Eli B. Marshall


    A custom which in recent years has made much progress in the rural communities of the middle west, and which in itself is indicative of higher standards of comfort and independence in life, is the giving of names to the individual farms, a custom that probably adds no material value to the place, but is nonetheless attractive for that reason. The first country home in Grant County to be formally designated with a title was the Catalpa Stock Farm of which Eli B. Marshall has been proprietor for over forty years, coming here March 1, 1871. The Catalpa Farm is the home of Poland-China hogs, and some of the finest stock of this kind raised in Eastern Indiana is to be found on the place of Mr. Marshall. He makes a specialty of breeding Poland-China hogs and his public sales conducted every season have put his stock into nearly every State of the Union.

    Mr. Marshall who is one of the larger and most prosperous farmers of Grant County was born in Boone County, Indiana, May 6, 1846, and belongs to one of the old families of the State. His parents were Joshua and Tamar (Osborn) Marshall. The father was a son of Thomas Marshall and the latter a son of Joseph Marshall, who was born in Virginia. Thomas Marshall, the grandfather, came over the Blue Ridge Mountains to Henry County, Indiana, thence moving to Boone County, where he died. Joshua Marshall was married in Boone County, and took up his residence in Grant County in 1847. In the latter county he spent the rest of his life. He was a man whose interest was identified with public affairs, and in the early days he was one of the leaders in the improvement of the roads of the county. In politics his vote and interest were at first in support of the Whig organization, and later was Republican. A story that is told of this old resident as a part of family tradition is that he voted in that county at a time when a hollow stump served as the ballot box of his precinct, and each voter marched up and deposited his ticket in the recess of this old stump. Joshua Marshall was a birthright Quaker, and throughout his life continued an influential and interested worker in his church. He was the father of ten children, of whom the three living in 1913 are:

  • Ruth, wife of Samuel Small

  • Eli B.

  • William R., who is a Minister of the Baptist Church in Arkansas.

    Eli B. Marshall has spent practically all his career in Grant County. He was reared during the days of primitive schools and school facilities, and had only such education as was given by the local institutions, and had the training of the farm and the wholesome rural environment of more than half a century ago. Farming has been his regular career, and he is one of the men who have prospered to an exceptional degree. In 1870 he bought the Sidney Harvey Farm, and still owns that place. Since locating with his family there in March, 1871, he has lived and prospered for more than forty years, and from that place his foster children have gone out into independent work and existence. He was united in marriage to Sarah A. Charles, a daughter of Dr. Henry Charles. This wife died without issue, having been killed on June 27, 1901, when she was thrown from her buggy in front of her home. Though they had no children of their own, they adopted in their home and reared or partly reared nineteen boys and girls. Such practical benevolence is seldom met with. Mr. and Mrs. Marshall dressed, fed and provided home and educational facilities to these children, who in turn have honored their adopted parents. For his second wife Mr. Marshall chose Myra (Vickey) Webster. Mrs. Marshall has been for many years a minister of the Friends Church. At the present time they have in their home a boy who is being reared under their care, and that completes the total of twenty children, who have been assisted and have found homes and shelter and protection under the Marshall roof-tree. Mr. and Mrs. Marshall are members of the Quaker Church, and he is an elder in the church and has held that distinction since he was twenty-two years of age. He assisted in building the church in Franklin Township, having contributed liberally to that organization in the erection of both the buildings, which have furnished its religious home during the last forty or fifty years. Mr. Marshall was formerly a prominent member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is a Republican, without special party activities. The Catalpa Farm contains one hundred and thirty-three acres, and is situated on Section Twenty-seven in Franklin Township. In 1886 Mr. Marshall erected a comfortable brick house, and the other buildings include good barns, granaries and places for the shelter of stock and machinery. The improvements are excellent and the farm well upholds the dignity conferred by its name Catalpa Stock Farm.

    Mrs. Marshall, as already stated, preaches in the Friends Church, and has a regular charge at Maple Run Church. She has been prominently identified with organization work in the church in Grant, Wabash, Huntington, Wells and Henry Counties. She was born in Rush County, Indiana, being a native Hoosier. Mr. Marshall when little more than a boy answered the call of patriotism, and enlisted in April, 1864, in Company C of the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Indiana Infantry. His regiment was attached to the Army of the Cumberland, but he was never in any engagements or fighting. His duty and that of the regiment was the transportation of captured Confederates to Chicago and other Federal places of imprisonment. He was mustered out at the end of his term of enlistment in November, 1864, having been away from home about seven months. He now has membership in the Swayzee Post of the Grand Army of the Republic. His brother Levi Marshall was a member of the One Hundred and First Indiana Regiment, and served from the beginning of the war until his death a few days after the battle of Chickamauga, although he was not wounded therein. Joseph Marshall, another brother, was a member of the Thirty-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and was with Sherman on his march to the sea and then on until the close of the war.

Source: Centennial History of Grant County Indiana 1812-1912. The Lewis Publishing Co., 1914, page 1102-3.




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