James A. Marshall

From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.

JAMES A. MARSHALL, one of the early settlers of Henderson County, who for fifty-seven years has witnessed the growth and development of this region, now carries on general farming on section 22, Stronghurst Township. As he is widely and favorably known in this community, we feel assured that the record of his life will prove of interest to many of our readers, and therefore gladly give it a place in this volume.

Mr. Marshall claims South Carolina as the State of his nativity. He was born in Fairfield County, June 8, 1826, and is a son of Alexander and Mary (McMillan) Marshall. The paternal grandfather was a native of Ireland, but was of Scotch extraction. The father of our subject was born in Fairfield County, and there remained upon a farm until 1837, when, with his family, he came by team to Illinois, reaching his destination after a journey of two months. He then located in Stronghurst Township, Henderson County, and, entering land from the Government, began the development of a farm, on which he made his home until his death, which occurred at the age of seventy-three years. He served as a private in the War of 1812, filled the office of Township Treasurer for a number of years, and was County Assessor for several years in an early day. He was one of the first settlers of this community, and in the development and upbuilding of the county he bore a prominent part. His wife, who was born in Chester, S. C, died at the age of eighty-four, and was laid to rest by the side of her husband in Olena Cemetery. Her parents were both natives of the Emerald Isle, and, having crossed the Atlantic to America, the father served in the Colonial army during the Revolutionary War.

James A. Marshall was the fifth in a family of seven children, numbering six sons and one daughter. He aided his father in the cultivation of the home farm until twenty-three years of age, and then rented the old homestead, operating it in his own interest for a number of years. He was early inured to the arduous task of developing wild land, and has turned the first furrow on many an acre of prairie. He lived here when Indians still visited the neighborhood, and when wild game of all kinds could be had in abundance.

On the 13th of March, 1851, Mr. Marshall was united in marriage with Miss Janet H. Richey, who was born July 24, 1829, in Washington County, N. Y., and is a daughter of Richard W. and Helen (Green) Richey, who came to Illinois in 1840 and located upon a farm in Henderson County. The father was elected County Judge in 1852, and creditably filled that responsible position for sixteen years. He also served as Justice of the Peace for a number of years. His death occurred in Oquawka, at the age of eighty-four. His parents were natives of England, and his wife's parents were born in Scotland. Mrs. Richey was a native of the Empire State, and died at the age of thirty-three years.

In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Marshall were five sons and six daughters: Maria, wife of J. W. McClinton, a farmer of Coloma, Ill.; James W., who died at the age of nineteen; Mary H., wife of W. A. Spear, an agriculturist of Henderson County; Elizabeth, wife of Cecil McArthur, of Walton, Kan.; Cornelia Ann, wife of C. H. White, of Somonauk, Ill.; Jennie L, who died in infancy; Charles R., who now owns and operates a part of the old homestead farm; John D., an agriculturist of Walton, Kan.; Florence V. and Thomas R., at home; and Hugh L, who carries on agricultural pursuits in Stronghurst Township.

Mr. Marshall gave his children good educational privileges, thus fitting them for the duties of life, and has given them one hundred and sixty-acres of land, but still retains possession of a valuable tract of two hundred and fortv acres. He and his wife are members of the United Presbyterian Church of Stronghurst, and the worthy couple have the warm regard of a large circle of friends and acquaintances. On questions of national importance, Mr. Marshall supports the Democracy, but at local elections, when no issues are involved, he votes independently of party ties. The cause of education finds in him a warm friend, and he supports all worthy enterprises which are calculated to prove of public benefit. The community recognizes in him a valued citizen, and he is also numbered among the honored pioneers of the county.