Calhoun County

1891 Biography - Francis Marshall

FRANCIS MARSHALL is a veteran of the late war in which he won a good war record of which he and his may well be proud. He is now one of the prosperous farmers of Calhoun County, owning a fine and well managed farm in Point Precinct. He is a son of one of the early pioneers of this county, John B. Marshall, who in turn was a son of Antone Marshall who was one of the early settlers of St. Charles County, Mo., where he resided many years, but he spent the latter part of his life with his son John in this county. John B. Marshall was reared in Missouri his native State, and when quite young commenced boating on the river. In those days there were no steamers plying on the upper Mississippi and all transportation was by keel or flatboats. The father of our subject continued boating some years but in 1832 turned his attention to farming and, like his father before him, became a pioneer, coming to this county and settling in this township. At that time the greater part of the land in this county was public land, the settlers used to cut timber wherever they chose and Mr. Marshall with others was engaged in getting out staves, timber, rails, sawlogs, clapboards and cordwood, continuing in that employment until his death in 1853. The township then lost one of its good citizens and one of its most industrious and useful pioneers. The maiden name of his wife was Christine Wisner. She was born in St. Charles County, Mo., and was a daughter of Joseph Wisner, a pioneer of that county who was a native of Canada. The parents of our subject were not long separated as both died in the same year. They reared the following nine children: Francis, Henry, Louisa, Julia, Jacob, George, Margaret, Elizabeth and Mary Catherine. Francis Marshall was born in St. Charles County, Mo., October 20, 1830, and he was consequently only an infant when his parents came to this State. He grew with the growth of the county and witnessed almost its entire development. For many years after he came here the country was very sparsely settled and deer, wolves, wild cats and wild turkeys were plentiful in the timber and about the homes of the pioneers. As soon as he was large enough our subject had to assist his father in the woods and he remained with his parents until their death. He continued in the lumber business until 1860 and then rented land and engaged in farming.

Mr. Marshall was busily pursuing his calling as a farmer when the war broke out. With patriotic interest he watched its course and finally determined to take a part in carrying it on. He enlisted, August 14, 1862, in Company C, Ninety-seventh Illinois Infantry, and served with great credit until after the close of the war when he was honorably discharged with his regiment at Camp Butler, Ill., August 19, 1865. He saw much hard fighting and bore his share in all the engagements in which his regiment took part. He fought at Chickasaw Bluffs, Arkansas Post, Champion Hills, Black River, engaged in the siege and capture of Vicksburg; was at Jackson, Miss., and did noble service at Ft. Blakely and Mobile, displaying in all cases courage, self-reliance and fortitude in bearing the hardships of a soldier's life.

On his return home Mr. Marshall resumed farming and in the spring of 1869 settled on the farm which he now owns and occupies. This is a very desirable piece of property, is under excellent improvement, having a neat and substantial dwelling and other necessary buildings and its fields are well tilled and yield rich harvests.

Mr. Marshall was married in 1855, to Frances Divird, a native of Pennsylvania. Theirs has been a felicitous wedded life and has been blessed to them by the birth of nine children, as follows: Mary A., Hardin, Henry, Francis, George, Benjamin, Joseph; Rosalie and Emma (deceased.)

The life record of our subject thus far has been unblemished and shows him to be a loyal citizen who is earnestly interested in the welfare of his township and county and of the country at large, and presents him as a man who is true in all the relations that he bears to others as husband, father, neighbor and friend. Socially he belongs to Full Moon Lodge, No. 341, A. F. &. A. M., Grafton. Ill., and Sulurian Lodge No. 449, I. O. O. F., Grafton, Ill. In politics we find our subject a true blue Republican.

Extracted 23 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 800-801


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