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||28/sq mi (11/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 2010 census, its population was 10,546; in 2018 it had an estimated population of 9,928. 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 indigenous farming Caddoan Mississippian culture has been dated to 200 BCE in the area. The Hernando de Soto expedition of 1541 resulted in violent encounters with Native Americans. Spanish and French missionaries carried endemic diseases: resulting in epidemics of smallpox, measles malaria, and influenza among the Caddo, who had no immunity against these new diseases. Eventually, the Caddo were forced to reservations. Shashidahnee (Timber Hill) is the last known permanent Marion County settlement of the Caddo people. During the 19th century, Shawnee, Delaware, and Kickapoo migrated to the area and settled here.
The majority of the settlers had migrated from other southern states and brought enslaved African Americans with them as workers, or purchased them in slave markets. The county was developed as cotton plantations, and enslaved African Americans made up 51 percent of the population in 1860. In 1861, the white male voters in the county voted unanimously for secession from the Union. The county benefited financially from Confederate government contracts.
In February 1869 the river 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.
Following the Civil War, the white minority used violence to impose dominance on the freedmen. On October 4, 1869, George Washington Smith, a delegate to the state Constitutional Convention, was murdered by a band of vigilantes while incarcerated in Jefferson. Smith's slaying resulted in the federal government assigning military troops to Jefferson. They offered some protection for the black majority during the Reconstruction era.
Republican presidential races were supported by the black majority voters in the county. But white conservative Democrats regained control of the state legislature and, in 1898, they passed various restrictions on voter registration and voting, including establishing White primaries. Because the Democratic Party dominated the state, its primaries afforded the only true competitive political races. Blacks were unable to vote in these primaries and were thus disenfranchised. Various forms of the white primary survived until 1944 when a US Supreme Court ruling overturned the practice as racially discriminatory and unconstitutional.
The Marion County brick courthouse was erected in 1914, designed by architect Elmer George Withers. In the early 20th century, the Dick Taylor Camp of Confederate veterans erected a monument to honor the county’s dead in the American Civil War, placing it outside the courthouse.
Caddo Lake State Park was first proposed in 1924. From 1933-1937, during the Great Depression, men were hired into the Civilian Conservation Corps and made improvements to the park. The former army barracks and mess hall were converted to log cabins and a recreation hall for park goers.
- U.S. Highway 59
- Interstate 369 is under construction and will follow the current route of U.S. 59 in most places.
- 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
Adjacent counties and parish
- Cass County (north)
- Caddo Parish, Louisiana (east)
- Harrison County (south)
- Upshur County (west)
- Morris County (northwest)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
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.
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.
- Jefferson (county seat)
Other unincorporated communities
- Potters Point
- Museums in East Texas
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Marion County, Texas
- Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Marion County
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on October 18, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
- "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Marion County, Texas". www.census.gov. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Caddo Timeline". Texas Beyond History. UT-Austin. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
- "Caddo History". Oklahoma Historical Society. Archived from the original on 19 July 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
- Teague, Wells (2000). "Where We Came From". Calling Texas Home: A Lively Look at What It Means to Be a Texan. Wildcat Canyon Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-885171-38-2.
- The History of Marion County. Union Historical Company. 1881. pp. 248–249.
- "Jefferson, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
- Atkins, Mark Howard. "Marion County, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
- Hodge, Larry D (2000). Official Guide to Texas Wildlife Management Areas. Texas Parks and Wildlife Press. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-885696-35-9.
- McDonald, PhD, Archie P. "The Mittie Stephens Disaster". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
- Lale, Max S. "Stockade Case". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
- Greenberg, Sanford N. "White Primary". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
- Williams, Patrick G. “Suffrage Restriction in Post-Reconstruction Texas: Urban Politics and the Specter of the Commune.” The Journal of Southern History, vol. 68, no. 1, 2002, pp. 31–64. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3069690. Accessed 7 Sept. 2020.
- "Marion County Courthouse". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
- "Confederate Monument". Texas Confederate Veterans. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
- "Caddo Lake State Park". Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- TxDoT, TTC Section F, Detailed Maps 1 & 2, 2007-12-28 Archived 2009-02-07 at the Wayback Machine
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
- Marion County government website
- Marion County from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Inventory of the county archives of Texas : Marion County, no. 158, hosted by the Portal to Texas History