The first settlers in Marion township were David James and James Brown, who came in 1832. It is claimed that James Brown was the first actual settler in the township, coming in the fall of the year 1832. Thomas Pennington, Ebenezer Fields and a few others settled here in the spring of 1833. Asa Ross and Henry Vanover, both from Kentucky, came in 1838. Prior to the last named year there had settled in the township Rebecca Clevinger, David Groomer, Taylor McCulley, William Roper, and Elijah Frost. The majority of these settlers had come from Kentucky.

The first settlements were along Grindstone Creek, and were among the first in Daviess county. The nearness to and the abundance of water and timber and the fertility of the soil were the chief considerations that induced the settlement in this territory to the exclusion of other locations now regarded more valuable. The pioneers of this township bore their full share. of the privations and hardships of frontier life, and have left behind them . not only an honorable memory, but a goodly heritage of fertile territory, which is now being turned to good account by their successors and descendants.

The first practicing physicians in Marion township were Doctors J. W. Hightree and Whitley Miller. The former still lives and is in active practice at Civil Bend.

The first school-house was a small shanty built of small logs or poles, and stood near the Swaney settlement. It bore no comparison to any one of the eleven roomy, comfortable school houses in the township today, being built in the homeliest, simplest, fashion and furnished in the most frugal, primitive style. The first teacher in the pioneer school-building was Jonathan Trotter.

In nearly every family there was. a weaver of more or less proficiency, who wove the cloth used by the family, but Mrs. Rebecca Clevinger and Mrs. William Roper were especially noted as accomplished weavers in the. early days of this township. They wove nearly all the cloth requiring considerable skill and knowledge of the loom and shuttle.

Among the first settlers, not mentioned in the foregoing list, there was John McCulley, who improved the Grantham and Hightree farms. Mr. McCulley afterwards went to Texas, but returned, and when last heard from was living at Stewartsville, DeKalb county.

Back to: Daviess County