Side 1:(Continued on other side)Side 2:
The site that became Marion was settled by Michael McElroy, traditionally known by his alias, Michael Muckle, around 1817. McElroy sold his property, which had become known as Muckle's Ridge, to Anderson West in 1818. West and his wife moved into McElroy's cabin, located near where the old jail is today, and cleared off a cornfield, upon which the courthouse now sits. The Alabama legislature formed Perry County in 1819, and the first county seat was at Perry Ridge, near the Cahaba. The state selected a committee to select a new county seat in early 1822, as Perry Ridge was too isolated from the majority of the county. Muckle's Ridge won the committee's vote because of its central location. Anderson West, owner of the town site, hoped to become wealthy by auctioning off his property into town lots. Unfortunately, the day of the auction, May 22, 1822, was rainy; the roads were nearly impassable, and few attended the auction. Many of the town lots sold for bargain prices.
(Continued from other side)Later in 1822, a community committee voted on a new name for the county seat, with Marion being chosen to honor General Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox" of the American Revolution. A two-story log cabin courthouse was erected on the site of the present-day courthouse in the 1820s. A brick building replaced it in 1837. The current courthouse was built 1854-1856. General Sam Houston of Texas gave a speech here in May 1840. Later in the 19th century, the square was the hub of public life through the turbulent days of the Civil War and Reconstruction. This site was at the center of the civil and voting rights movements of the 1960s. Michael Muckle's former pioneer homestead remains the heart of the social, business, cultural, and political life of Perry County.