Marion is a city in Grant County, Indiana, United States. The population was 29,948 as of the 2010 census. The city is thecounty seat of Grant County. It is named for Francis Marion, a Brigadier General from South Carolina in the American Revolutionary War.
The city is the home of Indiana Wesleyan University, the largest evangelical Christian university in the Midwest and largest private university in Indiana- if including online and regional campuses in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Illinois. The traditional campus enrolls approximately 2800 students. Since 2003, former Olympic skater Wayne Seybold has been Marion’s mayor. Marion is also noted for being the birthplace of legendary actor James Dean, and famed cartoonist Jim Davis, though James Dean and Jim Davis were raised in nearby Fairmount. It was also the location of the wedding of actress Julia Roberts and singer Lyle Lovett in 1993.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.79 square miles (40.90 km2), of which 15.71 square miles (40.69 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.21 km2) is water.
|Source: US Census Bureau|
As of the census of 2010, there were 29,948 people, 11,828 households, and 6,739 families residing in the city. Thepopulation density was 1,906.3 inhabitants per square mile (736.0/km2). There were 13,715 housing units at an average density of 873.0 per square mile (337.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 78.1% White, 14.7% African American, 0.4%Native American, 0.7% Asian, 2.4% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.5% of the population.
There were 11,828 households of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 17.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.0% were non-families. 36.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.91.
The median age in the city was 36.2 years. 21.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 16.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.1% were from 25 to 44; 24.5% were from 45 to 64; and 16% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.0% male and 53.0% female.
As of the census of 2000, there are 31,320 people. The population density is 2,355.5 people per square mile (909.2/km²). There are 13,820 housing units at an average density of 1,039.4 per square mile (401.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 79.64% White, 15.57% African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.43% from other races, and 2.18% from two or more races. 3.60% of the population areHispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 12,462 households out of which 27.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.1% are married couples living together, 14.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% are non-families. 33.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 14.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.30 and the average family size is 2.91.
In the city the population is spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 12.5% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 84.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $30,440, and the median income for a family is $37,717. Males have a median income of $30,258 versus $23,467 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,378. 16.9% of the population and 12.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 23.8% of those under the age of 18 and 11.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
The Battle of the Mississinewa was fought in December 1812, just north of the current city of Marion, as an expeditionary force sent by William Henry Harrison against the Miamivillages. Today, the battle is reenacted every fall by residents of Grant County and many reenactors and enthusiasts from throughout the United States and Canada during the annual “Mississinewa 1812” festival, the largest War of 1812 reenactment in the United States.
When Martin Boots and David Branson each donated 30 acres (120,000 m2) of land in 1831 for the site of Marion, they chose a location on the left bank of the swift, scenic river which the Miami Indians had named “Mississinewa,” meaning “laughing waters.” So rapid had been the tide of settlement that it followed by only 19 years the Battle of Mississinewa, 7 miles (11 km) downstream, where U.S. troops and Indians had fought a bloody, pre-dawn encounter in 1812.
With the formation of Grant County in 1831, Marion was established as the county seat and its future was assured. The river provided water supply, power, and drainage and it bequeathed a natural beauty as it flowed at the base of hills that marched away on either side. Along with at least 36 other communities in the U.S., Marion was named for theRevolutionary War General Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox” of South Carolina.
Gas boom and growth
Marion grew slowly for more than 50 years as an agricultural trading center supported by a sprinkling of small farm- and forest-related industries. Indians were a common sight as they wandered in from Indiana’s last reservation, with its Indian school, Baptist church and cemetery, 8 miles (13 km) away.
In the 1880s, fields of natural gas were discovered across much of east-central Indiana, and Grant County began to grow at a dizzying pace. Gas City and Matthews were carved out of raw farmland and launched as speculative boom towns, each absorbing existing tiny villages. They attracted several thousand residents before the gas failed and most industries left. As late as the 1940s, Matthews resembled a Western ghost town, before it attracted eleven glass factories and seduced the professional baseball team away from Indianapolis. Grant County’s only covered bridge remains there as a link to the past.
However, the gas boom left its legacy. A few industries remained, particularly glass manufacturers.
National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers
On July 23, 1888, with increasing membership amongst the six National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (NHDVS) National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, Congress established the seventh of ten National Homes in Grant County, Indiana to be known as the Marion Branch . Congress allotted an appropriation of $200,000, while Grant County residents provided a natural gas supply for the heating and lighting of this new facility. Marion was selected as a site for the new branch due to the availability of natural gas and the political activities of Colonel George W. Steele, Sr, the 11th Congressional Representative from 1880 to 1890.
The Marion Branch Historic District is located at the intersection of 38th Street and Lincoln Boulevard, approximately 2½ miles southeast of the city center of Marion. The boundaries are 38th Street on the north, the railroad right of way on the east, the Mississinewa River on the southeast, Chambers Park on the south and southeast, and Lincoln Boulevard to the west. The 212-acre (0.86 km2) site is roughly square in form with diagonal boundary lines on the southeast and the southwest eliminating those corners of the square. Originally, farming operations on the Home grounds included the area that is now Chambers Park.
In 1981, a Determination of Eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places for Federal Properties was made under Criteria A and C. As a result, since 1981, various projects have been reviewed by the Indiana State Preservation Office for compliance under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended.
In 1992, the historic district was surveyed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources as a component of the Grant County inventory of historic sites and structures.
This facility is now a part of VA Northern Indiana Health Care System, a dual campus facility associated with the former VA Medical Center Fort Wayne. Unfortunately, the original treatment hospital built in 1889, the greenhouse and cadet quarters are scheduled for demolition. There has been a lack of public interest in restoring these building to their original splendor and as they are currently a hazard for Veterans, the Department has no choice but to destroy these buildings.
Information courtesy of Wikipedia