County was organized on December 23, 1826 from Ralls County and was
named for Revolutionary War folk hero Francis Marion. The county
seat is in Palmyra.
MARION, a county in the E. N. E. part of Missouri, bordering on the
Mississippi river, which separates it from Illinois, has an
area of 432 square miles. It is traversed by the North and South
Fabius rivers, and by the North Two river, and also drained by
South Two river. The surface is somewhat diversified, and consists
of undulating prairies, and forests which are distributed
along the larger streams. The prairies have a deep, rich soil, free
from stones, and covered with a profusion of flowers. Indian
corn, wheat, oats, hay, hemp, cattle, pork, and butter are the
staples. In 1850 this county produced 668,653 bushels of corn;
105,841 of wheat; 65,384 of oats; 4585 tons of hay, and 499 of hemp.
It contained 23 churches, 2 newspaper offices, 1436 pupils
attending public schools, and 277 attending other schools. [p.661]
Bituminous coal and saltpeter are found in the county, and
limestone and freestone are abundant. A railroad is in progress of
construction through the county from Hannibal to St. Joseph on the
Missouri river. Capital, Palmyra. Population, 12,230, of whom 9398
were free, and 2832, slaves.
Geographic Reference Library
1854 Gazetteer of the United States
United States Gazetteer
1817 Giles Thompson built the first cabin north of Salt River. .
.The earliest settlers came from Kentucky, Virginia, and North
Carolina. . .Marion County was named for General Francis Marion, and
was organized as dependency of Ralls county, under act of Dec. 14,
1822. One trader named Smith had a store at the first hollow above
the mouth of the bay. Marauding, drunken Indians killed him, and the
tradition was that he left a buried keg of money. Robert
Masterson, who came here in 1818, gave the pointer for excavating,
and much digging was done in the surrounding neighborhood in search
of the treasure.