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Marion County was created in 1844 from portions of Alachua, Mosquito (Orange), and Hillsborough counties.  Until 1853, Marion County included most of what are now Lake and Sumter counties.  in 1849, Putnam County was created and took the northeast portion of Marion.  Levy County's creation took some of the western portion of Marion in 1877.  The county is named after General Francis Marion of South Carolina, a guerilla fighter and hero of the American Revolutionary War.  The Act creating the county of Marion of the Territory of Florida was signed on March 14, 1844, by the territorial governor, R.K. Call.  Many of the early settlers of Marion County were from South Carolina.  The county motto is "Kingdom of the Sun."  Farms in the county are known for breeding champion race horses such as Affirmed and Needles.