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Genealogical History Of Hudson And Bergen Counties New Jersey

Originally published in 1900
Cornelius Burnham Harvey, Editor

Edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

WILLIAM CLAYBORN MARION, of Arlington, N. J., has achieved special distinction in the manufacture of gold pens, a business he has fol- lowed for fifty-two years. Born in Lexington, Ky., April 12, 1834, he is the eldest son of Captain William C. and Caroline (Elserth) Marion and a grandson of Alfred M. Marion and Mary, his wife, who settled in Kentucky in the eighteenth century, all being Americans of French extraction. As pioneers in the fatuous Blue Grass region the family wielded an important influence and distinguished themselves for their artistic taste and mechan- ical genius, and Mr. Marion seems to have both inherited and developed these traits with peculiar success. His father was a Captain in the Mexican War and was killed in the battle of Churubusco in 1846. His mother died the same year.

Breathing in his father's house a wholesome mechanical atmosphere, and having received at the district schools a good rudimentary education, lie left home at the age of fourteen and apprenticed himself to Andrew J. Berrian, a maker of gold pens at 75 Nassau Street, New York. Mr. Marion remained there three years, and became so skillful in the art of pen making that lie secured, at the early age of seventeen, a position as journeyman in the shop of Albert G. Bagley, on the corner of Duane and Centre Streets, New York. Air. Bagley is credited with being the inventor of the gold pen. After his death the business changed hands, but Air. Marion continued to act as foreman for thirty-three years, when the plant was purchased by Edward Todd. Mr. Bagley was long the leading gold pen maker of the world, and Mr. Marion not only became deeply interested in his work, but devoted much of his spare time after working hours to the study of difficult mechanical problems connected with the trade, and as a result of this close application he achieved a national reputation as an expert gold pen maker, orders for difficult work being sent to him from all parts of the country.

In 1884 Mr. Marion formed a partnership with G. Armeny and engaged in business on Nassau Street in New York City under the present firm name of Armeny & Marion. Mr. Marion is without doubt or question the oldest living working gold pen maker in the world, his successful and active career extending over a period of more than fifty-three years. He is still in active service, and enjoys a reputation unequaled by anyone in his line of business.

Mr. Marion has carved out his own fortune and paved his own way to success. Coming to New York a small boy, without money, he steadily and courageously went to work, first in Burton's old theater in Park Row and soon afterward in Bagley's pen factory, and when the War of the Rebellion broke out bade good-by to wife and children and enlisted in the Union cause. In the summer of 1461, with James Miller, he recruited a company which became a part of the Fifty-second New York Volunteers, Shepard Rifles. He enlisted, however, in Company I, Ninth New York Volunteer Infantry, in the fall of 1861, as a private, and served nine months, participating in the battles of Ball's Bluff and Edward's Ferry. At the latter place he was wounded in the right hand. After this service in Maryland and Virginia he was detailed on recruiting duty in New York City, as a Sergeant, and continued in that line for about one year and three months. In November, 1863, he was honorably discharged.

On his return from the war Mr. Marion resumed the trade of gold pen maker. In his business relations as well as in private life he is regarded with great affection and as a benefactor. Sincere and true in all he attempts, he is a thorough gentleman, universally esteemed and respected as a public spirited, enterprising citizen, and worthy of the confidence which is reposed in him. Mr. Marion lived in Brooklyn for many years. In August, 1889, he moved from that city to Arlington, N. J., where lie now resides. He is a Democrat in polities and for several years was President of the Arlington Democratic Club, resigning with all the other officers when the free silver question came to the front in 1896. He attends the Presbyterian Church, is a member of Chancellor Walworth Lodge, F. and A. M., and holds membership in the Scottish Rite bodies, 32, of New York City. He was a member of Tribune Lodge, No. 159, F. and A. M., of Arlington. He is a member of Pilgrim Lodge, I. O. O. F., of Arlington, which lie served as Noble Grand two terms, has been a delegate to the Masonic and Odd Fellows Grand Lodges of New Jersey, and as a member of the Jamaica Bay Yacht Club.

January 29, 1855, Mr. Marion was married in New York City to Caroline Patten, daughter of Susterry and Sarah (Long) Patten, of Nantucket, Mass. They have had ten children: Frank W., an actor; Harry W., who is con- nected with the firm of A. G. Spalding & Co., of New York; Bertha (Mrs. Edwin Lewis), of Brooklyn; William C., Jr., the New York manager of the Morgan-Wright Company; Alfred P., foreman for Armeny & Marion; Daisy I. (Mrs. Harry Stover), of Brooklyn; Sidney T., who is employed by his father in the factory; Emma, unmarried; and Edwin and Winfield, deceased.


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