Monday, February 22, 2016

Maxwell Park

Public Park for Greater Marion,
May 1909.
As the result of the baseball team's successful ball playing, a number of Marion's public spirited citizens wanted to have a public playground, a new and grand park for this ball team to play, something they could be proud of when they invited other teams to Marion. 

They thought a permanent playground was a much-needed addition to the town and every person who takes pride in her advancement, or enjoys any of her pleasure, should help liberally and encourage this enterprise.

The first step was to form the Marion Playground Association Incorporated. This was done and members of the ground committee consisted of Clem S. Nunn, John H. Orme and Wilbur V. Haynes. Others helping in this project were, Edward J Hayward, O. R. Hurley, C. W. Haynes, Gus Taylor, John A. Moore, John Wilson, C. V. Franks and T. H. Cochran.

Several areas were looked at, but what the committee thought the best suitable ground was picked out and it was located south of the Old Cemetery, in a beautiful lot of about three or four acres and was shaped by nature for a pleasure resort.

It was the intention of the promoters to purchase the ground and lay off a baseball diamond, tennis courts, and so improve it as to make it suitable for all athletic sports.

It will be dedicated to the people of town and county and the pupils of the school, where they may congregate for recreation and athletic games.

In August of 1909 the Marion Playground Association purchased this piece of property from Presley S. Maxwell.

They at once got to work and started getting the land in fine shape, the grounds were laid out and prepared, a tall board fence was built on the front and side and a grand stand for seating was installed.

The businessmen and citizens are to be congratulated for their liberal assistance in assisting and encouraging such an enterprise, for there's not anything that would add more to the beautifying of our city than a first-class park. 

Maxwell Athletic Park, Marion's New Ball Park, was formally opened in a fine game with Sturgis, in which the Marion aggregation was victorious by a score of 4 to 2.

Maxwell Athletic Park was named after P. S. Maxwell, whom the Marion Playground Association purchased the property from. Mr. Maxwell also held with the preparation of the park 

The park was located where Riley's Tool Shop is today and the park continued across the area to Blackburn Street and to where Crittenden Farm Supply store used to be.

In Nov. 1918, Levi Cook purchased this property from the Marion Playground Association and it was then known as Cook's Park.

 In the 1930's the Civilian Conservation Corp was located in this area.

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