Biography of William S. Marshall

William S. Marshall, a native son of Butler County, is now one of its most successful business. men and among other interests is cashier of the State Bank of Leon, where he resided.

Henry H. Marshall, his honored father, was a Butler County pioneer and one whose career deserves to be remembered by subsequent generations. He was born in Fountain County, Indiana, in 1846, his parents having come from South Carolina. He grew up in Indiana, and in 1869 married Miss Mary A. Elwell. Two years after their marriage they came out to Butler County, Kansas. In 1871 he bought a quarter section of land from Peter Johnson. That farm is two miles northeast of Leon and was originally a part of the Osage Indian trust lands, ceded from the United States in 1868. At the time of the cession Doctor Munson had pre-empted it, but later in the same year trailed it to Peter Johnson for an ox team and wagou. Mr. Marshall acquired it by paying Johnson $2,250. The land is now worth easily $150 an acre, being all bottom land and not surpassed in fertility by any soil in the county. Peter Johnson had built a small frame house in 1868. This house, 12 by 18 feet, is still standing, and the lumber was sawed from native timber at William Martin’s mill at El Dorado, Henry H. Marshall also pre-empted a quarter section adjoining his homestead in Little Walnut Township.

Henry H. Marshall began his career in Kansas on a modest capital. He had been a school teacher in Indiana, but in Kansas gave his time exclusively to farming and stock raising. His success was due not to the capital with which he started but to long continued industry and a capable business judgment. He bought and sold cattle on a large scale, fed livestock on his farms, and altogether transacted a great volume of business. By the success with which he managed his private affairs and by his well-known integrity of character, he was often accorded positions of honor and trust by his fellow citizens. In 1874, when this section of the state received aid on account of devastation due to the grasshoppers, he was appointed one of the distributors of the supplies, and conducted the work in a manner that gave universal satisfaction. In the early days the woods of Butler County were filled with game, and Mr. Marshall supplied his table with meat of deer and wild turkey and other game. He was not a professional hunter but game was so abundant in the early days that it required no special skill as a bunter nor did it take time from the main business of farming. The profits that came from his stock business he largely invested in other lands, and eventually acquired over 2,000 acres. The death of this worthy and snecessful citizen of Butler County occurred in November, 1911, when nearly sixty-six years of age. He was widely noted for his kindness to animals. It is said that he would never permit a domestic animal to be abused. He used many mules in his farming operations and when these animals became old and decrepit they wers pensioned by being eared for just as well as when they had been able to give useful service. Several of these mules outlived their kindly master. One died in 1914, at the age of thirty-four, two others in 1915 at the age of thirty-five, and one died in 1916 at the age of thirty-six.

Henry H. Marshall started in the lumber business in 1882 and was actively engaged in it until 1905 or 1906, when he turned the active management over to his son M. W. It is now operated under the name of H. H. Marshall & Son.

H. H. Marshall was one of the organizers and the first presidant of the State Bank of Leon in 1903 and continued as president until his death in 1911. He had many other business interests, including a clothing store and an interest in a hardware and implement store in Leon. He lived on and operated his farm during all this time, coming and going between farm and Leon. His farm was a stock farm used mostly for feeding and fattening cattle, hogs, and sheep, and grazing cattle in summer.

Mrs. Henry H. Marshall died in April, 1912. They were the parents of five children, and those that survive are all prominent and well-to-do citizens. Morton W., the oldest, is a lumber merchant and president of the State Bank of Leon. He was born in July, 1870, and for twenty-seven years had been a lumber merchant at Leon. He married Miss Eleanor Martin, whose father, W. J. Martin, was also a pioneer of Butler County. Their children are Vivian, Jean L. and Shirley. John A., the third son, was born in November, 1874, is vice president of the State Bank of Leon and is in the implement business at Leon. He married Miss Belle Waldorf, and they have three children, Mary, Lois, and Wilbur. Etta M. is the wife of Bert R. Smith, a banker at Rsece, Kansas, and their children are Roberta and Frances. Grace E. is the wife of H. S. Dederick, and they live on the old homestead in Little Walnut Township. Creta Zachary a foster sister, who seems the same as a sister, lived with the Marshalls from the time she was five years old. She married Charles W. Maclean and now lives on an adjoining farm to the old homestead.

William S. Marshall, who was the second in his father’s family, was born in Butler County, on November 25, 1872. He spent his early life on the home farm, attended the country schools, and since coming to his majority had looked after extensive interests as a land owner and for a number of years had been a director of the State Bank of Leon, and is now its cashier. He taught twelve terms of school, nine of which were in the Leon School. In December, 1903, he married Lyndia Dedrick. Her father was J. J. Dedrick, a pioneer who came to Kansas from Illinois in 1871. Mr. and Mrs. Marshall have three children, Anita, Arlone, and Ruth.

William S. Marshall is interested in the hardware and implement house of Benninghoff, King and Company, of Leon, in the Marshall Clothing Company and the Marshall lumber yards of Leon; also in the Carlisle Company, a general mercantile and drug store of Leon. He is a member of Joppa Lodge No. 223, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. He plays the solo cornet in the Leon Concert Band, an organization that had been operated for the last twentyfive years. This band is uniformed and is one of the few bands in Kansas that had held up its organization and membership, and had gained much prominence in cities all over the state. It classes high as a band and had a membership of twenty-eight at present. It gives open air concerts from the Leon band stand every Saturday night during the summer months and thonsands of people congregate from far and near on these occasions, driving long distances for the privilege of Tistening. It is the pride of Leon and every Saturday night Leon takes on the appearance of a metropolis. Mr. Marshall’s two brothers are members of the hand, M. W. being its director and J. A. playing trombone and directing the military discipline of the band. Each year this band plays at the Douglas County Fair, at the noted Kaffir Corn Carnival at El Dorado and at the Wichita Annual Wheat Show. It had entered state band contests and had won high awards and “brings home the money.”



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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