Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0020
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Full Text of HR0020  103rd General Assembly




HR0020LRB103 05804 MST 50824 r


2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives wish to congratulate Marion County on the
4occasion of its 200th birthday; and
5    WHEREAS, Marion County was organized on the 24th of
6January 1823 from portions of Jefferson and Fayette counties
7and was named in honor of Revolutionary War General Francis
8Marion, the "Swamp Fox", as recommended by State
9Representative Zadok Casey of Mt. Vernon, who would later
10serve as the 14th Speaker of the Illinois House; and
11    WHEREAS, Marion County is comprised of 576 square miles,
12572 square miles of land and 3.7 square miles of water; the
13southwest corner of Marion County is the intersection of the
14baseline with the Third Principal Meridian, the point of
15origin for the third survey of the Northwest Territory under
16the Land Ordinance of 1785; and
17    WHEREAS, Marion County consists of 17 townships, which
18includes Alma, Carrigan, Centralia, Foster, Haines, Iuka,
19Kinmundy, Meacham, Odin, Omega, Patoka, Raccoon, Romine,
20Salem, Sandoval, Stevenson, and Tonti, all or portions of the
21cities of Centralia, Kinmundy, Salem, and Wamac, all or
22portions of the villages of Alma, Central City, Iuka, Junction



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1City, Kell, Odin, Patoka, Sandoval, Vernon, and Walnut Hill,
2and the current unincorporated communities of Greendale and
3Tonti; and
4    WHEREAS, The permanent settlement of Marion County began
5with Captain Samuel Young and his nine-year-old son, Matthew,
6in 1818, prompted after the New Madrid earthquake and flooding
7of 1811; there were nearly 2000 people living in the county by
81823; and
9    WHEREAS, The history of Marion County is closely tied to
10the livelihood and commerce of agriculture, the development
11and expansion of railroads, the discovery of natural resources
12including oil and coal, and the impact and service of many
13public officials and leaders who have called Marion County
14home, including U.S. Secretary of State William Jennings
15Bryan, U.S. Senator Roland Burris, U.S. Congressmen James
16Stewart Martin, John Cunningham Martin, Charles Wesley
17Vursell, General Assembly Members Silas Bryan and John D.
18Cavaletto, and Presidential Press Secretary James Brady; and
19    WHEREAS, Ninety-five percent of the more than 1,000 farms
20in Marion County today are still family farms with 71%
21dedicated to the sale of crops (soybeans, corn, wheat) and 29%
22to the sale of livestock, poultry, and other products
23(hogs/pigs, cattle/calves, horses/ponies, sheep/lambs, goats,



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1chickens, and turkeys); and
2    WHEREAS, Seventy-nine farms are listed as Centennial Farms
3with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, 16 of which are
4recognized as Sesquicentennial Farms with continuous ownership
5in the same family for at least 150 years, including the Kuhn,
6Doolen, Snyder, Shanafelt, Garrett, Jones, Phillips,
7Stevenson, Brasel, Whitchurch, and Hanks families; and
8    WHEREAS, Marion County, specifically the county seat of
9Salem, earned the nickname "Gateway of Little Egypt" from the
10year 1831, when crops failed in the northern two thirds of
11Illinois and northerner's trips through the region for corn
12were compared to biblical accounts of Israelites' journeys to
13Egypt to purchase grain; and
14    WHEREAS, Marion County was a principal marketplace for red
15top hayseed, which was in great demand in Europe during World
16War I; it also boasts being recognized as the "Birthplace of
17the G.I. Bill of Rights" at the American Legion Post 128 in
18Salem; and
19    WHEREAS, The State's railroad history dates back to 1837,
20boasted over 12,000 miles of tracks during its "Golden Age",
21and, by 1856, was home to ten railroads; Marion County's
22history has been associated with the Chicago & Eastern



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1Illinois Railroad (C&EI), which became part of the Missouri
2Pacific in 1976 and is now the Union Pacific Railroad, which
3was established by Abraham Lincoln in 1862, and the Illinois
4Central Railroad, which merged in 1972 with the Gulf, Mobile,
5and Ohio Railroad to form the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad,
6which became the Canadian National Railway in 1998; and
7    WHEREAS, The Illinois Central, the original "Charter Line"
8from Freeport to Centralia, is memorialized by the 1970 Steve
9Goodman song, City of New Orleans; and
10    WHEREAS, The first oil well in Marion County was drilled
11near Patoka in the northwest section of Marion County,
12discovered by the Adams Oil and Gas company; by the end of
131937, there were 200 new producing wells in Illinois, 85 of
14which were in Marion County with 18 on the Merryman Farm near
15Patoka; and
16    WHEREAS, In 1938, the Salem Field was discovered in Marion
17County and produced more than 20 million barrels in its first
1812 months of operation from July 1938 to July 1939; Marion
19County alone produced 93 million barrels in 1939, with 259,000
20barrels daily in March of 1940; in 1942, Salem became the
21eastern terminus of a 550-mile petroleum pipeline from Texas;



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1    WHEREAS, Marion County boasts eight listings on the
2National Register of Historic Places, the Sentinel Building
3and Centralia Commercial Historic District of 55 buildings in
4Centralia, the Illinois Central Railroad Water Tower & Pump
5House and the Calendar Rohrbough House in Kinmundy, the
6William Jennings Bryan Boyhood Home, the Badollet House, the
7Charles and Naomi Bachmann House, and the Methodist Episcopal
8Church (Grace United Methodist Church) located in Salem; and
9    WHEREAS, The Illinois State Historical Society currently
10lists five historical markers in Marion County, commemorating
11William Jennings Bryan (dedicated 1962), the Half-Way Tavern
12(dedicated 1964), Salem (dedicated 1965), The Third Principal
13Meridian (dedicated 1976), and the Centralia Coal Mine No. 5
14Disaster (dedicated 1991); and
15    WHEREAS, The Illinois State Historical Society has awarded
16the Sesquicentennial House of Worship Award for a number of
17churches in Marion County who have continuously served for at
18least 150 years, including the Little Grove Christian Church
19in Walnut Hill (1838), the First United Presbyterian Church in
20Centralia (1856), and the First Christian Church in Centralia
21(1856); and
22    WHEREAS, The Salem Historical Commission has also
23recognized the Lemen-Frakes House on their local registry for



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1its connection to Abraham Lincoln, Rev. Benjamin Lemen and
2Mary (Rand) Lemen, who co-founded the first college in
3Illinois, and the Sobieski Polish Royal Family; and
4    WHEREAS, The Salem Historical Commission, the Marion
5County Genealogical & Historical Society, the Centralia Area
6Historical Society, and the Kinmundy Historical Society all
7help promote the rich history of Marion County; therefore, be
11we congratulate Marion County on its 200th birthday and
12acknowledge all of the contributions by the residents,
13churches, community organizations, farmers, families, factory
14workers, and community leaders that have had an impact on our
15State and the nation; and be it further
16    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
17presented to the Marion County Board as an expression of our
18respect and esteem for a vibrant first two hundred years and a
19leading example of progress.