Before white settlers came to the Lyerly area to trade furs, hunt and work as missionaries, Chattooga County served as home to Creek Indians and then Cherokees. The settlers lived at relative peace with the Cherokee population until 1829, when prospectors discovered gold in the area and shortly thereafter sought state and federal support to forcefully displace the Cherokee from their homes. With the encouragement of President Andrew Jackson’s administration, the settlers sent the Native American Indians out west, on the now infamous Trail of Tears.
Although some mystery still surrounds Lyerly's origins, local historians suspect that the town remembers Tennessee bank president and Chattooga County real estate investor Charles Abner Lyerly.
The town holds distinction as the first in northwest Georgia to ship poultry to markets in other states.