In making this collection of stories of pioneer days in Grant County the compilers desire to preserve for this, and future generations, the rich store of material that is swiftly becoming inaccessible. With the passing away of this generation of pioneers the last of those early settlers who blazed the forest trails and laid the foundation for our present prosperity will have departed forever. The crude cabin has given way to the comfortable, modern home; the primitive forest has fallen to give place to cultivated fields and smiling meadows; the plodding ox-team has been displaced by the swift automobile. And we would not choose to have it otherwise. The world grows apace; yesterday may not become today; tomorrow will be rich in advancement.
The pioneer days in Grant County are gone forever but we do not want them forgotten. The fearless men and heroic women who battled with the wilderness; who made self-sacrifice a joy; who toiled unceasingly that the virgin earth might yield her treasures, have handed down to us of the present too rich a legacy to receive no measure of devotion, no tribute of appreciation in return.
So the History Department of the Marion High School has attempted to save a few stories of these early days in Grant County. We do not claim that all contained in our little booklet is authentic. Old age forgets, and legend is not always truth, but the philosophy of these older people has been as a sort of benediction, and a joy has been our as we followed them into the recesses of memory as they lifted the veil of the past; yea, more than that, we of the now have seen in their dear old faces the Light that fades not, the dawn of a Beyond that they are nearing.
We have realized the delicate nature of the undertaking. There are so many older persons whom we have not been privileged to meet whose wealth of information would have enriched our source material; we could not get to all parts of the County, but have endeavored to reach representative localities.
We feel especially indebted to Supt. A. E. Highley and the Board of Education for encouragement and support in this undertaking; to Mr. B. H. Penrod and the Printing Department for courtesy shown in the publication; to parents who have aided the work of compilation; to friends who have rendered assistance in every way possible, and especially to pupils who have labored “over hours” that this little Booklet may be a success.
MARION HIGH SCHOOL,
Marion, Indiana, 1921.
Cora M. Straughan, Teacher.