In looking over the life history of those who now make Charter Oak their home, one cannot but be impressed with the record of C. T. Marshall, who, beginning his career with no other capital than good health, boundless energy and a firm determination to win his way in the world, has risen to a position of influence and holds an honored place among the people of his home town. Born in Kane county, Illinois, January 3, 1847, he is the son of John and Margaret (Davis) Marshall, both of whom were natives of New York state, the father’s birth taking place February 12, 1806, and the mother being born in November, 1810. They were married in New York state in 1832 and went to Illinois in 1843, being among the pioneer settlers of Kane county, where the father located on a two hundred acre farm and followed agricultural pursuits during the remainder of his life. The mother was always a faithful member of the Baptist church. Unto this couple ten children were born, of whom seven survive, as follows: Harriet, now Mrs. Joseph Wilson, of Crawford county, Iowa; Julia, who married Henry Jobe and lives in Denison, Iowa; Mary, who became the wife of H. Sheldon and resides in Colorado; C. T., of this review; Albert, a resident of Omaha, Nebraska; Celia, the wife of Daniel Sheldon, a retired farmer of Illinois; and Alice, the wife of Horace Nash, living in Iowa.
C. T. Marshall had all the educational advantages possible in the district schools of Kane county until he was fifteen years old and then went to Michigan, remaining there for three years. On his return to Illinois he located in McHenry county, where he spent a few years, and then removed to Sioux City, Iowa, in the spring of 1869, but in 1870 he took up his residence in Charter Oak township, Crawford county. Although but a poor boy, without money or friends, he was ambitious and with indomitable courage, to which was added his desire to succeed in some branch of worthy industry, he began his labors behind the plow and such was his industry, combined with economy, that he was able to save enough from his earnings to purchase a one hundred and twenty acre farm on section 14, Charter Oak township. It was wild, rough prairie land, but he began at once to break and cultivate it, built a small home for himself and shelter for his stock and then started farming on his own behalf. His success was assured from the first and from time to time, as his circumstances would allow, he added to his holdings until he became the possessor of twelve hundred acres of highly improved land in Charter Oak township. He subsequently disposed ‘of four hundred acres on section 10, but still retains eight hundred acres on different sections in Charter Oak township. While he still followed general farming he made a specialty of feeding cattle for the market, his disposals amounting to as high as one thousand head per annum. He was also interested in hogs and fattened hundreds of them for the market every year. In 1909, having decided to retire from active farm life, he purchased a home in Charter Oak and there moved his family but still continues to personally manage his extensive estates as well as to supervise other interests with which he is connected. He owns a majority of stock in the Peoples Store at Charter Oak and holds the responsible position of president of the Farmers Bank in that city.
Mr. Marshall has been twice married, his first wife having been Miss Dora Comstock, of Denison, Iowa, whose parents were natives of New York state, born near Albany. As pioneers they moved to Denison in 1856, the father buying his first farm from H. C. Laub, who preceded them a few years and who died recently. Mr. Comstock engaged in the milling business and farming until his death, which occurred in 1872, his wife dying in 1862.
The children of this first marriage are as follows: Celia, who married John Hart, of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Elgia, now Mrs. Stark, of Charter Oak; Harriet, who became the wife of Gus Peters, of Charter Oak; Nellie, who is now Mrs. Fitzpatrick and resides in Nevada; Lena who married W. L. Smith, of Lane, South Dakota; Jessie Belle and Mabel, with their brothers on the farm in Charter Oak township; Martha, the wife of John Jacobsen, of Charter Oak; lona, who is the wife of S. Jones and lives in Charter Oak; C. T., Jr., born August 20, 1890; and C. J., born February 19, 1892. The last two are living at home. The death of Mrs. Marshall occurred in 1903.
The second marriage of Mr. Marshall took place May 29, 1905, when he was united to Mrs. Judith (Maloney) Mathews, of Denison, a daughter of A. D. and Bridget (Sheaman) Maloney, natives of Queens and Longford counties, Ireland, respectively, the father having been born February 28, 1819, and the mother’s birth occurring March 28, 1835. Mr. Maloney emigrated to the United States in 1836 and Mrs. Maloney arrived in this country in 1842 when but seven years of age. They both located in Lexington, Kentucky, and were there married in 1854. He held the position of division superintendent of the Lexington & Covington Railroad and continued thus employed until 1861, when he removed to Denison, Iowa, and purchased the homestead at present occupied by Mrs. Maloney and which is one of the landmarks of the town. Both she and her husband were reared in the Roman Catholic faith and in this house the first Catholic services were held, as there was at that time no church in Denison. For some time after coming to Iowa Mr. Maloney engaged in farming and at one time owned several hundred acres of land. His death occurred in Denison in 1888. By her first union Mrs. Marshall became the mother of two daughters, namely: Cecil, the wife of Mr. Nichols, superintendent of the manual training department in a school at South Omaha, Nebraska; and Marie, who is teaching school in Omaha. Mrs. Marshall was born February 28, 1855, and has two sisters: Catherine, the widow of D. O. Johnson, of Charter Oak; and Mary, who is Mrs. Ed. Phelan and resides in Omaha.
In his political views Mr. Marshall has always been an earnest and conscientious supporter of republican principles and has ever held the interests of his party at heart. He has taken an active part in local affairs, was for several years township trustee and for thirty years held the office of township treasurer, a record of which any man may well be proud, attesting, as it does, not only his efficiency as a business man, but also the confidence in which he is held by the residents of the community in which he resides. As a member of the school board for many years he materially assisted in advancing the educational facilities in his township. The salient factors in the prosperity of Mr. Marshall have been tireless energy and honesty of purpose, combined with everyday common sense, and his life record should serve as a source of encouragement and inspiration to others, showing what may be accomplished when one has the will to do and the courage to overcome all obstacles that beset life’s pathway.
Source: Meyers , F. W. History of Crawford County, Iowa: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1911.