Established in 2005, this designated fund benefits the Linn School, a restored one room schoolhouse in Marion County. This endowment fund was created by a gift from the Merle and Peg Hamilton Charitable Foundation.
Built in 1897, of soft clay brick and lime mortar with approximately 800 square feet, the school served students in grades one through eight until it closed in 1942. It was rescued and restored through a partnership of purchasers and donors, brothers Merle and Oliver Hamilton, the Marion Historical Society, and Quality Masonry Company. Oliver attended this school 1909-1914, while Merle attended 1913-1920.
This historical project not only repaired the physical aspects of the schoolhouse —furnishing it with salvaged blackboard and desks—but also the hearts of the owners. Merle and Oliver purchased the property in 2002 and donated it to the Marion County Historical Society. This endowment fund at Marion Community Foundation provides annual grant awards for maintenance, repairs, and improvements to the historic school.
Prior to his passing in November 2008, centarian Merle Hamilton designated a substantial portion of his vast estate for the creation of several funds at Marion Community Foundation to provide financial support in perpetuity for causes, such as this, which he valued. Click here to view these additional funds.