1963, South Market Low Rent Elderly Housing Project

Planning for an elderly low-rent housing project that was formed as early as 1960 finally came to fruition in 1963 when the Williamson County Housing Authority got approval on 40 units in Herrin for $506,834 and 20 units in Marion for $265,684. By March of 1963, the Marion units were well under way but bad weather and an area-wide carpenter’s strike delayed construction of the units early on. By June the units were reported to be 98 percent complete and by the end of July they underwent preliminary inspection and final touches. Continue reading

Crouse, Lee 1912-1965, Crouse Jewelry

Lemoine Henry “Lee” Crouse was born September 7, 1912 in Council Bluff, Iowa, the son on Don B. Crouse (1884-1970) and Sarah Nancy Ansberry (1884-1935). Sarah’s mother was born in Ireland.

In the 1920 census when Lee was only 7, his father was a self-employed farmer and the family lived on a farm at Notch, Wyoming. Lee had two brothers sharing the home, Don B. Jr., 10, and John B., 5. Continue reading

1927, Council Favors S. Market as Route for Highway 37

Old Rt 37 RoadbedIn 1927, when Illinois State Highway 37 was in the planning stages, it was recommended that the route pass through Marion on Court Street. However, as this article from the Daily Republican indicates, the more favorable route preferred by Marion citizens and the city council would have been South Market, straight through the heart of the downtown business district at the time. Fortunately for us, that never happened and Court Street was ultimately chosen and built in the early 1930’s. Continue reading

1915, Old Landmark Moved Off The Library Site

Marion Carnegie Library in the 1920'sOld Land Mark Moved Off the Library Site

The last section of the Grandma Cline house on South Market Street was removed today leaving the lot vacant that has not been so in 60 years or more.

Isaac Campbell, grandfather of City Clerk Geo. C. Campbell, erected this dwelling in the summer of 1854 at a time when the number of houses all told in Marion did not exceed 50. Continue reading

1875, Gunfight on the Marion Public Square

James Bishop Morray was born in Kentucky in 1821. Due to the early deaths of his mother and father, he was raised by an uncle, William Bishop, in Pope County, Illinois. While still a young man he returned to his home state of Kentucky to work for William Wyatt, eventually marrying his daughter, Izzarilda Wyatt in 1842.

In 1844, the Morray and Wyatt families moved to Illinois, purchasing several parcels of land in Creal Springs and Stonefort Townships. During the 1860’s and 1870’s James became the largest landowner in Johnson County, eventually owning thousands of acres in Johnson and Williamson Counties. Continue reading