John Pritiskutch Reproductions

History of Berks County - Marion Townships

The following is reproduced from the 1876 Atlas of Berks County, Pennsylvania

Marion township was formerly comprised within the limits of Heidelberg and Lower Tulpehocken and is a place of much historic interest. It was originally settled by the Palatines, whose adversities and wanderings are elsewhere narrated. Benjamin Spicker, one of the right-hand men of the justly celebrated Conrad Weiser, had his home in this township and his house was the scene of many important occurrences during its disturbances of the old French and Indian war. It was the rendezvous of an expedition which was sent by Colonel Weiser against the enemy in 1755. Here assembled some two hundred brave and fearless men, armed with guns. swords. pitchforks and axes, whose numbers, as they marched towards the Susquehanna, were swelled to upwards of three hundred. Before starting they were exhorted by the Rev. Mr. Kurtz, a Lutheran minister, who also offered a fervent prayer for the Divine blessing to rest upon the expedition. A solemn covenant was entered into by the men, to engage the enemy wherever they should meet them, without, inquiring their numbers ; to obstruct their march towards the settlements, till reinforcements should arrive; and to die together, if need be, to save the lives of their wives and children. On their way a supply of ammunition was received from Reading. Not meeting the enemy as was expected, the detachment returned, after a few days, without having met with any remarkable adventures. Colonel Weiser graphically describes the expedition in a letter to Gov. Morris, which shows the former to be equally master of the pen, as of the sword.

Mr. Spicker's house stood near the site of the present village of Stouchsburg. The village is now one of considerable business activity and thrift. It contains about 400 inhabitants. Newmanstowns is a thriving place.

The township lies in the form of an isoceles triangle, and is divided into two unequal parts by the Tulpehocken creek. The Millbach creek also waters a certain portion of the town. The soil is of excellent quality, being equal to any in Berks county ; and the farms are in a fine state of cultivation. Several churches and mills contribute to make it a desirable home for an agricultural people. The schools are also well cared for.

The township has excellent facilities for ingress and egress. The old turnpike road from Reading to Harrisburg passes through it; and it lies not fair from the line of the Lebanon Valley Railroad.

The population has not increased, but rather diminished during the last decade. In 1870, it contained 1,440 inhabitants.