Marion in Perry County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
South College Barracks Fire of 1924
The Cadet Corps 1923-1924
Jefferson Bryant Meharg
Lawrence Christopher Olsen
who lost their lives
in the burning of college barracks
March 17, 1924
"Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends."
Erected by the Cadets Corps of 1923-1924.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • Notable Events.
Location. 32° 37.423′ N, 87° 19.28′ W. Marker is in Marion, Alabama, in Perry County. Marker can be reached from Washington Street south of Wilkerson Street. Located on the Marion Military Institute square in front of the Chapel, at the flagpole. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1101 Washington Street, Marion AL 36756, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Marion Military Institute Alumni Vietnam Memorial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Marion Military Institute Korean War Memorial (about 500 feet away); Marion City Hall (about 500 feet away); Marion Military Institute (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Alabama Baptist (approx. half a mile away); Lincoln Normal School (approx. half a First Congregational Church of Marion (approx. half a mile away); Siloam Baptist Church (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Marion.
Regarding South College Barracks Fire of 1924. From “History of Marion Institute” Speech in Chapel by Cadet J. W. Matthews; Fall, 1959
“The two cadets shared a room in South College Barracks, a two-story white fame building a short distance south of the present campus area. About 5:30 on the morning of March 17th, 1924, South College Barracks caught fire. Fire call was sounded, the entire battalion formed in front of the chapel and everyone was reported preset. The tragedy occurred after dismissal from this formation. One of the boys (it’s not known which) had left his watch in the building and decided to return for it. Smoke was pouring from the building at this time, but there was no sign of flames. He apparently could see no danger. His roommate discovered that he was missing and guessing that he went back into the building, went to find him. The building suddenly exploded and burned swiftly. Meherg was killed instantly. Olsen somehow managed to get out, but he was fatally burned and died six hours later in Selma Hospital."
Credits. This page was last revised on April 29, 2018. It was originally submitted on April 29, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 112 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 29, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.