Samuel Plato Honored in Louisville

Marion architect and civic leader Samuel Plato was honored February 17th, 2019 in Louisville,  Kentucky by the Kentucky Historical Society with the placement of a historical marker at Temple AME Church. Attending from Marion were Bill Munn SOS President, Sue Munn and Moriah McReynolds. Also attending was Paul Hayden Regional Coordinator for Indiana Landmarks.

After the the unveiling, Martha Kunnecke Board Chair of the Samuel Plato Academy of Historic Preservation Trades gave the dedication address.

Memorial window placed in the Temple AME Church by Samuel Plato

“Marion Studio Project Grows In City’s Downtown”


Photo by Eric Helvie

The Marion Studio Project, located at 803 South Washington is featured in an article on WBST by Sara Barker. Organizer Eric Helvie and residents Madison Moser and Sophie Stewart discuss the scope and purpose of the effort to connect local young artists with the arts community in New York City.

Listen to the report in full by clicking the link below

Marion Studio Project Grows in City’s Downtown

The Front Porch

My grandparents would sit on the front porch every evening from late spring to early fall marking the official beginning and end of porch weather. The cushions on the glider bore the imprints of both of them, grandma’s on the right, and grandpa’s on the left.

From their perch, they would survey the neighborhood, spectators to the continuous baseball game going on in the lot across the street.

Next to the glider was a wicker basket filled with prewar National Geographics and post-war Arizona Highways. No radio, no television, air conditioning supplied by rice paper fans sent home from Hawaii by Aunt Bonnie.

From after dinner to the cool of the evening they sat and then repaired to bed.

What are your stories of the front porch?

Bill Munn



The Mystery of the Tunnels Solved

Marion Light


The mystery of the tunnels solved! As work proceeds on the restoration of downtown buildings reports of bricked-up basement tunnels come to light. What were they used for?

The answer is steam heat. From 1907 to 1959 the steam by-product of local electric utilities was used to heat building in downtown Marion.

1890 -1904  Marion begins to electrify. Small-scale production- Fifth and Nebraska, current from traction lines, home generators. The Glass Block at Third and Boots  – gas fired boiler drove a120 KW generator enabled   for steam to heat several buildings along the square

In 1907, a larger plant was needed to meet increased demand. A new facility was built on N.Branson  Marion Light and Heating served over 1000 customers. Rate 12.5 cents/kilowatt hour. One of the first turbine generator. The fuel was changed to coal due to the gas production decline. The boiler was initially hand fed in early days until stokers were brought in.

1907  MLH became American Gas and Electric.

1918 Muncie and Marion’s firms became General Service.

1923 – The rate lowered to 7.5 per kilowatt hour.

1948  GS merged with Ft.Wayne Indiana Service became  I and M.

1953- Branson St. plant generated its last electricity.

1959 – Last steam was generated.

1960- The building was demolished.



Sandborn Insurance Map 1906

Centennial History of Grant County

Marion Chronicle-Tribune 04.25. 1962


by William F. Munn 

“Celebrate the Past” broadcast on WBAT AM  09.17.2018


The Most Modern Hooks Drugstore in Marion: Every Building Tells a Story

July 4th, 1940 the most modern Hooks drugstore in Indiana opened at 4th and Washington Street in Marion, Indiana. The exterior of the store was constructed of structural glass and stainless steel. The soda fountain was 36 feet long and was equipped with modern refrigeration and sewage disposal. The right side of the store was for cosmetics and general merchandise displayed in mahogany and white cabinets. Store manager B.F. Pulley announced the completion of the store by Bowman Construction at the cost of $35,000. The store was air conditioned to “a comfortable 70 degrees in hot weather. William Feightner did the electrical work. Lininger and Company was the plumbing contractor.
from Marion Chronicle July 5, 1940
William Munn “Moments in Grant County History” WBAT 1400 AM

Is the American Dream Alive in Marion/Grant County?


By Bill Munn

What are the outcomes for children raised in our community? Will they earn more income than their parents? Is the American Dream of upward mobility possible for our children in Marion/Grant County? What are the factors affecting this dream? In what ways is our community fostering or hindering this goal.

The Opportunity Atlas is a product of  Opportunity Insights a collaboration between Harvard University and the US Census Bureau  whose mission is to “…develop  scalable policy solutions that will empower families throughout the United States to rise out of poverty and achieve better life outcomes.”

The information provided by the Atlas is designed to gather data down to the street level, conduct research, study policy, and aid local communities in identifying needs and constructing scalable programs seeking to revive the American Deam.

The URL is provided below. It is user-friendly take a look at where you live, you may be surprised.