125 years ago
august 27, 1886
A sorrowful sensation thrilled all Marion when it was learned from the local columns of the RECORD, two weeks ago, that Central Park had been “laid off” into town lots, and put on the real estate market. There was a general protest “all along the line,” which this week crystallized into a large petition asking the enterprising and public-spirited owner, Mr. Levi Billing, to withdraw the lots from market, and promising that the city would purchase the Park just as soon as legal ability to do so can be obtained from the Legislature. We have not interviewed Mr. Billings on the subject, but we have no doubt he will comply with the wishes of his fellow citizens even at considerable pecuniary disadvantage to himself. We know that Mr. Billings’ town pride has made him hold this beautiful property for public use for a long time at heavy sacrifice of personal interest, but we doubt not he will stand it awhile longer. It would be too bad for that Park to be lost to the city. Right in the heart of the corporation, and yet so situated that its area is not needed for other purposes, it is indeed “a thing of beauty” and should remain a “joy forever” — to Marion.
Next Tuesday is the day for the big Sunday school picnic in Powell’s grove, Grant township. It is a good place to go, especially if you are hungry.
The Rock Island surveyors must be doing very careful work. They have been working for a week or ten days between Marion and the north line of the county, a distance of about twenty miles. They reached Marion yesterday.