LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, August 1, 1939


Marion township was named in honor of M. C. Lobdell, for many years a resident of LeMars, after his retirement from farm life, according to an item contained in the Remsen Bell-Enterprise in its last issue.  His son, Rowe Lobdell, who inherited his father’s property, is a resident of LeMars. The story as related in the Remsen paper says:

On the farm occupied by the Mike Gengler family two miles west of Remsen on No. 5, stands part of the old dwelling of the pioneer Marion C. Lobdell, one of the first to cast its lot in this territory.  The little building, in the early years a minor part of the Lobdell home, is now used as a tool house and stands among the other outbuildings but close to its original site.

Marion C. Lobdell, who fought in the Civil War, came here in 1868 in company with his brother, D. B. Lobdell.  He bought his 260-acre farm for $2.50 per acre.  After fire destroyed the first railway station in Remsen in 1875, a locating agent for the railroad visited Mr. Lobdell for advice as to the location of the new depot.  The agent thought the Lobdell farm would be just the spot and would please its owner.  Furthermore, thought the agent, the name of Maryville for the new station, would be an honor to Mrs. Lobdell, whose name was Mary.  But both declined, and the agent designated the original spot as the site for the new depot, and the town of Remsen sprang into being.

The pioneer homesteader was not left without a namesake, however, for the township in which he settled, previously a part of Elgin township and called Willow, was renamed Marion in 1871, in Lobdell’s honor.  And so it is today.

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