The Episcopal Church in Marion was established in 1838 under the name of St. Michael’s Parish (not to be confused with the slightly later St. Michael’s Parish in the Faunsdale area). Services were held at the Marion Courthouse. The first church building was erected in the late 1840s and in 1853, the name of the church was changed to “St. Wilfrid’s Church, Marion”. The church was damaged by fire in 1896. In 1907, both the church and its large rectory were destroyed by fire. The present church building was consecrated in 1908. Located behind the church is a historic cemetery that contains 77 graves of Civil War soldiers who died at the Breckenridge Hospital on Howard College campus (now the Marion Military Institute campus). The soldiers were originally buried behind the campus. The Ladies Memorial Association moved them to this site in 1872. Also buried in this cemetery is William M. Brooks, president of the Alabama Secession Convention of 1861.
Marion has seven individual structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) plus four Historic Districts that contains 278 contributing structures. St. Wilfrid’s Church and Cemetery are contributing properties to the Marion Courthouse Square Historic District. St Wilfrid’s is located at 102 Clements Street in Marion, AL (GPS coordinates 32.635636, -87.318618).
Sources: 1) Perry County Heritage, Volume II; 2) NRHP “Marion Courthouse Square Historic District” Registration Form.
Photographs courtesy of RuralSWAlabama.