Indiana: Grant County

Grant County (pop. 70,061) is west of Blackford County. It’s one of 14 Grant counties and one Grant Parish in the U.S.

This Grant County was named for Captains Samuel and Moses Grant – Kentuckians who died fighting Indians in 1789.

Most of the others were named for him.

The county seat of Grant County is the city of Marion (pop. 29,948). The courthouse in Marion dates from 1882. Its dome was removed in 1943.

The courthouse in 1930

Marion is the home of Indiana Wesleyan University, established in 1920 and affiliated with the Wesleyan Church.

About 3,000 students in Marion

Marion has been a worldwide leader in the paper plate industry. It is also known as “Christmas City USA” because of its mile-long “Walkway of Lights” during the holiday season.

On the Mississinewa Riverwalk

The annual “Mississinewa 1812,” at the Mississinewa Battlefield near Marion, is the largest War of 1812 battle reenactment in the U.S.

Every October

Musician Lyle Lovett and actress Julia Roberts were married at St. James Lutheran Church in Marion in 1993. Lovett was on tour at the time.

Divorced in 1995

Actor James Dean (1931-1955) was born in Marion and spent much of his childhood and teen-age years at the farm home of his aunt and uncle, near the town of Fairmount (pop. 2,954).

Fairmount High School yearbook

The James Dean Gallery in Fairmount claims to have the world’s largest collection of James Dean memorabilia. Fairmount also has an annual James Dean Festival.

In a restored Victorian home

Dean is buried at the Park Cemetery in Fairmount.

Cartoonist Jim Davis, creator of “Garfield,” was also born in Marion (in 1945) and also grew up on a farm near Fairmount.

Davis still lives in Indiana.

The city of Gas City was a center of the Indiana Gas Boom of the late 1800s.

Oil derrick street sign

In the nearby town of Swayzee (pop. 981), the high school basketball team played a nine-overtime game (an Indiana record) in 1964.


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