MARION COUNTY COMMUNITY PROFILE
MARION, OHIO is located in North Central Ohio, 45 miles north of the capital city of Columbus. The city of Marion has a population of 36,837; 66,501 are in Marion County.
Marion is a progressive city that enjoys exceptional benefits in terms of transportation, convenience and proximity to markets. Marion County is situated in north central Ohio's rich agricultural area. The majority of the United States' eastern, northern and mid-western metropolitan markets are within easy reach. Approximately two-thirds of the U.S. and Canadian markets are within a day's truck drive from Marion.
Agriculture and diversified industries form the economic base of the Marion area. Approximately 80 percent of Marion County’s land area is devoted to farming with corn, soybeans, hogs and dairy cattle as the principal products. A number of Marion’s industries reflect the importance of agriculture to this community. Morral Companies, LLC, Nachurs Alpine Solutions, Ohigro, Inc., POET Biorefining – Marion, ReConserve of Ohio, Inc. and Wyandot, Inc. are among the ag-related industries.
Marion’s largest industrial employer is Whirlpool Corp. – the largest dryer manufacturer in the world. Other major industrial employers include Silver Line Windows and Doors an Andersen Company, Nucor Steel Marion, Inc., Martel Bakery Mix LLC and Marion Industries, Inc.
Marion offers numerous training and education options, including a regional campus of The Ohio State University, Marion Technical College and Tri-Rivers Career Center. Through their partnership RAMTEC of Ohio, the Nation’s Only Provider of Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Industry Certifications, All under one roof. The three schools partnership with companies like Honda of American, FANUC Robotics, FANUC CNC and Yaskawa Motoman Robotics have combined forces to operate an industrial robotics and advanced manufacturing center in Marion.
To meet the needs of elementary through high school students in Marion County there is one large city school district, four county school districts as well as one Catholic school that serves elementary PreK – 8th grade.
US 23 is the main four-lane north-south artery through Marion county and adjacent to Marion City. US 23 intersects I-75 at Findlay; I-270, I-70 and I-71 at Columbus, providing the link between Columbus and the Toledo-Detroit markets. State Routes 309 and 95 provide excellent east-west statewide access. Equally excellent are State Routes 4 and 98 for north-south access. Just 25 miles east of Marion is I-71, providing access to Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Louisville, Kentucky. Twenty-five miles north is US 30, a nationwide east-west artery. It intersects I-77 in Canton, I-71 in Mansfield and I-75 just north of Lima.
CSX and Norfolk Southern, two Class I rail carriers serving the eastern U.S. converge in Marion. Participating in a reciprocal switching agreement, they reach all major markets. Marion's Dual Rail Industrial Park offers rail-using companies, well-developed industrial lots with equal access to CSX and Norfolk Southern.
In collaboration with CSX, Kansas City Southern and the Marion Industrial Center an intermodal yard was opened and handles domestic containers. Dedicated intermodal trains run from Marion to all points in Canada, US and Mexico on a daily basis.
The Marion Municipal Airport features 5,000 and 3,500-foot runways. It provides jet charter services, as well as single and twin-engine propeller charter services, an air ambulance and facilities for private and corporate aircraft.
Adjacent to the airport is the Marion Airport Industrial Park with over 40 acres suitable for light manufacturing, air cargo and distribution facilities. The park has all utilities in place and offers CSX rail service.
Much of Marion’s rich history has been captured at Heritage Hall and the Marion Popcorn Museum. Marion was the home to the late President Warren G. Harding and his wife, Florence. Their home and the granite memorial at the site of their burial plots are both listed in the National Registry of Historical Places.
One of the jewels of the cultural scene in Marion is the fully restored Palace Theatre, a 1920's Vaudeville theater with 1,445 seats. It was purchased and saved from the wrecking ball by civic-minded Marion families and businesses. The 5,500-seat Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum at the Marion County Fairgrounds provides another venue for larger shows and exhibitions.
Marion's city and county governments work together with the community's economic development organization, CAN DO!, the Marion Area Chamber of Commerce and the Marion County Regional Planning Commission to encourage growth and orderly development.
Here, in Marion and Marion County, you will feel welcomed both as an individual and as a corporate citizen.
City and County Details
Marion City - 2016 census - 36,310
Marion County - 2014 census - 65,720
Marion City School District
Harding High School
Ulysses Grant Middle
James A. Garfield Elementary
George Washington Elementary
Benjamin Harrison Elementary
Rutherford B. Hayes Elementary
William McKinley Elementary
William Howard Taft Elementary
Rushmore Academy Community School
River Valley Local School District
River Valley High
River Valley Middle
Pleasant Local School District
Elgin Local School District
Ridgedale Local School District
St. Mary Elementary K – 8th
The Ohio State University at Marion
Marion Technical College
Tri- Rivers Joint Vocational Career Center and Adult Career Center
Marion Area Transit (MAT)
Fully handicapped-accessible; demand service to all areas of the
City of Marion and the nearby retail locations.
Villages (2015 Census Figures)
New Bloomington - 515
Morral - 399
Green Camp -368
Waldo - 377
Prospect - 2235
LaRue - 747
Caledonia - 577
23 North & South in County (179.2 miles)
4; 37; 47; 95; 98; 100; 229; 231; 309; 423; 529; 739; 746
I-70 – (50 Miles South)
I-71 (25 Miles East)
30 (25 miles north)
Marion County Sewer District
Municipal Systems for Prospect, LaRue, Caledonia, Waldo & Green Camp Villages
Aqua Ohio, Inc.
Del-Co Water Company
American Electric Power
Consolidated Electric Cooperative
Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative
Prospect Municipal Electric
Columbus Gas of Ohio
Suburban Natural Gas
3 Largest Non-Industrial Employers
OhioHealth Marion General Hospital - 1,421
Marion City Schools - 769
The Kroger Co. - 432
3 Largest Industrial Employers
Whirlpool Corp. - 2,384
Andersen Windows - 600
Wyandot, Inc. - 410
Additional Links to the City and County
City of Marion; www.marionohio.us
Marion County; www.co.marion.oh.us
Marion County Industrial Parks
Marion Dual Rail Industrial Park
This strategically located industrial park is two miles west of US 23. The new Northwest Connector bypass connecting US 95 and US 23 is at the northwest boundary of the park. Dual Rail Park is serviced by both CSX and Norfolk Southern railroads. The park has shovel-ready sites with Enterprise Zone and Tax Increment Financing. Contact: Marion CAN DO!, 222 West Center Street, Marion, OH 43302, 740.387.2267, 800.841.7302 or www.marioncando.com.
Marion Airport Industrial Park
This park is located in Claridon Township, Marion County and is adjacent to the Marion Municipal Airport. It has 40 acres of air and CSX rail-served sites. All utilities are in place. The park is owned by the City of Marion and is an Enterprise Zone and Community Reinvestment Area. Contact: Marion CAN DO!, 222 West Center Street, Marion, OH 43302, 740.387.2267, 800.841.7302, www.marioncando.com or Marion Municipal Airport, 1530 Pole Lane Rd., Marion, OH 43302. 740.382.1634.
Marion Industrial Center
The Marion Industrial Center has three sites located in eastern, central and southern Marion. MIC has 1.8 million square feet of existing buildings and green field sites for light to heavy manufacturing, logistics and storage. The locations are close to US 23, SR 95 and SR 4. High-bay crane space is available. The eastern site is part of the Marion Intermodal Center and has excellent truck/rail access and is in an Enterprise Zone. Contact: Marion CAN DO!, 222 West Center Street, Marion, OH 43302, 740.387.2267, 800.841.7302, www.marioncando.com or Marion Industrial Center, 3007 Harding Hwy. East, Marion, OH 43302, 740.382.0902.
Marion Intermodal Center
The Marion Intermodal Center is part of the Marion Industrial Center and offers scheduled intermodal rail and truck service to the East Coast, West Coast and Mexican destinations. Opportunities for expansion in existing buildings or green field sites are nearby. Contact: Marion CAN DO!, 222 West Center Street, Marion, OH 43302, 740.387.2267, 800.841.7302, www.marioncando.com, Marion Industrial Center, 740.382.0902 or Schneider National, 800.558.6767.
Buckeye Industrial Park
This park is located on Likens Road, northeast of Marion. It is two miles from US 23 and one mile from the Marion Municipal Airport. All existing buildings are for light industrial and distribution and/or storage use. Green field sites are available from one to ten acres. Contact: Marion CAN DO!, 222 West Center Street, Marion, OH 43302, 740.387.2267, 800.841.7302, www.marioncando.com or Buckeye Industrial Inc., 1656 Likens Rd., Marion OH 43302, 740.387.4484.
The History Of Marion, Ohio
CITY AND COUNTY
The City of Marion is well known as the home of President Warren G. Harding, the twenty-ninth president of the United States, who was for years editor of the "Marion Star." The Harding Home, located at 380 Mount Vernon Avenue, was built in 1891 and occupied by the Harding's until they left for Washington, D.C. in March, 1921. From the front porch of this home, Harding then a U.S. Senator, conducted his famous "front porch campaign" in 1920.
The beautiful Harding Memorial on Delaware Avenue is a circular monument of white Georgia marble, which contains the stone vaults of President and Mrs. Harding. The cost of the monument, landscaping and grounds was over $700,000, paid for with voluntary gifts from the public, as well as with dimes contributed by school children from throughout the country.
The first human inhabitants were the Mound Builders whose origin and disappearance alike have eluded the search of historians. Perhaps these rather domesticated people were conquered by the hunting and fishing Erie Indians who frequented this area in the 16th and 17th centuries, but were exterminated by the ambitious Iroquois of New York in 1655 for not diverting their fur trade from the French Saint Lawrence trade route to the Dutch and English dominated Mohawk traders.
After a brief period, in which the country was a no-man's land for the tribes seeking new homes, the Wyandot Indians began to come from Canada via the Sandusky River into the valleys of the Scioto, Little Scioto and Whetstone Rivers. This was made possible by the rising power of the French in Canada who, with Detroit as a center, aspired to make the Ohio Valley part of the French empire. This Franco-Indian plan was checked by the more commercially efficient British from Pennsylvania, who in the French and Indian War (1754-1763), won Canada from France and brought the Ohio Country into the English trading system. This led the Wyandot's to rely on British support against the approach of the American's, who during the American Revolution (1776-1783), unsuccessfully sought to displace the British from Detroit.
Settlement of Marion County was delayed by provisions of the Greenville Treaty of 1795 and it was not until the land sales in 1820, following the War of 1812 that Marion was opened for legal settlers. Eber Baker and his family arrived in Marion County on March 4, 1821, an agent of Alexander Holmes, sent to plat a town. The County was authorized on February 20, 1820, along with 13 other northwestern Ohio counties, but was not separated from Delaware County until December 15, 1823. The state legislature named the County for General Francis Marion, an outstanding Revolutionary War patriot and guerilla fighter from South Carolina. Mr. Baker chose the same name for his new town. The County area was later diminished by the creation of Crawford, Wyandot, and Morrow counties and enlarged in 1848 at the expense of Delaware County.
Settlers came in earnest in the early 1820's, many of them veterans of the War of 1812, who had observed its excellent possibilities while accompanying armies through the area on the Harrison Trail. Pioneers also used this route, but the later opening of the Sandusky-Columbus state subsidized turnpike, laid out by James Kilbourne, brought in great numbers from the northeast, who found the Western Reserve Road to Fremont, and the Erie Canal providing access to Lake Erie shipping.
Settlement was facilitated by the U.S. government policy which granted lands to veterans in the Virginia Military District in the southern part of the County, who often sold them to settlers and speculators at low prices. Previous government surveys made the distribution an orderly and secure one. In addition to the native American stock which comprised the majority of the pioneers, the Pennsylvania Dutch and German immigrants provided the largest and most resourceful minority groups.
The County's growth has been steady. Its two greatest decades of increase being the 1830's and the period from 1910-1920. The 1830 decade was the one when the County's excellent corn and hog producing facilities were being fitted into the stream of commerce that was part of the Ohio Canal system. This gave the County access near Columbus to the Cleveland and Cincinnati markets.
During its early days, there was practically no manufacturing in Marion and in 1846, twenty-four years after the City was founded, its only industries were one sawmill and one carding mill. In 1863, Edward Huber invented a revolving hay rake which provided the beginning of an important industry for the City. In 1874, the first steam shovel was manufactured in Marion, and was known as "the shovel City of the world."
In 1852, Marion was connected with the outside world by the Bellefontaine and Indiana Railroad. By 1900 Marion had become a railroad center with nearly 40 passenger trains passing through daily and it had been transformed from a typical county seat of an agricultural county into a city humming with diversified industries and products that were nationally and internationally known. The decade from 1910-1920 saw Marion's greatest industrial growth and set the modern pattern for which Marion is noted.
PRESIDENT WARREN G. HARDING
ARREN GAMALIEL HARDING, twenty-ninth President of the United States, was born on November 2, 1865, at Blooming Grove, Ohio to Dr. George T. Harding and Phoebe Dickerson-Harding, both descendants of pioneer Ohio families. He was the first of their eight children.
In 1870, Dr. Harding moved his family to the village of Caledonia, in Marion County. Here, Mrs. Harding, a highly intellectual woman of a deeply religious nature, found time to rear her family and take an active part in the social and religious life of the community. Such was the background of Harding's boyhood. It was during these years, in the office of the Caledonia Argus, of which Dr. Harding was a part owner, that Harding became interested in printing, and served his apprenticeship to the press. During Harding's school days, he was the editor of the college paper and he showed rich promise as a young public speaker. In 1882, he received the degree of Bachelor of Science from Central Ohio College at Iberia, Ohio, an institution which is now defunct.
By this time the Harding's were living in Marion, and it was to Marion that Harding went after his graduation, armed with a degree, a printer's rule, and a fervent determination to make his own living. Before he became an editor he tried different trades in succession - teaching school, studying law, and selling insurance, all with, (to his mind) indifferent success.
In 1884, at the age of nineteen, Harding proposed to his father the idea of purchasing a half interest in The Marion Star, which he published successfully until he sold it to the Brush-Moore Syndicate in 1923. It was during the presidential campaign of 1884 that the future president became vitally interested in politics, and despite the crushing Republican defeat of that year, he courageously declared the editorial policy of the Star as Republican to the core.
In 1886, Mr. Harding became sole owner of the Star. Faced with the difficult task of building up the circulation of a Republican newspaper in a Democratic community, and harassed with financial difficulties and a pitiful inadequacy of equipment, he proved himself equal to the occasion. Slowly but surely he put the Star on sound financial ground. The fearless yet judicial essence of his editorials was rapidly becoming recognized throughout the state, and he was also achieving a reputation as a political speaker. During this period of his life, the editor formed a habit which he was never to discard - that of keeping in close touch with the individuals of the public which he served.
On July 8, 1881, Warren Harding was married to Florence Kling-DeWolfe, the daughter of one of Marion's foremost citizens. In the year before their marriage they planned and built the house which is now known as the Harding Home and Museum, located at 380 Mount Vernon Avenue.
Mrs. Harding was a source of both inspiration and helpful criticism to her husband during the years that followed. Hers was the chief force that built up the circulation department of the Star, of which she had charge, until the daily issue surpassed that of any other newspaper in a town of equal size in the country.
In 1900, Mr. Harding embarked upon a long and brilliant political career with his election to the Ohio Senate, in which he served two terms, from 1900 to 1904. In 1904, he was elected to the office of lieutenant-governor, and his political prowess was beginning to be nationally recognized. His campaign for the governorship of Ohio in 1910, met with defeat, due to the unfortunate split in the Republican Party but in spite of this fact, he defeated Senator Foraker in 1914, in the Republican primaries as a candidate for the United States Senate and was elected by a majority of 100,000 for the term (1915-1921). He sustained an honorable and a brilliant record in the Senate, and in 1916, he presided as chairman of the Republican National Convention in Chicago.
In 1920, backed by a local group of Marion friends and other supporters from his own state, he became a candidate for the Republican nomination to the presidency. The convention of 1920, in Chicago was one of the most stirring ever held in the history of the Republican Party because of the uncertainty of its outcome.
On the first ballot Mr. Harding received sixty-five and one-half votes, thirty-nine of which were from his own state. On the tenth ballot he secured the nomination with a vote of six hundred and ninety-two and one-half, only four hundred of which were necessary to his nomination. The slogan of his presidential campaign was "a return to normalcy." He did not stump the country, but conducted his campaign from the front porch of his home, where scores of delegations and thousands of individuals gathered to do him honor, and to express their ardent interest in the campaign. Mrs. Harding played an important part in this as in every activity in which her husband was interested. In the November election Mr. Harding won an overwhelming victory.
Mr. Harding resigned from the United States Senate in December, 1920, and was inaugurated on March 4, 1921. He was the eighth president to be elected from Ohio. He delivered his inaugural address and his first message to congress on April 2, 1921, voicing his hope for the country's return to normalcy. In the same message he advocated the adoption of a budget system, a complete revision of taxation, and flexible tariff regulation. He brought about the Washington Conference on Arms Limitation; both the conference and the introduction of the budget system were outstanding accomplishments of his administration.
Under his administration the vice-president became an important factor in the governmental regime, and to Mr. Coolidge, his successor, he left a well planned program of action. The Harding administration may well be characterized as wholly constructive, and he was perhaps the only man of his time who possessed the qualifications that were able to guide the United States through the dangerous period of reconstruction following the World War. He called to his assistance a group of able and distinguished citizens, and his Cabinet was one that will go down in history as notable for its statesmanship and ability.
Throughout his political career, President Harding preserved the wholehearted generosity of his youth, an element in his character which made him a beloved figure at home as well as abroad. He had a kindly and magnanimous disposition, always bestowing credit whenever and wherever due.
In June, 1923, President and Mrs. Harding embarked upon a trip across the continent and Alaska which ended in his tragic death on August 2, 1923, at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It was a grief-stricken nation that marked the progress of the funeral train from California to Washington. After appropriate service at the capitol, the cortege then proceeded to Marion, where the body of the President was placed in a temporary tomb. Mrs. Florence Harding lived only fifteen months longer than her husband. On December 21, 1927, after the completion of the beautiful Memorial, the bodies of both the President and Mrs. Harding were moved to this Memorial, their final resting place.
Plans for raising a Memorial fund were begun, shortly after President Harding's death, with the organization of The Harding Memorial Association on October 11, 1923. It was the purpose of the association to erect and endow a fitting memorial to the memory of the late President, and to plan for the perpetuation and maintenance of the Harding Home at Marion, Ohio.
A sum of $977,821.76 was raised for this purpose by popular subscription. There was over a million contributors from all parts of the United States, and the Philippines, as well as from several European countries. Included in the list of contributors were approximately two hundred thousand school children who contributed pennies to the fund.
Early in the year of 1925, a number of America's leading architects entered the competition for memorial design. The architects who conceived this unusual shrine are Henry H. Hornbostel and Eric Fisher-Wood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The commission was awarded to them because of the unusual beauty and simplicity of their design which was submitted, and because this plan in every respect deferred to the wishes of the President for a simple, under-the-sky burial. Edward P. Mellon of New York acted as professional advisor. The constructors of the Memorial were E. Elford & Son of Columbus, Ohio.
The first ground was broken for the construction of the Memorial on April 26, 1926, and the ceremony of the cornerstone laying took place on May 30, 1926. The stone, in which a collection of records and souvenirs was placed, was laid by Vice-President Dawes.
The stimulation given to the eminent architects of this country by a competition for a funeral monument to President Harding produced the present structure, unique in conception, interesting and beautiful in execution, and most appropriate to contain the sarcophagi of President Warren G. Harding and his wife, Mrs. Florence Harding.
The Harding Memorial is a circular monument built entirely of Georgia white marble, furnished by the Georgia Marble Company of Tate, Georgia. The only variation from the plain white marble is in the floor, where a mosaic style is produced with gray and white squares. Its appearance suggests in general a round Greek temple. Upon approaching the monument, one's curiosity is immediately aroused, since it has not the usual feature of a doorway, and on looking through the columns one sees that it has no roof and instead of being a sepulchral chamber it forms an open court, more aptly described as a cloister. The effect thus produced is not of a funeral or cemetery character, and being open to the sky makes it possible to have a garden plot surrounding the tomb.
The exterior colonnade stands entirely free from the circular wall behind it. The entrance is through this exterior colonnade and through a large opening in the wall behind it.
The open court is formed by a Greek Ionic colonnade applied to the inner side of the circular wall. The columns of this structure support a terrace which carries sufficient earth for permanent planting and is filled with green and purple myrtle. In the center of the myrtle bed, under the shade of a beautiful maple tree, are two black granite tombstones, distinguished only by two bronze wreaths at the head of each stone, one designed with palm leaves and the other with roses, indicating the respective places of Mr. and Mrs. Warren G. Harding.
The entire structure with its shrubbery and planting may be aptly described as a garden crypt. It is a shrine of sufficient beauty not to be forbidding or tomblike as is often the case in monuments of this character.
As a matter of interest, the circular form of the building was adapted by all peoples, at all times and of all religions. This may be explained by the fact that a circular building is more mysterious than the rectangular form, for it possesses no definite direction and no definite climaxes.
The monument produces an effect of mystery as viewed from a distance, possesses a sensation of surprise at close view, and gives a feeling of satisfaction on entering the court. Rarely has this combination of sentiments been fulfilled.
A free interpretation of Greek architecture was adapted; for Greek architecture, as modified by the Romans, is the established style for our modern formal buildings. This is exemplified magnificently in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The Harding Memorial differs from others in that it included no elaborate embellishments and no effigy, but only an inscription on the inner wall and two tombstones. It is this interpretation that makes the Harding Memorial so extremely interesting as compared to other memorials to other presidents.
The setting of the monument is very happy, for sufficient grounds have been provided to allow a fitting landscape composition. In general, rows of maples form the shape of a Latin cross, the tomb being placed at the intersection of the arms of the cross, while the main approach follows the tree of the cross. Behind the maples are clusters of trees and shrubbery.
The comment of a great number of visitors has been, that the Memorial is most fitting to commemorate a President of the United States whose personality and appearance are thought to be immortalized by this unique Memorial. This Memorial has received unqualified admiration and favorable criticism; so that it’s monumental and architectural quality can be considered as having been eminently successful.
In 2020 - the 100th anniversary of Warren G. Harding unveils the $7.3 million Harding Presidential Center, having two main components:
* Restoration of the 2,500-square foot house to its appearance in 1920, which is when Harding ran for president in his famous front-porch campaign. During a three-month period, more than 600,000 visitors came to Marion to hear Harding speak. Restoration experts have access to photos, newspaper articles - even wallpaper receipts - as they devise a plan to return the house to its 1920s look.
* Construction of a new, 15,000-square-foot presidential center, which will serve as a museum and meeting space.
The center is scheduled to open in the spring of 2020.
Visit the on-line Marion Area Chamber of Commerce
Member Directory @ http://business.marionareachamber.org/list/
Marion Area Chamber of Commerce
267 West Center Street, Suite 200
Marion, Ohio 43302
Web Address: www.marionareachamber.org