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History and Genealogy
Marion County, Iowa

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This Marion County Iowa web site is hosted by Dennis McDaniel please contact at

The History of Marion County Iowa

In 1843, several settlers were living in what is now Marion County. In the spring of 1845, a movement was made to secure a separate county organization. A meeting composed of the more prominent citizens living in the county was held at Lake Prairie. Lake Prairie was on the north bank of the Des Moines River, which is now Lake Prairie Township.

Three commissioners were appointed to establish the seat of government. On August 25, 1845 two of the commissioners, a Mr. Robinson and a Mr. Montgomery, made a report in favor of locating the county seat, on a high level prairie, about one mile south of the exact center of the county. They also suggested to local authorities that it be called Knoxville in honor of General Knox, another distinguished soldier in the American Revolution.

The first Marion County courthouse was built in 1846. It remained in use for about twelve years during which time it was also used for a school and religious services. A new courthouse was completed in 1858 and stood in the middle of the public square. It was regarded as one of the best in the state, and it served the county for nearly forty years. A special election was held on May 14, 1895 for the erection of a new courthouse at a cost not to exceed $80,000. It was completed and accepted by the Board of Supervisors on December 30, 1896.

If the surveying had been more strictly or accurately done, Marion County would be 24 miles square containing 576 square miles, but it is actually larger. Marion County's population in 1860 was 16,813; in 1900 it was 24,159; in 1950 it was 25,930; and in 1990 it was 30,001.

Cities and Towns
Bussey Columbia (unincorporated) Hamilton
Harvey Knoxville Marysville
Melcher-Dallas Otley (unincorporated)
Pleasantville Swan Tracy
Abandoned Towns, Villages And Post Offices

County Information
Created in 1845 from Washington County.

The county seat is Knoxville. It is named for Francis Marion, a brigadier general from South Carolina in the American Revolutionary War


Births Biographies

State Bird
 and Flower

Cemeteries Churches
Documents Geographical Features
Historical Info Marriages
Military Data News Articles
Obituaries/Deaths Queries
Schools Atlas Marion Co. Iowa 1901

Website updates:

12 Dec 2014:
Dennis McDaniel added 1881 Marion County History book and links to cemeteries
16 Oct 2014:
Query: Leopold Liike
15 Oct 2014:
Geographical Features: Bridges; Dams; Lakes; Parks; Stream, Creeks & Rivers

Past Updates


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Surrounding Counties
Jasper County (north)
Mahaska County (east)
Monroe County (southeast)
Lucas County (southwest)
Warren County (west)

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