Home of the White Squirrels
Marionville has had white squirrels since the 1800s according to Doris Rapp, the town's former mayor. How the squirrels got there, she said, remains a mystery. Rival theories contend that either a breeding pair escaped from a traveling circus, or that a local scientist named Flournly genetically created them.
Doris, author of a history of Marionville, told us the story of how Olney, Illinois, reportedly got its white squirrels from Marionville by unscrupulous means. "I talked to an older gentleman -- been in town all his life -- and he said that back in the 1930s a pair of scoundrels in Marionville trapped a pair, kidnapped them, and sold them to Olney."
Doris said that she had a 1913 Marionville college yearbook photo with white squirrels in it, proving that Marionville had them first. She hoped, however, that the white squirrels of both towns would some day get together and have children, putting the rivalry to rest.
To prevent any further squirrelnapping, Marionville slaps a $500 fine on anyone caught trying to trap or sell a white squirrel. "We tried to increase it $1.000," said Doris, "but the state said it was unconstitutional."