon County was one of the nine original counties in Nevada created on November 25, 1861. It was named after Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union General to be killed in the Civil War. Its first county seat was established at Dayton on November 29, 1861, which had just changed its name from Nevada City in 1862, and which had been called Chinatown before that.
After the Dayton Court House burned down in 1909, the seat was moved to Yerington in 1911. There were stories that it was named for Captain Robert Lyon, a survivor of the Pyramid Lake War in 1860, but Nevada State Archives staff discovered a county seal with the picture of the Civil War general, settling the conflict.
In 1909, fire destroyed the Lyon County Courthouse. Residents of the growing agricultural community of Yerington to the south called for a shift of the Lyon County seat, which occurred in 1911.