Marion County, Texas facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Marion County Courthouse in Jefferson
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Francis Marion|
|• Total||420 sq mi (1,100 km2)|
|• Land||381 sq mi (990 km2)|
|• Water||39 sq mi (100 km2) 9.4%%|
|• Density||23.15/sq mi (8.94/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Marion County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 9,725. Its county seat is Jefferson. Marion County is in East Texas and is named for Francis Marion, the Revolutionary War general from South Carolina who was nicknamed the "Swamp Fox".
The farming Caddoan Mississippian culture dates as far back as 200 BCE in the area. The Hernando de Soto expedition of 1541 resulted in violent encounters. Spanish and French missionaries brought a smallpox, measles malaria and influenza epidemics against which the Caddo had no immunity. Eventually, the Caddo were forced to reservations. Shashidahnee (Timber Hill) is the last known permanent Marion County settlement of the Caddo people. The 19th Century saw Shawnee, Delaware, and Kickapoo in the area.
The legislature formed Marion County from Cass County in 1860 and named for Revolutionary War Swamp Fox Francis Marion. Jefferson, named after Thomas Jefferson became the county seat.
The majority of the settlers migrated from other southern states and brought with them their slaves, who were 51 percent of the population in 1860. In 1861, the county voted unanimously for secession from the Union. The county benefitted financially from Confederate government contracts.
One of the county’s most famous disasters occurred in February, 1869 when the steamboat Mittie Stephens caught fire from a torch basket that ignited a hay stack on board. Sixty-one people died, either from the fire or from being caught in the boat’s paddlewheel as they jumped overboard.
On October 4, 1869, George Washington Smith, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, was murdered by a band of vigilantes while incarcerated in Jefferson. Smith's slaying led to occupation of Jefferson by military troops who offered protection for the black majority.
Republican presidential races benefited from the black majority in the county. In 1898, the White Primary went into effect and disfranchised the black vote.
The Marion County brick courthouse was erected in 1914, architect Elmer George Withers. Outside the building the Dick Taylor Camp of Confederate veterans erected a monument to honor the county’s dead in the American Civil War.
Caddo Lake State Park was first proposed in 1924. 1933-1937 the Civilian Conservation Corps made improvements to the park. The Army barracks and mess hall were converted to log cabins and a recreation hall for park goers.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 420 square miles (1,100 km2), of which 381 square miles (990 km2) is land and 39 square miles (100 km2) (9.4%) is water.
- U.S. Highway 59
- State Highway 43
- State Highway 49
- State Highway 155
- Farm to Market Road 134
- Farm to Market Road 248
- Farm to Market Road 2208
- Farm to Market Road 726
- Farm to Market Road 729
- Farm to Market Road 727
- Farm to Market Road 805
- Farm to Market Road 2683
The TTC-69 component (recommended preferred) of the once-planned Trans-Texas Corridor went through Marion County.
Adjacent counties and parish
- Cass County (north)
- Caddo Parish, Louisiana (east)
- Harrison County (south)
- Upshur County (west)
- Morris County (northwest)
|U.S. Decennial Census
|Race / Ethnicity||Pop 2010||Pop 2020||% 2010||% 2020|
|White alone (NH)||7,564||6,869||71.72%||70.63%|
|Black or African American alone (NH)||2,319||1,846||21.99%||18.98%|
|Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH)||72||69||0.68%||0.71%|
|Asian alone (NH)||50||48||0.47%||0.49%|
|Pacific Islander alone (NH)||3||0||0.03%||0.00%|
|Some Other Race alone (NH)||8||45||0.08%||0.46%|
|Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH)||202||459||1.92%||4.72%|
|Hispanic or Latino (any race)||328||389||3.11%||4.00%|
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.
- Jefferson (county seat)
Other unincorporated communities
- Potters Point