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Missouri Counties
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Missouri Counties

Missouri has one hundred and fourteen counties and one independent city. St. Louis City is separate from St. Louis County and is referred to as a "city not within a county." Following the Louisiana Purchase and the admittance of Louisiana into the United States in 1812, five counties were formed out of the Missouri Territory at the first general assembly. Most subsequent counties were apportioned from these five original counties.

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Marion County, Missouri

Marion County Education, Geography, and HistoryMarion County, Missouri Courthouse

Marion County is a county located in the northeastern portion of the state of Missouri. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 28,781. Its county seat is Palmyra. Unique from most third class counties in the state Marion has two courthouses, the second located in Hannibal. The county was organized December 23, 1826 and named for General Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox," who was from South Carolina and served in the American Revolutionary War. The area was known as the "Two Rivers Country" before organization.

Marion County is part of the Hannibal, MO Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Quincy-Hannibal, IL-MO Combined Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Marion County Name

Named for Francis Marion, Revolutionary War hero.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

History of Marion County

Marion County was taken from Ralls County, and its boundary defined on December 14, 1822. It was not organized until December 23, 1826, four years later. Previous to this, when the United States, in 1803, bought Louisiana Territory, what is now Marion County was a part of the District of St. Charles. It was in turn a part of Charles County when that county was formed, June 4, 1812, by proclamation of Governor Benjamin Howard; it was a part of Pike, framed December 14, 1818, becoming in turn a part of Ralls, November 16, 1820. At the time of its organization, Marion County included to the north of the present county limit, a large part of Lewis County and all of Shelby to the west, subject only however to judicial administration. On the east of the present Marion, are the Mississippi River and the state of Illinois; on the south Ralls and Monroe Counties. Marion County antedates in the beginning of its history any other section of the state except that of Southeast Missouri. Its dominant life was Virginian and Kentuckian, many of the settlers being descendants of the soldiers who had fought against British oppression. It was named for the "Swamp Fox" of South Carolina, General Francis Marion. General Marion (1732-1795), saw service in various campaigns against Indians; and in North Carolina in the Revolutionary War earned his sobriquet of "Swamp Fox" when Marion's brigade of poorly armed volunteers performed service of greatest value through their intimate knowledge of localities and their native shrewdness, seeming to cover all points at once, and causing no little embarassment to the British forces. No other Revolutionary hero except Washington has been more generally remembered in American place-names. Sixteen other states besides Missouri have counties named for him. Twenty-nine towns and cities bear his name, besides thirteen others which contain it with various suffixes. The immediate source for the Missouri county name was probably Marion County, Kentucky, from which many of the first settlers came. (Campbell 1874; Hist. N.E. Mo., 1, 4, 450; Williams 1904, 569; Eaton, 193; Intern. Cyc.; R. McN., 1935)

Source: Elliott, Katherine. "Place Names of Six Northeast Counties of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1938.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 444 square miles (1,150 km2), of which 437 square miles (1,130 km2) is land and 7.4 square miles (19 km2) (1.7%) is water

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Lewis County (north)
  • Adams County, Illinois (northeast)
  • Pike County, Illinois (southeast)
  • Ralls County (south)
  • Monroe County (southwest)
  • Shelby County (west)


Public schools

Hannibal Public School District No. 60 - Hannibal
Palmyra R-I School District - Palmyra
Marion County R-II School District - Philadelphia

Private schools

Holy Family Catholic School - Hannibal (K-09) - Roman Catholic
St. John' Lutheran School - Hannibal (K-06) - Lutheran


Hannibal-LaGrange University - Hannibal - A private, four-year Southern Baptist university

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