of the





By Vera Curtis

Part 3


Charles C. Huggins was the first banker in Marion. He had a private bank in the Clark Block in 1867. He sold silver mine stock to many of the residents of Marion and also invested a large amount of the bank's capital in this stock. It proved to be a very poor investment and brought about the failure of the bank. Rev. Horatio N. Short and his son Albert B. Short started a private bank in the building now occupied by the Marion Hardware. These bankers also conducted a hardware store. This bank after a short period closed its doors about 1883.


The first burying ground was on the farm of Daniel Powell, where Fred Cattieu now lives. There is a record of four burials here. In 1804 the Upper Corners Cemetery was opened. This was used for nearly fifty years. The land was given by Reuben Adams. Nearly seventy-five years have passed since this has been used as a burying ground. Most of the stones are fast crumbling before the march of time and will in a few years be unavailable for record.

The Marion Cemetery Association was incorporated in 1853 and the land for the present burying ground was purchased. The cemetery has a beautiful soldier's monument, erected in 1904 as a memorial to the soldiers and sailors of the town of Marion, by Love F. Seymour of Rochester, in memory of her grandparents Eli and Margaret Green, who were residents of Marion. Miss Seymour had erected in 1914 a chapel for the cemetery, in memory of her aunt, Helen D. Green. The beautiful gates at the two entrances to the cemetery were erected in 1927 by Miss Ann Dodge, Miss Willie Dodge, Miss Dorothy Dodge and Edward Dodge of New Orleans, Louisiana, in memory of their mother Nellie Burbank Dodge, and sister, Nellie Burbank Dodge.

WAR 1861

The call to arms by President Lincoln in 1861 and the danger to our country stirred the men of Marion. The news of the attack on Fort Sumter, and of its unconditional surrender on April 15, 1861 brought a rally of the citizens. The motto was "Sustain the Government. Stand for Liberty. Down with the Rebellion." Rev. Short of the Presbyterian Church, Rev. Stanton of the Christian Church and Rev. Williams of the Baptist Church made appeals for heroic sacrifices to save the Union. A large flag was hung out as "A symbol of strength and protection to its friends and of dismay and death to traitors." A large public meeting was held in the Collegiate Institute on Tuesday evenng, April 23, 1861, filling the hall to over flowing. Twelve volunteers signed the muster-roll that night and a subscription was made for the support of their families.

Another large meeting was held in the Marion Collegiate Institute Hall, May 6, 1861, to plan further for the support of the families of volunteers. Here resolutions were passed to train a company of minute men in the town. Three thousand dollars were raised to sustain the families of the volunteers, this sum to be secured by assessment upon each tax-payer of the town.

Men said "farewell" to home and family as quickly and as firmly in 1861 as in 1775. There were brave mothers, sisters and wives, choking down the tide of grief that their sons, brothers and husbands might not be weakened in their purpose to join the armies of the Union.


In May, 1861, a volunteer company was organized in Marion with John Burrud as Captain; Avery Durfee, First Lieutenant; Henry Allen, Ensign. On May 25, 1861 there was a pole raising at Eddy Ridge.

On September 10, 1861, Marion turned out en masse to see the September volunteers and four others off for the "Field." The flag belonging to the Collegiate Institute was carried. Rev. Stanton of the Christian Church presented each with a testament. A flag was presented in behalf of the students of the Institute.


The call for reinforcements in 1862 met with a ready response. The town of Marion was the first to fill up her quota of volunteers and went beyond the mark. Lieutenant John B. Burrud left for Auburn with thirty-five men. This call for volunteers took seventy-five Marion men. In 1863 the call asked for fifty-two more men. Again in 1865 Marion filled the quota required without a draft.

Edward Farnsworth, who enlisted May 2, 1861, was the first man from Marion to die from wounds received in action. He was wounded in the second battle of Bull Run, and died at Washington.


A total of one hundred eighty-six men went to fight from Marion. Out of the number which returned but three remain. LeRoy Deuel, who enlisted in 1863 in the Ninth Heavy Artillery. He was promoted to Corporal in 1864, transferred to Second Artillery in 1865 and discharged in 1865. Isaac Morrison enlisted in 1864 in the same company, he also was transferred to the Second Artillery and was discharged in 1865. Albert Bull went into service in 1863 in the Ninth Heavy Artillery. He was wounded at Cedar Creek and was discharged in 1865. He again enlisted in the regular service in 1867 and served three years.


The Ninth Heavy Artillery was recruited in 1862. The Colonel was Joseph Welling of Lyons, Wayne County, and the Lieutenant-Colonel was Wm. H. Seward of Auburn, Cayuga County. This regiment was called the "Band Box Regiment," because they were stationed near Washington to guard the capitol. They were required to appear for frequent inspection in full dress, leather stocks, white gloves and trappings shining like silver. This was so that the President of the United States, cabinet officers or a foreign minister could visit them at any time. It was not until May 25, 1863 that they faced the rebels and became a part of the Army of the Potomac. They were cordially received but with rather a free use of such terms as "Washington Gunners," "White-gloved soldiers," "Band-box regiment." After this change they were in many encounters. In October they marched up the Shenandoah Valley. One soldier's diary reads, "Saturday Oct. 1st. - All barns passed are in flames. The Cavalry are passing down the valley with instructions to burn everything and drive off all the stock." The official report after the battle of Cedar Creek said: "The Ninth N.Y. Heavy Artillery for their noble behavior deserve to be specially mentioned." They were in four battles and many smaller engagements. They may have had an easy time in the defences of Washington but the list of casualties shows that they amply made up for it in their subsequent active career.

Madison Reynolds, who now lives in Marion, was a Civil War soldier and enlisted from Erie County in 1861.


The Marion Enterprise has been the newspaper of Marion for forty-five years. It was founded in 1880 by E. Curtis and son Rollo D. Curtis. In 1921 it was purchased by John E. DuBois of Newark who continues the paper under the same name. Editor John E. DuBois published a forty-page One Hundredth Anniversary Edition, August 27, 1926, which was made up of historical articles of Marion.


The men who have served as Assemblymen from Marion are Peter Boyce, Elias Durfee, John Lang, Allen Russell, Amasa Hall and Jefferson Sherman. The office of sheriff has been filled by Thomas Clark, Vernon Howell, George Sweezey and Orrin Sherman. George S. Reeves served as county treasurer. Some of the men who were instrumental in maintaining the high standard of our schools were William C. Austin, Dr. Myron Adams, Stephen Reeves, Seth Dean, Rev. Conway Young, Salem Sweezey and Dr. A. Halsted. Dr. Daniel Richards and Dr. Albert Halsted should have especial mention because of their many years of faithful service as physicians. Henry R. Taber was admitted to the bar in 1865. He served his town as justice for many terms and was also supervisor for many years.

The history of Marion is that of an agricultural community. The saying that the farm is the basis of all wealth is particularly true of the town of Marion. First, wheat was the principle crop because it would sell most readily. Apples and pears have always been extensively produced in Mairon as the soil and climate seem to be well adapted for their growth. The first settlers planted apple seeds almost as soon as they arrived. The first grafted apples to be brought here were the Long Island Greening. All kinds of small fruits, berries, cherries and plums are also produced in large quantities.

SINCE 1900

Since 1900 the value of land in Marion has more than trebled. Hon. Plinty T. Sexton of Palmyra once said, "There will be many more people in this country but no more land. I believe the man who owns the land is sure to be the winner." The assessed valuation of the Town of Marion in 1858 was $550,000; in 1893 it was $1,292,000. Now the valuaton is $3,250,000. The population is 2,158.


This large increase in the valuation of the land is partly due to the increase in all land values, but mostly to the extensive planting of fruit trees and the opening up of muck lands in the last thirty-five years. Before that time peppermint was almost the only crop cultivated on the rich muck land. In 1924 there was shipped for Marion 403 cars of celery, 170 cars of carrots, 90 cars of lettuce and 70 cars of onions, this coming from the muck land.

The two canning factories in Marion take a large part of the small fruit grown. There were 150 cars of canned goods shipped out of Marion in 1924. There were about 200 cars of apples and 300 cars of cider and vinegar shipped out of Marion.


Marion has had a railroad since 1905. The Newark and Marion Railroad was incorporated and built by the Syracuse Railroad Construction Company. It started operation in 1905. This road is a little over eight miles long and connects Marion with the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central at Newark, N.Y. In 1917 residents of Marion purchased the railroad and it was reorganized as the Marion Railway Corporation. This railroad in 1924 handled over 30,000 tons of freight. The government reports give Marion second place in the state as a shipping point of muck crops. The Marion Railway Corporation stock was purchased by the Pennsylvania Railroad June 19, 1930. It is now the Marion branch of this railroad and is under the jurisdiction of the Williamsport Division.


During the World War of 1914 Marion's part was to help feed the world. The men from Marion who served in the war are: William Faro, Peter Hendricks, Jacob Dayton, Alphonse Brandt, Oscar Warner, Arthur Hopkins, Allen Farnsworth, Elsworth Geer, Wilber Wirth, Henry Lybart, William Lewis, Harry Lewis, Marvin Jores, John DeNeering, Edward VanKowenburg, Elmer Lybart, Arthur Bates, David McMichael, Kenneth Jagger, Elmer Malgee, Jacob Hermenette, Mylo Morrison, Fred Cattieu, John VanHall, Dirk Mellema, Elmer Verbridge, Edward Patchett, Richard DeCoster, Dr. Arthur Besemer, Rev. W.W. McWilliams, Cecil Johnson, Wade Johnson, Herbert Jorgensen, Adrian DeVisser, Peter DeBrine, and Harriet Sherman as nurse. All returned but Jacob Hermenette.


The First National Bank of Marion was opened for business June 16, 1914, in a temporary home with Roscoe S. Bush in charge. In 1915 the brick structure on Main Street was completed. So great had been the demand for banking facilities in Marion that the project of forming a bank, with the residents of Marion retaining control of the major portion of the stock issued, commended itself to all business men of the community. Before this most of Marion's banking business had been handled in Newark and Rochester. Fifty stockholders are represented in the corporation. The first officers were: president, C.N. Jagger; vice-presidents, C.R. Pratt and B.E. Luce; cashier, R.S. Bush. In 1922 Roscoe S. Bush was made president, Viola Luce cashier, and Stanley Rogers, vice-president and assistant cashier. Every year since its organization there has been a large and steady gain. President Bush is also vice-president of the First National Bank of Palmyra.


The Marion Public Library was organized by Mrs. Kingley Norris, wife of Rev. Kingley Norris, then pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Marion. In 1910 it was chartered under the State of New York with two hundred books. Many gifts of books have been received, the largest gifts coming from Mrs. C.H. Stewart of Newark, N.Y., the J.S. Society of Marion, in memory of Abbie Ray, and from Curtis Fitz Gerald of Philadelphia in memory of Nellie Burbank Dodge. Mrs. Marion Hesler gave the library $100 which is used as a permanent endowment fund. Alice M. Curtris has been the librarian for fourteen years. It has grown from two hundred volumes to three thousand. There were six hundred seventy-seven residents of Marion using books during the year.

Marion celebrated its One Hundredth Anniversary with Old Home Day on September 4, 1926. The main feature was an historical, industrial and patriotic parade.


Five historical markers were placed in Marion, through the efforts of the Marion members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, by the New York State Education Department. On July 4, 1934 they were unveiled and dedicated. One is placed at Marion Upper Corners to mark the First Road; one at Marion Lower Corners for the First Settlers; one on the site of the First Log Cabin; one at the site of the First Tavern; the fifth at the Young's Homestead. The erection of these historical markers was part of the Regents program for the observance of the 150th anniversary of the American Revolution in New York State.


One hundred and thirty years have passed since Henry Lovell and Daniel Powell traversed the pathless wilderness and built their log cabins in Marion. The present owes a great debt to the past and to those influences then set in motion which have continued uninterruptedly to the present. The foundations were ably laid by the pioneers; to those who came after fell the building of a fit super-structure. A wonderful transformation has been effected. It was a region of dark forest and dreaded fever chills and of solitary log cabins but today it is a town of beauty, enterprise and prosperity. The earliest pioneers have ben laid to rest, their sons have reached a goodly age and followed after, and the grandson or great-great-grandson tills the land and occupies the dwelling where his ancestors toiled. In the various trades and professions Marion has many honored sons, but few of them have surpassed in sterling qualities the pioneers of early days.

For further information, and all inquiries about persons and places mentioned, please contact the Office of the County Historian. We also encourage public posting of questions about your ancestors, local resources, etc. on a genealogy-related message board or mailing list.

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