The first group of individuals and couples who were instrumental in the establishment and continued development of the Marion County Historical Society have been selected to be inducted into the newly formed Hall of Fame.

“The board is excited to be able to honor this group of people who did so much to create and nurture this historical village for Marion County.” said current board president Craig Agan.

Jesse Adams, Lois and Jim Akins, Christa and Jack Belknap, Merle and Dorothy Betterton, Pauline McNeish, and Chuck Walter will be honored at an induction ceremony during the society’s annual Pioneer Days celebration on June 8, 2019. Lois Akins and Christa Belknap will be on hand to receive their honors, while all others in the group will be honored posthumously.

The induction ceremony will be held at 2:30 p.m. in the Valley Chapel at the historical village on the grounds of the Marion County Park. Refreshments will be served following.

The society was established during a meeting at Jack Belknap’s Jewelry Store on March 21, 1955. Articles of incorporation were formed and the group became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation for the purpose of educating and preserving history of Marion County.

Jesse Adams was instrumental in acquiring and moving the Pleasant Ridge School. This was the first building moved into the historical village. Lois and Jim Akins served many years as board members and officers. Christa Belknap is still active with the group in her 90s, and her husband Jack was a founding board member. Merle and Dorothy Betterton were longtime supporters who shepherded the fundraising and moving of the Stagecoach Inn from downtown Knoxville to the Village. Pauline McNeish served as secretary of the board for many years and was a tireless worker for the society. Chuck Walter served as board president for many years and was extremely generous with his time and resources for the good of the group.

The board invites everyone to join them at Pioneer Days for the pancake breakfast starting at 7 a.m., for a light lunch from 11 to 2 p.m., and for the induction at 2:30 p.m. All historical buildings at the village will be open for visitors with a free will donation admission.

For more information on this special weekend contact Craig Agan at 641-891-0445 or any board member.