XVI. MARSHALL COUNTY AS THE WHITE MAN FOUND IT.

 

Marshall County was a part of the territory belonging to the Menominee tribe of Indians, and included in the government purchase under the treaty of Tippecanoe River made in 1832. It is a timbered region interspersed with prairies, formerly regarded as marshlands and valueless, now held most valuable. The heavy timber lies in the shape of a reversed letter E, the open

 


HISTORY OF MARSHALL COUNTY.                                     71

 

part to the west, the upright body of the letter represented by a tract fifteen by twenty-one miles on the east side of the County; the cross line by a tract to eight miles wide at the south end, with some smaller tracts In the center of the west side representing the cross in the middle of the letter. The remainder is made up of prairie and barrens (not barren land, but light timber) and prairies.

 

The heavy timber consists of all the hard and soft timbers, except the resinous-oak, ash," hickory, maple, beech, elm, walnut, butternut, linn, poplar, etc., and in all the varieties of these woods. The barrens are variously timbered with white, burr, yellow, and black oak and hickory, and the heavy barrens have the heavy timbers scattered without undergrowth, while the light barrens are like large orchards. The face of the land is gently undulating, with no abrupt elevations or declines. There is every variety of soil, the greater portion being the deep, rich, black loam of the heavy timbered lands. The burr oak barrens have rich sandy loam. The white oak barrens, clay and sand. The black and yellow oak, light sandy soil with clay bottom. The marshes, the richest and finest of alluvium, producing heavy growths of the best hay.

 

Every kind of farm production is raised in abundance; crops are reasonably certain and the yield remunerative.

 

Yellow river rises in the northeast part of the county, and flows through it southwesterly. From eighteen to twenty-five miles distant from the county seat, on the east and south of the county and partly through it, flows the Tippecanoe River; on the north and west, the Kankakee; on the northeast the St. Joseph, and about forty-two miles northwest and north lies Lake Michigan.

Pine creek in the northwestern portion of the county, and Wolf creek in the center are the only streams of note. Small streams flow through all the wet prairies, and good water is abundant almost everywhere. In almost every portion of the county flowing wells of pure artesian water are secured at a depth of from fifty to 100 feet.

 

Pretty lake, three miles west of the county seat, is a beautiful sheet of water about two miles in circumference. Since the organization of the county it has of late years become a noted summer resort, and around its beautiful shores have been built nearly fifty summer cottages.

 

Lake of the Woods, known also as "Big Lake," in the northeast part of the county, not far from Bremen, is about five miles in circumference, and is famous for fish.

 

Twin lakes, three in number, extending from the center of the county to the west line of West township, are all beautiful sheets of water, and good fishing is had in all of them. The middle Twin lake is noted for the Menominee Indian village that stood on its north bank, where the old Indian chapel formerly stood, and from which place the Pottawattomie Indians were driven away in 1838. At the end of the lower Twin Lake was built the first gristmill in Marshall County, in 1836-37.

 

Maxinkuckee Lake in the southwest part of the county is about twelve miles in circumference, three miles long and two and one-half wide, it is fed entirely by springs that burst up from the bottom, and the natural rainfall. In its primitive state, before the forest trees that lined its shores were cut down by the white men who settled there, it was the most beautiful

 


72                                            HISTORY OF MARSHALL COUNTY.

 

sheet of water anywhere to be found. In the early times deer and other wild animals drank of its rippling waters unmolested. Fish and wild game of all kinds were abundant, and it was indeed a most charming spot.

 

The Michigan road crosses the county from north to south, starting at Michigan City and ending at Madison, Ind.

 

The Yellow River Valley.

 

Marshall county is in w hat is known as the "Yellow River Valley," which was beautifully pictured by the late C.H. Reeve, in an address a few years before his death, and it is reproduced here as setting forth historical facts worthy of being perpetuated. Mr. Reeve said:

 

"Those who are residents and read the newspapers should rejoice that they live in the safe and beautiful Yellow river valley. I suppose few of them ever stop to think that they do live in a valley; that westward the land rises from thirty to fifty or more feet to the mile, until it reaches the summit a few miles out, and then slopes away on the great Kankakee plains, at only about six to eight inches to the mile to the Kankakee river, and then rises again to the high tableland of the prairies; while on the north and northeast it rises in like manner to the summit and then slopes away to the St. Joseph river; the same on the east, southeast and south to the Tippecanoe river.

 

"Nor do they regard our inland position and timbered protection, where the wild storms sweeping up the valleys of the larger streams above named, and from Lake Michigan and the great western prairies are carried up by the rising land toward us, and so high over our heads instead of tearing us in pieces, while the timber, obstructing the currents, makes clouds and rain, and saves us from droughts. As day after day the reports of the terrible storms all over the country came to us, and the wailing of the victims of pestilence leaving knowledge of the awful desolation in their track, our quiet valley is full of peace and safety no failure of crops, no epidemics, no floods or great droughts, with good lands, ready and convenient markets, no public local debts, schools and churches convenient on every hand, the farmers of the Yellow river valley should hug themselves with delight in their safety and prosperity! We have passed the excitement and trials of pioneer life, and are settling into the permanency and stability of slow and progressive prosperity in place of the wild and speculative rush for wealth that constitute the movements of new localities. But more than all we have safety. Here the elements do not war. While we have no coal, or iron, or stone, or precious metals in mines, or great waterpower, we have nearly 500 square miles of as good land as is in the world, taken as a body; we have health, abundance of valuable timber, good and certain crops, good water easily obtained; our lovely and now famous Maxinkuckee lake, and our unsurpassed Yellow river valley.

 

"The proud and ambitious, the restless and the grumbling, may emigrate, but the wise will be content with our quiet valley, where, in fact, they have what they cannot find elsewhere, with so few discomforts and evils, and which should be, if it is not, held at its true value. Sixty years of personal knowledge and half a century of continuous residence should enable me to know, and in that belief I pay this brief and truthful tribute to one of the fairest spots in all the land."

 


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There is no more delightful scenery to be found anywhere in this than along the rivers and lakes and over the hills and valleys in county, and especially in the autumn clays when the leaves are receiving the golden tints that present to view a "picture that no painter has the coloring to mock! The reader will pardon the writer of this history, if he pauses a moment from, the dry complication of historical information to add a slight tribute to The Beauties of Autumn, in connection with his late friend Reeve's beautiful address on "our unsurpassed Yellow river valley." As he writes the autumn tints are just beginning to give the maple and other forest leaves their farewell kiss, and soon the whole country will be a golden picture of rare beauty! During the golden days of which these are typical, the period known as "Indian summer," when the golden rod, the national flower, is adding charm to the scene in every direction, it has been the custom of the writer for many years past to spend a few days in the country, about the rivers and lakes, through the woods and hazelnut patches, among the grape vines and hawthorn bushes, and listen to the birds singing in the branches, and watch the squirrels as they jump from limb to limb gathering nuts for the winter's supply of food, and for the time being get out of sight and hearing distance of the petty annoyances that continually confront one in the every-day humdrum of life in the struggle for existence.

 

If you do not own a bicycle or an automobile, or a horse and buggy, and are too poor to hire one, take your lunch basket and hammock, and a Kodak, if you have one, and start for the woods. Never mind the traveled roads. Climb the fences and tramp through the fields, and so on through the woods, following some cow path, or an old Indian trail, of which there are still a few that can be traced. Don't hurry to get to some given point. Just take your time. When you get tired, hang your hammock and take a rest. Don't take any novels or stories of "the villain still pursued her" kind with you. You probably read too much trash of that sort when at home. Take out your pencil and scratch book, make rough sketches of the beautiful scenes that especially attract your attention, and jot clown your impressions of the beauties and grandeur of nature that come under your observation.

 

You have probably traveled much and visited many places of interest, both in your own country and in foreign lands, and yet, likely you have never been outside of the towns and villages in your own county, and some of them possibly you have never seen. Around all the lakes, big and little; up and down the rivers and creeks in various parts of the county, and through the cultivated and uncultivated regions, the highways and byways, the long shaded lanes, over gravel roads, and on an occasional cut-off through the woods, you will see sights as grand and beautiful as can be seen anywhere on the globe. You can spend several days in this way that will open your eyes and give you a better opinion of the beautiful Yellow river valley and your own county and its possibilities than you ever had before.