Marion, Iowa - History

History

The town was named after Francis Marion, a hero of the Revolutionary War. The site was selected in 1839 to be the first county seat of the newly-organized Linn County, Iowa. After years of debate over moving the county seat to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, it was put to a vote in 1919. The vote was 9,960 in favor of moving the seat and 4,823 not in favor.

The town was the home to St. Berchman's Seminary, established in 1905 by the Sister's of Mercy as a boarding school for small boys. The academy, which closed in 1942, consisted of five buildings spread over 23 acres. One of the most famous residents was actor Don Ameche, who lived in the facility as a boy; he went on to star in the movie Cocoon. Today, the main building, now housing apartments, is all that remains.

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