East Marion Township History

East Marion Township, or congressional township nine south, range three east was settled early and rapidly. The old Lick road from Equality passed through the township, as did the Frankfort-Vienna post road. The road to Brownsville and the Mississippi branched off m Davis Prairie. Thousands of settlers came along these roads, and desirable home sites were preempted early.

James L. Cochran made the first land entry in the township in 1816, two years after the land office was opened at Shawneetown. The next year, Richard Bankston made legal his ownership of the land north of Marion where he had been living since 1812. But he sold his rights after a year to Elijah N. Spiller, and his land became in time the site of Spillertown.

George Davis made his land entry in 1819, and six years after built one of the first horse mills, then built the second water mill in the county. Stephen Stilley built a mill about 1825 at his home on Little Crab Orchard Creek near the east line of the township. Joab Goodall’s horse mille was built in 1830 southeast of Marion beyond the juncture of the Golconda and Equality roads where Goodall’s Bridge still crosses Crab Orchard Creek.

In the thirties, land entries were made thick and fast, generally by men who had been living in the township for several years. James A. Parks; John D. Sanders, the first Sheriff; Dempsey Odum, the legislator; Elijah N. Spiller, in whose home the Christian Church was first organized in the county; Solomon Caplinger, the blacksmith at Caplinger’s Pond; William Benson, the donor of Marion; Joab Goodall, John N. Calvert and Addison Reese, future members of the county court, made their land entries in the thirties.

This court divided the township between Brushy Prairie and Davis Prairie road districts, of which Dempsey Odum and John Wright were named supervisors in June 1839 just before the county division. The Williamson County Commissioner’s Court at its first meeting in October 1839 made road districts and congressional townships identical. William Harvey was named road supervisor.

Before the division, citizens of this township seem to have voted in Saline Precinct. The judges at the election in August 1839 to decide on the county division were Hugh Parks, Jonathon Norman, and George Davis. Their clerks were Robert L. Pulley and Dempsey Odum. Each judge and clerk was allowed $1 for his services at the poll.

The first Williamson county commissioners made the entire center of the county, from north to south, one voting district named Town or Marion precinct. At the general election in 1938 there were five precincts in this township, three in the east part of the city, one at Spillertown, and one at Moeller s crossroads.

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(Extracted from Pioneer Folks and Places, Barbara Barr Hubbs, 1939, on sale at the Williamson County Museum)