George B. Christian, Jr. and the rise of Industrial Marion
by Douglas Christian Roberts
At the turn of the twentieth century, Marion was a town on the grow. Businesses like the Marion Steam Shovel Company and Huber Manufacturing sold products across the nation. Several railroads provided the means to ship materials in an efficient fashion. Another type of Marion business was also finding great success but perhaps without the fanfare of some of those more well-known.
The limestone quarrying industry served as a backbone for the commercial and residential building boom that Marion and other cities were experiencing. At the heart of this industry stood a self-made man whose past was a story of efforts leading to success. George B. Christian had served in the Union Army when just a lad. He later worked as the editor of the Marion Democratic Mirror newspaper before entering the quarrying business. For more than forty years, he worked supervising and owning quarries in Marion and Delaware Counties while serving as one of the great boosters of Marion commerce. Christian also became a close acquaintance of Warren G. Harding and encouraged him to run for president.
Based on extensive archival research conducted on behalf of Christian’s descendants, author Joel Miyasaki shares not only the fascinating story of one of Marion’s leading businessmen but also of the growth of the town itself.
All proceeds from the sale of the book are being donated to the Marion County Historical Society, as well as the Harding Home and Museum, through the generosity of Douglas Christian Roberts and other Christian family descendants who sponsored Miyasaki’s research and publication.
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