Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Early Marion, Busy Town

Once, not even that long ago, Marion was a busy, business-filled town.  All of Main St. was filled with 2 banks, and all kinds of businesses that one could find all that was needed to fill your needs, whether for the farm, the home, or just for yourself.

This picture of Marion Main Street was made in the late 1940's.  This People's Bank, on the corner with all the windows, building was built in 1920 to replace the one that burnt in 1919.  The Bank front looked like this until 1971 when they enlarged and remodeled the whole building as it looks today.  

You can also see the Williams Dept. store name on their awning on the right.  Which today in the Law Offices of Frazer, Rogers and Peek.

 This picture also made in the 1940's, looking south from the corner of W. Bellville.  The court house would be to the right.  As one can see, it looks like all the parking places are filling from one end of the business district to the other.  

People are gathered at the court house square and also many are walking along the sidewalk on the left.  Amazing isn't it. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Baker School

The Baker School was located on Hwy. 365 or what most of us think of as Baker Church Road.  The school was located on the same site as the Baker Church is today.  Will Hughes gave the ground for the school location and perhaps the church too.  The school was started in the late 1880's.

 The old Baker School House, torn down in the late 1940's after the school had closed and the land went back to the owner.

Children attending Baker School were allowed to attend revival services at the Baker Baptist church, which was located across the road from the school.

The usual pie and box suppers were annual events for raising money to buy items needed for the school and perhaps some new playground equipment for the students.

Games played were leapfrog, ball, hopscotch, marbles or drop the handkerchief. 

Some of the families in the Baker School district were, Chandlers, Collins, Duncans, Jennings, Longs, McDowell, Nelson, Newcom, O'Neas, Phillips, Quertermous, Samuels, Scott, Vinson, Simpson, Truitt and Walker.

In the late 1940's the road was improved enough for school buses to travel, so the students at Baker school  and near-by Bells Mines school were taken to Mattoon.  The last teacher was Irene Truitt.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Railroad and Depot and Water Tower

This picture made in January 1981 shows a lot of past history for Marion and Crittenden County.  It was taken as a news item, for at this time in our history the Illinois Central Gulf railroad had filed for the abandonment of the railroad line.  

Later that year in Oct. 1981 the ICG railroad was allowed to shut down its 105-mile line stretching between Henderson and Princeton which also went through the heart of Crittenden County.

The old Deport was torn down just a few years later, I guess not considering that it might be turned into a historic landmark and could have been turned into something useful for the town.

The Marion water tower in the back ground, once seen from miles around, also would also be just a memory for it was no longer in use as the water source for the town.  The tower would be sold for scrap metal.  It came down in January 1981 also, probably soon after this historic picture was made.

The railroad crossing flashing light pole is still standing today on East Depot Street.  But that is all that is left of the items in the photo.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Blackford Shed and Families that Attended Camp

Not many people are left that remember the big camp days at the Blackford Church and camp grounds.  I have done a post on this church several years ago in 2009,  but didn't show the old shed or introduce you to some of the local families that attended church and camp here.

This is the old shed, it was really a large shed made from local timber and constructed by the local farmers. The sides were open and the roof was made also of wood and was covered with rolled roofing.  It was approximately 50 foot long and 20 feet wide.

It finally had to be torn down in the 1950's because it had deteriorated so bad and was really unsafe to use anymore.  The meetings then were moved back inside the church.

Standing along side the shed are some of the local families that lived in the surrounding area and attended church here and also the camp meeting.  This picture was made in the 1920's.

L-R.  1.  James Tosh, 2. Flora Tosh, 3. George Ford, 4. Bell (Brantley) Ford, 5. Leota (Thurman) Clark, 7. Finnie Orr, 8. Mrs. Jerry Belt, 9. Will Hughes, hold his son 10. John R., 11. Bessie Hinchee, 12. Bob Ford, 13. Mrs. Marty Ford, 14. Lizzie Ford, 15, Clarence Jeffreys, 16. Willis Brown, and 17. Manus Clark.