Welcome to Marion County
History and Genealogy
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Illinois is covered under our original Illinois
Trails mailing list. Marion County Information
Founded in 1823, out of Jefferson and Fayette Counties.
It was named in honor of Revolutionary War General Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox".
The county seat is Salem, Illinois
Marion County, located near the center of the southern half of the state, with an area of 580 square miles; was
organized in 1823, and by the census of 1900, had a population of 30,446. About half the county is prairie, the
chief products being tobacco, wool and fruit. The remainder is timbered land. It is watered by the tributaries
of the Kaskaskia and the Little Wabash Rivers. The bottom lands have a heavy growth of choice timber, and a deep,
rich soil. A large portion of the county is underlaid with a thin vein of coal, and the rocks all belong to the
upper coal measures. Sandstone and building sand are also abundant. Ample shipping facilities are afforded by the
Illinois Central and the Baltimore & Ohio (S.W.) Railroads. Salem is the county seat, but Centralia is the
largest and most important town, being a railroad junction and center of an extensive fruit trade. Sandoval is
a thriving town at the junction of the Illinois Central and Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern Railroads. [Source: "Historical Encyclopeda of Illinois", 1901]
Cities and Villages
* Alma * Central City * Centralia (part, including downtown)
* Iuka * Junction City * Kell * Kinmundy * Odin
* Patoka * Salem * Sandoval * Vernon * Walnut Hill Census Designated Places
* Cartter * Fairman * Finney Heights * Glen Ridge * Helm
* Slap Out * Suburban