An Early History of Marion, Indiana

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The child sexual abuse attorneys in Marion are here to provide visitors and residents with a brief breakdown of the history of the city of Marion.

History of Marion

Marion is a city in and the county seat of Grant County, Indiana. In 1831, David Branson and Martin Boots each donated 30 acres of land for the site of Marion. Situated on the left bank of the Mississinewa, which means falling water, River, it was named after the "Swamp Fox" of South Carolina, the Revolutionary War General Francis Marion.

For the next 50 years, Marion grew steadily as an agricultural trading center with small farm- and forest-related industries. The river provided the area with water supply, power and drainage. In the 1880s, with the discovery of natural gas throughout Indiana, Grant County grew rapidly.

On August 7, 1930, two African American men – Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith – were lynched in Marion. While they were held in the county jail on charges of killing a white man and raping his girlfriend, a white mob of around 5,000 people gathered, dragged them outside, beat them up and proceeded to hang them. With these two men was James Cameron. However, before he was hanged, an unidentified woman spoke up and said he had nothing to do with the crimes. The following year, Cameron was convicted of accessory to murder and had to serve four years. After his sentence, he went on to become:

  • A civil rights activist
  • The 1942-1950 Indiana State Directory of Civil Liberties
  • The founder of three chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • The Madison County, Indiana chapter's first president
  • The founder of America's Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee

In 1993, the state of Indian gave an official apology and full pardon to James Cameron. In 2005, the U.S. Senate also gave him and other families of victims of lynchings an official apology. The 1930 lynching event in Marion signified the last confirmed lynching of African Americans in the state and in the Northern United States.

Learn more: Get To Know Michigan City, Indiana

Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University is the largest evangelical Christian university in the Midwest and the largest private university of Indiana. Established in 1920 as Marion College, the private evangelical Christian university is affiliated with the Wesleyan Church. It offers over 80 undergraduate degrees, 57 graduate degrees and nine doctorate degrees. The university's principal academic units are the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Nursing, the College of Adult and Professional Studies, the School of Health Sciences, the Graduate School, Wesley Seminary, and John Wesley Honors College.

Marion High School

Marion High School was established in 1891 to serve 9th to 12th grade students in the area. Ranked number two in the best public high schools in Grant County on Niche, it has a total population of 1,072 students and a student-to-teacher ratio of 17 to 1. Based on state test scores, 49% of its students are proficient in reading and 28% are in math.

However, Marion High School is not just a simple high school. It is one of the more notable architectural landmarks in Marion. The school is home to a 1,468-seat community auditorium that is one of the most important parts of the city. The auditorium houses the Community School for the Ares, the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Mississinewa Valley Community Band.

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Were you a victim of assault as a child? You may still be able to hold your offender accountable for the pain and trauma they caused. Call our Marion child sexual abuse lawyers today to determine the legal options you have available. We will work tirelessly to get you the justice you deserve.

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