At the banking house of J.S. Reed & Company, a meeting was called on July 3, 1857 to consider the necessity for a suitable cemetery for Marion county residents. The existing cemetery facilities were in disrepair and located where funerals were often interrupted by passing trains, or by saloons adjoining the property. The Marion Cemetery Association was formed when the following individuals signed the original articles;
John Ault, J.S. Reed, S.S. Bennett, H.A. True, J.J. Williams, B.H. Williams, Patten & Wallace, John Ballentine, J.B. Dumble, E. Peters, J.W. Bain, Bowen & Beerbower, J.H. Goodman and W.H. Series.
Soon after the articles were signed, a committee was formed to locate land on which to develop the proposed cemetery. A suitable site was found on the southern edge of the city and 47 acres were purchased at a cost of $4,347.50. On May 3, 1858 three acres were sold to the Roman Catholic Church of Marion for burial purposes subject to the rules and regulations of Marion Cemetery. In 1882, additional acreage was purchased bringing the total to 58 acres. At present, the total acreage is 150 acres with approximately 18 acres available for additional development.
Today, a board of trustees establishes the rules and regulations for the cemetery, and is responsible for management of the property. Marion Cemetery is a not-for-profit organization. Ownership of the cemetery lies with the Association, subject to the interest of those holding rights to burial lots, crypts and cremation niches.
Throughout the cemetery are monuments which carry the names of Marion’s founding families, local, national and international statesmen, heroes from all wars, and others from every nationality, faith and walks of life. In addition, visitors to Marion Cemetery will be able to see Ohio Champion Trees and many species of wildlife. Migrating birds have captured the public’s eye while making their migratory passage and returning in the spring.
From the fall colors of the changing trees to the vibrant colors of spring tulips, beauty abounds at Marion Cemetery. The cemetery is truly a sanctuary to be appreciated by the living as much as it is intended to serve as a memorial for those who have gone before us.