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Missouri was admitted to the Union as the 24th state on August 10, 1821, becoming the first state entirely west of the Mississippi River.
Marion County, located in northeastern Missouri, has a rich history stretching back thousands of years. It was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Illinois and Osage, who relied on the fertile land for farming and hunting. European exploration of the area began in the 17th century, with French fur trappers and explorers making their way through the region.

In the early 19th century, American settlers started to establish communities in what would become Marion County. The county itself was officially organized in 1826 and named after Revolutionary War General Francis Marion. The main industries during this period were farming, mining, and river transportation.

During the American Civil War, Marion County was divided, with residents supporting both the Union and Confederate causes. The county experienced several skirmishes and battles, including the famous Battle of Hannibal in July 1861. After the war, the county focused on rebuilding, with an emphasis on agriculture and the development of transportation infrastructure like railroads and highways.

In the early 20th century, Marion County continued to thrive as an agricultural center, with corn, soybeans, and livestock becoming major industries. The county also became known for its strong educational institutions, including the prestigious Hannibal-LaGrange University. Today, Marion County preserves its historical charm while embracing modern industries and tourism, with attractions like Mark Twain's childhood home drawing visitors from all over the world.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Marion County, Missouri.

  • 1822: Marion County is established as a county in the state of Missouri.
  • 1826: Marion County becomes the county seat of Palmyra.
  • 1832: The first courthouse in Palmyra is built.
  • 1836: The county experiences rapid growth due to the Santa Fe Trail passing through.
  • 1861-1865: The American Civil War takes place, and Marion County sees significant military action.
  • 1875: The current Marion County Courthouse is built in Palmyra.
  • 1930: The Mark Twain State Park is established in Marion County.
  • 1993: The Mark Twain State Park is expanded with the addition of the John F. Spalding Recreation Area.
  • 2003: The Palmyra Historic District is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 2010: The population of Marion County reaches approximately 28,781 people.