“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Princeton in Gibson County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Early Settlers

1789 — 1814

Early Settlers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 23, 2021
1. Early Settlers Marker
Inscription.  Immigration to the Princeton area began to explode after the Northwest Territory was formed in 1787. Young settlers came seeking a place to start their own homestead. They often arrived by way of the Red Bank Trail & Patoka Trace, traveling either on foot or by horse & carrying only a few tools with them. They subsisted off of buffalo, bears, deer, turkeys, acorns, wild rice & barley seeds, until they could raise a patch of corn. The settlers built their own log cabins with the help of their nearest neighbors, who may have lived up to 5 miles away. They also made their own clothing, often using animal hide for material. Educational opportunities for their children were sparse, but they became students of Nature, learning about the land, plants & animals around them & how to survive in their new home. Even though neighbors often lived far apart, the early settlers were a socially connected group who relied on & celebrated with one-another. It is said that wedding invitations were not sent out as they are today because the whole community was invited. A typical wedding celebration included a feast & dancing & often lasted several days. The first
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settler of the Princeton area was John Severns, who was an invaluable liaison between the Native Americans & the settlers. Severns had learned to adopt their customs when he was held captive for 7 years by Native Americans in Virginia. When he arrived in the Princeton area, he was able to befriend the Shawnee Chief “Trackwell” & the Miami Chief due to his understanding of their customs & dialect. In exchange for supplying them with Brandy or “White Man’s Milk,” the Native Americans allowed him to operate a ferry across the Patoka River, near what came to be known as “Severn’s Bridge.”
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1787.
Location. 38° 21.327′ N, 87° 34.218′ W. Marker is in Princeton, Indiana, in Gibson County. Marker is at the intersection of West Broadway Street (Indiana Route 65) and North West Street, on the left when traveling east on West Broadway Street. Marker is located in the heritage plaza at the southeast corner of Downtown Princeton Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 West Broadway Street, Princeton IN 47670, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Native Americans (here, next to this marker); Agriculture (here, next to this marker); Prehistoric Landscape
Early Settlers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 23, 2021
2. Early Settlers Marker
(here, next to this marker); Prince Town (here, next to this marker); Patoka Wildlife Refuge (a few steps from this marker); Stellar Community (a few steps from this marker); Tri-State Tornado (a few steps from this marker); Lyles Station (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Princeton.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Princeton, Indiana
Also see . . .  Severn's Bridge.
John Severns, Sr., a native of Wales, is recognized as the first white settler in Gibson County. While enlisted as a soldier during the Revolutionary War, he secured a furlough to visit his parents in the wilds of West Virginia. While there, he was captured along with his entire family by Indians. After being a prisoner for seven years he made his escape and soon afterward married and settled in Kentucky where he lived for three years. In 1789 John Severns, Sr., settled with his wife and five children on the south bank of the Patoka River, two and one-half miles north of Princeton, Indiana at a point now known as Severns Bridge, where he
Early Settlers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 23, 2021
3. Early Settlers Marker
ran a ferry boat.
(Submitted on January 18, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 20, 2022. It was originally submitted on January 17, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 147 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 18, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Dec. 1, 2023