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The Village of Marine previously known as The Town of Marine, was known as one of the most fertile townships, where both grain and stock were successfully farmed. The first settlers to the area described Marine as rolling land with wooded areas. The Creeks provided a great water source which helped to attract many of the first settlers. Many early settlers stayed in Marine and the town prospered till these settlers moved on to the West.
1818 bought a post office to Marine, this post office was a stopping and transporting point for many different stagecoaches which bought both passengers and mail transportation. Mail was then transported by barges as the postmasters realized that the waterways were the perfect transportation option. The pony express was also known to use Marine as a stopping point, this mail transportation was eventually taken over by motorized vehicles.
The town of Marine now known as the Village of Marine was laid out by James Semple, George W. Welsh, Abram Breath, and Jordan.W.Jeffress. The Town of Marine was platted and officially recorded in the Madison County Courthouse on 14 July 1836.
Today The Village of Marine while being a small village itself, is surrounded by many thriving towns and is 30 miles from the City of St Louis. The village of Marine provides a small town feeling and its population includes many young families with children under 18. There is one elementary school in Marine which comes under the Triad Community Schools district.
Located in Madison County, Illinois, The Village of Marine covers a total area of 0.71 square miles with 0.69 being land and 0.02 being water.
The 2010 census showed the population of Marine to be 960 people.
Early History of Marine
1717 - Illinois became part of the French colony of Louisiana.
1778 -George Rogers Clark
(1752 - 1818) defeated the British at Kaskaskia, securing the Illinois country for Virginia.
1783 - Treaty of Paris extended the United States boundary to include the Illinois country.
1784 - Virginia relinquished its claim to Illinois.
1787 - Northwest Ordinance placed Illinois in the Northwest Territory.
1800 - Congress created the Indiana Territory, which included Illinois.
1809 - Illinois became an independent territory. History indicates that the Kickapoo Indians lived in Illinois during the 1700s and early 1800s following the departure of the Illinois/Illiniwek Indians.
1812 - The Prairie Kickapoo Indians joined the Vermilion Band against the United States during the War of 1812 (1812-1815).
1818 - Illinois became the twenty-first state. Population of the state was 34,620.
1819 - Kickapoo Indians signed a land treaty on 30 July 1819, at Edwardsville, Illinois ceding all their lands in Illinois and Indiana.
1832 - The Kickapoo Indians were ordered west. The last holdouts went in 1834.
Marine Township (Township 4, Range 6) was one of the most fertile townships in the country, adapted to both grain and stock growing. Originally, about one-third of the area of this township was timber. In 1873, about one-half was cleared and in cultivation. It is well watered by the Sugar Fork of Silver Creek, which transverses its entire length, from north to south, a little east of the center.
The area was described as beautiful rolling land with bits of wooded areas. The rich soil, the creeks with smaller streams containing a water supply was an inviting place for these pioneer home seekers.
In the very early days, buffalo roamed as buffalo horns were scattered over the prairie for years after the first settlement. Wild elk horns could also be seen. Animals and birds in the prairie were: gray wolves, black and prairie wolves: wild cats were numerous; a panther occasionally attacked animals and man; a bager was occasionally killed but not after 1830; lynx were sometimes seen; deer were plentiful; four varieties of squirrels (fox, grey, flying and ground squirrel); gray and bald eagles were common in pioneer times; pheasants came after the first settlement; several varieties of owls (screech owls, large prairie owls and the largest horned owl); wild ducks and geese, cranes, herons, and swans were found about the lakes. There were also prairie chickens and beavers.
The Kickapoo Indians lived and hunted in all Madison County which included Marine Township. It is not known how many Indians remained in the area when the early settlers came to Marine Township but buy 1834, they had all moved west.
Travel of Early Settlers to the Marine Settlement:
Some of the pioneer families reached the Marine Settlement by two different routes. Some traveled through Virginia, then by way of the Shenanoah Valley to Tennessee, through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky, ferried by flatboats across the Ohio River to Shawneetown in Southern Illinois. From there, they continued their overland journey in their conveyances such as covered wagons, two wheel carts, horseback, and rockaways (a four-wheeled pleasure carriage with two or three seats (each for two persons) and a standing top). The other route was to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where flatboats were secured and used to float down from the Ohio River to Shawneetown traveling the overland trail by wagon to Saint Louis, Missouri and the to the prairie.
THE START OF MARINE SETTLEMENT:
1813 -Major Issac Ferguson and John Warrick were the first settlers. They built the first cabins in Section 32.
1813 - Rev. Sammuel Lindley, a Baptist minister, preached the first sermon at the residence of Major Ferguson. Peter Cartwright preached the first Methodist sermon.
1814 - Arthur Travis taught the first school in Major Ferguson's smoke house. Elisabeth A. Ferguson, daughter of Major I. H. Ferguson, was the first child born which occurred on 14 March 1814.
1815 - John Barnsby and Mary Johnson was the first marriage. Leffert French and Sarah Matthews were also married. Elijah Ferguson, brother of Major Ferguson, was the first death.
1819 - Captain Curtiss Blakeman, with a party of seventy-two (72) emigrants, settled in Marine; many of them and their descendants, being prominent citizens of Madison County in 1873.
1819 - Captain Blakeman and his party purchased 1,120 acres of land in Marine Township in Section 32 and 33 at the cost of $1.25 per acre.
Between 1818 and 1835 Major Issac Ferguson and Rowland P. Allen were alternating Postmasters. The Post Offices were located in their homes. [In 1775, Benjamin Franklin was the first Postmaster General under the Comtinental Congress. In 1789, the federal post office was created under the new government of the United States. By the start of the 1800s, the Post Office Department bought several stagecoaches for transporting both mail and passengers on the nations post roads. In 1823 the Post Office began using steamboats to transport mail between river-linked towns that shared no common road. By 1831, it had began sending mail short distances via trains ('iron horses') and remained the major mail carries until replaced by automobiles and trucks at the beginning of the 20th century. The Pony Express was operated between 1860 until closure on 26 October 1861.] It appears that the early mail delivery to the Marine Settlement was by stagecoach. Early records indicate that the two-story building located on the southwest corner of Duncan and Division Streets on Route 143 (known as "Hagenbruch's Travern") was the "drop-off point" for mail by stagecoaches and the Pony Express. Prior to the development of the town of Marine, the "drop-off point" was probably at the Ferguson and Allen homes.
1820 - A town was platted and lots were offered for sale "in the town of Madison in the Marine Settlement", by Captain Curtiss Blakeman, George Allen and several other settlers. The sale was held on 18 November 1820 but was not successful. The Marine Settlement (named for the early sea-faring pioneers) were just small groups of cabins.
1820 - Captain Curtiss Blakeman donated land for building the first church and school house. The church was built in 1821 and was the "Union Church". The building was still standing in 1873 but the building had been moved to another location and was being used as a barn. The first real school house was built the same year.
1822 - Charles Curtiss (cemetery inventory indicates his first name was George) was the first teacher. He died on 18 September 1822, at the age of 24 years 8 months. He was the first burial on the grounds next to the church. This burial was the start of what was to become the Marine Cemetery.
1823 - Captain Curtiss Blakeman Built a grist mill located in the northwest corner of Marine. It was first run with oxen but a windmill was later used for its power. It burnt down but no information is known as to the date and cause.
1833 - Captain Curtiss Blakeman died on 20 May 1833 at the Marine Settlement of cholera. His daughter, Bythenia, also died on the same day of cholera. His second wife, Eliza, died the next day (21 May) of cholera. They were buried in the northeast section of the Marine Cemetery.
1834 - George W. Welsh, James Semple, Jordan W. Jeffress, and Abram Breath laid out the town of Marine, on part of Section 16, which is the location of the current village. In 1873, it was known as a thriving town of over 1,000 inhabitants. Abram Breath gave the village a gift of approximately 4 acres for the village park.
1836 - On 10 May 1836, the town of Marine was platted. On 14 July 1836, the plat was recorded in the Madison County Courthouse by Abram Breath, George W. and Mary Welsh.
In 1910, the building was built for the American Women's League and was dedicated in 1911. In 1938 it became the Marine Library. Charles Gravius willed $4,000 to the library in 1940 under the condition that the building be called the Gravius Public Library. Today, it is known as the Gravius Memorial Library. The library was closed in later years for a period, but it is now open again on a limited schedule. The appearance of the building's exterior has changed very little over the years. It is on the National Register of Historical Places.
Marine Village Park
100-199 N Duncan Street
Marine, IL 62061
Marine Heritage Park
N. Verson and Mill Street
Marine, IL 62061
(Railhead for Madison County Bikeway)
S. Humboldt Street
Marine, IL 62061
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