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City of Marion
—  City  —
West Center Street in downtown Marion in 2007.
Nickname(s): City of Kings, World's Popcorn Capital
Location within the state of Ohio
Coordinates: 40°35′12″N 83°7′35″W / 40.58667°N 83.12639°W / 40.58667; -83.12639Coordinates: 40°35′12″N 83°7′35″W / 40.58667°N 83.12639°W / 40.58667; -83.12639
Country United States
State Ohio
County Marion
Founded 1822
 - Total 11.4 sq mi (29.5 km2)
 - Land 11.4 sq mi (29.4 km2)
 - Water 0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)  0.35% area_total_km2 = 29.5%
Elevation 981 ft (299 m)
Population (2008)[1]
 - Total 35,841
 Density 3,111.6/sq mi (1,201.4/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 43301, 43302, 43306, 43307
Area code(s) 740
FIPS code 39-47754[2]
GNIS feature ID 1061473[3]

Marion is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Marion County[4]. The municipality is located in north-central Ohio, approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of Columbus.

The population was 35,318 at the 2000 census. According to the US Census 2008 estimate, Marion has a population of 35,841, while Ohio's Columbus–Marion–Chillicothe Combined Statistical Area has 2,002,604 people[5]. Marion is the county's largest city and the center of the Marion Micropolitan Statistical Area (as defined by the United States Census Bureau in 2003). It is nicknamed the City of Kings. President Warren G. Harding was a native of Marion.



The origins of Marion can be traced back to the War of 1812 when Jacob Foos, a surveyor for General Harrison's company discovered a spring at the top of a hill and established a well there, which was named "Jacob's Well". This well was located near what is now Marion Towers on Delaware Ave. The town of Marion was platted north of Jacob's Well in 1822 by Alexander Holmes and Eber Baker; Marion County was established in 1824.

Best known as the hometown and burial location of President Warren G. Harding and First Lady Florence Harding, Marion was one of Ohio's major industrial centers until the 1970s. Products of the Marion Steam Shovel Company (later Marion Power Shovel) built the Panama Canal and in the 1960s, NASA contracted with Power Shovel to construct the crawler-transporters that moved the assembled Saturn V rockets, used by Project Apollo, to the launch pad. In 1911, 80% of the nation's steam shovel and heavy duty earth moving equipment was manufactured in Marion, Ohio.

The city is also a rail center for CSX, and Norfolk Southern, linking all four points on the compass. Marion is the nation's leader in corn and popcorn produced foods.[citation needed] Whirlpool Corporation of Benton Harbor, Michigan is the largest employer in the city operating the largest clothes dryer manufacturing facility in the world.[6]

Marion is also the birthplace and childhood home of Norman Mattoon Thomas, four-time candidate for President of the United States under the Socialist Party of America ticket and co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Elsie Janis, the stage name for Elsie Beerbower, musical theatre star and "Sweethert of the American Expeditionary Forces" (AEF) during World War I was a native of Marion County. The Isaly family of Mansfield, Ohio - inventors of the Klondike bar - chose Marion as the second Isaly's Dairy facility.[citation needed]

City Hall building in downtown Marion.

In 1938, local tap dance instructor Marilyn Meseke, was crowned Miss America 1938 - the first year that talent was considered part of the annual competition. Meseke's trophy and pageant memorabilia are housed in the Marion County Historical Society.[citation needed]

Mary Ellen Withrow (née Hinamon), Treasurer of the United States from 1994 until 2001 is a Marion County native. Withrow is the only person in the history of the United States to have held the governmental position of Treasurer on the Local (Marion County Ohio Treasurer), State (Treasurer of the State of Ohio) and Federal levels of Government.

Marion Cemetery also has the dubious honor of being home to the Merchant family grave marker, known in paranormal circles for its unintended movements. The marker consists of a large grey granite pedestal capped by a two-ton granite sphere four feet in diameter. The sphere moves on its base several inches every year, as measured by the distance traveled by the unpolished spot from where it was mated to the pedestal. While the movement of the sphere is thought to be facilitated by freeze-thaw cycles, earth tremors, or trapped air or water under the base, there has been no conclusive explanation for patterns that the sphere seems to follow. The movements of the sphere have been documented by numerous news outlets and it has been featured in Ripley's Believe it or Not (September 29, 1927).


Marion is located at 40°35′12″N 83°7′35″W / 40.58667°N 83.12639°W / 40.58667; -83.12639 (40.586579, -83.126404)[7].

The city is located about 50 miles (80 km) north of Ohio's capital city, Columbus, due north along U.S. Highway 23. Marion occupies most of Marion Township, which is located just outside of the city limits.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.4 square miles (29.5 km²), of which, 11.4 square miles (29.4 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.35%) is water.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1830 287
1840 570 98.6%
1850 1,311 130.0%
1860 1,844 40.7%
1870 2,531 37.3%
1880 3,899 54.0%
1890 8,327 113.6%
1900 11,862 42.5%
1910 18,232 53.7%
1920 27,891 53.0%
1930 31,084 11.4%
1940 30,817 −0.9%
1950 33,817 9.7%
1960 37,079 9.6%
1970 38,646 4.2%
1980 37,040 −4.2%
1990 34,075 −8.0%
2000 35,318 3.6%
Est. 2008 35,841 1.5%

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 35,318 people, 13,551 households, and 8,821 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,111.6 people per square mile (1,201.4/km²). There were 14,713 housing units at an average density of 1,296.8/sq mi (500.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.40% White, 7.01% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.64% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.34% of the population.

There were 13,551 households out of which 31.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 102.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,124, and the median income for a family was $40,000. Males had a median income of $31,126 versus $22,211 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,247. About 10.9% of families and 13.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.2% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.



Annual events and fairs

Marion is home to the Marion Popcorn Festival, an annual event that is held in downtown Marion in September, the weekend following Labor Day. The Marion County Fair is held every year in Marion during the first week of July. Saturday in the Park is a children's festival that is held each year in Lincoln Park. The Regional Dog and Pony Show is a regional event that is held annually in Marion. One of the fair's founding members Doug Mitchem was instrumental in the development of the programs.


Marion is served in print by The Marion Star, the city's only daily newspaper.[8] Online, the city is served by

Among Marion's notable radio stations are WMRN (94.3FM) country music station, WMRN (1490AM) news/talk (clear channel), WOSB (91.1FM) NPR News and classical music station, WYNT (95.9FM) adult contemporary station, and WDCM (97.5FM) community radio.

The local television station is Channel 39, which is primarily Christian programing. In 2008, a new television station, TV 22 Marion (Time Warner Channel 3), was launched to cover area news, events, sports, and local programming.


Marion, Ohio was the home to the Marion Mayhem, an Arena football team in the Continental Indoor Football League, that play at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Marion previously had a professional ice hockey team, the Marion Barons, who played in the International Hockey League during the 1953-54 season. In the High School Scene, Marion has been home to numerous individual and team state championships. In the early 1980s, Tina Kniseley was a roller figure-skating national champion and Scott Duncan was a WUSA National Champion in wrestling.


Marion City Schools enroll 4,992 students in public primary and secondary schools.[9] The district administers 8 public schools including six elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.

In addition to the city schools, there are also 4 other public school districts including: Elgin, Pleasant, River Valley, and Ridgedale. A private school, Marion Catholic, can also be found in Marion.

Marion is home to two institutions of higher learning. The Ohio State University has a regional campus at Marion, and Marion Technical College, a community college that shares the Marion Campus with OSU.

Notable natives and residents


External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MARION, a city and the county-seat of Marion county, Ohio, U.S.A., 44 m. N. by W. of Columbus. Pop. (1900), 11,862, of whom 782 were foreign-born and 112 were negroes. Marion is served by the Pennsylvania, the Erie, the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St Louis, and the Hocking Valley railways, and by interurban electric railway to Columbus. It is the trade centre of a rich farming district. Limestone is abundant, and the city has various manufactures, including lime, foundry and machine-shop products, agricultural implements, planing-mill products, engines, steam shovels, dredges, pianos and silks. In 1905 the value of factory products was $3,227,712, being 33.1% greater than in 5900. Marion was laid out in 1821, and was chartered as a city in 1890.

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