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Marion County, Texas facts for kids

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For counties with a similar name, see Marion County (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Marion, Texas.
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Marion County
The Marion County Courthouse in Jefferson
The Marion County Courthouse in Jefferson
Map of Texas highlighting Marion County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Texas
Founded 1860
Named for Francis Marion
Seat Jefferson
Largest city Jefferson
 • Total 420 sq mi (1,100 km2)
 • Land 381 sq mi (990 km2)
 • Water 39 sq mi (100 km2)  9.4%%
 • Total 10,546
 • Density 28/sq mi (11/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 4th

Marion County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 10,546. 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".


Native Americans

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.

County established

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.

Major highways

Entering Marion County, Texas, from Louisiana, along Texas State Highway 49
Entering Marion County from Louisiana along State Highway 49
  • US 59.svg U.S. Highway 59
    • I-369.svg The future route of Interstate 369 is planned to follow the current route of U.S. 59 in most places.
  • Texas 43.svg State Highway 43
  • Texas 49.svg State Highway 49
  • Texas 155.svg State Highway 155
  • Texas FM 134.svg Farm to Market Road 134
  • Texas FM 248.svg Farm to Market Road 248
  • Texas FM 2208.svg Farm to Market Road 2208
  • Texas FM 726.svg Farm to Market Road 726
  • Texas FM 729.svg Farm to Market Road 729
  • Texas FM 727.svg Farm to Market Road 727
  • Texas FM 805.svg Farm to Market Road 805
  • Texas FM 2683.svg 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


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 3,977
1870 8,562 115.3%
1880 10,983 28.3%
1890 10,862 −1.1%
1900 10,754 −1.0%
1910 10,472 −2.6%
1920 10,886 4.0%
1930 10,371 −4.7%
1940 11,457 10.5%
1950 10,172 −11.2%
1960 8,049 −20.9%
1970 8,517 5.8%
1980 10,360 21.6%
1990 9,984 −3.6%
2000 10,941 9.6%
2010 10,546 −3.6%
Est. 2015 10,160 −3.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2014

As of the census of 2000, there were 10,941 people, 4,610 households, and 3,120 families residing in the county. The population density was 29 people per square mile (11/km²). There were 6,384 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 72.74% White, 23.91% Black or African American, 0.80% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.79% from other races, and 1.54% from two or more races. 2.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

The largest ancestry groups in Marion County are:

  • English - 49%
  • Black or African American - 24%
  • Irish - 6%
  • German - 5%
  • Scotch-Irish - 4%
  • Scottish - 4%
  • Dutch - 3%
  • Italian - 2%
  • French or French Canadian (except Basque) - 2%
  • Mexican - 2%
  • Polish - 1%

There were 4,610 households out of which 24.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.70% were married couples living together, 11.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.30% were non-families. 28.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.30% under the age of 18, 6.40% from 18 to 24, 23.60% from 25 to 44, 28.40% from 45 to 64, and 19.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 95.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $25,347, and the median income for a family was $32,039. Males had a median income of $30,584 versus $17,885 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,535. About 17.80% of families and 22.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.90% of those under age 18 and 14.40% of those age 65 or over.



Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

  • Berea
  • Crestwood
  • Gray
  • Jackson
  • Lodi
  • Potters Point
  • Smithland
  • Warlock

Ghost town

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