Marion is one, if not the, oldest towns in Union Parish. Marion was settled by pioneers from Alabama. Marion was named after Marion, Alabama, which was the old hometown of Marion's first settlers. The earliest known family was the David Stewart family. In 1832, they built a log cabin four miles south of the present day Marion. Other early families were the Whittles, the Repponds, and the Briands. The greatest influx of settlers was in the 1830s. The first record of land sale was on June 13, 1839. The land was sold to Pascal Traylor by the United States Land Office for $379. This area of land is now the center of town. Other families before 1850 the John Traylors, the Powells, the Larkins, the Georges, the Greens, the Lunsfords, the Adams, the Cooks, the Hills, and the Thomas families.
Early Important People: L.E. Thomas was born in 1866. He is one of Union Parish's illustrious sons. Mr. Thomas became Speaker of the House of Representatives. L.E. Thomas was the State Bank Examiner. He then served as mayor of Shreveport for eight years. Dr. John Traylor supposedly built Marion's first store. Pascal Traylor built the first saw mill. Elias George built the first large house in Marion, now known as the Hopkins House. This home was the inspiration of Anna Portesque Harrison's "In the Gloaming".
Early Businesses: The Marion Post Office was originally opened on March 18, 1846. It was discontinued in 1867. Then reopened in 1869. Marion has many churches, the Methodists, the Baptist, Assembly of God, Marion Baptist, and Steadfast Love Ministries. Marion State Bank was chartered on February 7, 1907. Marion State Bank has been serving customers with branches in Marion, Farmerville, and Sterlington. They have ATMs located in Marion, Farmerville, Sterlington, and Bernice. Marion State Bank has been "growing by helping others grow" for m0re than 100 years!
"In the Gloaming" Story: Marion was the settling place for Anna Portesque Harrison's song, "In the Gloaming". The story is that in 1854, Mrs. George died and left her husband and nine kids on their own. Reverend George advertised for a governess and music teacher in New Orleans newspaper. He wanted someone to watch his children and to teach his daughters to play music. Mrs. Harrison was hired as the governess and her daughter, Anna Portesque Harrison, was hired to teach the piano and violin. Back then, as it is now, the George home, now known as the Hopkins' house, was the perfect setting for romance. The 18 year old Anna, was very beautiful. She is said to have caught the eye of every available bachelor and many were always at the George home. Soon, Anna met Miles Goldsby. Miles Goldsby was a handsome and dashing member of one of the oldest and most prominent families of the time. It is said the two fell in love almost instantly. However, Mrs. Harrison, Anna's mother, strongly disapproved of the relationship, probably because of stories she had heard of Miles' amorous adventures of the past. Miles would call on Anna at night. The couple would sit in the lamplight of the parlor. Mrs. Harrison was always nearby. Soon, Miles starting calling on Anna when Mrs. Harrison was busy in the late afternoon. The two would walk hand in hand through the George gardens in the gloaming. Mrs. Harrison was quick to call Anna inside when darkness came. Miles soon left on a trip and Mrs. Harrison convinced Anna that Miles was not right for her and that they should return to New Orleans. A heartbroken Anna agreed with her mother and returned to New Orleans, never to see Miles again. In New Orleans, a lonely and still broken-hearted Anna composed the music to "In the Gloaming". The words were written by Meta Orred, who was inspired by Anna's description of her romance in Marion. The story ends with being sold to the Hopkins' family. Miles and Anna never saw each other again. Miles found short happiness in marriage, but died a violent death by jumping from an upstairs window into the shadows of the oaks beneath which he and Anna had walked. "In the Gloaming" was and still is a beautiful love song, that will long be remembered.
Marion is known as the "Friendly Community". For more information, visit Union Parish Tourist Commission website!
The Mayhaw Festival is customarily held on Mother's Day each year. Family, friends, and guests are welcome to come and taste the famously delicious Mayhaw Jelly! Mayhaw Jelly is good on just about anything, especially a hot buttered biscuit! For more information, click on the Mayhaw Festival tab!
Town of Marion
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