Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How Some Of Marion's Streets Got Their Names

Many of our streets in Marion today still carry the name that was given to them over a hundred years ago.  Most were named for prominent businessmen, or a family that owned the land when the street was built.
  • Rochester Avenue.  William H.  Rochester was a Marion pioneer in the important profession of blacksmithing.  He came to Marion in 1845 and set-up the town's first machinist shop.  He purchased a two hundred fifty acre farm off the northeast corner of Marion in 1853.  He built a two-story log home on the land.  The farm was known then as Rochester Grove and the new home was given the name Waveland. 
  • Kevil Street was given that name in honor of the Kevil Family.  Joseph Bell Kevil was one of the founders and original owners of the Marion Roller Mill, which was located in the area that the Marion Feed Mill is today.  Mr. Kevil served the county in many positions, as county surveyor for many years, and had a thorough knowledge of Crittenden County boundaries of any man who lived here.  He also served a s County Attorney, Mayor of Marion and Police Judge.  The Kevil family home was at the end of Kevil Street located on the East Depot side of the street.
  • Walker Street that runs in front of Fohs Hall and the old hospital.  It was named in honor of R. C. Walker.  Their family home was located on this street.  Mr. Walker founded and published the first Crittenden Press in 1878 and operated the paper until 1900 when he and his family moved to Colorado.  
  • Jarvis Street is located a little north of down-town Marion.  It was named in honor of A. B. Jarvis, an important business man with ties in Marion through his tobacco factories.  At the time when tobacco was the "cash" crop of Marion, Mr. Jarvis was in charge of the tobacco business in Marion.  He owned and operated two tobacco factories.  One of his factories was located on Jarvis Street.
  • Travis Street is also located in the vicinity of Jarvis Street.  After the close of the Civil War, the great increase in the business zone of Marion, plus the movement of freed slaves from the farms to the cities to secure employment called for additional mercantile lots and an industry for Marion.  Herrod Travis, an ex-slave got several former brick-maker's together and founded the Kiln that produced most of the brick, if not all, used in Marion's construction before 1917.  The alleyway where the kiln was located later widened into a street named Travis Street in his honor.

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