MARION COUNTY, situated in the central part of Iowa and traversed by Des Moines river. Area, ----- square miles. Seat of justice, Knoxville. Pop. in 1850, 5,482. (Fanning's, 1853)
MARION, a county in the S. central part of Iowa, has on area of 676 square miles. The River Des Moines flows through the county in a S. E. direction, receiving in its passage the Whitebreast river and English creek; the S. E. part is traversed by Cedar creek. Extensive prairies occur in the county, but it has also a large proportion of timber. The surface is undulating, and in some parts broken; the soil is productive, and well watered. Wheat, Indian corn, oats, grass, and pork arc the staples. In 1850 the county produced 219,565 bushels of Indian corn; 17,094 of wheat; 12,850 of oats, and 1780 tons of hay. It contained 1 church, 792 pupils attending public schools, and 240 attending an academy. Stone coal and iron abound along the banks of Des Moines river. The streams furnish valuable water-power. Settled about 1843. Capital, Knoxville. Population, 5482. (Baldwin's New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States..., 1854)
MARION COUNTY Was settled in October, 1845, by Wilson Stanley, L. G. Terry, L. W. Babbitt, Dr. R. Mathews, E. & T. Jenkins, J. D. Bedell, and E. G. Stanfield. The present population of the county is 11,065 — of Knoxville, the county-seat, 600.
In the county-seat are one Methodist, and one Congregational, edifices. The different denominations are Methodist, Lutheran, Congregational, Presbyterian, Baptist, Missionary Baptist, Associate Reformed, and United Brethren.
The number of public schools is stated to be sixty-six. Two high schools — one in Knoxville, another in Pella — all in a prosperous condition. A college is being erected in Pella by the Missionary Baptists.
Several steam saw and flouring-mills in operation, but threefold more needed. Also manufactories of all kinds wanted.
Soil good for farming purposes, timber plenty, water abundant and excellent. Prairie unsurpassed by any in the Union. Climate good. Winters admirably adapted for stock, owing to their dryness and evenness. Stone-coal, of excellent quality, abounds in veins eight feet thick. Splendid lime and sandstone, for building purposes, abundant.
The towns in the county are, Knoxville, Pella, Divide, Bennington, Paran City, Wheeling P. O., Rousseau, Pleasantville, Red Rock, Amsterdam, Pt. English, English P. O., Bellefontaine, Attica P. O., Red Cedar P. O., Newtown, Newburn, Marysville P. O., and Hamilton P. O. A newspaper is now published at Pella, and another is about to be established in Knoxville. (Iowa As It Is in 1855; A Gazetteer for Citizens..., 1855)