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Clarion City

Clarion City Hall is located at 121 First Street SW, Clarion, IA 50525; phone: 515-532-2256.

Clarion as described in 1938 [1]

Clarion is the only county seat in Iowa that is in the exact center of the county. Incorporated in 1881, the town is named for Clarion, Pennsylvania.

In this area, as elsewhere in the world where watermelons are abundant, few farm lads grow up without taking part in a "watermelon steal." A moonlight night is usually chosen so that the melons can be easily found, which also makes it easier for the farmer, with his gun full of rock salt, to see the marauders should his dog give the alarm. Tingling with excitement, the gang steals silently through the cornfield to the secluded spot where the farmer, profiting from experience, has hidden his watermelon patch. Even the rustling of corn leaves makes them halt and peer expectantly toward the farmhouse. Venturing into the patch, trampling on the vines, they yank off the biggest melons, green or ripe. Their arms full, the scurry toward the barbed wire fence to make their escape. Squeezing through the fence, leaving scraps of torn pants hanging on the barbs, scratched and breathless, the boys run frantically toward home, the melons clutched in their arms. In their fright they usually drop and smash the largest and most coveted of the stolen fruit. Plunging across a creek, they manage to soak their shoes with water, and at a slower pace they walk to a sheltered place, perhaps a clump of trees or bushes where they squat and bury their noses into the pieces of melon, broken by being dropped on the ground.

  1. Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of Iowa, Iowa: A Guide to the Hawkeye State, American Guide Series, The Viking Press, New York, 1938.
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