Pioneers of Marion County
Peter Rane went to California in '52, and returning after an absence of two years, found that his wife had gone to Missouri, and followed her. He never returned.
Simeon Reynolds was born in Duchess county, New York, March 16, 1786, moved to Ohio in 1816 or'17, and from thence to Marion county, November, 1845, elected a member of the State Legislature and served in the House in 1847. Died April 21st, 1852.
Mrs. Amanda Reynolds, his widow, still lives on the farm they first settled on, on Butcher's prairie, and his two sons, who also took claims at the same time, live in the neighborhood. Mrs. R. was the first white woman that become a citizen of this part of the country.
On their arrival, November 2d, Mr. Reynolds and family took lodging in a little cabin formerly owned by Butcher, to whom the government had granted the privilege of making settlement there as early as 1843, in consideration of services he had rendered by repairing or making roads. The claim was at this time owned and occupied by Steel and Neal, of whom Mr. R. purchased it. Soon after this Vanderbilt entered a portion of this claim, securing a title therefor, then took a fortified position on the opposite bank of the river in order to hold it. But he was at length persuaded to capitulate by giving a deed for the land, which he did, and received his entrance money.
The first summer of their residence here was extremely warm, and for a time every member of the family was prostrated by the ague, and consequently much reduced in the way of subsistence. Discouraged at the prospect, Mr. Reynolds began to entertain serious thoughts of returning to the East; but this, he also thought, would be an arbitrary act, in case it should be contrary to the wishes of at least a majority of the family. So he convened a council of all who were of a sufficient age to understand and appreciate the importance of the question, to discuss it fully, and then vote as their judgments dictated. In spite of the most persuasive argument manifest in the pale faces of every member of this model republic in favor of returning to their old home, a decided majority was against it, and all peaceably yielded to the decision.
Some time during the winter of '45-6 Mr. Reynolds and his sons erected a new house 24 by 18 feet square, of hewed logs and lumber, there not being a sawed board about it. For some time this dwelling served as a house of entertainment for immigrants going up the country, and was often so full that there was scarcely room for all to lie down.
One among the few first settlers who are still residents of the township, is Matthew Ruple. He lives in section 14. In his family occurred the birth of the first white child in the county. This was Frances Ruple, born July 23, 1843; she still lives in the township, and is now Mrs. Albert Spore.