Marion was named after the general of the War of Independence, Francis Marion. In 1798, when judicial districts were established in the new state, the county was named Marion in honor of General Francis Marion, the famous “swamp fox from the War of Independence”, under which many members of the local militia served. Today, a statue honoring this guerrilla war hero stands in the town square of Marion, one of many reminders that an exciting story is still vital to life in the city and county of Marion. Marion County and the City of Marion officials began collaborating on a railway-to-trail project in 1986, when the county acquired the Marion to Mullins segment of an abandoned railroad line, and then ceded the portion within the city limits to the city.
Marion Municipal Airport is three nautical miles (4 miles, 6 km) southwest of the Marion Central Business District. Marion's event was notable as the last confirmed lynching of African-Americans in Indiana and the northern United States.