Biography of Marion Walker Couch

Marion Walker Couch was born March 17, 1842, in Mississippi, third son of John Couch, a prominent farmer and stockman. His mother was a Miss George, of the well-known George family, of Tennessee. Marion had no opportunity for education during his youth. From his fourteenth year he accompanied his father to Texas, California and elsewhere until, in the year 1861, he joined the Fourth Confederate Cavalry, and as a private served throughout the war. After its close he moved to the Cherokee Nation, and commenced farming and raising stock, which he still continues. In 1884 he established a mercantile business in Chelsea, and may well be considered as the organizer of that town. In 1890 he sold his business to Mr. Poole. In 1863 Mr. Couch married Miss Mary Wright, a Cherokee by blood, by whom he has four children, named John Franklin, Jessie Thomas, Robert Lee, and Nannie. Mrs. Couch died in 1876, whereupon in May 1877, Mr. Couch married Miss Victoria Riley, daughter of Samuel Riley, a Cherokee, of Coody’s Bluff. Mrs. Couch’s mother was a Miss Rider, sister of B. W. Rider, a leading farmer and stock-raiser, and also a Cherokee. By this marriage there are five living children, Mary, Clara, Cherokee, Marion and James, ranging in ages from eleven years to twelve months old. Mr. Couch has 600 head of cattle and 300 acres of farm in cultivation. He has also a fine two-story brick store and three residences (besides his own) in Chelsea, which he rents out, and some fifty-town lots. Mrs. Couch is a lady of superior education, is kind and charitable, and a devoted wife and mother. Mr. Couch is six feet in height, a man of fine business qualifications, and wholly self-educated. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and the Home Mission Society. He is also a Mason of old standing, and is now a Master Mason in the Vinita Lodge, No. 10.


Indian Territory,

O'Beirne, Harry F. and Edward S. The Indian Territory: Its Chiefs, Legislators, and Leading Men. St. Louis. 1898.

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