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History Book



RESPECT THE COPYRIGHT: This book is still under copyright by the Marion County Historical Association and may not be used for any purpose other than your own personal research. It may not be reproduced nor placed on any web page nor used by anyone or any entity for any type of "for profit" endeveor.

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Lingering memories of voices long silenced by death and the haunting half-forgotten stories that we heard from some of the pioneer settlers of Marion County confront us now with the sad and sobering thought that too late we realize that their unwritten stories were a valuable heritage which we failed to recognize and lost. And in losing, this history of Marion County, as we have tried to write it, is the loser.

Many have said in substance: "If fifty years ago we had recognized the living source of the early history possessed by these pioneers and had recorded for posterity their stories of the people and events of yesteryear, today we would have more knowledge of these early settlers, their struggles, their difficulties, their defeats, their courage, their determination, their triumphs and their victories that changed a wilderness into Marion County." We did not. This effort is an attempt to record for the present and the future some of the history of the people and events in Marion County.

This volume is not the product of the research, knowledge, imagination and literary talent of any one individual. Rather it is a cooperative effort of dedicated citizens working together as one with the idea of putting together a written record of Marion County and its people from 1836 until 1976.

The reader must recognize that it is not an effort to write an authentic history supported in detail by figures, dates and statistics. Our task, it seemed to us was, as expressed by the historian, Macauly - "To make the past, present; to bring the present near to invest with reality of human flesh and blood, beings whom we are too much inclined to consider as personified qualities." No attempt has been made to present these as heroes or villains; for they, as we are, were but common men and women who once lived and loved and laughed, and sometimes won and sometimes lost. Their efforts and their purposes, again like ours, were not always noble, selfless and above reproach. Such is history. The men and women, the events and stories related thereto are presented herein to make us realize that the advantages and improvements we enjoy today come to us as the result of the efforts of these pioneers and make us realize that much remains to be done by us before we reach the "promised Land." This means, that while it is good to take a glance of the past by looking backward, it is better to spend more time and effort in an attempt to profit from the mistakes of the past.

Samuel Novey, M.D., in the Philosophy of History, page 18, expressed the idea more eloquently when he wrote these words: "The aim of history is to know the elements of the present by understanding what came into the present from the past. For the present is simply the undeveloped past, developing, and the past the undeveloped present. The antiquarian strives to bring back the past for the sake of the past. The historian strives to show the present to itself by revealing its origin from the past. The goal of the antiquarian is the dead past. The goal of the historian is the living present."

We do not pose as historians, nor do we offer this as the final and absolute with reference to the history of Marion County. Much of what follows cannot be authenticated from written records, for much of it has come to us orally; which confirms Dr. Johnson's definition of history: "All history first was oral."

It is our hope that the reading of this history will strengthen and solidify the aspirations, the energies, the efforts and accomplishments of the people to this end; that people of Marion County will enjoy fuller and better life. Paraphrasing a statement of Joseph Anderson "There is nothing that strengthens and solidifies a nation, like reading that nation's own history, whether such history is recorded in books, or embodied in customs, institutions and monuments." To this end we submit for your reading, this - THE BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MARION COUNTY.

Lyle Wood, Chairman.

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Linda Haas Davenport