Marion is a small city in Southern Illinois and serves the rural area as one of the region's largest retail trade centers. It is located at the intersection of Illinois Route 13 and Interstate 57. Originally platted in 1839 to become the county seat of the newly created Williamson County, it was named after American Revolutionary War hero General Francis "Swamp Fox" Marion. Today it has 17,282 residents, according to a special census conducted in November 2006, and is continuing to grow. The city's longtime municipal leader, Mayor Robert L. "Bob" Butler has borrowed Boston, Massachusetts's nickname, stating the city is "Marion: Hub of the Universe. " It sits at the edge of the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge with the Shawnee National Forest just a few miles away. Southwest of the city is the United States Penitentiary, Marion, the federal government's replacement for Alcatraz Island prison.