Marion County Chancery Court

250 Broad Street, #2
Columbia, MS 39429-2962

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History of Marion County, Mississippi

Marion County has history older than the state of Mississippi. Founded in 1811, six years before Mississippi was established as the 20th state, Marion County was named after General Francis Marion, a Revolutionary War hero known as the “Swamp Fox.” Columbia, which was named after the South Carolina home of its first settlers, John and William Lott, was incorporated as the state’s fourth municipality in 1819. Columbia served as the temporary state capital from November 1821 until early 1822, when the fifth session of the Mississippi Legislature met there. Among the orders of business, legislators inaugurated Governor Walter Leake as the third governor of Mississippi and selected LeFleur’s Bluff, now known as Jackson, as the permanent capital.

The grandeur of the old Marion County Courthouse is every bit as evident today as it was in the early 1800s when it was first constructed. As one of the first large buildings in Columbia, the courthouse combined the architectural styles of Classical Revival, Colonial Revival and Italianate. The courthouse served as the temporary state capitol from late 1821 into early 1822, and in its current capacity, the building serves as the courthouse for Marion County and as offices for local government officials.