Chester (C.B.) and Lula Vernon moved to Marion in 1926. C.B. had been appointed superintendent – a position he held for more than 30 years. Among his many accomplishments, C.B. was the first educator with a Ph.D. in the entire secondary school system for the State of Iowa. He and Lula has three sons. The oldest, James, became an engineer and eventually a professor at USC. Robert (MHS ’41) was a physician in Dubuque, and John (MHS ’47) stayed in Marion and practiced law. In 1964, a new high school was built for the Marion Independent School District and it was decided to name the former building C.B. Vernon Junior High. That original building was replaced in 2012, but the name remains Vernon Middle School in honor of this family’s leadership.
C.B.’s middle son, Robert died in a plane crash in 1978. Upon the passing of Robert’s wife, Amelia “Mimi” Vernon, the Foundation received a generous gift to establish the Chester B. and Lula E. Vernon Memorial Fund. The fund will be used to support educational projects and programs.