History of Marceline

Note: The following article containing a history of the first 50 years of Marceline was reproduced from the 1938 Golden Jubilee edition of the Marceline News. Floyd C. Shoemaker, secretary of the State Historical Society of Missouri, has written the following interesting and complete history of Marceline. Mr. Shoemaker is a Linn County product, having been born and reared at Bucklin. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. F. C. Shoemaker at Bucklin and he is well known in Marceline. Mr. Shoemaker is recognized generally as the best authority in the state on Missouri history.

Closely identified with the story of the great expansive movement of the Santa Fe railroad in the 1880’s and 1890’s, is the history of Marceline, located in the southeast corner of Linn County, Missouri. Comparatively little has been written, however, about the history of this Missouri railroad city, the “History of Linn County of 1912” containing probably the most complete account.

In 1886 the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway the ancestor of the great “Santa Fe system,” was making plans to build a line direct from Kansas City to Chicago, and then on west. Past experiences had shown the railway men that it was necessary to have division or terminal points at certain specified intervals, but in this proposed Kansas City-Chicago route the land stretched one hundred miles northeast from Kansas City in open prairie, settled only by scattered farmers and their families. So the officials and engineers of the railroad went to work, buying up land, and before the end of the year, surveys were begun. A corporation known as the Santa Fe Land, Town, and Improvement Company was formed, to own and take charge of the sale of the land for a proposed city to be used as a division point. Two Kansas men, Joseph Hemmings, and D. W. Finney, an ex-lieutenant governor of that state, were put in charge of the business of the company. In 1887 construction work was begun on the railroad and the next year, on January 28, 1888, the first town lot was sold in the newly-platted division point of the railway, which was to be known as Marceline.

The town was incorporated on March 6, 1888, almost fifty years after Linn County itself was organized in 1837. Temporary officers were appointed to serve until the first election. These officers were A. D. Reynolds, mayor; J. H. Perrin, W. S. Thomas, George Levan, and J. E. Dorsey, aldermen, and Joseph Turner, as marshal. At the first regular election held in Marceline, J. W. McFall, a lawyer, was elected mayor; J. A. Runyon, marshal; Jeff Hurt, police judge; C. D. Watkins, city attorney, Joseph Hemmings, clerk, and Dr. Garner Ladow, W. S. Thomas, Dr. J. H. Perrin, and J. E. Waller, aldermen.

Marceline received its name at the request of one of the directors of the new railroad, whose wife bore the somewhat Spanish name of “Marcelina”. So with a change of the last vowel, this became the name of the new railroad city.

The growth of Marceline was reminiscent of western boom towns, and indeed its early appearance was that of a western settlement. There was an air of bustling and hurrying about the whole area, new buildings sprang up almost overnight it seemed, and the ambitious and adventuresome mixture of people that usually make up the population of new boom towns soon moved in. Excerpts from the Brookfield Gazette of this time tell us something of the growth of the town. On December 15, 1887, a notice from Marceline says that “the engineers who have been laying off town lots left on Tuesday, having staked out several hundred acres – enough to supply the demand until milder weather… Lots will not be offered for sale for a week or two yet, but parties are taking possession of them, intending to pay whatever price is put on them.” The notice also describes the depot and round house being constructed at that time by the railroad company, and notes that “parties representing about every kind of business are here, or are coming as soon as they can buy lots. We look for a grand rush with the opening of spring.” Some weeks later, on January 19, 1888, the paper reports that ‘the sale of lots will begin in a few days. Gov. Finney arrived on Tuesday and will open an office and commence business early next week.” This same paper mentions that prices have been put on the lots ranging from $40 to $400. By this time, too, five stores were completed, and a good many smaller buildings were in the process of construction. Two weeks later, on February 2, another item tells of the establishment of the Santa Fe station-agent, train-dispatcher and telegraph operator in the new offices, and the beginning of operations at the depot. Prices on lots had gone up, too… “choice lots selling from $50 to $150 advance on first prices.” The post office was in operation in the office of the “Town Company” by this time, and persons were directed to send their mail to “Marceline, Linn county, Mo.” Buildings were, the paper reported, “going up in all directions.”

The new city grew so rapidly that six months after the first lot was sold it boasted a population of 2,500. It soon outgrew the original plat, indeed, and the Marceline Town and Land Company‘s addition was laid out. Since that time there have been several other additions platted. Marceline’s present population, as shown by the United States Census of 1930, is 3,555, making it the second largest town in Linn County, surpassed only by Brookfield. This number, however, shows a small decrease from the 1920 figure of 3,760, but the percentage of decrease is virtually the same as the decrease for the same period in the population of the entire county.

With the development of the railroad a need for fuel along the line became apparent- After some prospecting, Captain C. U. Wheelock located a vein of coal. Because of a peculiar miner’s superstition that luck would come if the first spadeful of earth was thrown by a lady, Mrs. Lillian Green, wife of one of the promoters, turned the first shovel of dirt and in her honor the shaft was named Lillian Shaft No. 1. When further developments showed prospects of important coal beds, the Kansas & Texas Coal Company took over the mines, and after that time they operated under several different interests, among them the Marceline Coal & Mining company, which operated the shafts for some time after 1907. The property around Marceline still yields a quantity of coal. The report of the Department of Mines and Mining in Missouri for 1937 lists one mine, the Chariton Coal Company, at Marceline, and ranks Linn county as 13th in coal producing counties of the State, although ranking 8th in value of coal production.

It was not until 1903 that the Missouri division of the Santa Fe was created by a splitting of what was known as the Chicago Division, and the office of the superintendent of the Missouri division, general foreman of bridges and building, the division engineering department and their forces were located in Marceline. This naturally made Marceline a more important railroad center, and many improvements were made in the facilities of the Santa Fe. The roadbed was enlarged and a division office and freight house were built. As Marceline is a freight division point of the railroad and freight crews are changed here, many of the employees of the company make their home in Marceline and the railroad payroll is one of the chief sources of the income of the citizens. The railroad, which originally, of course, owned all the land on which Marceline was platted, has given many acres to various public projects. Its employees organized the Country Club, which started in 1912, has grown extensively. There is now a club building, a lake, and well kept grounds. The Santa Fe also maintains a reading room in Marceline for its employees.

With the passing of the boom days and the additional developments and stabilization of its railroad offices, the businesses of the town took on a more permanent and conservative air. The lumber yards are among the first industries mentioned in early accounts of the city, the Brookfield Gazette on February 2, 1888, reporting that “our two lumber yards are doing a thriving business and the third one will be open in a few days.” The Bank of Marceline was also opened in 1888, and together with the Santa Fe Exchange Bank, another pioneer financial institution, cared for the city’s finances in the 1890’s during a period of intense speculation and exorbitant values on real estate.

The first theatre, a brick and stone building, was erected in the winter of 1888-89. Up until 1891 no saloons could legally be established in the town, but speakeasies and gambling houses, so characteristic of boom towns, began to spring up, and for a time there seemed to be a lawlessness about the town that was typically “western”.

Although the early business establishments clustered around Santa Fe Avenue, the development of the railroad served to draw business farther south of that street, and now the southwestern part of the city seemed to be its most thriving business district.

The first newspaper of the city, the Marceline Journal, began publication around June, 1888, and it was closely followed by the appearance of the Marceline Mirror, which put out its first issue in August of that year. The Journal was a Republican paper, and The Mirror followed a Democratic policy. These two weekly publications were united around 1912 to form the Journal-Mirror. In 1913 the Marceline Herald, also a weekly, was begun, and the union of this paper with the Journal-Mirror in 1929 formed the Marceline News, the present paper of the city, which put out its first issue on June 7, 1929.

Many denominations of religious groups moved into the city soon after its settlement, and in 1888 there were branches of the Baptist, Christian, Cumberland Presbyterian, Catholic, and the North and South Methodist churches established. The Protestant denominations met in a building known as Crumley’s hall, while the Catholics held services in Senncrich’s hall, on another street. St. Bonaventure’s church of the Catholic congregation was one of the earliest religious homes erected, with Rev. Thomas J. Burke as the first pastor. The First Methodist Episcopal church also erected its structure in 1888, and in the course of years other denominations erected new and modern structures. The two branches of the Methodist church were united in Marceline in 1908, and a new building was erected.

The first term of school is said to have been held in Marceline in the fall and winter of 1888-89, with five teachers employed. The high school was established in 1895, with the first class, consisting of three pupils, graduating in 1896. The Missouri School Directory of 1937-38 lists Marceline’s high school as a first class school, with an assessed valuation for school purposes of $1,278,225. The enrollment is listed at 280, with 11 teachers employed. The enrollment of the elementary school is quoted at 495, with 16 teachers, and the elementary school for colored children with 24 enrolled and 1 teacher. A new high school building was erected in 1929. St. Bonaventure’s parochial school was founded in 1911.

During the early days of the city, it was troubled by a great many fires, some thought to be of incendiary origin, and for quite a time was completely without fire fighting apparatus or an adequate water supply. Almost every newspaper issued from the town even as late as 1899 reported a serious fire somewhere in the district. When Walter Cash was elected mayor of the city in 1898, one of the first acts of his administration was to secure a vote of the city favoring the purchase of a fire engine, which, although it was crude and not very fast, nevertheless offered some protection to Marceline residents. It was during Mr. Cash’s administration as mayor, too, that Ripley Square, a beautiful little park, was developed.

Agriculture is an important industry around Marceline, and although it is not the county seat the town Itself serves as an excellent market for a trade area consisting of parts of three counties Linn, Chariton, and Macon. Corn and oats are probably the leading field crops of the district. Dairy products, poultry, and livestock are profitable industries, and the creamery and butter industry in Marceline is one of the more successful businesses in the town.

Bonds for a water works and reservoir were voted by Marceline in 1908, and the system was completed the following year. Paving projects and a sewer system have also been developed. Pumping stations for two large oil companies were located in Marceline, and these have also proved major assets of the city.

A modern hospital was constructed in 1922.

This year, 1938, is a milestone in the history of Marceline. From this half-century mark of its existence, the citizens of Marceline have an opportunity to look both backward and into the future. In the past there is the almost “magic growth” that accompanied the town’s early years. And looking forward, the natural resources, prosperous surrounding farmlands, excellent transportation facilities , and energetic citizens of Marceline, seem to mark it for even more progress and even higher standards in the future.

The highlights of Marceline’s History beginning with the year 1938 through 1963 were written by the following: Gary Freeman, Penney East in, Jim Moore, Ann Payden, Alison Porter, Diane LaBow, and Hannah Fisher, under the supervision of Mrs. Coral Payden.


  • Although seven wells had been abandoned, the search for oil continued. The operators of the wells reported that they planned to try again on other sites.
  • Ninety-six students were enrolled in St. Bonaventure School. The largest freshman class since 1931 enrolled in MHS. School teachers received S790 per year salary.
  • The “oil well fever” had struck Marceline along with the rest of North Central and Northwest Missouri. W.E. Heryford had started buying leases for an oil company.
  • The Roundhouse whistle was again sounding. Three more men were put back to work there.
  • The annual Red Cross appeal for funds was sponsored by several civic organizations in Marceline and Harry Carter was named chairman of the soliciting committee.
  • John Fuhrman, Linn County Superintendent of Schools, was elected State Rural School Program chairman for 1939. The Missouri State Teachers Association held their annual meeting in Kansas City.
  • Silvey Ray, a native of Chariton County and for twenty-three years an employee of the Kansas City Star, was soon to have his drawing of President Roosevelt hung in the National Press Club.
  • The mother of Walt Disney was suffocated by gas fumes.
  • The oil lease boom was at its height. Approximately 133 Linn County leases had been signed.


  • About two million acres of land in. North Missouri were reported to have been leased to oil companies.
  • Two students from Marceline, Vends Seals and Helen Herndon, won prizes at a meeting of Negro educators while representing Lincoln School.
  • Charles Oldham was chosen to represent Linn County in a state assembly of high school students.
  • Funds were voted by the City Council and work was started on a new jail. The city also planned an extension of the engine room at the Light Plant.
  • Messrs. Neason and Wilson were elected to the City Council.
  • Natural gas was found on a Carroll County farm and hopes were raised in Marceline.
  • A Santa Fe train was derailed, but the 101 passengers were spared injury.
  • It was reported that the amount of mail passing through the post office was increasing.
  • 1940
  • It was reported that Red Cross funds collected in Marceline were to go into the fund for relief of war victims in Europe.
  • The search for oil in Missouri was abandoned.
  • Marceline had its first display of nylon hosiery at the Myers Clothing Company.


  • Mrs. Henry Dorrell was notified of the death of her son, Lester, following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Lester was serving aboard the U.S.S. Arizona. Tony Dorrell was reported missing in action.
  • Urban Neff, brother of John Neff of Marceline, was reported safe after the attack on Pearl Harbor.


  • Gas and rubber rationing started In January. It was reported that citizens of Marceline had bought $54,300 worth of war bonds.
  • First aid and civil defense classes had started and scrap iron and old papers were being collected to help the war effort. Marceline ranked No. 1 for junk collection.
  • Sugar rationing was started and Marcelinians were notified that they must register for gas ration books.
  • Paul King became another of the long list of casualties.
  • One thousand Bibles, donated by Ross McAllister, were sent to men in the service.


  • Food rationing was started in January. Approximately 3,500 food rationing books were given to residents of Marceline.
  • Marceline ranked first in Missouri in the sale of war stamps.
  • Marcelinians donated eighty thousand cigarettes’ to be sent overseas to servicemen.


  • A canteen was planned in March of 1944 with the Army Mothers sponsoring the project. The aim of this project was to give free coffee, dough­nuts, and sandwiches to the servicemen passing through Marceline.
  • The Marceline Flying Club was organized in June.
  • As No. 23 paused at Marceline on July 4, the canteen served two hundred servicemen fried chick­en. It is not known how many chickens or cakes were served but over twenty-five gallons of lemon­ade and twelve gallons of iced tea were consumed.
  • In August, the schools collected milkweed pods for use in life preservers and jackets.
  • In November, Henry Miller received first prize in the Santa Fe garden event. His prize was $300 in war bonds.
  • “Give gifts to the men who gave!” was the slogan of the American Legion and the Auxiliary who sponsored the giving of gifts to the service­men in the hospitals.
  • Chicken dinners were again served to two hundred and eighty servicemen at the station in December.


  • Wedding bells rang for Esther Belle Wheeler and a noted musician in March of 1945.
  • In April a collection was taken for clothes. The garments were used to clothe the war victims.
  • Community Sales were started in Marceline and Charley Edgar was put in charge of the weekly auctions.
  • A big day not only for Marceline but also the whole country came in May when Germany sur­rendered.
  • A celebration on the Fourth of July again was held in 1945; the canteen again served fried chick­en to the servicemen.
  • Elmo Buck had the pleasure of dining with President Truman.
  • The county fair was revived in 1945 under the management of the Marceline Chamber of Com­merce.
  • On Tuesday, August 17, 1945, Japan sur­rendered to the all led nations and the war was over!!
  • In September, the Marceline canteen ends its excellent service by serving 116,800 servicemen.
  • A patriotic project was undertaken in October by the B.J. Thomas Shop. The project consisted in free servicing 5,000 GI uniforms.
  • The Catholic Order to operate the Putman Memorial Hospital was purchased in October.


  • In 1946 Marceline ushered in the new year by welcoming home one hundred veterans. A dance was held in their honor.
  • A service office to aid veterans was opened in January. It served twenty-three counties.
  • In April Harold Payden was elected mayor.
  • The dedication of the hospital was planned for August.
  • In May a new broadcasting system was to be installed in the Methodist Church. The new system would make it possible to hear music two miles away.
  • The Eastern Star celebrated its 50th anniver­sary with two hundred and fifty attending the meeting.
  • The hospital was officially opened August 15, 1946.
  • Juanita Snowden was crowned Miss Marceline of 1946 in October.


  • During the year of 1947, there was “Round and Square” dancing held every Tuesday night at Cater’s Opera House. From 8:00 to midnight music was sup­plied by the “Happy Valley Boys “led by Hoppy Ratliff.
  • In the spring of 1947, an American Legton Junior baseball team was organized.
  • In March the Bucklin Herald was purchased by the Marceline News.
  • April brought about the employment of fifty men by the Moore Fan Factory.
  • For all you dog-lovers, May 16 was another day for dog vaccinations.
  • The month of June saw the arrival of weekly band concerts every Thursday in the city park.
  • The latter part of June saw the Santa Fe battling flood waters from the Missouri River.


  • On August 27, 1948, new lights were installed at the athletic field.
  • In October of the same year, garbage service was started.
  • The dedication of the Veterans Home took place on November 5, 1948.


  • On January 7, 1949, the Marceline Post of the American Legion was given a national citation.
  • Another noteworthy incident in January, 1949, was the attendance of Mr. Truman’s inauguration by five Marceline women (with special personal invi­tations).
  • On February 18, 1949, the French Gratitude Train stopped in Marceline, bearing gifts for “Americans.”
  • Five Protestant churches took part in the Work! Day of Prayer services held in Marceline.


  • On January 6, 1950, petitions were received by the city for a City Manager. A special election was held on the 20th of the same month.
  • In February, the city purchased parking meters, and in the following month “dial” telephones were installed.
  • Also, March saw the planning of a new addition to the hospital.
  • On July 7, contracts for the new hospital wing were considered.
  • In July, petitions to ban street carnivals were received bv the city.


  • The third annual Marceline HighSchool Home- coming was planned on October 19, 1951.
  • On November 2, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Payden opened their new furniture store.
  • In the month of December, a parade and com­munity talent program were held as part of the Christmas festivities.


  • On September 19, 1952, Marceline welcomed its first school nurse.
  • In October, a Community Chest drive was launched.
  • November saw the favoritism of the Demo­crats of Marceline for “Ike” Eisenhower in the national election.
  • In the same month, Jo-Ann Washburn was delegate to the National 4-H Club Congress.


  • The Miller-Tillotson Funeral Home opened in the month of June, 1953.
  • June 19, 1953, marked the organization of a V.F.W. Post in Marceline.
  • Also in June, a city manager, Albert Noland, Jr., was selected by the City Council.


  • The year of 1954 was Marceline’s first under a city manager form of government. The system was so well received that it was renewed.
  • In August, the city retired a fire engine which had served the city for 24 years.
  • August 27, 1954, was the date of the class re­union for the class of 1918.
  • September 10, 1954, marked the dedication of the new light system for Main Street.
  • November of the same year brought about the debut of a validating machine and a new city tax system.


  • During the year of 1956, Marceline continued its climb upward to become a town of opportunity, mod­ernization, and influence.
  • The first significant move arrived on March 9, with the power commission approving the site and giving the go ahead to install natural gas lines in Marceline. The townspeople would now be able to dispense with obscure heating stoves and to install modern furnaces.
  • On April 20, the park and recreation center, which included a beautiful new swimming pool, was officially named the Walt Disney Park, after Marceline’s famous native son. Little did we know then that on July 4, Mr. Disney himself would re­turn to Marceline and dedicate the park. The effect this announcement had on the town was fantastic. Preparation immediately began to make Mr. Disney’s visit enjoyable and to show him the great admiration we felt for him.
  • The dedication of the park was held on July 4. Throughout the day Mr. Disney, accompanied by his brother Roy, was constantly on the go touring Marceline and the surrounding area where he spent his boyhood. So that Mr. Disney could have a chance to meet and talk with the people of Marceline, a reception was held at the Santa Fe Country Club. The day was topped off with Miss Deanne Kelly being crowned Miss Fourth of July at the official dedication of the Walt Disney Pool. In a speech given at this ceremony, Mr. Disney told of a few pleasant memories he had of Marceline. Walt Disney left Marceline, but the jubilance which his visit had aroused was to remain in Marceline for many days to come.
  • Marceline’s new “swimming hole” had a record of 2,474 persons its first week. People of all ages enjoyed the facilities at our new park.
  • In appreciation of this, on August 17, the Marceline High School band presented a concert at the pool, which was followed by a water carnival.
  • The excitement over, Marcelinians again set­tled down into their routines.
  • Excitement came again, however, in the form of a dog poisoning. Family pets were fed food con­taining arsenic. On October 12, a reward of $245 was offered for the arrest of the offender. Who this person was is still a mystery to Marceline.
  • Thus, Marceline started into a new year. What would happen in the future no one knew. But, for the past, Marceline had many memories of pleasant events and some that were not so pleasant. What­ever would happen, Marcelinians could accept in their stride and continue upward to make our city a better place to live.


  • Darlene Rose Midgyett, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Midgyett, was Marceline’s New Year’s Baby. She was born January 8, 1959.
  • Mrs. George Burch made her television debut January 15, on Jack Bailey’s “Queen for a Day.” Mrs. Burch ran a close second to being chosen queen.
  • February 19, marked the 50th anniversary of Albert Zurcher’s jewelry business in Marceline.
  • The Catholic Church was heavily damaged by a fire on March 19. The damage was estimated at $30,000. The inside of the church had to be com­pletely redone.
  • May 7 was Student Government Day. This was the time high school students were selected to run the city. Louise Mendenhall was chosen mayor; Shane Cavanah was selected city manager; Richard Crippin was police judge; Roger Briggs, James Haney, John Still, and Eddie Buckley were council­men.
  • On June 11, the announcement was made that Cole Hendrix would be our new city manager and would take his office in August.
  • Drive-In Worship services were started in June. The services, sponsored jointly by the Methodist and Christian Churches, wore held at the Star Drive-In every Sunday morning.
  • Bron Construction Company submitted the low­est bid and received the elementary school contract.
  • The first “Buffalo” burgers to be eaten during the July celebration were made from a half-ton buffalo that the Jaycees bought. The buffalo was put on display.
  • Linda Collins, Little Miss 4th of July, and Sharon Richeson, Miss 4th of July, reigned over the July 4th activities.
  • On July 30, the school board announced that the new grade school being built would be named the Walt Disney Elementary School. In September, Walt Disney wrote a letter to the school board thank­ing them for the honor of having the school named after him. Mr. Disney sent an architect to decorate the building with the famous Disney characters. He also gave the school the playground equipment, a flag pole from Squaw Valley, and film strips and projectors.


  • The biggest event which occurred in Marceline in 1960 was a return visit of Mr. Walt Disney. This time the purpose for Mr. Disney’s visit was to ded­icate the new elementary school which bears his name. Prior to Disney’s visit, the art director from his Hollywood studio was sent here to install in our school murals depicting famous Disney characters. October 16 was proclaimed Walt Disney Day.
  • On October 13, Mr. Disney arrived by train to make his second visit to our fair city. The same af­ternoon, our school was officially dedicated. The program consisted of a band concert, the laying of a cornerstone, and the presentation of a flagpole, purchased for our school by Mr. Disney from the Squaw Valley Olympic Games. He also gave our school a flag like the one that flies above Disneyland. The playground equipment, also donated by Disney, was found to resemble many of the rides at Disneyland.
  • The Junior Chamber of Commerce sponsored an old-fashioned barbecue at the Disney Park after the school dedication. The Shrine Drum and Bugle Corps from Kansas City was hired to perform at the picnic.
  • After Mr. Disney left, Marceline again realized the greatness and generosity of this “hometown boy” who made good.
  • On December 1, Marceline was again honored by a famous visitor. The famous violinist Rubinoff was brought to our city by the Rotary Club. Mr. Rubinoff visited many places while in Marceline, and ended his visit by giving a concert at the high school. This touch of culture was happily received by Marcelinians.
  • After the election of Governor John M. Dalton, it was announced that Harry Porter, our capable city attorney, had been appointed a colonel for the in­auguration.


  • Peanut Days were held in Marceline during the weekend of November 30, 1961. ‘[‘his event was sponsored by the Marceline Junior Chamber of Commerce. Sacks of roasted peanuts containing slips redeemable at local business places for small articles were sold by the J.C.’s and their wives. So successful were peanut days that the J.C.’s have promised to make this an annual event.
  • Tuesday, August 17, 1961, was the ground break­ing day for the new Industrial building. The building was constructed to encourage new industry to settle in Marceline and is to be completed according to the wishes of the future tenant.


  • The community began a campaign to encourage the building of fallout shelters. The public was fur­nished with all necessary .information for the build­ing of the shelters. Questions pertinent to this sub­ject were answered through the combined efforts of the local newspaper and radio stations.
  • Kenneth McCandless and his Shepherd dog “Gunner” parted in February when the dog joined the Kansas City, Missouri, police department in the war against crime. The dog became a member of the K-9 Corps.
  • Peggy Barnes, a native of Marceline and a 1954 graduate of Marceline High School, made plans to tour Paris and Australia this year. She is singing with a group called the “Don Brooks Three” who have proved to be popular in many places in this country.
  • On April 3, Marceline’s main street, Kansas Avenue suffered from its second major fire in only seven years. A late afternoon shopping crowd of nearly 500 people watched as the fire destroyed three business places and consumed five upper floor apartments.
  • The fire supposedly began in the Eagles Hall. It was believed to have been due to faulty wiring. From the Eagle’s Hall, the fire spread downstairs to Pat’s Tavern, across to Della’s Confectionery, and to Tillotson’s Dry Goods Store. Smoke and water damage occurred to several of the other ad­joining buildings but no costly damage was reported.
  • The fire raged for several hours and continued to smoulder during the night. In addition to the two fire trucks from Marceline several from neighbor­ing communities joined to fight the blaze.
  • A Cessna 195 airplane crashed on an attempted take-off from the Marceline Airport and skidded to a stop ten feet from the back door of the Clem Flickinger residence. There were three occupants of the plane but they were not injured and there was no serious damage to the Flickinger property.
  • The Rotary Foundation Fellowship sponsored a Marcelino youth to spend a year in Scotland. Francis Sporcr enjoyed a year of study at the Glasgow School of Art.


  • In January the St. Francis Hospital announced plans for a new forty bed hospital to be built. The new building would replace the old St. Francis Hospital located on East Howell Street. Plans for the old building are that it will be used as a rest home.
  • Reverend Neil Dubach, pastor of the First Methodist Church, was chosen as one of sixty min­isters to go to Europe. The group was sent on the trip as a mission to Great Britain.
  • The Marceline City Council continued the for­ward progress of Marceline in February, 1963, when it approved the action to light fourteen blocks of Missouri Avenue with a new whiteway system. The estimated cost was $2,981.00
  • Later in the year, the city financed eleven of the same kind of lights to be placed at the junction of Federal Highway 36 and State Highway 5. This act was for the purpose of encouraging visitors to Marceline by making the Marceline Junction more appealing.

January 9, 1963

  • A good police department is an asset to every community and Marceline has one of the finest. Our police department performs many tasks that are not fully recognized by the people.
  • Escorting funerals and ambulances are impor­tant aids that our police give. Settling family argu­ments and children’s little spats are extra cour­tesies. Assisting at school crossings, reporting weather and road conditions, and checking lights and doors for the merchants are other jobs that our police do very well.
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