Marion County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 30,776. The county seat is Hamilton. The county was created by an act of the Alabama Territorial General Assembly on February 13, 1818. The county seat was originally established in Pikeville in 1820, and moved to Hamilton in 1881. The county was named for General Francis Marion of South Carolina.
Marion County is located in the northwestern part of the state, bounded on the west by the state of Mississippi. It encompasses . The county is a prohibition or dry county, however, the sale of alcohol is permitted within the cities of Guin, Hamilton, and Winfield.
The county was created by the Alabama Territorial General Assembly on February 13, 1818, preceding Alabama's statehood by almost two years. It was created from land acquired from the Chickasaw Indians by the Treaty of 1816. Marion County included all of its current territory and parts of what are now Winston, Walker, Fayette, and Lamar counties in Alabama as well as portions of present-day Lowndes, Monroe, and Itawamba counties in Mississippi. The county was named in honor of General Francis Marion (1732–1795), an American Revolutionary War hero from South Carolina who was known as "The Swamp Fox." Most early settlers of Marion County came from Kentucky and Tennessee after General Andrew Jackson established the Military Road. The first towns in the area were Pikeville, Hamilton (formerly Toll Gate), Winfield, and Guin.
Old Marion County CourthouseIn 1818, the first county courthouse was constructed at Cotton Gin Port, near Amory. It was moved in 1819 to the home of Henry Greer along the Buttachatchee River. Pikeville served as Marion County's first permanent county seat from 1820–82. The town is now abandoned, but the home of Judge John Dabney Terrell Sr., which served as the third county courthouse, still stands. In 1883, Hamilton became the county seat. The first courthouse in Hamilton was destroyed by fire on March 30, 1887, and the second courthouse, constructed in the same place, also burned. A new courthouse, constructed of local sandstone opened in 1901. In 1959, the building was signficantly remodeled to give the structure its current 1950's "international style" design theme.