Marion County Courthouse in 2009
|Nickname(s): 'The Land Between Two Lakes"|
Location within Marion County (left) and Kansas (right)
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Platted||1866, 1871, 1873|
|• Mayor||Mary Olson|
|• City Clerk||Angela Lange|
|• Total||2.99 sq mi (7.74 km2)|
|• Land||2.98 sq mi (7.72 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)|
|Elevation||1,312 ft (400 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||1,878|
|• Density||640/sq mi (250/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|FIPS code||20-44750 |
|GNIS feature ID||0477366 |
Marion is a city and the county seat of Marion County, Kansas, United States. It was named in honor of Francis Marion, a Brigadier General of the American Revolutionary War, known as the "Swamp Fox". At the 2010 census, the city population was 1,927.
For many millennia, the Great Plains of North America was inhabited by nomadic Native Americans. From the 16th century to 18th century, the Kingdom of France claimed ownership of large parts of North America. In 1762, after the French and Indian War, France secretly ceded New France to Spain, per the Treaty of Fontainebleau. In 1802, Spain returned most of the land to France, but keeping title to about 7,500 square miles.
In 1803, most of the land for modern day Kansas was acquired by the United States from France as part of the 828,000 square mile Louisiana Purchase for 2.83 cents per acre. In 1806, Zebulon Pike led the Pike expedition westward from St Louis, Missouri, of which part of their journey followed the Cottonwood River through Marion County near the current cities of Florence, Marion, Durham. In 1848, after the Mexican-American War, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo with Spain brought into the United States all or part of land for ten future states, including southwest Kansas.
In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state. In 1855, Marion County was founded. The city of Marion Centre was founded in 1860 and became the county seat. A post office was established in Marion Centre on September 30, 1862 then was renamed to Marion on October 15, 1881. The namesake of the city is Francis Marion.
As early as 1875, city leaders of Marion held a meeting to consider a branch railroad from Florence. In 1878, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and parties from Marion County and McPherson County chartered the Marion and McPherson Railway Company. In 1879, a branch line was built from Florence to McPherson, in 1880 it was extended to Lyons, in 1881 it was extended to Ellinwood. The line was leased and operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The line from Florence to Marion, was abandoned in 1968. In 1992, the line from Marion to McPherson was sold to Central Kansas Railway. In 1993, after heavy flood damage, the line from Marion to McPherson was abandoned. The original branch line connected Florence, Marion, Canada, Hillsboro, Lehigh, Canton, Galva, McPherson, Conway, Windom, Little River, Mitchell, Lyons, Chase, Ellinwood. Later, the Santa Fe depot building was converted into the Marion Library. Most locals still refer to this railroad as the "Santa Fe".
In 1887, the Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway built a branch line north-south from Herington through Marion to Caldwell. It foreclosed in 1891 and was taken over by Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway, which shut down in 1980 and reorganized as Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas Railroad, merged in 1988 with Missouri Pacific Railroad, and finally merged in 1997 with Union Pacific Railroad. Most locals still refer to this railroad as the "Rock Island".
In 1889, the Marion Belt and Chingawasa Springs Railroad built a 4.5-mile (7.2 km) railroad from Marion north-east to Chingawasa Springs. A hotel was built near the site of the spa at Chingawasa Springs, and a depot and eatery as well. Both Santa Fe and Rock Island offered round trip fares from Chicago and western cities to Chingawasa Springs. An economic panic in 1893 closed down the health spa and hotel, and quarry business along the tracks never developed sufficiently. In 1893, the railroad ceased operations, and tracks were removed in 1910.
In 1937, the Marion County Lake was completed by the Civilian Conservation Corps south-east of Marion for the purpose of recreation. There were numerous floods during the early history of Marion. In June and July 1951, due to heavy rains, rivers and streams flooded numerous cities in Kansas, including Marion. Many reservoirs and levees were built in Kansas as part of a response to the Great Flood of 1951. From 1964 to 1968, the Marion Reservoir was constructed north-west of Marion. Downstream from the Marion Reservoir, levees were built in the low areas of Marion and Florence.
In 2010, the Keystone-Cushing Pipeline (Phase II) was constructed west of Marion, north to south through Marion County, with much controversy over road damage, tax exemption, and environmental concerns (if a leak ever occurs).
Marion is located at  in the Flint Hills. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.99 square miles (7.74 km2), of which 2.98 square miles (7.72 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.(38.348952, -97.016037),
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Marion has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Marion has five listings on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
At the 2010 census, there were 1,927 people, 846 households, and 514 families residing in the city. The population density was 646.6 per square mile (249.7 /km2). There were 973 housing units at an average density of 326.5 per square mile (126.1 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.6% White, 0.6% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population.
There were 846 households of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.3% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.2% were non-families. 36.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.90.
The median age was 44 years. 24.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20.5% were from 25 to 44; 25.6% were from 45 to 64; and 23% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.
At the 2000 census, there were 2,110 people, 859 households and 556 families residing in the city. The population density was 948.6 per square mile (367.0/km²). There were 968 housing units at an average density of 435.2 per square mile (168.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.58% White, 0.05% African American, 0.81% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.24% from other races, and 1.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.37% of the population.
There were 859 households of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.8% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.94.
25.5% of the population were under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 26.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 86.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.0 males.
The median household income was $32,125 and the median family income was $42,202. Males had a median income of $30,907 compared with $23,929 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,464. About 5.3% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.5% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.
The Marion government consists of a mayor and four council members. The council meets every other Monday at 4:30pm.
The Marion High School mascot is a Warrior. All high school athletic and non-athletic competition is overseen by the Kansas State High School Activities Association. For the 2010/2011 seasons, the football team competed as Class 3A. Recently,[when?] the City of Marion and Unified School District 408 jointly built a gymnasium and indoor swimming pool. Located just south of Marion Elementary School, the pool is open all year round and the gym has a walking track above a sunken gymnasium floor. The bond issue that financed the project also built a new auditorium on the Marion High School campus.
Each USD 408 school has a library for student access. The city is served by the Marion City Library at 101 Library Street. The library is a member of the North Central Kansas Libraries System, which provides an inter-library book loan service between its members.
U.S. Route 56 runs along the city's northern side, and U.S. Route 77 is 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the city. Kansas Highway 256 runs through the center of town as Main Street, past the east end business section, Marion High School and the downtown business district. A regional Kansas Department of Transportation office is located on the north side of Marion at the corner of U.S. Route 56 and Cedar Street. The Oklahoma Kansas Texas (OKT) line of the Union Pacific Railroad runs north-south through the city. Marion Municipal Airport, FAA:43K, is located south-east of Marion and centered at .
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