The Marlin name is well known to White County natives.
From a brief history written some years ago by Harold Dean Marlin and additional genealogical finds from a granddaughter, we are able to tell something about the family of Job Morrow Marlin, who came from County Derry, Ireland, in 1835 to find its fortune in America. After landing in New York, the Marlins made their way to South Carolina. Mr. Marlin and his good wife had 14 or 15 children. This story is concerned with the second son, also named John Morrow Marlin.
This son left South Carolina and resided in Obion County, Tenn.; then he came to Bloomington, Ind. He wound up in White County, Ill., and thereby hangs the tale.
He had left Bloomington with his wife and three children, on his way back to Tennessee, carrying all his earthly possessions in a one-horse wagon. One night, when he had reached what is now Brownsville, he made camp and fed his horse some green corn. This resulted in the death of the horse. Not being able to buy another horse, Mr. Marlin was stranded, a stranger in a strange land.
Fortunately, he met Berry Crebs, a landowner who lived in Carmi. He arranged with Mr. Crebs to clear some of his land, near where the Marlins were camped, and they set up housekeeping in a tent. One day, when Marlin went to Carmi to buy supplies, the money which he tendered in payment was refused. It was money issued by a bank in South Carolina and was known in Illinois as "Wildcat" money.
In a few months, as cold weather came on, the Marlins were permitted to move into part of the house on the farm where John was working, sharing it with another family. He continued working, skimping and saving, and eventually was able to buy the farm (1 1/2 miles south of Brownsville, later known as the Munsey farm). John M. Marlin and wife, Lilly A. Wylie, through good management, industry and frugality, accumulated a thousand acres of land. They had 11 children.
John saw active duty in the 87th Illinois Infantry during the Civil War.
He died in 1881. Ralph Marlin, John's brother, served the Confederate cause from Mississippi. Another brother, James, had lost his life in the Mexican-American War. Three of John's sisters married Adams boys and came west to Illinois to settle in the 1850s. Brothers Henry, Robert and William probably came along with John Sr. to the Prairie State, also. Many of the family now rest in the old West Union Cemetery near Brownsville. To quote one descendant, the Martins "begat with alarming frequency." Considering the number of John M. Marlin Jr.'s brothers and sisters who also came to White County in the first place, it would be impossible to estimate how many people now in the area carry a bit of proud Irish Marlin blood in their veins.
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Posted with permission from
THE CARMI TIMES
and CHARLENE SHIELDS
Return To~~ White County Historical Society Library~~by Charlene Shields
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