Marion township was not organized as a township until the fourth decade of the century. Before that time it
had been a part of Benton township, that is, after the latter township's origin. Marion is the smallest civil division
of the county in point of area, but in agriculture and the character of her citizens stands high in the scale.
The land is generally rolling, the rich uplands of clay and the stream valleys with fine alluvial deposits producing
many acres of fine farm country. The timber has been noted for its quality, firmness and full size. Many crystal
springs spout their cooling waters from the soil, which is a pleasant and Valuable feature of the township. Keokuk
limestone, both varieties, constitutes the main geological feature of the township. Granite bowlders, specimens
of greenstone, sienite, quartzite and felspar are numerous, and beautiful geodes and fossils are also plentiful.
Knobstone is also present, and black sand, magnetic iron ore, and containing traces of gold. The township was named
in honor of Francis Marion, of Revolutionary fame.
Strange to say, the township of Marion was not settled until many years after its organization. This is due
to no topographical fault of the township. The long distance from the county seat, the absence of any carrying
streams, and the isolation from the settlements and the traveled highways, were the reasons for the delayed influx
It is not possible to give confirmation to the record of the first settler, as many lived here as squatters, without
any intention of entering land from the government. However, the first land bought within the township was on section
6, and was entered on July 30, 1823, by Osborn & Brown, merchants, who later sold the land without ever having
lived on it. John Buckner made the second entry, in 1827 on section 18, and he was probably the first real white
settler. He entered a piece of ground on section 7 at the same time. He built a log home for his family, and lived
the typical pioneer life of hard work and much privation. His residence here covered many years, and he witnessed
the development of his township from the very beginning In September, 1829, Shad Martin entered a tract of land
on section 18. This was the third. James Stew bought land in 1832 on section 2. In 1832, A. H. Fulford purchased
in section 4. James and Wylie Poynter bought land on section 4 in 1833, the year of the great meteoric shower.
During the same year Adam Wall purchased in section 21. The Hendricksons came to sections 15, 21, 22 and 14 in
1834. There were three of them, named Thomas, J. Joshua and Ezekiel, who were among the most substantial pioneers
of the day. Reuben Stepp purchased on section 21 in 1835, and on section 6 in 1836. William Stewart and Henry Hicks
selected ground on section 2 in 1837. George Downey occupied this section in 1836, and on section 3 the following
year. John M. Thomas and Spencer McDaniel took farms on section 4 in 1837. Valentine Hacker and G. Percifield were
on section 6 in 1836, and Thomas M. Graham in 1837 on section 8; Savoy Stepps and David Wampler purchased tracts
on section 9 in 1837, and Joseph Baugh and William McMillen on section 14 in the same year. Michael Fleener was
an early settler of section 35. John J. Graham was in section 3 in 1838, and George M. Fry on section 2 in 1839.
William Woodall bought on section 36 in 1839. The forties brought no increase, that is appreciable increase, in
the selling of the land, but with the coming of the fifties nearly all of the land was purchased by men who became