Ghosts of Main Street: The Ghost of Law and Order Past

September 13, 2018

By Julie Traynor
Correspondent

On September 11, 1954 Charlie Fuller, Marion’s resident Osceola County deputy, retired after 22 years of service to this community.

Charlie Fuller came to Marion in 1929 and operated a meat market for several years before being elected constable in 1932. He was named marshal in 1937. Fuller was also a county deputy from 1937 until his retirement.

Fuller’s stories and, by our standards adventures, were told and retold in Marion lore for years. His experience in police work ranged from guiding the flow of increasing traffic, which he took very seriously, to making an arrest in his night clothes and a carefully orchestrated surprise investigation on intruding sparrows.

The incident which called Fuller out in his night clothes involved an urgent call to break up a brawl at one of the local taverns. Fuller got his man but limped home minus a slipper. 

One of those long told stories which survived long after its 1939 occurrence involved another call to Fuller in the night, and his most illusive suspects. A light was spotted one night in the home of a woman who was known to be out of town.
Neighbors called Fuller who picked up his deputy and together they approached the home and hid in the shadows to watch. After a thorough search they discovered that this case was one for the birds. Sparrows had entered the home through a broken window and had turned on the overhead light by swinging on the pull chain. The Case of the Burglar Birds was solved.

Deputy Charlie Fuller proudly shows off his badge and cap, just after his retirement in September 1954. We must note his great resemblance to television›s Fred Mertz. 

Deputy Charlie Fuller proudly shows off his badge and cap, just after his retirement in September 1954. We must note his great resemblance to television›s Fred Mertz. 

With Reed City more than 30 miles away, Fuller assumed most of the responsibility for law enforcement in this corner of the county. He was also responsible for transporting prisoners to the jail in Reed City. Marion’s own jail was in disrepair and had been abandoned for lack of use.

Fuller and his deputy Orville Richardson, who also became a county deputy, welcomed the advent of a regular Michigan State Police patrol through the Marion area.

The Fullers, Charlie and his wife Julia spent their remaining years in their home on the corner of First and Pickard Streets in Marion. This location is a stones throw from the old Marion Jail. The jail building has other uses today and is a ghost of Marion’s past. 

 When Charles Fuller retired from his 22 year law enforcement career on September 11, 1954, he was 80 years old.




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