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Marion County, Texas facts for kids

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Marion County
Marion County Courthouse in Jefferson
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 9,725
 • Density 23.15/sq mi (8.94/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 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".


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%
2020 9,725 −7.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2020

2020 census

Marion County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
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%
Total 10,546 9,725 100.00% 100.00%

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.



Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

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

Ghost town

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