Marion County Commissioners issued a proclamation on January 2 supporting the 200th Anniversary of the founding of Marion County and all of the Bicentennial activities and celebrations planned throughout 2020. Pictured are steering committee members with county commissioners: Ellen Messenger, Commissioner Andy Appelfeller, Randy Winland, Commissioner Kerr Murray, Mark Holbrook, and Commissioner Ken Stiverson. Additional steering committee members include: Sherry Hall, Shannon Morris, Brandi Wilson, Vicky Branson, Tara Dyer, Brett McCrery and Mike Brewer.
The area that is now Marion County has been part of seven different counties beginning in 1788: Washington, Hamilton, Wayne, Ross, Franklin, Delaware, and Marion. Marion County was created by the Ohio Legislature in 1820. Its boundary was changed in 1845 when land was transferred from several of the northern townships to Wyandot County as part of its formation. In 1848, five townships in Marion County were switched to Morrow and Wyandot Counties with the areas that are now Prospect and Waldo townships changed from Delaware County to Marion County.
Among the early visitors and later inhabitants of what is now Marion County were American Indians who passed through the area on a series of trails originally created by wildlife such as bison, deer, and elk. These trails were first utilized by the Indians for access to hunting and foraging as well as travel between settlements and to trading areas. Among the trails were the Scioto, Owl Creek, Moccasin, Pluggy, Tymochtee, and Winnemac. Many of these eventually evolved into highways that are still in use today.
Artist’s concept drawing of Wyatt’s Tavern and Fort Morrow, one of the first recorded locations in what is now Marion County.
One of the first recorded locations in what is now Marion County was once the site of a tavern and also a fort. Nathaniel Brundige and Nathaniel Wyatt, along with their families, arrived in Marlboro Township in Delaware County in 1806. In 1809, Wyatt built a tavern on an old settler’s road below the Greenville Treaty Line near the Olentangy River north and east of what is today the crossroads of Norton. Soldiers under the command of Captain Taylor built a fort around the tavern for use as a depot for supplies and then traveling north. It was named it Fort Morrow in honor of Jeremiah Morrow, Ohio’s Governor at the time.
The historical marker at the site of Jacob’s Well on Delaware Avenue in Marion.
Troops during the War of 1812 passed through what would one day become Marion City and County on a “military road” that ran from Lake Erie to the Greenville Treaty Line. The road had been created by a treaty with the American Indians. One of the first sites in Marion County to appear on early maps was the result of the efforts of a surveyor named Jacob Foos who was passing through what is now the area adjoining Marion Towers on Delaware Avenue. Foos camped in the area and dug a “well” to find a source of fresh water. The site eventually became known as “Jacob’s Well” and was a stopping point for troops passing through the area.
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