Marion County, TN
HistoryMarion County, located in the southern part of the Cumberland Plateau and the Sequatchie Valley, encompasses five hundred square miles. Established in 1817 out of Cherokee lands, the county was named for General Francis Marion, a Revolutionary War leader in South Carolina. When Tennessee became a state, the Sequatchie Valley was a part of Roane County. The upper end of the valley was established as Bledsoe County in 1807. This county included all of the valley, but treaties with the Cherokees kept white settlers out of the lower end. The first white settlers are thought to have been Amos Griffith and William and James Standifer in 1805, while the area was still part of Roane County.
The first court in 1817 was held in the house of John Shropshire in what is now Whitwell. Then court was held for one year in the old Cheek house, a two-story double log house located south of Whitwell in a place called Cheekville, later named Liberty, where court had been held while this county was still in North Carolina. In 1819 the county seat was moved to Jasper, named in honor of Sergeant Jasper of Revolutionary War fame. The commissioners to select and establish the county seat were William Stone, David Oats, Burgess Matthews, Alexander Kelly, William King, William Stevens, and Davis Miller. Betsy Pack, a Cherokee Indian woman, sold these commissioners forty acres, and the courthouse built in 1820 was near the center of the tract where the present one now stands. John Kelly was the first clerk of the court and Alan Griffith the first registrar.