Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Old County Clerk's Office

Crittenden County's Court House in 1960. 

This picture was marked as the last time the Court House and Clerk's office would be seen this way.

They would soon be torn down to make way for the new Court House.

The little building to the left of the Court House had been standing since about 1843, soon after the county was formed.  Although remodeled and changed in appearance it still had the same bones as the original building.  When it was torn down it was noted as the oldest building in Marion still in use.

Picture made around 1890 on Carlisle Street.  You can see the same building in this picture and the side of the Court House.  

Although the Court House was burnt twice the small County Clerk's office building was saved, so it's records were spared, still available for us to enjoy today.  We are so fortunate to have these records.  Caroline Byford, our County Clerk, does her best to preserve these records.  Many have been re-bound and put in archival sheet protectors, such as the earliest deeds beginning 1842 and the 1842 marriage records.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Businesses in Marion in 1935

In earlier years Marion was a very busy and growing town.  All of Main Street was full of all kind of stores for shopping.  You could find anything one would possibly need right here in our own downtown.

Here are two popular stores at the time and they continued until many years later.

1935 - T. H. Cochran and Company is the oldest hardware store in Crittenden County.  This business is well and favorably known thruout this entre trade territory, not only for the high grade of materials in which they deal but for the progressiveness and pubic spirited attitude of the owners, T. H. Cochran and L. E. Crider.  ( Mr. Cochran is leaning of the counter and next to him is Clara Nunn, Miley Hill is by Ms. Nunn.) 

Cochran's store occupies two floors of their building on South Main Street.  A large line of farming implements, stoves, kitchen ware, fencing, roofing and hardware staples is kept on hands at all time.  (This historic old store site, sits empty now, waiting for a new business to once again open it's doors and make it accessible to the public.  But times are hard and it's difficult to start a business that would be successful.)

The Red Front Food Store was located once where the new fire station is now located at the intersection of Main and W. Bellville St.

The popular store, the Red Front Cash and Carry Store opened Sat. Feb. 2, 1935. 

W. B. "Bill" Stout was placed in charge.  The store was the largest, most modern and best arranged of the entire group of 45 Red Front Stores over the state.   The refrigeration was the best obtainable and all other equipment was of the highest type.  The store was the leader of the group and the illumination and lighting is unsurpassed being the best west of Louisville. 

Many people remember the days when the Red Front Food Store and Cochran's Hardware were popular places to shop.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Marion's Forgotten Pioneer Negro Cemetery

Mr. Tom McKinney has worked for several years on the Black cemetery that is located in a corner of his property at the end of North Weldon Street.  This is the cemetery where Marion's pioneer Negro citizens would have been buried.

 Forgotten for many years, the cemetery has been there, unknown and unnoticed by most of the local people.  Only a few of the older Negro generation remembered anything about the cemetery.  Now they are gone.  Mr. McKinney gathered as much information from the few remaining ones that he could.

Wanting to preserve the little pioneer cemetery, Mr. McKinney in resent years has had it surveyed and now fenced as to protect it as best he can.  He has had a new wrought iron entrance installed this summer.  It says CA 1840 - Old Marion Negro Cemetery.  Picture above.

Also this year I went with him and did some grave dowsing and found many unmarked graves.  Many have sandstone rocsk as head stones, and many are just sunken places in the ground.  One very historic stone that is there, is for Edward D. Churchill, a Civil War Veteran.  He has a government stone.  Served in Co. I, 8th US Colored Heavy Artillery.  The only Negro Civil War stone in the county. 

Through research from the old Crittenden Presess, I have found many obituaries of Black people that were buried there, and also Death Certificates that tells of many unmarked burials.  We have compiled a list and Mr. McKinney, at his own expensive,  had Henry and Henry Monuments to  create a memorial stone.  It is now placed at the entrance of the grave yard. 

Front of the newly set stone, with names and dates of ones that we have documentation for being buried here, but has no stone.

The back of the stone has a very appropriate memorial for those buried here without a tombstone.  They are no less loved, but are known but to God.

Mr. McKinney is a kind and caring person to want to preserve this part of our history that has laid untouched  for many, many years.  He still has plans for more cleaning and clearing of the area.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Drought of 2012

Here we are once again making history with the weather.  This time it is the heat and the drought of 2012. 

Spring came in hot with the summertime heat and no rains for weeks and weeks.   Weeks of 90 and 100 degree weather with no rain.

 We have had droughts before but not with this excessive heat for 3 months now.  It has taken it's tole on the countryside.  The picture above is what was once a green yard, the grass now burnt to a crisp.  It crunches when you walk on it.   So are the pastures, burnt and dried up.

The farmer's have been hit hard, the corn was planted early this year and the land was dry and could be planted early, but with no rain, many corn crops look like the one on the left, burnt from heat and curled up from lack of moisture.  Although it looks like it is about ready to be harvested, it was only in the early stages of the ears of corn growing and filling out.  Now dried up on the stock.  

So we will write yet another chapter to our history making weather in Crittenden County.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Marion's Fire Stations

In January 1927 Marion City Council was excited about the completion of a modern new garage building on East Bellville Street.

 It would be the new home for the City Council, which is years past had to meet in other buildings each month for their meetings.  Now they would have their own building.

Also included in this new block building would be a 2-garage space for the Fire Department equipment. 

This picture shows the old city hall building, with entrance door on the right, and the fire department truck doors to the left. 

This building served as the City Hall until 2005 when the new Marion Commons building was completed.  The building continued to house the Fire Deparment truck and equipment until May 26, 2012, of this year, when the new Fire Station was completed. 

The new Fire Department in all it's glory was dedicated on May 26, 2012.  It was a proud day for Marion and the hard working volunteer crew that makes up the Fire Department. 

 Even after the construction was completed, the men spent many of hours getting everything in it's proper place and ready when needed.

On the day of the dedication, Brennan Cruce, a volunteer fire fighter, displays his families vintage 1958 fire truck.  This beauty belongs to the Cruce family and as you can see, is well cared for in it's retirement from duty.