Thomas Marshall, a prosperous farmer of Groveland township, LaSalle county, has been the architect of his own fortunes, and from a humble beginning has steadily advanced toward an influential position in the community where his lot is cast.
He is a son of Robert and Elizabeth (Moats) Marshall, and was born in Ohio county, Virginia, November 10, 1826. His father was born on the Atlantic ocean, while his parents were on their way to America, from their old home in Ireland. Mrs. Elizabeth Marshall was a native of Maryland, and was married in that state. Her father, William Moats, was a prosperous farmer of the same state, where he passed his entire life, and reared a large number of children to be useful citizens. After their arrival in this country, the parents of Robert Marshall located upon a farm in Maryland, and there he grew to manhood and learned the trade of a weaver. Later, he removed to the vicinity of Wheeling, West Virginia, and resided upon a farm there until death released him from his labors. He was then about seventy-five years of age. His wife survived him many years, and had attained the extreme age of ninety-eight years at the time of her death. They were adherents of the Baptist creed, but were not identified with any church in West Virginia. Mr. Marshall was a highly respected citizen of his community, and. true to his patriotic principles, he enlisted in the defense of his country in the war of 1812, though he was not called upon to participate in any battle. Of his fourteen children only five are now living, namely: Jacob, of Stillwater. Oklahoma; William, of Wood county, West Virginia; Susanna, widow of James Pritchett, of Dana, Illinois; Thomas, of this sketch; and Mrs. Elizabeth W. M. Croft, of Streator, this county.
Thomas Marshall, whose home is on section 35, Groveland township, was born in Ohio county, West Virginia, November 10, 1826. He was reared to the pursuits of an agriculturist, and received his education in the district schools. For a number of years he lived in Wood county, West Virginia, and it was not until 1864 that he came to Illinois. His father gave to him, as he did to each of his boys, a tract of one hundred and fifty acres of timber land. After clearing twenty acres of this property, Thomas Marshall sold the farm for one thousand dollars, and it was soon after this event that he became a resident of Livingston county, Illinois.
On the 19th of August, 1855, Mr. Marshall married Bessie, daughter of William Henry and Susan (Geddy) Curgenven, all natives of England. The father died in that country, at the age of twenty-two years, when Mrs. Marshall was seven months old, and his widow married again, and accompanied her second husband to America. They took up their abode in Wood county, West Virginia, where he died at the age of sixty years. His widow survived him, dying near the town of Rutland, Illinois, in 1874, when she was sixty-two years of age. She was a Baptist in her religious faith, and was a lady of exemplary life and amiable character. The maternal grandfather of Mrs. Marshall was the Rev. Nicholas Geddy, a minister in the Methodist denomination, and her uncle, Nicholas Geddy. Jr., was a successful legal practitioner and solicitor in London, his address being the Mansion House. Mrs. Marshall was a child of six years, when she came to the United States, and her early years were spent in Wood county, West Virginia.
Nine children blessed the union of our subject and wife, six of the number being sons. The eldest, William Henry, of Dana, married Annie Evans, and has six living children, Charles, Grace, Jenkins, Harry, Oscar and Ray. Nicholas Geddy, the next son, living three miles from Dana, chose Lizzie Huckins for his wife, and has five children, namely: Charlotte, George, Lucy, Ethel and Ralph. Milton Thomas died when fourteen years of age. Wesley, whose home is near Rutland, Illinois, wedded Mary Cunningham, and their only child is called Bessie. Susan Victoria died when two and a half years old. Harriet May, who became the wife of Loren Burton, of Scotia, Nebraska, is the mother of five children: Bessie, Jennie. Grace, John Thomas and Robert Ray. James Franklin wedded Emma Marshall, a second cousin, and their pleasant home near Dana is graced by the presence of their two sons, Roscoe and Russell. Bessie Rose, also living near Dana, is the wife of John Luther Boyd, and their three children are named respectively Bessie, Eva and Clark. Robert, the youngest child of our subject, is at home and assists in the management of the farm.
When Mr. Marshall came to Illinois with his wife and four children, thirty-five years ago, he purchased forty acres of land in Livingston county, east of Dana, and during this long period he has dwelt in the neighborhood of the town and been closely associated with the development of this section of the state. In the course of time, after making substantial improvements upon his original farm, he invested in two additional tracts of forty acres each. This property he later sold and in its stead bought one hundred and thirty acres of land situated southwest of Dana, across the line, in LaSalle county. Here he has continued to reside until the present time — some twenty-three years. He is a stanch Republican, but has never sought nor desired public office. Mrs. Marshall, who has been a true helpmate, a loving wife and mother, is a member of the Methodist church, and is held in the same high regard by every one, as is also her husband.
Extracted 05 Nov 2016 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of La Salle County, Illinois, Volume 2, pages 687-689.