as written by Pat Marshall
In the late 1700's in northern Warrick County people started to settle near the crossing of two traces. These were the Yellow Banks Trace that ran from Rockport in now Spencer County and the Rome Trace coming from Rome in now Perry County. The settlement was called Polkpatch for the nearby Pokeberry Creek. At that time a "patch" was a narrow trail running between the hills. These were trails used by the buffalo and Indians and were easy to follow by others. Because of trouble with the Indians a stockade was built in 1807 at the junction of the two trails. The trails were heavily traveled and a territorial cemetery was established at Polkpatch. This cemetery was for those who died enroute and were brought to the settlement for burial.
The first recorded settlement in Pigeon Township was made in 1821 by George Taylor (abt. 1790-1837) and his brother Nicholas. Another brother John Taylor settled in 1823. The original town of 38 lots was platted on Section 32, in Township 3 South, Range 6 West, in August 1839. The town was to be called Taylorsville after it's first settlers. When the town applied for a Post Office it was discovered that there was already a town named Taylorsville so the official name reverted to Polkpatch. Locally the town was referred to as Taylorsville, Polkpatch P.O. In 1881 the town was renamed Selvin, a French word taken from a church Hymnal.
Probably the main person responsible for Taylorsville was George Taylor. He was one of the first settlers and donated a parcel of land for the first church. This was near the territorial cemetery and was part of the Boonville Circuit for the traveling preachers. Near the land donated for the church George gave the community some ground for the first public school. Around 1880 a high school was built and served into the mid 1900's.
From the society section of the Boonville newspaper August 1896: "Uncle George" Taylor was working in his garden and fell dead at age 78. This George Taylor was the son of the above mentioned George who helped settle Selvin. At first I was thinking they were the same. I am grateful to Robert Nix who corrected my on this point.
Today Selvin is a small but active community. Gone are the hotels, blacksmith, canning and mattress factories. And also all the businesses associated with the rural farm town. Located in town now is one grocery store, the township fire department and just to the north the Yellow Banks Recreation area. Some decedents of the original settlers live in the town today and many have roots back into the early and mid 1800's.
Some of the information here was taken from a booklet published by Pat Marshall for the town's sesquicentennial. This book of 52 pages has information on Selvin and other places as well as pioneers in Pigeon Township. Although written for and most recognized by folks of the community it is pleasant reading for anyone interested in the area. The price of the book is less than ten dollars and may be ordered from Pat. Write her at the following address for the total cost. Be sure to tell her you saw this at the Warrick Page.
Dale, IN 47523
Selvin, lying in the northeast part of Pigeon township, fifteen miles
northeast of Boonville was laid out on land owned by George Taylor.
Originally it was called Taylorville in honor of Mr. Taylor, but there
being another post office in Indiana bearing the same name, Taylorville
was changed to Polk Patch and again to Selvin in 1881. Among those who
first engaged in business at Selvin were George Taylor, Mark Reavis,
Henry Evans and Joshua Whitney. A flouring mill was established in
Selvin at an early date by Messrs. Oatley and Day, and later owned by J.
F. Katterjohn, ex-auditor of Warrick county, now deceased. Population
150. This village had a population of 250 twenty years ago.
If you have questions or problems with this site, email the County Coordinator. Please to not ask for specfic research on your family. I am unable to do your personal research. I do not live in Indiana and do not have access to additional records.