This interesting article about Marion and Crittenden County was published in the Evansville Courier and Journal, in April 1930.
Marion, Ky. What peculiar properties of greatness does the city of Marion hold?
A strange question, and an unanswerable one. But this little city of 2,100 inhabitants has brought forth three men who have written their names on the pages of United States history.
Ollie M. James one of the most brilliant orators and certainly one of the greatest figures in Kentucky history, became United States senator.
W. J. Deboe, also a United States senator from Kentucky, claimed Marion as his home.
Oklahoma's second governor, Lee Cruce, was Marion born and reared.
The homes of both Senators James and Deboe still stand in this city, directly opposite each other at the same street intersection on East Depot Street. The bodies of both lay in the Marion cemetery.
Center of Mining
Marion, the county seat of Crittenden County lies in a section of the most scenic beauty in western Kentucky. All about are sweeping hills that break the monotony of the broad plain common to this section of the state.
The city was named for Gen. Francis Marion, Revolutionary war hero.
Marion is the center of a rich mining industry, lying in the midst of one of the only two fluorspar districts in the United States of any consequence. Consequently Marion is the headquarters for several companies engaged in this industry.
In four counties in the country is most of the fluorspar produced. Crittenden and Livingston counties in Kentucky and Pope and Hardin counties in Illinois.
Among the companies operating in the Crittenden county field are the Franklin, a subsidiary of the Aluminum Corporation of America; the Lafayette, a subsidiary of the United Sates Steel corporation; the Holly, controlled by Cincinnati capitalists; the Eagle, under control of Wheeling W. Va.; capitalists; the Independent, Gugenheim; and Kentucky Fluorspar companies, privately owned and developed. The mines normally employ about 1,000 men.
The first mining in this county was done under General Andrew Jackson, later president of the United States, who operated lead mines where the fluorspar now is being mined. Lead now is a by-product.