Cox, Eugene L. “Gene” 1919-2009

Gene CoxEugene L. “Gene” Cox was born and raised in Marion, the son of Harry L. and Mabel Cox.  The family home at his birth on March 26, 1919, was at 108 W. Goodall Street. Gene’s father, Harry, was a partner in the Cox Hardware family business on the Public Square with his father, Thomas A. Cox, who founded the business.

When the 1920 census was taken the family was still living at the W. Goodall address and Gene was only 9 months old. According to city directories, the family was still in place in 1922 but by 1927 had purchased a home at 306 E. College Street. 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

Parmley, Dr. Joseph G. 1876-1954, Publisher of “Williamson County Physician”

Dr. Joseph Green Parmley was born on a farm near Golconda on October 24, 1876, the son of Rev. George W. Parmley and Mary Daniel.

He attended Creal Springs Academy and Southern Illinois University before teaching school in Marion for four years. In 1904, he entered the University of Louisville, School of Medicine and graduated in 1908. Continue reading

1944, Free Pigs on the Public Square

Free pigs on the square 1944Pork was free for a few minutes on the Public Square of Marion, Illinois, as George G. Champ, Marion farmer, kept his promise to give away 18 little pigs which he said he could no longer feed because of the government’s corn freeze order. One police chief and 17 youngsters, each with a pig in a sack, were the lucky ones in a crowd of 500 to get a shoat (a young, weaned pig) apiece. Continue reading