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Its county seat is the city of Marion and is named for General Francis "The Swamp Fox" Marion, an officer in the Revolutionary War.
Agriculture and diversified industries form the economic base of the Marion area. Approximately 80 percent of Marion County's land area is devoted to farming with corn, soybeans, hogs and dairy cattle as the principal products.
Much of Marion's rich history has been captured at Heritage Hall and the Marion Popcorn Museum. Marion was the home to the late President Warren G. Harding and his wife, Florence. Their home and the granite memorial at the site of their burial plots are both listed in the National Registry of Historical Places.
One of the jewels of the cultural scene in Marion is the fully restored Palace Theatre, a 1920's Vaudeville theater with 1,431 seats. It was purchased and saved from the wrecking ball by civic-minded Marion families and businesses. The 6,500-seat Veteran's Memorial Coliseum at the Marion County Fairgrounds provides another venue for larger shows and exhibitions.