Olmsted County Places - Marion
Marion, a discontinued post office, is located in Marion township, 9 miles southeast of Rochester.
[Source: the 1940 Rochester City & Olmsted County, Minnesota Directory, published by Keiter Directory Co. ]
The first merchant to embark in business in the village of Marion was Mr. A. C. Rodgers, agent for a Mr. Clark, of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Shortly after James Degraff brought a stock of goods from Freeport, Illinois. Messrs. Curtis & Dudley also brought in a stock from Wisconsin. Leonard Chase was the first blacksmith, John Strange way the first wagon-maker, and Dr. J. C. Cole the first druggist and physician.
In 1856 this village was a formidable rival of Rochester, and was a contestant for the county seat. After that important honor was conferred upon the latter, however, Marion's prosperity began to wane, and now she is a mere shadow of her former self. Her citizens, no doubt, often repeat the verse, "Of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these, It might have been."
The Methodist Episcopal church at Marion was organized in 1855 by Rev. Benjamin Criss, who at that time had charge of a circuit extending from Brownsville to the northern part of Olmsted county. He traveled over his circuit on foot, crossing fields and forests and wading streams. The names of the members at the time of organization are as follows: N. S. Phelps, L. M. Phelps, Phoebe Phelps, E. C. Phelps, Electa Phelps, Charles Strother, Alfred Kinney and wife, R. S. Phelps and wife, Jaures Rutan and wife, and Margaret Phelps. They erected a church building in 1859, which was afterward burned. It was rebuilt the same summer, however, at a cost of thirty-five hundred dollars. The present pastor is Rev. Josef Hall. The membership at present is about sixty.
The Church of Christ was organized at the schoolhouse at Marion in 1866 by Rev. Levan, who acted as pastor for a number of years. The present pastor is the Rev. A. W. Deane, of Pleasant Grove. The present officers are as follows : Elders, H. McCaleb and Reuben Jones ; deacons, Benjamin Emmerson and George Campbell. The present membership is about seventy; the average attendance at Sunday school is about fifty. The Presbyterian church at Chester was organized in 1869 by Rev. George Anslie, who has acted as pastor since that time. They have never erected a place of worship, but use their schoolhouse. The membership is forty-six.
MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES Their Origin and Historic Significance
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