Union County

The county was formed in 1820 and was named due to the union of parts of three other counties, Fayette, Franklin and Wayne counties.  Its first county seat was located in Brownsville, a small town that was located on the Whitewater River, but was later moved to Liberty, a more central location.  The county is primarily agricultural. It is the birthplace of Mary Alice Smith, the inspiration of “Little Orphan Annie,”  an 1885 poem written by James Whitcomb Riley, however the poem was originally titled, “The Elf Child.”  Mary Alive Smith was an orphan living in the Riley home during her childhood.