The Marcum family is probably like a lot of Hamilton residents.
We can trace our roots to Kentucky, or if not there, Indiana. Further back, who knows. We are truly a good example of the American melting pot.
Glen F. Marcum, Joe’s father, was a pharmacist. He owned and operated several drug stores in Hamilton and Cincinnati. Joe often worked as a soda jerk prior to joining the Army in World War II. Glen served in World War I. Things could have been a lot different if either man had not survived his service unscathed.
Howard L. Sloneker was Sarah’s father. As an insurance agent, Howard saw the potential to start a new insurance company and he met a man who could finance the proposition. A young man originally from Camden, Ohio, had in 1918 begin the Ohio Casualty Insurance Company. At one time, Ohio Casualty was the 32nd largest property/casualty underwriters in the United States. It finally closed its doors in 2002.
The site of the park is the former campus of Mercy Hospital. Sarah Sloneker Marcum was born in Mercy Hospital. Sarah and Joe started dating in junior high school and married in 1944. They are blessed with five children. One son, Tim, died in a car accident. The other children are Cammy Lowe, Christy Manchester Jeany Shuffield and Stephen Marcum. Sarah and Joe have 12 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.
The Mercy Hospital site had become an eyesore. John Guidugli and Joshua Smith approached Sarah and Joe with the idea of an urban greenspace. Sarah and Joe warmed to the idea of the park and its promise of merging the urban and suburban. Upon the consent and advice of their children, Sarah and Joe agreed to fund the project.
When you see the park, it is difficult to imagine all the work that lays before you. Cement contractors, bricklayers, electrician, plumbers, arborists, and more contributed their expertise to make this space a family-friendly environment.
Two sculptures, one being the main sculptural feature of the park, will be installed later this year.
Sarah and Joe, now in their 90s, are glad to give back to the city of Hamilton, a city which played no small part in the health, longevity and success of the Marcum family.