Small Town Spotlight: Marion Center

Marion Center is a small town in northern Indiana County, settled in 1795 by a surveyor born in Ireland named John Park.  The town was originally called “Marion” in honor of American Revolutionary War hero, General Francis Marion.  John’s youngest son was Linton Park, today he is recognized as a primitive painter with many of his works hang in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. If you want to learn more about Linton Park, come visit the society and visit our book store where we have a book “Linton Park: American Primitive” by J. Neal Griffith for $11.99.

Logging Scene with Oxen by Linton Park

Like many other small towns, Marion Center was host to many businesses, including the Marion Center Milling Company and the Marion Center Creamery.  The Creamery was established in 1888 near the intersection of East Main St. and the Deckers Point and Rochester Mills Rd.  The plant had a daily capacity of 12 tones of milk, producing 2,000 pounds of butter.  However records fail to reveal operation from 1900 until 1904 when the building burned.  Linton Park who was residing in the structure lost many of his paintings in the fire.  On January 13, 1913, work on a new creamery was begun and by April 28 it was churning 1,000 pounds of butter per day.  It was operated by William Nicoson from 1924 until the June 30, 1954 when it was purchased by the Johnstown Sanitation Dairy Co. and then closed down production.

Small glass replica of a milk bottle used for advertising for Marion Center Creamery

Winfield Scott Shields

Marion Center was also the home Doctor Winfield Scott Shields, the last veteran of the Civil War in Indiana County to die.  He was a member of Battery G, First Pennsylvania Artillery, and was the great-grandson of Corporal John Shields who served in the Revolutionary War.  He was a doctor and pharmacist and operated the Shields Drug Store in Marion Center. Mr. Shields was born February 22, 1847 and died September 12, 1946, he was 99 years old.

Marion Center is also home to the Marion Center School District which was started in 1911, the current placement of the building was built in 1929.  The faculty was headed by William A. McCreery who began teaching at Marion Center in 1925 and was elected principle in 1928 serving until 1967, when he retired.

Marion Center Basketball Players 1930-1931

If you would like more information about Marion Center visit the Historical Society or think about reading Clarence Stephenson’s book “Marion Center-East Mahoning, The Centennial Story” available for $24.95.

A Lost Treasure: Ewing’s Mill

In 1838, Ewing’s Mill was erected by Christina Kellar, Jr.  It was powered by a water wheel until a turbine was installed during the 1870s.  In 1913, it was purchased by John Ewing and operated it until approximately 1954.  Between 1963-1966 it was restored to operating condition by Ray Rodkey.  In 1993 it was damaged as the result of an automobile accident and has since been torn down.

Ewing’s Mill

At one point the mill operated as a museum.  In the basement of the building was the turbine, along with a pair of mill stones which were Burr stones from France and were delivered by way of the Portage Railroad.  The grain was ground and delivered by the elevators tot he upper floors for processing.  The third floor contained the cleaning machine where impurities and foreign materials were removed from the grain.  Finally the fourth floor was the machine floor, the water powered wench raised the the grain on the outside of the mill from the second floor.