Street Names in Marion, Illinois

Street Sign 1“If there was ever a definite plan adopted for the naming of Marion, Illinois streets, it was lost somewhere in the succession of expansions by fits and starts that have seen the town from nothing in 1839 to more than 13,000 souls 138 years later.

Streets have been named for prominent local individuals, nationally prominent persons such as presidents, colleges, wives and daughters of the sub dividers and in some instances for the real estate developers himself.

The street originating across East Main Street from the Washington School and extending southward three blocks until it merges with South Virginia undoubtedly took its name from A.F. Askew who sponsored Askew’s First, Second and Third Additions to the City of Marion in the city’s early development.

Other developers for whom streets were named years ago included A.F. Harper, Mary Gray, W.W. Duncan, S.L. Dunaway, C.H. Denison, J.B. Bainbridge, John W. Mitchell, M.M. McDonald, Eura Griggs, all in East Marion Township.

Early sub dividers whose own or family names wound up on street markers in West Marion Township included; W.J. Aikman, Henry Brown, O.H. Burnett, C.A. Gent, William and Rosalie Hendrickson, Charles Holland, Joab Goodall, Mary Goodall, J.P. Copeland, John Duncan and Joseph Fozard.

More recent sub dividers in the last 30 years or so have made frequent use of first names in their families in naming streets. Bainbridge Square was the name given to the subdivision development which spearheaded development in southwest Marion in Marion’s post-depression surge of growth. Family first names were given some streets such as Charlotte and Sherry.

Adjacent subdivisions by the Dodds and Warren Thompson families have such street names as Dorothy Lane, West Warren and Suzanna Drive.

The Castellano family’s subdivision nearby include streets named, Roberta, Carol, Laura and Julianne.

Such selections as these and many others such as Smith Street in Ray Smith Addition, Aurelia Street in the subdivision of the L.E. Broeking farm in East Marion and many other similarly chosen are understandable as a gesture of practically or a means of perpetuating a name of a member of the family.

But some of the older street names have an historical background interesting to the searcher of local community information.

Fozard Street in West Marion, for instance, suggests the honoring of Joseph Fozard who served as city Alderman for 14 years. He also served in the National Guard 16 years, rising to the rank of Captain. When the War with Spain ended before the federal government accepted his offer to serve, a special act of the legislature created the permanent rank of first lieutenant in recognition of his military service.

In East Marion, few people today associate North Harper Street with A.E. Harper, president of the Marion Light and Water Company. He came here around the turn of the century to buy coal for a steel corporation and remained to hold the local power and water company, invest in Marion real estate and give his name to the street that runs along the east side of the old light company property from the present Washington School to East Boulevard.

In separate sections of town, trees and shrubs of fruit have been recognized in the naming of Walnut, Maple, Maplewood, Cherry, Chestnut, Dogwood, Pine, Oak, Plum, and Vinewood.

The addition of Scotsboro to the City of Marion brought attention to the names of colleges which were given streets platted more than half a century ago. There are Oxford, Cornell, Princeton, Stanford and Yale.

Names of prominent families of that day were given streets in C.A. Gent’s Addition between South Market and South Court Streets. Streets there were named for the Cline, Slater, Burnett, Hartwell and Copeland families. James P. Copeland, a former Union officer and publisher of the Marion Monitor lived at the junction of South Court and the street which bears the Copeland name from Gent’s Addition to the western city limits.

A street marker bearing the name “Warder” stands at the intersection of that street with South Market across Market from the home where W.H. Warder and family lived for most of the century.

“Everett” was the name given to the street next south of Warder. The name is the same as that of the late Congressman Edward Everett Denison, son of Charles Denison, an early Marion Mayor, whose name was given another street in C.H. Denison’s Second Addition in the southwest section of town.

Parish Park which has been given to at least seven additions beginning in the early 1920’s was derived from the name of the developer, Chaney Parish and is emblazoned on at least one marker for Parish Ave. and has churches of two denominations with Parish in their names.

When Clarence Cagle was naming streets in his southeast Marion subdivision he named one, then for one of his home site owners. Today, W.C. “Bill” Hadfield is the one resident who can truthfully introduce himself as “Mr. Hadfield of Hadfield Street.”

Sam’s Notes: Stockton Street north of Boulevard was named for the Stockton family who manufactured cow bells during the pre civil war era.

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(Extracted from Glimpses at life by Homer Butler, March 26, 1977)


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