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“M” is for Marion

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“M” is for Marion (Marion County; 2020 population 6,071). In 1798 a small settlement, initially named Gilesborough, was established in Marion District. By 1826, the town was being called Marion in honor of Francis Marion and the name became official when the town was incorporated in 1847. Marion developed in an orderly fashion from the original town square. In 1854 the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad arrived. The Great Pee Dee River prevented Sherman’s army from visiting Marion in March 1865. A war correspondent for a national magazine described Marion as “a very pretty little village full of trees and gardens and light, elegant houses.” After the Civil War, the town prospered as its population more than doubled. Today, many buildings from this era survive in Marion-- situated along streets lined with ancient oaks draped in Spanish moss.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.