Monday, August 1, 2016

Marion's First Brickyard

 The old office of the Travis Brick yard.  Torn down many years ago.

After the close of the Civil War, the great increase in the business zone in Marion, plus the movement of freed slaves from the farms to the cities to secure employment, called for additional mercantile lots and an increased industries for Marion.

Herod Travis, a former 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.

Many of these brick-maker's had learned how to make brick while they worked on their former owner's farms through out the county.  Several of these rural farmers had small brick making operations so that they were able to have their own bricks made for their homes and outbuildings.  The bricks were hand-made and sun dried from the abundant Crittenden County clay.

A picture of some of the early hand-made, sun-dried bricks.

 The brick making office was located at the corner of North Maple and Travis Streets.  Travis Street, today, was named for Herod Travis.

Herod Travis died Dec. 7, 1899, and has a stone in the old Colored Marion Cemetery, located at the end of Weldon St.  He might be called the "father" of his people, the honored and revered "Uncle" of his race.  He was industrious and frugal; he had many good business qualities, keen, but strictly honest.

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