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The famous African-American author and poet, Langston Hughes, spent much of his childhood in Lexington, Kentucky.
Marion County, Kentucky, has a rich and diverse history dating back to its establishment in 1834. The region was originally home to various Native American tribes, including the Shawnee, who inhabited the area long before European settlers arrived. The county was named after the American Revolutionary War general, Francis Marion, who is known as the "Swamp Fox."

In the early 19th century, Marion County experienced rapid growth and development due to its fertile soil and location along the Rolling Fork River. The county became a hub for agriculture, with tobacco, corn, and wheat being the primary crops. This agricultural prosperity attracted many settlers from neighboring states seeking new opportunities.

The county played a significant role in the Civil War, with both Union and Confederate sympathizers residing in Marion County. The Battle of Lebanon, which took place in 1863, saw Confederate forces briefly occupy the town before being forced to retreat. This event had a lasting impact on the county and its residents.

In the early 20th century, Marion County underwent economic changes as traditional agricultural practices gave way to industrialization. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century spurred economic growth, leading to the establishment of manufacturing industries and the growth of the town of Lebanon as a regional center. Today, Marion County maintains its agricultural roots while embracing modern industries and offering a rich historical heritage for residents and visitors alike.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Marion County, Kentucky.

  • 1774: First settlers arrive in the area that would become Marion County.
  • 1834: Marion County is officially established as an independent county.
  • 1839: The county seat is relocated to Lebanon.
  • 1846: Marion County's population reaches over 9,000 residents.
  • 1861: Civil War begins, and many Marion County residents join the Union Army.
  • 1865: Civil War ends, and the county begins to rebuild and recover.
  • 1897: The Kentucky House of Representatives passes an act to establish a state normal school (now known as St. Catharine College).
  • 1937: Myrtle Reid becomes the first female mayor of Lebanon.
  • 1996: Marion County Knights win their first-ever state basketball championship.
  • 2015: Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto celebrates its 60th anniversary.