City of Marion
West Center Street in downtown Marion in 2007.
City of Kings
Location of Marion in Marion County and the state of Ohio
|• Total||11.82 sq mi (30.61 km2)|
|• Land||11.74 sq mi (30.41 km2)|
|• Water||0.08 sq mi (0.21 km2) 0.68%|
|Elevation||981 ft (299 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||3,137.7/sq mi (1,211.5/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
43301, 43302, 43306, 43307
|GNIS feature ID||1061473|
The population was 36,837 at the 2010 census. According to the US Census 2017 estimate Ohio's Columbus–Marion–Chillicothe Combined Statistical Area has 2,481,525 people. Marion is the county's largest city and the center of the Marion Micropolitan Statistical Area (as defined by the United States Census Bureau in 2003). President Warren G. Harding, a former owner of the Marion Star, was a resident of Marion for much of his adult life.
The city and its development were closely related to industrialist Edward Huber and his extensive business interests. The city is home to several historic properties, some listed on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Marion County, Ohio.
The mayor of Marion is Scott Schertzer.
Marion was laid out in 1822, and is named in honor of General Francis Marion. It was incorporated as a village by the Legislature of Ohio in its 1829-1830 session. On March 15, 1830, Marion elected Nathan Peters as its first Mayor. 
Marion was one of Ohio's major industrial centers until the 1970s. Products of the Marion Steam Shovel Company (later Marion Power Shovel) built the Panama Canal, the Hoover Dam, and dug the Holland Tunnel under the Hudson River. In 1911, 80% of the nation's steam shovel and heavy duty earth moving equipment was manufactured in Marion, Ohio.
NASA contracted with Power Shovel to construct the crawler-transporters that moved the assembled Saturn V rockets, used by Project Apollo, to the launch pad to deliver astronauts into space and to the Moon.
The city is also a rail center for CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Marion has long been a center of grain based (corn and popcorn) snack and other products (Conagra, Wyandot Snacks) given its close proximity to nearby growing regions in adjacent counties. Whirlpool Corporation is the largest employer in the city operating the largest clothes dryer manufacturing facility in the world. Nucor Steel's facility in Marion is the largest producer of rebar and signpost in Ohio.
Marion, like many small American cities, has progressed in its sensibilities around race. During the 1800's Marion served as a stop in the Underground Railroad known in Ohio as the River to Lake Freedom Trail. In 1838-1839 a runaway slave was arrested in Marion and, due to confusion around his legal name, was released. A number of Virginians seeking to reclaim him for his owner brawled in the courtroom in response. The former slave was spirited away by Marion abolitionists and he ultimately made his way to Canada. In February 1919, nearly all of Marion's African American residents were driven out of town in response to an attack on a white woman. Marion subsequently became a sundown town, where African Americans were prevented from residing. President Harding, in spite of criticisms, employed African Americans at the Marion Star. In the 1920s, Marion city and Marion County supported Native American Jim Thorpe and his efforts to field an all–Native American NFL team called the Oorang Indians. In the 1970s, Dr. Dalsukh Madia, an Indian American, became head of the Smith Center at Marion General Hospital (now part of OhioHealth). Today, people of color constitute 14% of Marion's population.
Marion is located at (40.586579, -83.126404).
The city is located about 50 miles (80 km) north of Ohio's capital city, Columbus, due north along U.S. Route 23. Marion occupies most of Marion Township, which is located just outside the city limits.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.82 square miles (30.61 km2), of which 11.74 square miles (30.41 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.21 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 36,837 people, 12,868 households, and 8,175 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,137.7 inhabitants per square mile (1,211.5/km2). There were 15,066 housing units at an average density of 1,283.3 per square mile (495.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.7% White, 9.6% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 1.1% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.0% of the population.
There were 12,868 households of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.0% were married couples living together, 17.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.5% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.00.
The median age in the city was 37.3 years. 22.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.7% were from 25 to 44; 26.6% were from 45 to 64; and 12.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 54.9% male and 45.1% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 35,318 people, 13,551 households, and 8,821 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,111.6 people per square mile (1,201.4/km²). There were 14,713 housing units at an average density of 1,296.8 per square mile (500.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.40% White, 7.01% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.64% from other races, and 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.34% of the population.
There were 13,551 households out of which 31.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,124, and the median income for a family was $40,000. Males had a median income of $31,126 versus $22,211 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,247. About 10.9% of families and 13.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.2% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.
While Marion and the surrounding area is generally rural, it is a major manufacturing center for Ohio with a nexus of talent drawn from the US and internationally, as well as a well-positioned transportation hub. with U.S. 23 serving as a major connection to Interstate 80 and Interstate 90 through Detroit and Toledo to the north, and connections to Interstate 71 and Interstate 70 through nearby Columbus. One of the largest intermodal facilities is located in Marion, which provides rail and local truck delivery services for Whirlpool, International Paper and major automotive parts manufacturers, among many others. Whirlpool's dryer manufacturing facility in Marion is the largest in the world, producing over 20,000 dryers daily.
The unemployment rate for Marion County as of May 2018 was 4.0%. 
According to the Marion Chamber of Commerce  and Marion CanDo (the economic development office of Marion), the largest industrial employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|6||Union Tank Car Company||250|
|8||US Yachiyo, Inc.||240|
Like most of Central Ohio, Marion has been experiencing an economic resurgence since the end of the Great Recession. Ohio is the second largest steel producing state in America, and local employer Nucor Steel, whose Marion facility is the largest manufacturer of rebar and signposts in Ohio, announced in March 2017 it was spending $85 million on a modernization program. Also in 2017 POET announced it was spending $120 million to more than double its ethanol manufacturing capacity to 150 million gallons a year.
MarionMade!, an advertising campaign, is designed to promote positive news about the area's people, places, products, and programs. The MarionMade! advertising program won a 2017 PRism Award from the Central Ohio Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
The Palace Theatre (c. 1928) is a 1440-seat atmospheric theatre designed by John Eberson in the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture style. It has been in continuous operation since it opened on August 30, 1928. Restored in 1975, it is one of only 16 remaining Eberson-designed atmospheric theatres still in operation in the United States today. Eberson designed the theatre for Young Amusement Company, at an original cost of one-half million dollars. Inside, the auditorium resembles an outdoor palace courtyard, complete with a blue sky and twinkling stars. It has many original Pietro Caproni sculpture castings. The theatre is registered on the National Register of Historic Places. Adjoining the theatre is the May Pavilion, a two-story event space for chamber orchestra concerts, jazz and soft rock bands, amateur theatre productions of plays and small cast musicals, wedding receptions, graduation parties and meetings.
The theatre presents touring artists and children's theatre. During the off-season and at other times during the year when the theatre would be otherwise dark, non-equity amateur theater musicals, community band concerts and high school productions are presented on the main stage and in the smaller May Pavilion. The theatre also exhibits current motion pictures.
Heritage Hall & the Old Post Office The Old U.S. Post Office (Marion, Ohio) was built in 1910. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (1990). The building is now used as the Heritage Hall museum of the Marion County Historical Society. The museum is dedicated to the preservation of Marion County, Ohio history.
Wyandot Popcorn Museum Heritage Hall is also home of the Wyandot Popcorn Museum, the "only museum in the world dedicated to popcorn and its associated memorabilia." Opened in 1982 prior to the second Popcorn Festival, the museum's collection consists of classic antique poppers made by Cretors, Dunbar, Kingery, Holcomb and Hoke, Long-Eakin, Excel, Manley, Burch, Star, Bartholomew, Stutsman and Advance. Not only is it one of only two Popcorn Museums in the world, it also represents the largest collection of restored popcorn antiques.
Warren G. and Florence Kling Home A national presidential site, the Harding Home was the residence of Warren G. Harding, twenty-ninth president of the United States. Harding and his future wife, Florence, designed the Queen Anne Style house in 1890, a year before their marriage. They were married in the home and lived there for 30 years before his election to the presidency. Like James A. Garfield, an earlier U.S. president from Ohio, Harding conducted his election campaign mainly from the house's expansive front porch. During the 3 month front porch campaign, over 600,000 people traveled to the Harding Home to listen to the candidate speak. Harding paid $1,000 to have a Sears catalog house built behind his home so newspaper reporters had workspace to type their stories. The press house is also open to the public. The site is being expanded to include a Presidential Center for Harding, expected to be opened in 2020, the 100th anniversary of Harding's election to the Presidency.
Huber Machinery Museum This museum contains examples of Edward Huber's early steam and gasoline tractors and road-building equipment. Huber Manufacturing introduced a thresher in 1875, a steam traction engine in 1898, its first motor graders in the 1920s, a primitive hydraulic control in 1926, and the first Maintainer, a tractor-sized integral motor grader, in 1943. Other Huber products included wheel tractors, agricultural equipment, and three-wheel, tandem and pneumatic rollers.
Marion Union Station and Museum More than 100 trains pass by Union Station every day. The museum showcases an impressive collection of memorabilia and the AC Tower, which was once the main switching facility for the Erie Railroad, Marion Division. During World War II, thousands of soldiers passed through Union Station on their way to Europe.
Annual events and fairsEdit
Marion is home to the Marion Popcorn Festival, an annual event that is held in downtown Marion in September, the weekend following Labor Day. The Marion County Fair is held every year in Marion during the first week of July. Saturday in the Park is a children's festival that is held each year in Lincoln Park.
Among Marion's radio stations are WMRN (94.3FM) country music station, WMRN (1490AM) news/talk (clear channel), WOSB (91.1FM) NPR News and classical music station, WYNT (95.9FM) adult contemporary station, WDCM (97.5FM) community radio, WDIF-LP (97.5 FM) blues radio and WWGH-LP (107.1) talk radio.
WCBZ-CD, also known as TV-22 Marion, is a Class A broadcast television station featuring local news and original programming. WOCB-CD is an independent Christian inspirational low-power television station on digital UHF channel 39, broadcasting local church services and programs and public events throughout central Ohio.
Redbrick Social Media is also based in Marion, and provides a wide array of online and digital marketing services to local business, with the goal of helping Marion business thrive.
Marion and Marion County has a rich sports history. The Oorang Indians, a traveling NFL team based in nearby LaRue, played their only true "home" game in Marion in 1923. It is the former home of the Marion Blue Racers, an indoor football team in X-League Indoor Football; the Marion Mayhem, also an indoor football team in the CIFL; and a professional ice hockey team, the Marion Barons, which played in the International Hockey League during the 1953-54 season.
Marion and Marion County has been home to numerous individual and team high school state championships. In the early 1980s, Tina Kneisley was a national and world roller skating champion in pairs and ladies freestyle, and Scott Duncan was a WUSA National Champion in wrestling.
Marion City Schools enroll 4,206 students in public primary and secondary schools. The district administers 8 public schools including six elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.
Marion city has the central branch of the Marion Public Library.
In addition to the City schools, Marion and Marion County educational opportunities include the St. Mary's School, the Elgin Local School District, the Pleasant Local School District, the Ridgedale Local School District, and the River Valley Local School District.
Marion is also home to Tri-Rivers Career Center and Center for Adult Education offering career technical educations to high school and adult students in Central Ohio. Tri-Rivers is the site for RAMTEC—the Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative.
Marion is home to two institutions of higher learning. However, local students have opportunities to enroll in college credit courses from a number of colleges and universities in Ohio while attending those courses at their local school.
Ohio State University has a regional campus at Marion.
Marion Technical College, a community college that shares the Marion Campus with OSU.
Transportation services are available from local air charter companies and taxi services. Also, Marion has a Greyhound Bus terminal.
The Harding Home was the residence of Warren G. Harding, twenty-ninth president of the United States. Harding and his future wife, Florence, designed the Queen Anne Style house in 1890, a year before their marriage. They were married there and lived there for 30 years before his election to the presidency.
Harding Memorial (Harding Tomb)Edit
The Harding Memorial, as it was called by thousands of people, including schoolchildren who donated to its construction fund, is the burial location (tomb) of the 29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding and First Lady Florence Kling Harding. Later referred to as the Harding Tomb, it is located at the southeast corner of Vernon Heights Boulevard and Delaware Avenue. Construction began in 1926 and was finished in early 1927, the Greek temple structure is built of white marble. Designed by Henry Hornbostel, Eric Fisher Wood and Edward Mellon, the structure is 103 feet in diameter and 53 feet in height. The open design honors the Hardings' wishes that they be buried outside.
Hotel Harding (The Harding Centre)Edit
Constructed in 1924, the Hotel Harding was developed in a hope of benefiting the post-White House plans of President Harding. It was hoped by local entrepreneurs that the hotel would provide lodging for Warren G. Harding's visitors who came to Marion after his presidency. It was located close to Union Station, the city's main rail station. The building is no longer used as a hotel. Renovated in 2005, the building is now an apartment style community for all, and as residence for OSUM students. Its lobby has been restored to much the same condition as the original.
Merchant Family Memorial (The Rotating Ball). Marion Cemetery is the home to the Merchant family grave marker, known for its unintended movements. The marker consists of a large grey granite pedestal capped by a two-ton granite sphere four feet in diameter. The sphere moves on its base a 1/4 to a 1/2 inch every year, as measured by the distance traveled by the unpolished spot from where it was mated to the pedestal. While the movement of the sphere is thought to be facilitated by freeze-thaw cycles, earth tremors, or trapped air or water under the base, there has been no conclusive explanation for patterns that the sphere seems to follow. The movements of the sphere have been documented by numerous news outlets and it has been featured in Ripley's Believe it or Not (September 29, 1927). This has also been documented in Frank Edwards' book, Strange World, from an edition in the early to mid sixties. There are several web pages on the internet concerning this tombstone.
The Receiving Vault. The Marion Cemetery Receiving Vault is a funerary structure in the main cemetery of Marion, Ohio, United States. Constructed in the 1870s, this receiving vault originally fulfilled the normal purposes of such structures, but it gained prominence as the semipermanent resting place of Marion's most prominent citizen, U.S. President Warren G. Harding.
Marion is both the hometown and burial location of President Warren G. Harding and First Lady Florence Harding. It is also the birthplace and childhood home of Norman Mattoon Thomas, four-time candidate for President of the United States under the Socialist Party of America ticket and co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Harding's sister, Carolyn Harding Votaw, also lived in Marion. During Harding's administration, she was appointed to head the social service division of the U.S. Public Health Service, while her husband was named Superintendent of Prisons and chairman of the boards of parole at each institution. Mrs. Votaw also served as an advisor to the Federal Board of Vocation Education within the Veterans’ Bureau, which caused her name to arise during testimony in the successful prosecution of the Bureau’s director, Charles R. Forbes, on corruption charges.
Elsie Janis, the Broadway musical theatre star, Hollywood screenwriter, composer and actress, and "Sweetheart of the American Expeditionary Forces" (AEF) during World War I, was a native of Marion County.
Mary Ellen Withrow (née Hinamon), Treasurer of the United States from 1994 until 2001 is a Marion County native. Withrow is the only person in the history of the United States to have held the governmental position of Treasurer on the Local (Marion County Ohio Treasurer), State (Treasurer of the State of Ohio) and Federal levels of Government.
Jim Thorpe spent time in Marion County as the coach and lead player for the Native American-led National Football League Oorang Indians. While the team was based in LaRue the Indians played at "home" in Marion.
Other notable people who lived in Marion include:
- Brian Agler, former head coach of basketball's Columbus Quest and current head coach for the Los Angeles Sparks
- Bob Allen (shortstop) (1867–1943), shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Beaneaters, and Cincinnati Reds, manager with the Phillies and Reds; as a youth, he played baseball with Warren G. Harding
- Eber Baker, founder of Marion
- Larry Barnett, umpire 1969-1999 Major League Baseball; worked infamous Game 3 of 1975 World Series and 1996 American League Championship Series that involved fan young fan Jeffrey Maier
- James A. Beckel, Jr., composer
- Ozias Bowen (1805–1871) was an Ohio Supreme Court Judge 1856-1858; his residence is owned by the Marion County Historical Association, which operates it as the Stengel-True Museum
- Nan Britton, author of The President's Daughter and mistress of President Warren G. Harding
- George H. Busby, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
- Jack (John) Cade, Civil War spy, who had a bounty placed on his head by the Rebel Army
- John Courtright, pitcher at Duke and first professional pitcher to face Michael Jordan in the minor leagues; pitched in one Major League game May 6, 1995 for the Cincinnati Reds
- Daniel Richard Crissinger, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and 14th Comptroller of the Currency
- John Dean, lawyer, Nixon Administration official and Watergate personality
- Jeanne Dietsch, New Hampshire state senator; former tech entrepreneur & journalist
- James H. Godman, Ohio state auditor (1864–1872)
- Shawn Grate, convicted serial killer
- Tommy Griffith, player for Cincinnati Reds
- Toby Harrah, MLB player, 4-time All-Star, coach with the Detroit Tigers
- Steven Hicks, front office, Minnesota Vikings
- George Hogan, baseball player
- Edward Huber, industrialist and inventor of the gasoline-powered tractor
- Aubrey Huff, Major League Baseball player for the San Francisco Giants
- Elsie Janis, early 20th Century singer, songwriter, actress, and screenwriter. First female announcer for the NBC radio network.
- John A. Key, member of House of Representatives
- Florence Kling DeWolfe Harding, wife of Warren G. Harding, First Lady of the United States, 1921–1923
- Huey Lewis, singer and songwriter, lived in Marion from 1951–57
- Ed McCants, basketball player, college All American and Horizon League player of the year 2000, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee "All Decade Team" (2000)
- Walter McClaskey, member U.S. House of Representatives
- O.J. McDuffie, football player, wide receiver for Penn State and NFL's Miami Dolphins
- Rick Mills, glass artist
- Steve Mills, juggler
- Grant E. Mouser, U.S. House of Representatives (1905–1909), who in 1905 and 1906 added a total of $95,000 in appropriations to build the Old Post Office
- Grant E. Mouser Jr., U.S. House of Representatives (1929–1933)
- Gerry Mulligan, saxophonist, composer, jazz artist also known as "Jeru"
- Taya Parker, model
- George Pfann, football coach, elected to the College Football Hall of Fame
- Carrie Phillips, mistress of Warren G. Harding, only woman known to have blackmailed a major American political party successfully
- Doug Sharp, Olympic bobsled medalist
- Bill Sims, blues musician
- Frederick C. Smith, member of House of Representatives and physician
- John Vornholt, author of Star Trek novels and screenwriter
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- Hall, Sherry Smart. Warren G. Harding and the Marion Daily Star: How Newspapering Shaped a President. Charlotte, NC: The History Press. 2014.
- Overman, William Daniel (1958). Ohio Town Names. Akron, OH: Atlantic Press. p. 83.
- Leggett, Conaway. The History of Marion County, Ohio: Containing a History of the County; Its Townships, Towns, Churches, Schools, Etc; General and Local Statistics; Military Record; Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men; History of the Northwest Territory; History of Ohio, 1883, page 510.
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- "Underground Railroad marker returns". The Marion Star. Gannett Company. May 17, 2016. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- Hudson, J. Blaine (2006). "Anderson, Bill". Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-7864-2459-7 – via Google Books.
- "Negro Exodus Out of Marion". The Mansfield News. Mansfield, Ohio. February 4, 1919. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.
'T. N. T.' (Travel, nigger, travel) placarded over the west side yesterday caused a great scattering of Marion's negro element following the brutal attack of Mrs. A. E. Christian, Sunday and the arrest of George Washington Warner, colored, known in police circles as 'Squires'. Today police estimated that over 200 negroes had left town, almost the entire colored population of the city.
- Loewen, James W. (2005). Sundown Towns : a hidden dimension of American racism. The New Press. p. 13, 197, 281. ISBN 156584887X.
In 1920, Warren G. Harding ran his famous 'front porch campaign' from his family home in Marion, Ohio; a few months before, Marion was the scene of an ethnic cleansing as whites drove out virtually every African American. According to Harding scholar Phillip Payne, 'As a consequence, Marion is an overwhelming[ly] white town to this date .'
- Terborg-Penn, Rosalyn (1998). African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. p. 143. ISBN 0-253-33378-4 – via Google Books.
One of the biggest attacks from his critics was about the very thing that attracked Black women to his campaign. Harding was critized because the newspaper office that he and his wife owned in Marion, Ohio, was staffed by women and African Americans.
- Willis, Chris (May 5, 2017). Walter Lingo, Jim Thorpe, and the Oorang Indians: How a Dog Kennel Owner Created the NFL's Most Famous Traveling Team. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 95. ISBN 9781442277656 – via Google Books.
But for the next two years, some newspapers would label the Indians as hailing from Marion. … Only the town of La Rue would get shortchanged. It wasn't until years later that Lingo would mention that La Rue, not Marion, was the home of the Oorang Indians, further stumping historians and writers throughout the decades in their documentation of the history of the NFL. Rest assured, La Rue was indeed the home base of the Oorang Indians.
- Jarvis, John. "A 'great facilitator' retiring". The Marion Star. Marion, Ohio: Gannett Company. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
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- Whirlpool Corp. Marion. MarionMade! February 17, 2017 http://www.marionmade.org/2017/02/whirlpool-corp-marion/ Accessed May 18, 2017
-  Accessed July 6, 2018
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- Portman Welcomes Expected Multi-Million Investment to Modernize Nucor Steel Facility in Marion County. portman.senate.gov March 22, 2017 https://www.portman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2017/3/portman-welcomes-expected-multi-million-investment-to-modernize-nucor-steel-facility-in-marion-county Accessed May 6, 2017
- Malone, JD. Poet Biorefining to spend $120 million to expand Marion ethanol plant. Columbus Dispatch May 17, 2017 http://www.dispatch.com/business/20170517/poet-biorefining-to-spend-120-million-to-expand-marion-ethanol-plant Accessed May 18, 2017
- MarionMade! Initiative Receives P.R. Award Marion Star May 18, 2017 http://www.marionstar.com/story/news/local/2017/05/18/marionmade-initiative-receives-p-r-award/327569001/ Accessed May 18, 2017
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- greatschools. "Marion City School District Profile". Retrieved 2013-12-04.
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- Carr, Dillon (15 September 2016). "Grate's ex-wife releases statement". Richland Source. Retrieved 30 November 2017.