John Severns, Sr., a native of Wales, is recognized as the first white settler in Gibson County. While enlisted as a soldier during the Revolutionary War, he secured a furlough to visit his parents in the wilds of West Virginia. While there, he was captured along with his entire family by Indians. His father, mother, a younger brother and sister were murdered by them while he and his older brother were held as prisoners and taken back to an Indian town somewhere on the headwaters of the White River. After being a prisoner for seven years he made his escape and soon afterward married and settled in Kentucky where he lived for three years. His older brother, who was captured with him was given to another family of Indians and taken away and he never saw him again. This brother was adopted by a prominent chief and later married an Indian woman. In 1789 John Severns, Sr., settled with his wife and five children on the south bank of the Patoka River, two and one-half miles north of Princeton, Indiana at a point now known as Severns Bridge, where he ran a ferry boat. This point was long known as Severns Ferry, later Severns Bridge. Because of his knowledge of the Indian dialect, their manners and customs, he was able to make friends with the Indians and they permitted him to settle among them. At that time there was a large Indian town on the north bank of the Patoka river, nearly opposite his home. John Severns, Sr., died in about 1829. Severns Bridge was constructed in 1908 and rehabilitated in 2009 by the local government and Federal Highway funds. The benches, picnic areas and walking path were donated by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana and built by Toyota team members.
Driving Directions: From downtown Princeton, follow State Road 65 North approximately 3 miles to bridge on left.